Fedora 8 Released

Strongback Consulting

Fedora Linux 8 was released last week, and I’ve been playing with it since then. Fedora is an ever increasingly popular Linux distribution. It is not as popular as Ubuntu for the desktop, but has a growing audience.

So, why Fedora? First its supported by Red Hat, and subsequently uses much of the same packages and as Red Hat, and the same package management system. Its certainly more bleeding edge than Red Hat, and does not come with any warranty or SLA. Its entirely free (as in speech). This means that it does not include ANY proprietary code – this includes audio codecs and some firmware. Being that I work in the IBM software world, IBM typically supports Red Hat or SUSE linux desktops which are RPM based distributions. Ubuntu by comparison, is a debian based distro. I’ve blogged before about IBM software on Ubuntu. I wanted to try Fedora because, in theory, if it run on Red Hat, it should run on Fedora.

I’ve installed it on my Thikpad T61. So far, my biggest problem has been to get my wireless card running. I have the Thinkpad a/b/g/ mini-pci card based on the Atheros chipset. This card is supported by the madwifi driver, and is hosted at atrmps.net. Well, this morning I finally got it working. The card will not work ‘out of the box’. Rather you have to add the package repository, and then install the driver using the command line ‘yum install madwifi’ . Yum is the package manager that searches repositories and gets the respective package, extracts, and installs the specified sofware. Ubuntu linux by comparison, simply works out of the box (I have it running on another laptop hard drive).

One thing I notice, is that it fast. I’ve installed a lot of the packages from the install CD, and it is still fast (much faster than my Windows partition). Now, I’m going to try out some of my IBM software on this distro. I’ll let you know how it goes. So far I’m liking it.

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