In Which I do Yet Another Reinstall

People who know me know that I went through a phase a while back in which I tried a different distro every week. This resulted in a number of pointless reinstalls as I normally got bored with the new distro very quickly. I always go back to Slackware.

Looking at the Slackware Changelogs, it would seem that new release is imminent. Normally, the pace of updates to Slackware-Current increases as a new release nears. The current, stable version is 10.2. The next version is likely to be 11. I will be installing 11 when it’s released.

In the meantime, I needed to reinstall anyway. I’d successfully broken my install and I decided it would be quicker to reinstall than to mess about fixing it. This happens a lot, I should stop fiddling. I was about to reinstall, when I had a change of heart. I have long been aware that the newer flashier distros have improved and improved and are actually pretty slick now. So I thought “why not give it a go?” I had no answer for myself (when I have nothing to say, I say nothing). Coffee was probably involved.

I had, to hand, a DVD copy of Fedora Core 5 provided by the nice people at Linux Format magazine. By which I mean that a DVD was included in the magazine, not that they send me DVDs out of the kindness of their hearts.

When I first started using Linux, or Gnu/Linux for purists, I ran RedHat version 8. I loved the distro, I knew what I was doing with it. it looked good, it ran great. Everything I read said that it was unstable and buggy, but it never gave me a moment’s trouble. I even upgraded to version 9 when it came out. I couldn’t imagine ever switching. Unfortunately, the pc was being taken more and more by my Significant Other and she didn’t want to use Linux. So, until I bought a laptop, I was computerless and increasingly Linux-less. I had also formed an irrational hatred of the BlueCurve theme provided by RedHat. It was then that I began my distro odyssey.

Back to the present day. I had often wondered if my sticking to Slackware was down to a certain distro snobbery, so I set out to prove this wrong. I grabbed the disk and started the install.

For a polished, professional distro to fail to install was unthinkable. And I didn;t have to think it, the install went without a hitch. It took about an hour to install, 15 minutes or so to make the package selections and 45 minuttes to actually install. I’m still unhappy about that. It then took a further 3 hours to download and install all the updates. So I lost, effectively, half a day on the install alone.

Also, I usually use KDE as my desktop. I like KDE, unfortunately Fedora and RedHat are, at best, ambivalent towards it. So I bit the bullet and booted into Gnome. For a KDE user, the current version of Gnome (2.14 at this time of writing) is a very pleasant surprise. You still get the menu bar and clock at the top of the screen and the taskbar at the bottom, which takes some getting used to. But it is very usable. Here’s a screenshot, because a picture something something thousand words:

Gnome 2.14 Desktop

I did have a load of stuff written down at this point. Unfortunately, as my next comment will show, I lost it before I could save it. My niggle about this install is that the whole thing keeps freezing. Completely. It may be because Google Browser Sync and Gmail Manager are conflicting, or it may be down to something else. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Otherwise, Fedora Core 5 is a great distro. I can’t see me using it for long – I am a slacker, after all. But it will certainly do until Salckware 11 is released.


Posted on 21 June, 2006, in Computer Stuff, Open Source. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Salkware 11? sounds malicious. or maybe it’s just a typo…? *evil grin*

  2. Oops. It was all because the bloody machine keeps freezing. I tried to get the article out in record time and I appear to have sausages for fingers šŸ™‚

  3. I was wondering about Fedora 5. I’m thinking about taking a Linux Certification course at the local Community College, and they use Fedora.

    I’m looking forward to Slack11, too

  4. Slackware 11…. I can’t wait till it comes out! 8)

    I’ve heard that FC5 is good, but not the best. The new Ubuntu seems to have won a lot of praise – with the usual few people who complain about their stand on non-free software (I install these myself anyway) – but I still haven’t been able to try it. I have also heard a lot about openSUSE 10.1, so that will probably be the first distro I’ll try when I get home!

    Ah, why do they all have to come out at the same time! This makes it harder for me to try them all šŸ˜›

    But.. I fear I am now a Slacker for life; blame Ray! šŸ˜€

  5. Yay for Slackers! šŸ™‚

    Fedora is alright, I have nothing against it at all – it’s reasonably quick and all that. I may break massively with tradition and install Gnome on Slack 11 when I install it.

  6. Hehe.. I want to try Fedora Core 5 out, because there was a lot of hype about it – and I’d rather try it myself than go by other people’s opinions šŸ™‚

    Have you tried openSUSE 10.1 yet? From what I’ve heard… It could be the most newbie-friendly distro out there at the moment šŸ˜€

    Not that we’re newbies, of course… We’ve compiled our own kernels šŸ˜› LOL

  7. Oh, THAT’S how one becomes a guru…roll your own kernel! I did wonder…

  8. Oh yes, once you’ve rolled your own, Linus comes round your house and drinks your coffee and then leaves. It’s in the changelogs. Honest.

    It’s an open source badge of honour.

    If you write a kernel from scratch, RMS comes to your house and insults you for half an hour. Then you’re a real guru.


  9. And if you write your own microkernel-based OS, not only will Linus come round to spank you, but you’ll also have a variety of people (not excluding Andy Tanenbaum and the developer of QNX) visit you to have tea and scones šŸ˜€

  10. All extremely good reasons to put your nerd hats on šŸ™‚ As a special bonus, RMS will come and punch you in the nose for not saying “GNU/Linux”

  11. OH NO! We don’t drink coffee!

    *Runs to the store in a panic.

  12. I’m currently on Ubuntu 6.06.. It’s the slickest distro I’ve installed yet! I’ll post a video later on.. The usual brilliant XGL effects, stunning interface, great Automatix app (download everything you need on a desktop for you), and the like..

    If you’re trying out distros, Ray – give this a shot. I think I’ve put it on a par with Slack; AND it’s GNOME šŸ˜Æ

    šŸ˜† šŸ˜‰

  13. I appear to be downloading it as we speak….type….whatever šŸ™‚

  14. You’re right – Ubuntu is rather good šŸ™‚

  15. It is indeed! And, once you’ve installed the right graphics drivers, the extra apps (Automatix ftw ;)), and XGL, it turns into a very pleasant experience.. My family were gaping in awe at XGL earlier on today! Hehe. Windows doesn’t do that – nope. Linux does.

    They now like Linux. šŸ˜€

    About the tut I mentioned in a comment in the other post.. Here it is:

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