Thoughts on Fedora

June 15, 2012

I have been using Fedora now for over a year and overall think it is a pretty cool distro. There are certainly some things that I miss about Arch and, truth be told, when I have some more time I will probably end up going back to it. However, for now I am happy with Fedora.

One of the reasons I wanted to check it out, is because I do a lot of work on Centos Servers at the moment. So, getting a little more familiar with Red Hat distro’s is important and has helped me understand Centos a lot better.

Also, I really like the Rolling Release distro style, as having up to date software is pretty neat. While certainly not as bleeding edge as Arch, stuff gets pushed out pretty quickly to Fedora, for the most part quickly enough to satisfy my needs.

This isn’t actually my first time using a Red Hat Distro, as when I was in School, I took a few Linux classes and the labs had Red Hat installed. I want to say it was their enterprise desktop, although I can’t recall. As an aside, Red Hat’s headquarters is located here in the Triangle, so they had a little bit of a special interest in my college, as well as presumably the others around there. However, at the time, I didn’t really like it and it would be some time before I tried a Red Hat distro again.

While overall, I do enjoy Fedora, there are some things I don’t like. Probably the biggest is the standard software repositories. They take a pretty hard line on what software is included in the main repositories. As a result, a lot of the ‘non-free,’ but really useful necessary stuff is not included, like VLC, as well as a lot of other stuff. So, you either need to compile it yourself or use RPM Fusion. I presume this stance is probably, at least in part, fueled by the enterprise side of their business. However, I would prefer to have a bit more robust repository available, without having to fall to a third-party(rpm-fusion) for some of the more standard packages. There have been at least a few times where software hasn’t been updated quickly enough, I know I need to get involved, or it hasn’t been available and I had to compile/download it myself.

It seems Fedora has a bit of a reputation too, there is a cool talk, Why Linux Sucks, which you of course need immediately follow up with Why Linux Does Not Suck. During it, there are a few funny comments about Fedora users, as well as other distros, but given the number of people that use it, I think it is at least a somewhat common sentiment.

In any-case, I do enjoy Fedora and have an appreciation for the RedHat style of things now, much more so then I did before. They also have a lot of default packages setup, as do other distros of course, so you get a quick and easy choice of desktops and a fairly simple/powerful installer.

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