Monday, January 3, 2011

fedora 14

Prior to last week, the only .rpm distro I'd installed and used was PCLinuxOS, but I've had my eye on Fedora, Mandriva, and openSUSE for a long time.

I finally downloaded the Fedora 14 KDE live CD.  It ran fine on my hardware, so I decided to install it, adding it to my multi-boot set-up.

Fedora 14 looks great!  Most of my experience with package managers has come with apt-get (and Synaptic), so I'm still learning my way around yum and its front-ends, KPackageKit and Yumex.  And I had to do a fair amount of tweaking to get everything in my multi-boot set-up working smoothly.

But the system was just about ready to go out of the box.  They didn't include OpenOffice on the live CD, so I installed OOo Writer and OOo Calc.  I wasn't crazy about the default appearance, but I tweaked KDE4 to make things look more comfortable.

I enabled the rpmfusion free and non-free repos and then installed codecs so I could play .mp3 files.

KDE4 desktop effects didn't work out of the box on my hardware.  I checked the name of my graphics drive:

$ lspci | grep -i vga
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV41.1 [GeForce 6800] (rev a2)

Then, I made sure I had the latest kernel:

# yum update kernel*

Then I ran this:
# yum install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs

Then I rebooted, and after that I was able to enable desktop effects.

I don't know how important SELinux is, but I found the pop-up messages to be annoying, so I disabled SELinux by editing /etc/selinux/config:


The default web browser was Konqueror.  Uncool.  Google Chrome and Chromium were not in the repos.  Also not cool.  So I went to the Google site and downloaded Chrome.

On the panel, I replaced the Task Manager widget with the Smooth Task widget, which I prefer.  Another little tweak was to install the Glassified theme (Workspace Appearance > Desktop Theme > “Get New Themes...”) so I could use the Glassified Analog Clock (Workspace Appearance > Desktop Theme > Details tab > change the analog clock to the Glassified Analog Clock theme).  The Glassified analog clock looks better than some of the other themes' clocks that I've tried.

My main concerns have to do with how things will look over the long term.  I want to see how well yum handles things and how well I come to like yum, KPackageKet, and Yumex in comparison to Synaptic.  And, since Fedora releases a new version about every six months, and the current version is supported only a month after the second version down the line is released (F14 will receive support until a month after F16 is released), I'm interested in seeing how I like Fedora after one or two new versions.

But they've put together a nice release.  I haven't been seeing any flaws or bugginess.

My Fedora 14 desktop:

My widget desktop:

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