Linux Blog

My Problems with Fedora 9

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:29 pm on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Now, I know that Fedora is a community based operating system that Redhat just so happens to sponsor but I think there are some major problems with the release. Although I have been called “Bleeding Edge” I don’t think that I am quite there and actually I think I’m far from “Cutting Edge.”
I downloaded Fedora 9 on the day of its release to check it out. I started off by installing it onto a virtual machine. First time around the install failed for no reason, some Python error that I did not feel like debugging. I rebooted the VM , gave it another shot and it worked. The install process was pretty much the same as Fedora 8. I saw some minor differences but nothing that I can remember now. Once installed I fired it up and to say the least performance was not very good. I wanted to check out the KDE4, so I switched over. Nothing, the graphics support for the VMWare Toolbox driver is not good enough to really play with KDE4.

After toying with the Virtual Machine I decided to upgrade a test virtual machine from Fedora 8 to Fedora 9. The process to my surprise went smoothly. This was a vanilla Fedora 8 install with not too many bells and whistles. I administer a number of Fedora boxes and thought that I’d upgrade one that actually had software installed. The upgrade did not work, it failed and gave me an obnoxious error which had nothing to do with the task at hand. When I figure out exactly what the cause of the problem was, or if it is just a hardware issue I’ll report my findings here.

Despite feeling like I had not achieved too much I burned a copy of the DVD and installed it on my Desktop at the office. Its not the fastest machine on the planet but its no creeper. 1GB Ram, NVIDIA graphics and I think the upwards of 2GHz. The install went fine and gnome works great. I did not opt to install my window manager of choice (XFCE) since I was really wanting to play with KDE4. KDE4 installed fine and after switching desktops KDE worked. What’s the first thing I tried? You probably guessed it the Desktop effects. So, I try to enable them. No dice. So “I’ll just install the graphics card driver”
I thought since I know that it didn’t come bundled. This is where my troubles really began. The NVIDIA graphics will not compile on Fedora 9. Fedora 9 uses a version of XORG that has been stable for a while but NVIDIA has decided not to support yet. Thats exactly what you get when a vendor has control over source. Oh well.

I put up with the laggy graphics for a little while and tried to customize KDE. KDE4 to me seemed awfully buggy to be included as the only option for running KDE as a desktop. I happen to use KDE when not using XFCE and am quite happy with the 3.5 tree. My next problem apart was with Firefox. They include Firefox Beta 3, which I am undecided on. It crashed a number of times on me whist browsing since I hadn’t set anything up to do any real work on. I know that we would have to wait for Fedora 10 come out to see KDE4 and Firefox 3 if they were not included now but I didn’t see the legacy versions on the installer. For me Fedora 9 is not quite ready to use in a production environment.

For now I’m going to stick to Fedora 8 whilst providing feedback for 9. The moment that KDE, Firefox and XORG get patched I’m 100% there.

Fedora is not for every one but has any one else had any problems with Fedora 9 or interesting stories to share?

Phones meet Linux.

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:45 pm on Saturday, July 28, 2007

It’s been a while since I have last posted. In this time probably the most anticipated piece of hardware for this year has been released. You know what it is already. Yes, thats right the iPhone. I must say its a very nice consumer level phone. Will I buy one? Probably not.

Why?
I hear you ask.

Well the answer is simple. I believe there are phones that can better suit my purposes than the iPhone. Sure its cool and it maybe great for the average Joe who wants everything all of the trend setters have. But I can’t settle for that. Ever since the release fan boys have been drooling over it. I took a sneak peak into the Apple store after it was released to avoid the mayhem of the release and got to play with it. I thought wow, Apple has actually done a pretty good job here. I was quite happy and saddened at the same time.
In retaliation I had to get at least some ammo before I gave in against the fan boys, so I have been looking at all types of phones recently. Using, looking for and reviewing new gadgets is always fun. I found that most of the more advanced phones that are on the shelves at the major cell phone network stores (with a few exceptions), are Windows Mobile phones and I have some major problems with Windows Mobile Edition but thats another post in its self.

So what choices do I have if I am to upgrade to a new phone to crush the competitors?

I think for a couple of minutes about the potential uses for mobiles. Then I decide that it will have to be a phone that is stylish, flexible in what I can do with and it must also be free to develop for. I want this because I like and believe in the open source software community. I know that developers will create great source code and bleeding edge applications will be released. Free to develop for platforms will be more customizable for a specific purpose then any closed source software will ever be.

There are two phones that I have been recently been looking at in detail which would be good mobile phone candidates for my desired applications.

The Nokia E70 (http://www.nokiausa.com/E70)
I have not had a chance to use or review a E70 but from what I have read about it it seems like a nice little mobile communications device. The sad part is that the E70 doesn’t run Linux it actually runs Symbian OS v9.1. What I like about it is that its not too flashy which means it wont draw too much attention (unlike the iPhone). If I were to be in a dodgy area, I could probably still whip it out to make a quick call without getting shanked over a smart phone. It flips over and has a full split QWERTY keyboard and the screen sits in the middle. One of the more useful things to me is that it has a terminal so that I could in theory do practically anything I need to from it. The Symbian OS, has a development kit available and has some applications which have spawned from open applications (such as a SQL database which is based on an implementation of SQLite). This phone is packed with features.

One feature that stands out to me is bearer mobility. This will allow applications to seamlessly move from one carrier to another (for example, from 3G to WLAN), without having to re-initiate network connections. Since this little device requires little to no initial hacking to work I may consider it since it will basically allow me to show off Linux based applications with a terminal and for a modest 18 Euro’s for graphical applications a VNC Viewer can be used.

The OpenMoko (http://www.openmoko.com/)
All I have to say about this one is wow. I just found out about this yesterday and I don’t know how I went so long without hearing about it from some of my fellow Linux users. Especially with all the iPhone hype going on at the moment. I guess I got tied up in it. To me it looks better than the iPhone. It comes in two colors standard which I point out because you know Apple is going to release a pink, yellow, silver, blue, red and charge a premium for it They may over the years release som other ugly colors such as brown with green lights. Oh wait thats Microsoft (sorry to get off track of the important Linux Phone topic at hand).
The OpenMoko team make it a quite clear that they want people to hack it. They have made it easy for all types of developers and hackers. Open Source code, USB, bluetooth a JTAG port, serial console support, an I2C bus and easy solder contact pads make this device expandable in so many different ways. They even sell a kit which includes equipment needed to modify it.

I don’t think I can explain what potential the OpenMoko Linux based phone has. The many ways it could be used and the never ending possibilities of it blows my mind. In my eyes it can achieve virtually anything.

Conclusion
There you have it, the non Linux based E70 and the Linux based OpenMoko phones. Two cool and more capable out of the box alternatives to that one fashion accessory phone that everybody is raving about. What was the name of it again? I seem to have forgotten already.