Fedora 11 Alpha questions, and Linux distro choice

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by gkweb, Feb 7, 2009.

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  1. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

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    Hello,

    Since Linus told us he was using Fedora, I wanted to take a look at it. Immediately I checked Wilders forum, and as expected I found your great test Mrkvonic ;)
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=224229&highlight=fedora

    Mrkvonic, I was wondering if you plan to test the lastly released Fedora 11 ALPHA 64 bits ? I known it is alpha, not even beta, but your tests are always well done, and concrete tests such as NVIDIA drivers/codecs/updates are truly interesting :)

    Of course I'm downloading the LiveCD just to see it, but I'm sure some people would be interested by your test. Unless of course you prefer to wait for the final release, which would be understandable !

    Also, as a bonus question, which Linux distro fits better, in your opinion and experience, the following points in order of importance :
    1 - stability
    2 - solid updates management (automatic, robust, handle well dependencies)
    3 - good video card driver support (NVIDIA/ATI), and other drivers
    4 - follows lastest software/technologies (e.g : ext4/OpenOffice 3.0)

    I see Ubuntu that I'm using, except I'm not sure that ext4 will be the default for the next Jaunty release, whereas I'm sure it is for Fedora 11 (it is by default in the 11 alpha). Regarding updates management I have read Fedora is good at it. For security related software, I know OpenSUSE includes AppArmor while others include SELinux, or simply nothing. That's just a bonus.

    Ubuntu is working well at the moment and I liked the fact it offered me directly a popup with a choice between two NVIDIA drivers :) However there is so much Linux distro to try... hmmm... hard to choose !

    Of course everyone can share his experience on this subject.

    Regards,
    gkweb.
     
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    After years of distro hopping and fooling around, I have in the end settled on Ubuntu x64 myself. Fedora is nice, and I like it a lot, but it, like most others, does require some tweaking to get everything set up and working. Ubuntu, for me anyway, is the only distro that can pull me away from Windows now. There is nothing easier.

    But half the fun, though, is trying each and every one of the others out and seeing which one speaks to you. :thumb:
     
  3. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    As to testing, I usually refrain from testing alphas. Now, my "test" machines are 32-bit, except one laptop, my production machines are 64-bit. I never test on production machines, so this leaves the single laptop as scapegoat. But I will wait for beta.

    As to your questions:

    1. Stability - CentOS.
    2. Updates - any Debian based, Ubuntu in the lead.
    3. Graphics support - Ubuntu.
    4. Latest and greatest - I'm conservative, I prefer stability - Fedora & openSUSE, in my opinion.

    So, it comes down to CentOS for "server" work, Ubuntu for "home" work, mainly, although other distros, including SUSE play a part.

    Combined, Ubuntu is truly the simplest, most complete home distro ... Linux Mint also makes a great choice. There are many other nice distros, but most are developed by 1-2-man teams, so the question is what about long-term commitment.

    I hope this helps ...

    All of the above strictly home and soho, not corporate / enterprise needs ...

    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  4. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

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    Hello,

    Thank you very much for your answers.

    That is what I like in Ubuntu, the fact that most things are automated or already done, there is few needed manual tweaking. If Fedora requires more manual tweaking, that's definitely a bad point for me. Not that I wouldn't be able to do it, but I simply want an easy to use distro for home use.

    Yes Mrkvonic, I was talking about home use, I forgot to point it out. Your comments are very welcome, thanks. Graphic support is vital for me, so I guess it's Ubuntu all the way for me. I'll try the LiveCD of Fedora 11 alpha just to see.

    As you say Kerodo, testing other distro is half the fun, that's also why reading Mrkvonic's website is a lot of fun packed into one place !
    For home use I have tested OpenSUSE, Kubuntu/Ubuntu, and whill check soon Fedora (alpha) to grab a bit of fun by myself too :)

    Regards,
    gkweb.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  5. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    Hello,
    btw fedora 11 alpha just like any alpha is horrible. i tryed it a few days ago. the anaconda installer in the alpha is major slow and so is the installed system. i would try fedora 10 and wait for 11 beta if i was you.
    I found fedora 10 easy enough to setup.

    below is some fedora guides
    fedora 10 nvidia driver guide
    Fedora Guide/howto's for F10
    compiz-fusion-0.7.9 repo
    Fedora 11 rawhide nvidia guide
    all these guides are created by leigh123@linux at the fedora forum.

    the links below are what i used
    howtoforge
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  6. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    gkweb,

    I don't know if is "so" stable as you want or need, but you can try sidux, and see its speed, security, lastest packages, hardware support, etc...

    Regards
     
  7. tlu

    tlu Guest

    If it comes to chosing a distro one aspect might also be dependency resolution of the used package management.

    I must admit that I'm used to (K)Ubuntu and haven't thoroughly tried other distros for quite some time. But I know that many people think that dependency resolution on Debian based distros using dpkg/APT/deb is superior to, e.g., RPM. This was at least the situation some years ago. I don't know if this has changed since then.

    Perhaps somebody else (Mrk?) can shed some light on this issue..?
     
  8. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    There is no issue today, RPM is very reliable.

    BTW, Ubuntu holds no edge what so ever in the area of "Graphics support" among mainstream Distro's, or some not so mainstream........
     
  9. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    It's difficult to assess the really borderline cases, but overall, I think / feel that this is the case. This is nothing scientific or exact ... overall experience of years working with package managers. The apt-get simply wins. But when it's used on rpm-based distro, it still is as good, only this rarely happens.

    Mrk
     
  10. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Stability - Centos/Red hat (use RH at work) and Debian.
    Solid updates management - Any Debian based distro.
    Video card - Cant answer as use integrated intel gfx.
    Latest - IMO Arch Linux is great for the obsessive-compulsive hobbyist. For those who want some spare time to get some real work done I would say Fedora.

    Would say OpenSuse seems to be more up to date than Ubuntu, but the stability is not as good, a few years ago I suffered glitch after glitch with Yast and also at the time it did not do dependency resolution of non repo packages - I dunno how much better it is now.

    Ext4 will not be default in Ubuntu, there is no stable version of Grub that supports booting from Ext4 yet. I always run a boot partition so I will be using Ext4 in its Ext3 compatible mode (does not alter file structure, just uses improved functionality).

    My experience of Fedora was that there was an aweful lot of updates initially then it settled down after a few months. Be warned that Fedora does install major software updates between versions, which Ubuntu will not do (though you can add extra repositories eg in the case of Open Office 3).

    People are quite right when they say there is nothing between deb and rpm, but what sets Debian (and its derivatives apart) is that the quality of the repositories is very good, that is in how well its managed, naming conventions, use of configuration tools, quality control of packages etc.

    Been a few years since I played with Linux security modules, but I got tired of various GRSec errors as GDM loaded.
    When I looked at App Armour it seemed far more desktop user friendly to configure than SELinux, but they are still IMO very much expert only tools at the moment.

    Cheers, Nick.
     
  11. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Speaking of Ext4, what are the planned benefits of it and/or new features? Anyone here up on the latest in that area?
     
  12. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ext4 has a good list of new features.
     
  13. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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  14. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

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    Hello,

    The fact that Ubuntu does not do major software updates between two versions is a warranty of stability, which is an advantage in my opinion. Still, has it has been said, for a given software like OpenOffice you can add the specific repository for it. If on Fedora a software could suddenly breaks up after an update, that is not what I'm looking for (I'm not saying Fedora is bad, I'm just comparing both distro to my needs).

    Also, I've read the aforementioned link about installing Nvidia drivers on Fedora, and it involves two small commands line, but compared to Ubuntu, I was able to click on a link on their documentation page about nvidia, and it installed everything automatically. That's not a blocking point at all, I could perfectly install the drivers on Fedora, it was just to add arguments for choosing one or the other.

    About this point, as I'm talking about it, Ubuntu 8.10 was offering in GNOME (System -> Admin -> Drivers) only the Nvidia drivers v173 and v177. As I installed from their site (apt link) the 180.11 version, will the driver be disabled if a kernel update occurs ? Will Ubuntu checks for updates for it ?

    That's not enough to keep me away of Fedora, just saying. So at the end, what could differentiate them, is in one hand their package manager, and in the other hand the number of steps needed to install some drivers/software. I've also read about speed issue, Fedora supposed to be slower than Ubuntu, but I cannot tell.

    All in all, Ubuntu seems to truly fit my needs, but I'm open to test Fedora 11 to check when it will be released. In the meantime, I will run the alpha in VirtualBox to see what I could like or not in it (keeping in mind it's an alpha obviously!).

    Ext4 seems interesting, as it is supposed to be faster, but is it really fully reliable for production use ? I'm wondering.

    Regards,
    gkweb.
     
  15. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Did you saw my post!?
     
  16. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

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  17. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    That's why i think things changed. If i would buy one, i'd get ATI. Free drivers in addition to fglrx (proprietary).
    I use the free one here, but for more recent cards, fglrx may be the only choice.
     
  18. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    Hey GKweb,
    If you add the rpmfusion repo and use the commands listed at there website
    It will automatically offer you the lastest nvidia driver once it becomes avaliable.
    when the last kernal came out i had to wait roughly 24hours before the new nvidia driver came out.
    I just used the older kernal for a day.
    What you could do is wait a few days before you do the updates which would avoid that problem.
    once the driver has successfully installed reboot.
    at thenext start the small python script will configure the nvidia driver for you.
    but tbh if your hapy with ubuntu stick with it.
    fedora is definatly more bleeding edge and you will need to reinstall it roughly once a year.
     
  19. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Can you try to use the Open Source Xorg drivers? :)

    http://manual.sidux.com/en/hw-dev-hw-dri-en.htm#native-nv-ati
     
  20. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

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    Thanks Lodore for your valuable information, I'll definitely test Fedora, probably the v10 as you suggested to do a fair comparison with Ubuntu v8.10 :) That's the better way to check if it speaks to me more or less than Ubuntu ;)

    Ubuntu is great, but what is even more great in the Linux world is that I'm able to test any other distro for free. I hope to be able to test it in VirtualBox this week.
    (I don't forget sidux, but I doubt the Open Source drivers are as fast as the proprietary ones).

    Regards,
    gkweb.
     
  21. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    Fortunately, exists rolling distros to avoid this...
     
  22. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

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    Why Fedora must be reinstalled once a year ? Does older releases become unsupported as soon as a new version is released ?

    Regarding security, I found the follwing :
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Security/Features

    - PolicyKit
    - SELinux
    - No eXecute (NX)
    - Position Independent Executables (PIE)
    - Compile Time Buffer Checks (FORTIFY_SOURCE)
    - ELF (Executable and Linkable Format) Data Hardening
    - Restricted Kernel Memory Access
    - Stack Smash Protection, Buffer Overflow Detection, and Variable Reordering

    There is thus some memory protection against buffer overflows. Not that they cannot happen anymore, but it's much more difficult for an attacker, and there is no need to install GRSecurity to have them.

    I don't remember having read similar hardening in Ubuntu, which is still secure by the way, just thinking that the above is a nice bonus.

    EDIT : the server version of Ubuntu does, but I'm not sure for the desktop version : http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/serveredition/features/security

    Regards,
    gkweb.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  23. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    Hey GKweb,
    your welcome.
    you dont need to reinstall once a year.
    you get updates for quite awhile.
    tell me how it goes and how you think it compares to ubuntu.
     
  24. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Fedora gives 13 months of support per release, in comparision Ubuntu offers 18 months (or 3 years for long term support versions). IMO 13 months is enough for the regular upgrader.
     
  25. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Have a look at Bastille Bastille Unix for hardening Linux. Also Ubuntu desktop comes with AppArmor
    Secure Ubuntu - similar to SELinux.

    I am trying CentOS 5.2 in VirtualBox and so far am very pleased. It has support till end March 2014 .. i.e. don't need to constantly update to get
    the latest cutting edge stuff. The rpmforge repo is very useful. I have found it very stable - there is less eyecandy than Ubuntu, but with some themes
    and icons it can be very nice.
    Bastille for Ubuntu ..https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BastilleLinux

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
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