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Red Hat Software Businesses Operating Systems Software IT Linux

Fedora 9 a Bit Behind the Curve On Installation 110

bsk_cw writes "Today, many Linux users are getting blasé about the ease with which they can install Linux. Possibly, they've been spoiled by distributions such as Ubuntu, which is actually easier to install than Windows. Unfortunately, Fedora 9, the latest version of this community edition of Red Hat, was a bit too much of a blast from the past for Computerworld's James Turner." (Except for bits about the installation, the review is actually quite positive.)
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Fedora 9 a Bit Behind the Curve On Installation

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  • Swap issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kernowyon ( 1257174 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:15PM (#23411488) Journal
    I actually had a look at the link! One of the issues was -

    Finally hit ctrl-alt-return to restart the window manager and found it had hung trying to mount swap off the fstab. For some reason, the installer didn't like trying to reuse the swap partition left over from the previous install, and it made something go pear-shaped during the initial boot.

    This is something which seems to plague some Linux installs - if I recall correctly, Vector Linux (or was it Puppy?) has a similar problem with re-using swap partitions which are also used by other installed distros.
    The fact that the author managed to get things going by telling the installer to repartition the drive seems to confirm this. It is a long time since I tested Fedora, so I have no idea if this problem is common with that distro.Luckily, most users will probably not have multiple distros installed and this should not prove an issue to them.
    Kudos to the author for reporting the issue as a bug though - that may help to get this sorted for the next release.
  • I have never had Windows fail to install for any reason.. The only problem I have ever had with Windows is when I install Linux first and then Windows wipes out GRUB. Then I gotta find a GRUB ISO and figure out the GRUB commands to restore the bootloader (floppies? what are those? while I have a floppy drive still, I have a hell of a time finding disks, even at a tech school). So now I always install Windows first so it's all happy and in place and then let Linux have its way. Windows doesn't even have a clue. It's really best this way.
  • by phoenixwade ( 997892 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:18PM (#23411526)
    "(Except for bits about the installation, the review is actually quite positive.)"

    I must have read a different article (whupps, sorry, it's slashdot, I know I'm not supposed to RTFA, backsliding again, I suppose)

    the first page was complaints about the installer, a paragraph or two that's positive about the performance, and then a complaint that you have to buy the enterprise edition for support, because you can't buy support for Fedora...

    Didn't do much for me as a review of the new Fedora, and it certainly didn't seem like the rest was "Positive".
  • by croddy ( 659025 ) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @07:30PM (#23411654)

    Well, the hardware is all fine. Linux runs on it as solid as a rock. The XP installer apparently doesn't crash as long as I disable AHCI. Of course, it wouldn't install at all until my Windows-using friend helpfully reassembled my installer, being sure to include the SATA drivers that Microsoft apparently never cared to add when they updated their installation media. I guess you need a floppy disk drive if you want to do that at install time and don't care to remaster the damned installation media before you even have a system to work on.

    Well, then there's the Vista installation problem. The hardware's all definitely fine, with I guess the possible exception of the optical drive. Then again I would dispute that a chock-full DVD-ROM that must be read flawlessly from end to end in a single pass without any chance to retry a missed block is any kind of way to install an OS. I guess I'm just used to the Debian network installer.

  • by NJRoadfan ( 1254248 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @08:38PM (#23412306)
    Anybody remember THAT installer? There was no "back" option on most of the screens. If you screwed up, you had to start over from scratch.
  • Clueless author (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @09:21PM (#23412698)
    Here's my favorite quote:

    "a 2.6.x kernel is a 2.6.x kernel"

    Yeah, right. I think he has no clue about what he's talking of. Even if you take a 2.6.18 kernel that RedHat uses for their RHEL systems, and 2.6.25, there are a lot of differences. To say nothing of the first release of 2.6.

  • by WK2 ( 1072560 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @10:15PM (#23413124) Homepage
    Windows never really failed to install for me. I've had other problems, like trying to hunt down drivers, having to disable drivers in order to get Windows to boot, Safe Mode failing, and Windows ME blue screened on its first boot.

    The main problem I have with installing Windows is that it takes so long. Why does it have to take 1 hour to install an OS? You pretty much just copy a bunch of files onto the HDD, right? Even on a slow CD drive that shouldn't take more than 10 mins max. And why does it ask me questions at several different parts of the install? It should ask them all at once. If it only took a few minutes, this would be forgivable, but if it's going to take an hour, I would at least like to set my options when the CD boots, and then let the install go on for the next hour while I do other things. I shouldn't have to babysit my computer. And why do I have to boot twice to install, once from CD, and once from HDD? And I have to answer questions on each boot.

    Microsoft could learn a lot from Linux about OS installs.
  • by gzipped_tar ( 1151931 ) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @02:20AM (#23414532) Journal
    I know Fedora is not the easiest to install, but instead, let's look at the other side of the matter.

    Being a Fedora user myself, I walked through the install process in about ten minutes (excl. the time of merely waiting for file extraction/copying). And everything worked fine.

    Installing Fedora is not a click-through. For new users it may appear to be more intimidating than it actually is. But don't forget the old practice of RTFM. Fedora has an excellent installation guide available from their wiki. The guide is very readable even for new users. In the doc there are actually things a new user can learn useful knowledge, e.g. the basic ideas of disk partition and logical volume management. A scan through the manual also helps reducing the risk of data loss caused by mis-operation.

    Sadly, most new users don't know the value of a manual.

    Perhaps that's what Fedora differens from the *buntu families. Fedora is a desktop distro, but meanwhile it is always a testing distro; it isn't even meant to be very stable or user-friendly like the *buntus do. You'll have to be a little tech-aware. If you don't feel like reading through a few man pages to find the answer, then consider something else.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @04:00AM (#23414976) Journal

    If you get a good embedded sata controller like the one built in to modern nvidia nforce motherboards, each sata socket shows up as an standard IDE channel to the OS, allowing you to use it without specialist drivers (if you're not using raid).
    Surely you mean just in "real mode" (only at boot) and not all the time and durring "protect mode" operation (once the 32bit OS is running and the bias no longer controls the SATA channel) right? Otherwise you would lose a lot of the benefits of the SATA channels and possibly never see drive speeds close to their rated potential.

    I'm betting they just provide an int hook that a generic IDE driver can use until a protect mode driver gets loaded. I'm wondering if XP and Vista have the same problems of not getting the speeds of protect mode drivers when a single real mode driver is present like windows 9x and ME did? Or maybe they moved to a generic 32 bit IDE driver and don't piss around with it anymore except when looking for the kernel to load. Hmm.. I wonder if someone knows or if I will have to hunt it down for myself. Anyways, don't rely on the generic drivers for windows because they can't limit your hardware and give you a slower experience as well as sometimes BSODs in operation.

    XP's installer's insistence on floppy disks or slipstreaming for new drivers is a pain, but Vista's installer is a major improvement and takes drivers on any media during the installer.
    Year, XP's sort of sucked but I'm not sure Vista is much better. You set the driver CDs in a box somewhere and either lose them or they won't work in 4 or 5 years when you need to reinstall which means loading linux or at least using a bootable version to download the drivers and set it so the installer can handle it(extract-whatever).
  • by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @10:36AM (#23417892)
    Vista includes a lot more drivers on the disk, because it's a new release, so the drivers actually existed when the disk was pressed. You can load drivers from cd or usb pen during the installer (no more needing a floppy drive!). It asks all the questions at the start. It doesn't spend years loading drivers for hardware that hasn't been used in 5 years before starting. You only boot once to install. It even installs faster than XP did.

    I'm not surprised Windows ME bluescreened on you on it's first boot, it was a pile of crap.

    Hunting down drivers for non-standard hardware you'll still have to do, but Microsoft includes a surprising number on the Vista disk and Windows update.

    NOTE: Despite the much improved installer, MS hasn't lured me to actually installing Vista on my main pc. It took me ages to get XP set up to behave right, I'll be damned if I'll switch now.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato