Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fedora Core 6 was a bust

Well, my Fedora Core 6 experiment was a bust and waste of 5 hours of my life - my system is back running Ubuntu 6.10. Had I know how rapidly and utterly the Fedora experiment would fail I just would have used a second hard-drive. I downloaded the DVD and had Fedora over-write the functional Ubuntu 6.10 I had on my new Intel Core 2 Duo system. Seemed to install fine - graphics and display was working fine. I had solid hope for some new experiences.

But then when I rebooted, after the initial low-level text messages my 15 inch 1024x768 LCD displayed the "Out-of-Range" warning and blanks itself. This is not me editing xorg.conf. This is the Fedora installer making some mistaken assumption. Yes, I have a simple NVidia 7100GS card and a low-end 15 inch 1024x768 LCD, but Ubuntu-flavor Linux had ZERO problem setting it up in all supported modes so I didn't expect Fedora-flavor Linux to fall down so completely.

Hmm, well I did the typical bunch of web searching one does to solve Linux problems and read a dozen forums threads on fixing Fedora resolution problems during first install. Some of the advice was wrong (ie: people using an older Fedora versions saying how they'd solve it), but nothing suggest worked.

Finally, to paraphrase the threads I read ... the Fedora people blame the X people ... it's not "our" problem, go post bugs in "their" forums. The X people blame "3rd party proprietary drivers" ... it's not "our problem, go bug ATI or NVidia to support Linux better."

But come on - first, Ubuntu (which has a reputation as being less hardware-savvy than Fedora) handled my display fine. Second, which serious Windows PC user doesn't have an ATI or NVidia card? It's not like I'm asking for driver support for some coconut husker & cleaner made in Guam! I never asked for 3D acceleration or video overlays even - just simple 16-bit 1024 x 768 Gnome desktop graphics.

After none of the "edit /etc/X11/whatever" suggestions worked and none of the "use system-config-display" suggestions worked even after hours of goofing around ... I just reinstalled Ubuntu 6.10 and clobbered the Fedora Core 6. I never even got to see the basic Fedora desktop even. I even tried the "system-config-display" command while in single-user mode to force resolution and depth to a low level. Nothing seemed to work.

I have to say - as someone who's been reading Ubuntu forum & help sites for the last 9 months, the attitude and tone of Ubuntu forums is so much different than Fedora. Ubuntu systems tend to be helpful and actually (but not always) helpful. The Fedora forums tended to be terse and rapidly blame someone else. Well, to each their own; so ends my revisit to RedHat technology after being gone for 9 months.

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