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Fedora 16, OpenSuse 12.1 Betas With Gnome 3.2 117

Andy Smith writes "Fedora 16 beta and OpenSuse 12.1 beta have been released. For most users the major change in each distro is Gnome 3.2. Fedora also adopts the new Linux 3 kernel and the GRUB2 bootloader."
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Fedora 16, OpenSuse 12.1 Betas With Gnome 3.2

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  • GRUB2, yay, Fedora. Finally.

    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      Did they ever make GRUB2 configurable? Last time I used GRUB2 it was a mess - what ever happened to simplicity?

      • Compared with LILO, GRUB is still complex.
        • However, the ability to edit commands from the grub boot menu is awesome, and has quickly saved my system many times.

      • They did but it's still a pain in the ass. In Ubuntu at least, you have to edit grub.cfg and then "update-grub". I liked the old way of doing things where update-grub was unnecessary.
        • at least you are not left with broken configuration when you mess something up. Firing up livecd to repair nonbooting system is such a pleasure for your average user...

          • Oh definitely.
          • by jon207 ( 1176461 )
            Average user doesn't mess with Grub configuration...
            • average user as in ubuntuforums? He sometimes doesn't have much choice despite living in gui land. Broken video resolution at boot time, setting windows as the default option in grub menu or removing diagnostic modes from menu are not unreasonable things to tackle.

          • by Junta ( 36770 )

            Average users need not touch grub.conf. The ones that do should understand how to hit 'c' or 'e' to recover without a rescue disk.

            Scenarios where I've seen someone forced to 'rescue' are when the available initrds are fubared, and 'update-grub' won't prevent that.

            Two things I hate windows for are binary registry and bcd files. Steering away from plain text to protect the user is not an aspect I want to see mimicked, as when it fails to protect, it actually makes the problem worse.

    • by AdamWill ( 604569 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @03:44PM (#37616476) Homepage

      well, we *could* have switched to it at any time, but it's made a bit awkward by the fact that the only real benefit of switching is upstream support. despite its ridiculous panoply of shiny features, grub2 doesn't give Fedora much that grub didn't, really. we're only switching now because we decided the pain threshold of essentially maintaining grub-legacy ourselves downstream had been reached.

      in fact, if we were doing things over, we'd probably switch at f17 instead, because we haven't been able to make grub2 work well enough for EFI installs or PPC installs, so we still have to use grub-legacy for those, and that's just causing a ton of annoying complexity and possible breakage in the installer and upgrade paths.

      • What's wrong with using Syslinux for boot? It's not just for live CDs anymore (they've had ext2/3 support for a while now). It has the simplicity of Lilo, with the addition of being file system aware (unlike Lilo).
        In fact, any time I've failed to get Grub to re-install, I cheated and switched over to Syslinux.

  • installed the beta last night in VirtualBox 4.1.4 , it was using grub 1.99.

    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      That is GRUB 2. Since GRUB2 is not yet a stable release they haven't moved the number to 2.x.

      • Meanwhile, LILO still works just fine, despite being incredibly simple and elegant.

        I don't think I'll ever understand the rationale behind the switch to GRUB.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          NIH syndrome. Lilo is BSD-licensed and the copyrights not owned by the GNU Project. This was unacceptable and a more complex and harder to use GPL version was needed.

          • by jhdsl ( 74051 )

            More like lilo needed to be reinstalled after every kernel change.
            If you forgot or something went wrong you where SOL.
            GRUB only needs to update its files in the filesystem.
            Also, GRUB has a command line from where you can choose kernel to boot if things got messed up.
            GRUB can also boot more things than LILO can.

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              Tried to install a grub-based distro on a truly headless system?

              There are cases where grub makes sense, and cases where LILO makes sense, and cases where u-Boot makes sense.

        • Re:No grub 2 (Score:4, Informative)

          by diegocg ( 1680514 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @02:51PM (#37615732)

          No, LILO doesn't work fine. LILO always was incredibly unreliable, it needs to know the fixed location of the kernel inside the disk (if you move your kernel it stops working). I can't count the times my system stopped booting because of stupid things like that. GRUB in the other hand can read filesystems so it doesn't need to know where kernels are, only the stages are neccesary. Even if it fails to find a kernel it has an interactive editor where you can list the available files in the /boot directory, which is useful for recovery. Also, LILO doesn't support UEFI.

          • Also,LILO doesn't support UEFI.

            2008 says hello. []

            • ironically, neither does grub2. well, it does, but very badly. we're actually still using grub-legacy for EFI installs in F16, because grub2-efi is just too unreliable at present.

            • That's a separate (and not very healty) project.

          • Do you normally have need to move your kernel around? If so, just remember to run /sbin/lilo afterwards, and you are done.

            If you can't remember that, just boot some other media, chroot to your borked installation, and run /sbin/lilo. All fixed!

            Grub's fine if you like big complex solutions to simple little problems, I guess. We use it at work because the big distros ship it.

            • by Desler ( 1608317 )

              Yeah, it's funny how we have this overly complex GRUB solution all to save the "huge" hassle of running /sbin/lilo after installing a new kernel.

              • Yeah but, forgetting to run it results in a chronic failure at the next reboot (which could be a month away).

        • While we're at it, can someone give a quick rehash of the present state of Linux boot loaders? I've installed Arch on a netbook yesterday, and noticed that the installer gave me a choice of GRUB vs SysLinux. This is the first time I've actually heard about SysLinux, but apparently it's an old project - so why the sudden interest to it? Does GRUB have problems on modern hardware, or what?

        • by Junta ( 36770 )

          It doesn't though. The interactive capabilities are piss-poor, no EFI support, if you did anything that might change block location of kernel, it would fail. This means 'clever' filesystems might be fundamentally incompatible with LILO (if your kernel gets deduped and pointer moves, there was no user cue to go and update lilo). Having to re-run lilo every time is a sufficient indicator of a problem.

          • So, in a hypothetical future scenario where grub won't work, LILO won't work either? Doesn't seem like a big problem to me. In the real world, both bootloaders will probably get support for your hypothetical filesystem long before most people ever need it.

            People have already pointed out that having to run /sbin/lilo at kernel update time is hardly a big deal. You could run it automagically off an inotify hook if you are really incapable of typing five keystrokes. Red Hat automated the process inside the

            • by Junta ( 36770 )

              elilo is a fundamentally different beast than lilo. The name is the only thing in common.

              • elilo is a fundamentally different beast than lilo. The name is the only thing in common.

                Care to elaborate?

                I'm very curious, since it seems to me that the ability to boot a kernel is something elilo and lilo clearly have in common. What is different, other than the code rewrite required by the difference between EFI vs BIOS? Does elilo recognize filesystems?

                • by Junta ( 36770 )

                  It doesn't have filesystem code *but* it doesn't read kernel/initrd from any filesystem that UEFI does not understand. So while it doesn't have any driver, it does require it be in a vfat partition or tftp area, but does not need to do anything like be re-embedded in an MBR to handle an update, an update to the config file is sufficient. I don't know if elilo is so much a rewrite(which in and of itself would be significant) or a project inspired by and named after lilo, but not actually coming from the sa

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Grub Legacy" is technically numbered with version number less than 1, Grub 2 has version number greater than 1.
      On ArchLinux, the package "grub" has version number 0.97, and the package "grub2" has version number 1.99

  • Granted, I don't know the proportion of users who use a given desktop environment in these distributions, so the OP may be accurate, but this seems a little presumptuous. I personally use KDE, and I know that many folks eshew both Gnome and KDE for lighter desktop environments. Quite a few users of these distributions won't notice this "major change" at all. Might I suggest something like: "The major change that will be most visible to Gnome users in each distro is an upgrade to Gnome 3.2. Users of oth

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      A large majority of users just use the one that comes up by default after a default install, and that is Gnome. A lot of users are surprised that you can install other DE's, or that you can have a bunch of them installed at once.

  • Two mildly popular distros releasing their betas is not news. An actual release might be news (and that's debatable), but a beta release? Bah.

    And just a reminder that /. didn't cover the various betas of Ubuntu either. Or any other popular Linux distros, for that matter.

    Also, GNOME 3.2 has been in the stable Arch Linux repos since almost the day it came out.

    • You'll see someday when timothy discovers ArchLinux, and there will be a story every day about a "new version" of Arch.

  • by Forget4it ( 530598 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @02:21PM (#37615330) Homepage
    LMDE is a good alternative maintained Linux that continues with the latest Gnome 2 not 3 []
    • by jasno ( 124830 )

      I just tried Mint last night - ran into major problems with the nVidia proprietary drivers that I haven't seen on Ubuntu or Fedora. That was enough to kill the deal.

      I'm switching back to linux on my laptop after a few years of having a social life. Ubuntu is OK but I'm looking for something cleaner and more up to date. I'm trying Fedora 15 now but, god, those repos are slooooow. Also, even with the yum frontend, I think the package management sucks.

      Is Gentoo still alive? That was always my fav distro -

      • by geek ( 5680 )

        Go with Arch. Its up to date and very user configurable and you really can't go much lighter.

    • This is old news, but still not everyone knows about it. Clement Lefebvre has officially requested that anyone who supports Israel's right to exist not use his distro and made it clear that he supports the terrorists in Gaza. See here for the details: []

      • by marnues ( 906739 )
        Good job on injecting a purely technical Linux distro discussion with a hyperbolic rephrasing of one distro developer's political believes. You have certainly trolled hard today! Maybe a nice lemonade by daddy's pool is what you need. Thanks for being here!
    • The problem with LMDE is that it is still Debian with a bit more sane initial configuration. And you're only guaranteed to stay with Gnome 2 if you stay with stable, and LMDE is meant to be a rolling distro that tracks testing. It also doesn't allow installation onto a pre-existing LUKS-LVM setup, like I can with Fedora. On the whole, it's just not as user-friendly for the desktop. I have found that, for the time being, Fuduntu is a pretty nice alternative. Since it is based on Fedora 14, it has Gnome 2, bu
      • Actually, Mint now mirrors the debian Repos and it's only semi-rolling, if a package isn't working for them at the end of the month, they don't update it.

    • by Eil ( 82413 )

      Which is good right up until Debian switches to Gnome 3. It won't be soon, but it will happen.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @03:00PM (#37615868)
    Be in no doubt GNOME 3 has some pretty stupid omissions but the core experience is actually pretty slick and task centric. You can see and arrange all your activities from one screen, you use your apps from another screen. It comes second nature to use and it looks great, easily comparable to OS X or Windows 7.

    As I said it has some issues and I wish they'd be sorted. Biggest for me is there are no desktop icons unless you enable it from a tweak tool. This oversight / omission is just bizarre. The second omission is lots of settings that gnome-tweak-tool exposes should have been in the options dialogs from the get go - things like enabling minimize / maximize buttons, font sizes and so on. I do not accept that these things are not basic configuration settings that every user should have access to by default. The final annoyance is while the activities screen is okay most of the time, the fact is that it would be useful to have a task launcher which is visible without flipping screens.

    So I don't have bad impressions but it needs more refinement. Unity by comparison is really getting on my nerves and I used to be more favourably inclined to that effort than I was to GNOME. Maybe if Ubuntu actually fixed some of the more stupid "features" like the global menus and floating scrollbars it might be more tolerable.

    • Window title search in the window preview mode. Someone hacked up something like it but *without* live previews, which is significantly less useful.

      When I hover my cursor over an applications 'dock' icon, I'd like it to preview that apps windows. Like compiz scale only windows belonging to this app. Same sort of usefulness of hovering over the 'superbar' in windows, but using more screen real estate to to so since all the windows are already in 'preview' mode anyway.

      I think I'd be largely placated by jus

    • by sqldr ( 838964 )

      Biggest for me is there are no desktop icons

      I've never used desktop icons. My windows are in the way. You have to move the window out of the way, click on it, then presumably move the window back again. I've always pinned my icons to the taskbar, or the thing on the left in gnome 3. Usually I start up applications via alt-f2 anyway. Not sure why people would miss it :-)

    • I actually agree with you entirely.

      I switched to fedora 15 when GNOME 3 was new and used it for 3 weeks or so. What I found was that as you said, it is easy to get used to the workflow and it does work pretty well for getting stuff done.

      However, the lack of taskbar for task switching was a huge downside. Yes you can switch tasks other ways but it was a lot more cumbersome than a task bar would be.

      In the end I found it too limiting and switched back to KDE. Interestingly my experience with GNOME 3 prompted m

    • Switching to Gnome 3 slowed down my workflow tremendously. I no longer have "last window I used" switching; I have to toggle between ALT-tab and ALT-` ... I've lost rapid access to my system's status in my gnome-panel applets, and modal dialog handling has changed for the worse.

      • by DrXym ( 126579 )

        Switching to Gnome 3 slowed down my workflow tremendously. I no longer have "last window I used" switching; I have to toggle between ALT-tab and ALT-` ... I've lost rapid access to my system's status in my gnome-panel applets, and modal dialog handling has changed for the worse.

        It obviously has a lot room for improvement, no denying that. But of those things you state none of them is insurmountable. Gnome-panel applets for example are just processes that render into a little widget through a specific panel API. GNOME3 implements shell extensions which are a more powerful API anyway - write the gui in css and JS and hook it up to something. There is already a system monitor extension and failing that you could run a more traditional process / system monitor and minimize it. It woul

  • Does this mean both distros adobted Unity? I don't like that on my desktop computer. Only good idea for use with laptops or smaller.
    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      No, Unity is differnt, though cut from the same cloth. Both have a hard-on for tablet-only interaction and sacrifice desktop usability toward that end.

    • Does this mean both distros adobted Unity?

      Unity is available for openSUSE but not as default if that was your question.
      So far Unity for openSUSE is only available from an not officially supported repository.

  • I started with fedora 4, and with fedora 15 I switched to scientific linux.
    The Gnome interface tries to emulate a tablet display. This is ok for home users, but for developers what work with data driven data, as opposed to function driven interface, Gnome 3.x is a big big big turnoff.

    I also like compiz for the wobbly windows, but not for anything eles.

    • Wishing I had time to make a build with Enlightenment support ... now that's a nice interface. Sigh.

      • At 11pm, due to my blurry eyes and sleepiness I did not write with good grammar. What I meant to say was, I work on data and use the data to start applications. I do not use functions such as a compiler to search for the data. Much of what I do is command line oriented. Other is GUI (QT, GTK,) etc and workbench related.

        I think Linux needs a fork of Gnome 2.x

    • Switching the whole distro just because one does not like the default DE is pretty stupid. One can always stay with the same distro and just switch DEs, especially considering that GNOME 3.x ships with a GTK3 port of classic GNOME Panel, including Metacity.

      Btw: What has Compiz to do with that?

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