Fedora Core 1
Before I say anything else, let me say that this Fedora Core 1
release has made me re-think my position with regard to DeskTop
Linux. I can't see why any random User, no matter how
inexperienced, would have any more issues with this than they would
I hadn't looked closely at RedHat since 7.2, so this was quite
pleasant and much improved. I could easily recommend this to anyone
without a strong need for Windows applications.
One of Fedora's objectives is "Be on the leading edge of open
source technology, by adopting and helping develop new features and
version upgrades." That lead me to expect a far less polished and
user friendly system. I was pleasantly surprised to find this is a
Linux almost anyone could likely use and, more importantly,
I did experience problems
downloading, but the installation was smooth and unenventful.
It looks very much like a RedHat 8 or 9 install - except for the
background colors, which are blue and gray.
The first difference I noticed was that it offered to test the
install cd's: that is a very good idea, and after all the download
problems I had, very much appreciated. It's such a waste of time to
find that a bad CD 3 prevents your install: this eliminates that.
The rest of the install was quite quick. I chose a Workstation
install, which only requires 2 CD's; even so I thought it was
quicker than previous RedHat installs. The defaults are quite
reasonable; for example the use of ext3 means that the default file
system layout is just /boot and one large root fs. That's far less
confusing for the new user, and safe enough today.
Upon first boot a few minor details are asked, nothing anyone
should have any trouble with: a user name, time zone details, etc.
Nothing geeky or Unixish to frighten the newbies.
The next item I noticed was that ntp was offered for time
settings, and that you can pick ntp servers right there: good move,
because that at least gets things working for the neophyte. People
who have a better choice can certainly do that, but it's good to
have something for those who have no idea.
There was automatic sound card detection, but I never have
speakers hooked up, so I have no idea if it was right. The X
display configured completely automatically and gave me 1024x768
The first thing I looked for after logging into the Gnome
desktop was "up2date": it is still called "RedHat Network" in the
menu, but actually goes to fedora.redhat.com and since I had just
downloaded CD's, it found nothing.
I was a little surprised to see Mozilla 1.4.1 rather than a more
recent release. Konqueror of course was also present, though the
default is Mozilla (smart again - Konqueror has its problems).
I clicked on Print Manager and was told that no printers were
found - would I like to run config tool ? Sure, and I easily
configured an HP network printer in a few seconds.
I found OpenOffice found through "Start Here". It is also on the
task bar. This is the (current) 1.1 version. I clicked on
"Development Tools" and found Emacs and Glade (which I'm unfamilar
with but will look at later). The smb browwer found my network as
easily as my Mac did, and gave a login window. Odd that it said the
password would be sent unencrypted, though.
There's a dictionary (uses http://dict.org) in accessories and
"file roller" which can handle tar, gzip, bzip2 files - I haven't
tested it but that's a good tool for new users to find.
Mail is Ximian Evolution, which I have never used but certainly
have heard good things about. I was quite impressed that sticking
in a blank cd was automatically recognized and brought up Nautilus
to burn it. It was easy to use, quick, and I doubt anyone would get
Pretty much everything a typical web/email/word processing user
will need is here, ready to go. Anything they want to change is
easily found in Preferences or System Settings, which both quite
prominent after clicking Start Here. It's good not to have to hunt
for these things.
So, Fedora Core 1 looks like a great start. I recommend it.
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