[Nottingham] My fedora 9 experience (vent/rant included)

James Dobson dob_3001 at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jul 10 16:46:26 BST 2008

--- On Thu, 7/10/08, Michael Simms <michael at tuxgames.com> wrote:

> From: Michael Simms <michael at tuxgames.com>
> Subject: [Nottingham] My fedora 9 experience (vent/rant included)
> To: nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk
> Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 3:50 PM
> I think I need to vent and see if I'm the only one who
> is currently
> --->this close<--- to just dumping Linux altogether
> Ive installed Fedora 9 over the last week on a number of
> machines and
> already my stress level is going up and up through the
> roof.

I've found fedora is simply a testbed for redhat, basically you will suffer but through that suffering (and bug reports) will come a better version of redhat enterprise ;)

> So far, issues Ive found with fedora 9:
> The DEFAULT setup denies all users a home directory if you
> login via ssh
> becuase selinux says they arent allowed to go there. root
> is fine

I really would not recommend selinux for anything other than servers and even then you really need to know what your going to run. SELINUX for the rest of us really makes life a painful experience.

> The DEFAULT setup prevents you using exim as an MTA. It
> refuses to read
> the config file cos selinux says it isnt allowed to

Redhat love sendmail, if you really want to use exim then I'd suggest a different distro. In addition most 'basic' users don't care that they run an MTA at all.

> Yum - when it updates, randomly overwrites your config
> files

I really don't like yum, it's a poor attempt at apt, in fact rpm's are another poor attempt at deb packages. When you update with apt it will at least prompt if you want to keep/override/backup/delete your current config.
> Yum keeps on opening up services I have previously deleted
> and do not
> want. I have now deleted the system to report my kernel
> details to some
> random website I do not know and do not trust, FIVE TIMES
> and it keeps
> coming back. This is borderline spyware. Hell it isnt
> borderline, it IS
> spyware.

As I said before this is redhat bug testing platform.

> DHCPD - fedora 8 allowed dhcpd to listen only at eth0:0 now
> you can no
> longer listen at aliases only things like eth0. Great now I
> have to
> rearrange my network to have the device defaulting to the
> local
> interface and have the external interface as an alias

Sounds like a bug to me, although I've not come across this.

> The DEFAULT setup on laptops has broken touchpad drivers.
> It is a KNOWN
> error and there is even a dialog box saying 'Add
> SHMConf on' to
> xorg.conf. What the hell is this - how will a newbie even
> know where to
> find that file. And Im not a newbie and I dont know where
> to put it -
> why, cos there isnt even a mouse section in xorg.conf any
> more, its been
> moved to some magic hidden new place.

Sounds like more bug testing

> Printing via samba just doesnt work. You can find printers,
> but you cant
> print to them. No setup changes seem to affect this. Cause:
> Samba sucks.

I think you will find samba configuration sucks, currently there a few 'easy to use' tools for samba, once you have hand-crafted your config file it's actually pretty good.

> STILL cifs is the default 'system to connect to windows
> shares' and does
> NOT support resolving of windows machine names. You can
> ONLY mount them
> by IP address and if you have DHCP, well, good luck in not
> having to
> change your fstab every 5 minutes

But considering that most of samba was backported from closed source you have to expect a long lead time, if you want a better integration with windows then I suggest SUSE/Novell who have signed up to M$.

> Default httpd setup *wont read your certificates* - why?
> because selinux
> tells it not to.

Again selinux is a pain to get right, don't ever use it unless you really have to. 

> Default httpd has a nicely hidden away file that prevents
> all directory
> listings. I can understand why they may do this but it is
> perfectly
> possible to do it in a simple way, they did it in a way
> that took 20
> minutes googling to find.

This can be overridden in apache in the Directory listing or in a .htaccess listing. Again there is no simple tool for this but then IIS can be a pain as you have to learn which place to right click and which place is the right dialogue box. So if you have more features in an application it does get harder to configure.

> Even such a simple thing as ejecting a CD. Type eject. CD
> comes out, cd
> goes back in. Reproducably stays out on the third request.
> The standard /etc/rc.d/init.d/network configuration is now
> depricated in
> favour of NetworkManager. NetworkManager doesnt start TILL
> X11. What use is this for a headless server. I remove the
> NetworkManager
> from rc5.d and put the old network back in, and next reboot
> it deletes
> it for me! (yes I know Im running a headless server at
> runlevel 5, but I
> can get access to a KVMoIP connection so runlevel 5 makes
> sense). A such
> my server 200 miles away is sitting there with no network
> connection.


> Rebooting. The system - which was perfectly happy under
> fedora 8, now
> hangs on reboot an average of 17 times before coming back
> up. It works
> fine to do the same job via a setup CD but not from the
> disc. Thus it
> cant be hardware.

Normally a hang in linux is it's waiting for something, I've hardly even had this in linux but countless times in windows. I'd suspect it's something that needs patching.

> INSTALLING - the system has a mix of SATA and PATA drives.
> The setup
> system detects the PATA drives first, when you boot after
> install, the
> SATA drives are first. Practical upshot? grub cant find
> your boot
> partition! Only solution, unplug the PATA drives for
> install, plug them
> back in and add them manually afterwards.

This could be a BIOS/Raid Controller Issue, you might want to try updating the BIOS, the only reason why it would fail is if the BIOS is reporting the disks in a different order than prevously.

> Since installing, yum updated and changed the soname of
> libcrypt. A fair
> number of applications from the fedora yum repository are
> still needing
> the old soname and will now no longer start up because 2
> days later they
> haven't released new packages to fix what they changed.

It does happen but they really need to check dependencies before releasing.

> Starting up evolution for the first time on new fedora. It
> detects its
> my first use of evolution, good good. Would you like to
> import settings
> from an old version of evolution. Yes please. Browse window
> pops up. Ok
> thats completely USELESS as default settings are in
> .evolution and the
> browse window will not see, and you cannot type in, any dot
> filenames.
> Its hiding hidden files. So you cannot import from the
> DEFAULT location
> of old installs. I end up having to change the directory
> name on the
> commandline.
> This is my happy Fedora Linux experience over the last 4
> days since I
> got fedora 9 installed. Now tell me, if Im a Linux user
> since 0.99
> kernel, Ive thrown in excess of 300,000 pounds into a
> company making
> games for Linux - and its pissing ME off this much, HOW are
> we EVER
> going to win over newbies and non-techies and what the hell
> chance do we
> have of winning the race.

In the end that is why ubuntu is racing ahead, it really is a much better experience that fedora. Sadly I think fedora/redhat are dropping behind and this is reflected in the OS. For example at my work most (90%) where using fedora now most are using ubuntu, it's basically a shift that's been going on for over a year now, if there PC dies or needs upgrading it's then taken as an excuse to upgrade to ubuntu.

> -- 
> Michael Simms - CEO, Tux Games LTD
> http://www.tuxgames.com

James D


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