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:
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.