Novell: Learn from Fedora

by Steve Mallett

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I have a concern with openSUSE. Will it suck as much as Fedora? Looks like it. Please prove me wrong.

Let me define "suck":
* never release a stable version
* a corporate machine to drive sales to a retail version on the backs of those who suffer through endless development releases

Fedora has an image problem. People see it as having constant problems with each release. And so they should... they haven't really put out a stable release yet. They also have a problem with the image of Redhat HQ with a straw stuck in Fedora's back sucking in all the good stuff and leaving the mess for Fedora users. openSUSE's newly published FAQ attempts to distance themselves from Fedora, but is sadly short on distance and high in marketing gloss.

From the FAQ:

Generally speaking, these open source projects focus on engineering-centric issues that serve their technical community of Linux developers and users.

The openSUSE project explicitly looks beyond the technical community to the broader non-technical community of computer users interested in Linux. The openSUSE project creates—through an open and transparent development process—a stabilized, polished Linux distribution (SUSE Linux) that delivers everything a user needs to get started with Linux.

Polish is good, but it sounds like all the polish goes into the retail version. Again, I hear the sucking sound. This time from Novell HQ. openSUSE meet Fedora.

As for "creates—through an open and transparent development process—a stabilized, polished Linux distribution": visit Ubuntu! There is no two tiers of product: One for those dreadful unwashed developers and one for those with the proper sense to buy a boxed version.

Novell, openSUSE is still early, you have time to change your vector with community. It feels like someone in business/marketing came up with this current charge. There's one big problem with it. If you suck all the good stuff out, and don't replentish, you evenutally hit the bottom and there's nothing left.


2005-08-10 11:59:53
What's wrong with Fedora?
Steve, I've been using Fedora since FC2 on servers and have had zero problems. Granted, I'm not running user-space applications like GNOME, but I have never yet run into a problem.


2005-08-10 13:30:43
What's wrong with Fedora?
Nothing's wrong with Fedora, just as nothing's wrong with SuSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu, etc. If X is your favorite distro, then you just say "Y sucks" for all Y != X. I've been using Fedora as a main workstation OS on desktop and laptop, and I'm happy with it. I've tried other distros and have not been happy with them. That's all.
2005-08-10 23:27:51
in transition

Novell seems to be making the transition from being a sucker (not a good word to use) to a blower (gosh, i cant beleive i just said that!).

Guess we will hear both sounds for a while before we are tumesced :)

2005-08-11 02:16:09
What's wrong with Fedora?
I've been using fedora (fc3) on workstations and laptops and it is very good - beat ubuntu on working out of the box with a new high end HP laptop as well.

More importantly - these 'developer' distributions work nicely for somebody using a corporate linux at work. For instance we run RHEL on our servers in the office and colocation, and using a Fedora, which shares many aspects of the corporate distro while providing newer shinier more developer oriented features, works very well indeed.

If I was using a debian based linux or bsd on my laptop and workstation I would lose the benefits of learning redhat linuxs - this means to be productive I only have to learn 1 distro well and apply that to both the corporate and developer distro's.

In the immortal works of bugzilla 'works for me'.

2005-08-11 06:14:52
What's wrong with Fedora?
"If X is your favorite distro, then you just say "Y sucks" for all Y != X."

Thanks for making this point. I should have brought this up... I try different distros all the time on a box I use here for testing made up of parts anyone would buy at a 'puter store.

I really don't prefer any distro over another over a long period, but do prefer Ubuntu ATM for leading in the usability space right now. I also think that their approach is rock solid to making a great distro (soon coming with 3-5 years of support vs X months for fedora core releases).

2005-08-11 06:30:59
What's wrong with Fedora?
Have you done a yum update lately? Your version no long has official support despite still being really young.
2005-08-11 06:43:56
What's wrong with Fedora?
Yeah, Ubuntu seems very interesting, but my experience with Debian was horrid, so I'm gun shy. I understand that Ubuntu is supposed to have fixed a lot of the problems with Debian, but my personal worry is that many of the same people saying that now were those saying there were no problems with Debian in the first place :-)

Anyway, I'll probably give Ubuntu a try some time when I can afford heavy learning and experimentation, but till then, to each his own.

2005-08-16 00:16:04
What about suse professional
I've been using suse professional for years. They are released to the community on their ftp site some time after the release.

You can find susepro93 here:

Even pre 10.0 kernels

Easy access to mp3 and ATI/nvidia native drivers and all the other non-gpl stuff via several YOU servers.

What will happen to this release?

2005-08-25 19:37:15
Fedora sucks?! I beg to differ.
If you find that Fedora sucks, you're doing something wrong. I have been using Fedora since FC2 (currently running FC4) and I haven't had any problems. Further, from the site:

"The Fedora Project is an open source project sponsored by Red Hat and supported by the Fedora community. It is also a proving ground for new technology that may eventually make its way into Red Hat products. It is not a supported product of Red Hat, Inc."

Did you see the "It is also a proving ground for new technology that may eventually make its way into Red Hat products." part? Fedora is not supposed to be the most stable of distros, it is intended as a testbed for new technology, and you'd know this if you had done your homework before installing it.

You should read more about a distro before installing it and stating that it "sucks".

2005-08-25 19:40:21
What's wrong with Fedora?
How do you know what version he is running? He stated that he has "been using Fedora since FC2". He could be running FC4 right now, but you didn't read his post very well, did you?
2006-08-02 13:54:49
Wow... As performance is my only concern, OpenSUSE really sucks... This is an objective statement. There is a reverse evolution in the system.


Used before:
Ubuntu,Slackware,DamnSmall,Redhat,Fedora,Knoppix and Pardus.


Tito the Turtle King of the Seven Seas Master of all Good and Evil who resides in the Pacific Ocean
2006-09-29 11:09:11
i got the linux tactics
2006-12-03 15:24:13
Well, I have only used Red Hat, Knoppix and Fedora. In that order.
Red Hat: It was (and still is) Red Hat 7 on really cheap hardware at my university. It sucked more than a vacuum cleaner.
Knoppix: Wouldn't say that it sucks, but I definitely didn't like it. It was back to a RH-like distro for me.
Fedora: So far it has been the only distro with audio support as good as I need, but it does suck greatly, and not only for stability, but because it lacks support from its developers OR its community. At least compared to many other distros.
2006-12-12 15:27:57
I've used a few different distros. I'm currently using FC on a server (wasn't my choice at the time) and it sucks.

My laptop and home workstation both run Gentoo 2006.0 and it's easily the best distro I've ever used. There's a fair bit more involved in getting some things going (wifi for example) and the install takes ages, but I've found that portage rocks and I've never had a problem with Gentoo that was beyond hopping on the forums/HOWTOs and knocking it over within minutes.

I'm about to kick off another server running CentOS. The only reason it's NOT running Gentoo is because it's a hosted dedicated box and the company involved won't install something that they can't just whack a CD in the drive and click "install". You can bet that any more in-house servers will find Gentoo installed on them quick-smart.

And to those who would say "why would you build stuff from source instead of just using yum", I say that anyone who refuses to build things from source is either overextended or just doesn't enjoy their job anymore.

2007-01-14 03:55:17
"Sucks" - let's look at that.

The initial release of FC4 was a disaster. It shipped with a *broken* Xorg and a host of other horrible issues, for which I will never forgive Fedora. Whoever had responsibility for this initial release (distributed on the cover of international magzines) should be drawn and quartered. Even when Xorg was fixed, it was never upgraded to Xorg6.9 (to this day), which means 915GM integrated graphics could not have acceleration => no movies etc. This is extremely poor behavior that utterly neglects the needs of laptop owners having 915 integrated graphics chips. There must have been millions of them.

Nonetheless I persevered and installed Xorg6.9 from the binary tarballs at, and have manually compiled and installed 915 drivers and a lot of other software (checkinstall), adding these things to my yum.conf exclude list along the way.

Xorg6.9 runs beautifully on fc4 by the way with direct rendering, so *why* was a fc4 rpm never added to the repos??? Simply arsehole behavior - they want to force upgrades to fc5/6.

Then there's all the other software needed for my laptop to function which Fedora does not supply eg:

powernowd - otherwise cpu scaling did not work.
decent ipw2200 drivers, firmware etc and other non-free stuff
slmodemd to work my softmodem
etc etc

Basically, out of the box fc4 was unusable on my very normal HP laptop - it _wouldn't_even_boot_ to begin with until I commented out a unix font in XF86 config.

Sure I was angry but I'm also very stubborn, so I fixed all this shit. Why didn't I just pull it and install fc5 or 6 - because I was travelling a lot and did not have ready access to broadband, so I did this intermittently.

After my last yum update, which upgraded the buggy KDE it was using, I now have a highly customised hybrid FC4 that runs absolutely *beautifully*, showing the actual potential . I'll back it up to a image before attempting an upgrade to fc5/6. OR MAYBE I'll dump it and just install Ubuntu or Suse, both of which are said to work well out of the box on my laptop.

But it was all a lot of work. Free or non-free, I really think all this stuff needs to come ready to use, especially for laptops which are a huge market sector now.

2007-01-15 11:48:25

A major issue with Fedora is there is simply little or no support for releases one removed - they abandon this task in a cavalier fashion to "Fedora Legacy", well-meaning folk who have done fuck all for fc4 (I'm not blaming them).

Message: if using Fedora, always stay one release behind the current one (for stability), but not more than one behind (or there's no effective support for important things like security updates).