Fedora Core 6

The 6th version of Fedora Core was released a week ago. The huge demand had caused the fedora servers and mirrors to “melt” in the first days of the release. The Fedora Project pages, even the latest release notes, were unavailable, while all requests were redirected to a very plain front page which explained the situation. This big demand clearly showed one thing: Fedora is gaining more popularity and this is a good sign for the project’s future.

Fortunately, my favorite mirror didn’t let me down and FC6 was powering my desktop machine soon enough. I will not go into much detail about the new features etc. These have been all over the news and, furthermore, the FC6 Release Notes describe these additions and improvements in great detail, so, before doing anything else with FC6, read them carefully. Some people have written these notes for this purpose.

I have 2 comments to make:

First, I congratulate all people who brought FC6 to us (the masses) and, also, the Greek Fedora Team for their exceptional work on the greek localization. I do not currently use a localized desktop (and I think it’s very difficult for me to switch right at once), but, after a “dive” into it, I can say for sure that the greek fedora environment will be a real pleasure for new greek users.

My second comment includes some criticism about the new FC. This new final release is not bug-free, as it happens with all community maintained linux distributions. But this time, IMHO things are worse because of a bug in the Anaconda installer, which leads to the installation of the i586 kernel instead of the i686 one. This is an issue both in a clean installation and when upgrading an existing installation. This issue, in conjunction with the fact that the NVidia and ATI kernel modules from Livna are compiled for the i686 architecture only, makes it extremely difficult for a new user to setup the graphics card properly. I am sure that the gfx card is very important for new linux users and that they won’t bother with distributions that create such complex problems from the beginning.

Fortunately, I upgraded my installation with a yum upgrade from a local repository and didn’t encounter such issues with anaconda, but I could have wasted my time and this is something I wouldn’t like, at least at this period of time. But, of course bugs don’t stop at anaconda.

What really bothered me is a pygtk bug which makes the revelation password manager to crash every time the user tries to view or edit a record. I relied on this password manager. Every password I use was located in there. Fortunately, the export feature works and I have saved my password list in an encrypted file-container for the moment. If it wasn’t possible I wouldn’t be able to even log into my damn blog. So, there is no application I can trust at the moment for storing my password list.

UPDATE: At the time of writing, a pygtk2 update appeared in the updates repo. This is extremely good news, but from now on password managers must try very hard to win my trust. I will always keep an encrypted document with my password list just in case…

Of course there are a lot more, but I don’t consider them as that important so to waste any time blogging about them.

So, here is my suggestion to new linux users about Fedora Core 6: Do not be too enthusiastic. A good rule to follow is to upgrade to a new major distro release at least a month after it has been made available to the public. During this period of time many bugs are fixed and you will have a more stable system when you finally upgrade.

My operating system of choice is still Fedora Core 5 (Bordeaux).

Fedora Core 6 by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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About George Notaras

George Notaras is the editor of the G-Loaded Journal, a technical blog about Free and Open-Source Software. George, among other things, is an enthusiast self-taught GNU/Linux system administrator. He has created this web site to share the IT knowledge and experience he has gained over the years with other people. George primarily uses CentOS and Fedora. He has also developed some open-source software projects in his spare time.

4 responses on “Fedora Core 6

  1. George Notaras Post authorPermalink →

    Hi Dimitris,
    Yes, I am aware of this list, it has almost become a tradition for every Fedora release :) Believe me, I consider Fedora as “the creme de la creme” of the linux distributions, but FC6 has some bugs that, in my opinion, make linux newcomers’ life difficult. Until these are fixed and Livna resolves some issues with the NVidia and ATI drivers (and I believe it will take some weeks, especially for the ATI driver package which is currently unmaintained), I’ll think it twice before recommending FC6 to any of my Windows friends or anyone who has little Linux experience…

    BTW, you have done a magnificent job in the Greek localization of Fedora. :) Well done!

  2. Don Hickey Permalink →

    How about a brief update on packet writing in FC 6? I mounted a dvd I made using packet writing in FC 4 and it looked as though FC 6 was handling it but I didn’t want to try writing to it for fear that I would screw up the DVD (it’s my digital photo collection). Any clarification will be appreciated.

  3. George Notaras Post authorPermalink →

    Don, I am afraid that, even if packet writing works for me, I cannot guarantee that it will work for your configuration, your hardware etc. We are all on our own; there are no guarantees. Besides, I wouldn’t recommend using a rewritable medium for critical backups, because these media wear out easily with every rewrite.