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Fedora Linux 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Ravi writes "Fedora — the Linux that is developed as a community effort, is the sand box of Red Hat. They incorporate all the new features after they have been exhaustively tested into its commercial product, namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux . Fedora has a 6 month release schedule and the most recent release is core 6. In all respects Fedora is the same Red Hat Linux but with cutting edge packages. What I really like about Fedora apart from the vibrant community participating in its development is the mark of quality it has from its association with Red Hat." Read the rest of Ravi's review.
Fedora Linux
author Chris Tyler
pages 650
publisher O'Reilly
rating 9
reviewer Ravi
ISBN 0-596-52682-2
summary An excellent book on setting up and configuring all aspects of Fedora Linux.


Coinciding with the release of the latest version of Fedora, O'Reilly brought out the new book titled Fedora Linux authored by Chris Tyler. The book is divided into 10 chapters spanning over 600 pages with each chapter catering to a particular topic. Like all books of this genre, this book also starts by explaining how to install Fedora on ones machine. But what is different regarding the Fedora installer is that it provides a lot of flexibility, variety and finer control over the install process. Not surprisingly, the author has dedicated two chapters for explaining the various ways in installing Fedora. The first chapter titled "Quick start: Installing Fedora" covers the basic installation from start to finish. Where as the 10th chapter titled "Advanced Installation" covers the advanced features of the installer such as creating logical volumes and Raid during installation, automating the installation process using the kick start file, installing from locations other than a CD/DVD such as NFS and PXE boot as well as a detailed coverage of the Grub boot loader. This chapter also has a short section explaining how to install and use Xen virtual machines.

At a first glance, one might be tempted to bundle this book with the rest of the books available on this subject. But on close scrutiny, I discovered a certain method to the madness. That is each topic that is covered in the book is divided into 4 broad sections. There is a section titled "How do I do that?" which explains the nuts and bolts of accomplishing the given task. The next section titled "How does it work?" gives a good understanding of the theoretical concepts if any behind the topic, the third section titled "What about...?" introduces potential configuration bottlenecks and any additional tasks related to the topic and provides solutions to them. And lastly, there is a section titled "Where can I learn more...?" which provides a bunch of resources on the web and pointers to the respective documentation which will provide further insights about the topic being discussed. It is really refreshing to see this book take such a unique structured approach to explaining the concepts.

The 2nd chapter titled "Using Fedora on your Desktop" apart from covering details about Gnome and KDE Desktops also provides information about additional topics like configuring the XServer, adding new fonts and configuring sound and printing to work with Fedora. There are topics like partitioning a flash drive which makes this particular chapter quite interesting.

The third chapter titled "Using Fedora on your Notebook" explains how to configure Fedora to handle laptop specific features such as power management, mobile networking and configuring touch pad. This chapter also gives a firm introduction to configuring the networking interfaces be it the ethernet or wireless. One thing which holds Fedora in good stead over its peers is the good set of GUI front-ends available to configure each and every aspect of Linux. And configuring networking is no different. But the author does not limit himself to explaining the GUI way of configuring but also explains how to do it the command line way.

No book on Linux is complete without an in depth coverage of the basic commands used for system maintenance. The fourth chapter titled "Basic System Management" is one of the largest chapters in this book where the author explains all the important commands one might be expected to know to keep Fedora Linux in ship shape. Apart from the ubiquitous commands, I also found detailed pointers in enabling secure remote access to Fedora using SSH.

Package management forms the basis for the fifth chapter. Fedora has a great set of tools which aid the user in a variety of ways in installing, removing and upgrading packages. Fedora uses the software management system called RPM Package Manager. But with popular demand, it has also incorporated an apt-get like tool called Yum which automatically resolve dependency issues. I found this chapter to provide an in-depth coverage of all the tools related to package management in Fedora. For example, the author explains how to roll back the installation of a package to a state 10 minutes ago or for that matter to a previous date using the RPM tool. There is also a section which explains how to create ones own RPM packages.

The chapter titled "Storage management" gives a broad explanation of Logical volume management and setting up Raid. Fedora comes with its own LVM administration tool which makes it a snap to set up and manage logical volumes. The author after explaining how to accomplish creating, resizing and deleting logical volumes using this GUI tool, goes on to describe how to do it the command line way too which makes this chapter really useful. All along the chapter, I found useful tips on tasks such as creating backups of the disk and how to go about doing it, stopping a raid and so on.

But the one chapter which I found really comprehensive was the seventh chapter titled "Network Services". Here the author explains how to setup the gamut of network services including but not limited to DHCP server, BIND, CUPS print server, MySQL server, sendmail and more. This chapter spans around 100 pages. There is also a short section providing tips on analyzing the web and ftp logs.

Lets face it. Even though Fedora is a community supported venture backed by Red Hat, it has all the characteristics which propel it to the enterprise level. One of the notable characteristics is the extensive integration of SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux). SELinux controls what a program is and is not allowed to do, enforcing security policy through the kernel. Fedora has very good support for SELinux and has even developed GUI front-ends to make it much more easier to configure. In the 8th chapter, the author explains in detail the steps needed to configure and fine tune selinux on Fedora. This chapter also contain sections which explain the pluggable authentication module as well as other security related features such as configuring a firewall and using access control lists.

The unique structure in which the chapters are layed out makes it more suitable to be used as a reference more than a cover to cover read. The author is eloquent in his narration of the topics and has done a good job of explaining the concepts. I found this book to be an ideal resource for coming up to date with all the system and network administration tasks that can be accomplished in Fedora Linux.

Ravi Kumar maintains a blog where he shares his thoughts related to GNU/Linux, Open Source and Free Software at linuxhelp.blogspot.com. He has also reviewed in a concise way the history of GNU/Linux.


You can purchase Fedora Linux from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.
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Fedora Linux

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  • For my CSE432 class, Operating System Internals, we delve into the Linux 2.4 kernel code to show examples of how operating systems are implemented. So I, being a lifelong Windows user, decided to setup a VMware virtual Linux box. Started with Ubuntu, but couldn't get the VMTools installed properly.
    Format.
    Install Fedora, update the kernel packages, VMTools up and running.
    Easy.
    I like Fedora and this book look like it could make anyone a more knowledgeable Fedora user.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      I never found Ubuntu all the user friendly. I don't have any idea where it gets that reputation from. I've never found Fedora to be that much better. The best distro I've found so far is Mandriva. It's the only distro that consistently (for the last 5 years) that I've been able to install and have everything "Just Work". I have tried other distros because every else is raving about Ubuntu, or Fedora, or Suse, or Gentoo, but I haven't found that any of them work as well as Mandriva has.
      • by Fry-kun (619632)
        I've started using Ubuntu as my first Linux - I loved the kind of support I was able to get at Ubuntu forums (fast responses, nobody being condescending to a n00b like me...) - but for me the dealbreaker was that the packages were not up-to-date for a long time. It's true, the working packages should only be updated after they've been through a lot of testing - but the problem is, not all software works correctly in the old versions.. I'm using Fedora now - grinding my teeth whenever a problem occurs - but
        • I started with Slackware. And it dragged me through a lot of low level Unix, so that now I can run about any of them as my desktop system that I prefer. I prefer NetBSD.

          The Slackware was back in the kernel 1.2.8 era. I guess I really started out with kernel .99something on Yggdrasil Plug-and-play linux, but the brokeness of it's installer never let me get very deep into it. Fun times with a Mitsumi 1x CDROM drive and a 486, though...
      • by billybob2 (755512) on Monday November 27, 2006 @07:23PM (#17009122)
        The modified version of KDE that ships in Fedora 6 is really buggy and unpolished. There's been talk for two years about placing KDE in Fedora Extras [fedoraproject.org] so that it will be better supported by the dedicated KDE community, but Redhat seems to keep refusing the help and treating KDE apps as second-class citizens.

        Some of the Fedora 6 changes (like taking away MP3 playing capability from KDE music players) are justified on a legal basis, but other changes (like using a 4-year old window decoration and widget styles) are at best the result of ineptitude or at worst a deliberate attempt to make KDE look bad and outdated.
        • by pivo (11957)
          I haven't found KDE to be buggy, but I really do dislike the second class citizen nature of KDE in Fedora.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rix (54095)
      So in other words, you had little interest in understanding how the system works. You just wanted to point to it and say "Oooo, Linux Pixie Dust(TM)".
    • by cerelib (903469)
      Your professor probably shouldn't be basing the curriculum around a GPL kernel. Something like that could affect your future job possibilities. I am guessing your professor picked the 2.4 kernel because it seems out of date, but that is not really important when it comes to legal matters like the GPL. It seems like concentrating on a more open kernel like a BSD would be a safer bet. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but that seems rather careless on the part of your professor.
      • by doom (14564)
        cerelib (903469) wrote:

        Your professor probably shouldn't be basing the curriculum around a GPL kernel. Something like that could affect your future job possibilities. I am guessing your professor picked the 2.4 kernel because it seems out of date, but that is not really important when it comes to legal matters like the GPL. It seems like concentrating on a more open kernel like a BSD would be a safer bet. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but that seems rather careless on the part of your professo

        • by cerelib (903469)
          If the class were to study in detail the virtual memory system for the Linux kernel, would that compromise your ability to work on the virtual memory of another commercial operating system like Windows, OS X, VxWorks, or AIX? While most people might say 'no', the companies that own those operating systems might think otherwise. Look at the recent headlines for the SCO vs IBM case. The current controversy is whether or not IBM's Linux developers had copies of AIX source code on their workstations. That i
          • by doom (14564)
            cerelib wrote:

            If the class were to study in detail the virtual memory system for the Linux kernel, would that compromise your ability to work on the virtual memory of another commercial operating system like Windows, OS X, VxWorks, or AIX?

            No.

            While most people might say 'no', the companies that own those operating systems might think otherwise.

            (A) I've never heard of a case like this, ever. (B) They can think what they like, they'd still be wrong -- if a company refuses to hire you for a reason th

      • by Rix (54095)
        If a kernel is open and no one uses it, does it make a sound?
  • In an informal survey on my IM list, more people are using Fedora than any other distro. Not that that's good or bad, but considering all the hype for Ubuntu recently, I'm happy to see Fedora getting a little love. It's been my workstation of choice since FC2.
    • by micromoog (206608)
      I'm happy to see Fedora getting a little love. It's been my workstation of choice since FC2.

      What a coincidence -- FC2 was the distro that drove me away from Red Hat and all of its relations.

      • by Pharmboy (216950) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:38PM (#17007470) Journal
        I hate to say "me, too", but "me, too". I started losing faith when RH9 came out so fast after 8, especially considering how happy I was was the whole 7.x line. (and even 6.1) I still have FC1 on a couple of boxes, and unfortunately FC4 on a couple as well. What has kept RH on those boxes is the fact that I simply know RH's quirks/methods better than anything else.

        What is ironic is that everyone is bitching about how it took 6 years to go from xp to Vista (which I won't migrate to) but I felt the opposite. I am tired of learning new operating systems just for the sake of learning new operating systems. I don't buy computers to run operating systems, I use operating systems to run PROGRAMS.

        Eventually I will have to make the switch to Debian (which seems to be the best for NOT changing the version every freaking 6 to 12 months), but have just been too busy running the actual programs to learn a different Linux version.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
          8 & 9 definitely sucked. Those were both crappy, mediocre distros, especially considering how excellent the Valhalla (7.3?) distro was...It's still a hugely popular distro for web hosting companies.

          I was pretty pleased with Fedora Core 2-4, felt like they were modern, without being bloated and slow like 8 & 9. FC5 was a real dog, though, so I don't know what to say about that. In all, I tend to use Fedora more than any other distro. It's got its issues, but when you use it enough, you just sort of
        • Eventually I will have to make the switch to Debian (which seems to be the best for NOT changing the version every freaking 6 to 12 months), but have just been too busy running the actual programs to learn a different Linux version.

          Have you tried CentOS? It's based off of RHEL4 and the versions are fairly stable. It will be supported for a while. The program versions are quite old, though. I can't stand the version of Gnome it ships with (2.14 was the first version I found usable). With KDE-Redhat, tho

        • by Kynde (324134)
          What is ironic is that everyone is bitching about how it took 6 years to go from xp to Vista (which I won't migrate to) but I felt the opposite.

          Geez, and you use Fedora. The one distro that really has set fast release cycles as one of it main agendas...

          If you're stuck with redhatish quirks and want stability as in things-not-changing-all-the-god-damn-time, why not go for CentOS or other RHEL forks? Ther's stability for you (in more ways than one).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:03PM (#17006958)
    Fedora is a nice distro. The biggest problem I have faced in using it, though, has been yum. But to be fair, it is improving with every version of FC. However, it's very feature deficient when compared to apt -- which is a big big plus for Debian based distros. Also, the various repositories of FC also add to the confusion: which mirrors to use and which mirrors to avoid is not straightfordward (dependency hell) and the combinations of various 'acceptable' repositories can be a confusing issue. The other problem with yum has been its speed: the last time I checked (that was in FC5), it still took ages to do every operation.

    Having said all this, I hope yum has imoproved in FC6, yet to try that though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kelson (129150) *
      One problem yum has had is that it wants to check the network for updates before every operation. This has improved recently, either in Fedora Core 6 or one of the updates to Fedora Core 5. Now if you run more than one yum operation within a period of time -- I think it's an hour, at least by default -- it will use its cached copy instead of calling out to the network.

      It still needs to re-read the data, which takes longer than it should, but only has to call out to the network if something is likely to be
      • by slamb (119285) * on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:15PM (#17008146) Homepage
        One problem yum has had is that it wants to check the network for updates before every operation. This has improved recently ... It still needs to re-read the data, which takes longer than it should, but only has to call out to the network if something is likely to be different, which makes a *huge* difference when you're installing individual packages or querying it with search or info.

        Reading and re-reading the data should be quicker now, too.

        The repository data is stored in a giant XML file which is incredibly slow to parse. Back in the day, it would read this file in every time you ran yum. Last year [1] they added a SQLite cache, so this step could be skipped if the data hadn't changed.

        Relatively recently, they added a separate yum-metadata-parser written in C that dramatically reduces the time the parse step takes. Take these changes together and what used to take 45.5 seconds every time you ran yum now takes 7.5 seconds only if the data have changed. [2]

        It sounds like they've done as much as they can without changing the transferred data to be an indexed binary format (with the associated forward/backward compatibility complexity).

        (I'm not running Fedora Core 6, so I'm not sure if this change made it in.)

        [1] - Looks like [duke.edu] yum 2.3.1 introduced the cache, around March 2005.

        [2] - See this message [duke.edu] introducing it around May 2006 sometime after yum 2.6.1.

        • by Kynde (324134)
          (I'm not running Fedora Core 6, so I'm not sure if this change made it in.)

          It did.
          It's 3.0.1 now in fc6.
          And you're absolutely right, things have seriously become faster with yum.
    • anybody would use redhat.

      IMO: debian still has the best package management in the business. Also, you don't have to download and install a ton of cruft that you don't want. And you only install debian once - then just incrementally upgrade.

      To each, his own, I guess.
    • by kasperd (592156)

      However, it's very feature deficient when compared to apt

      One of the things that have kept me from moving from Fedora to an apt based distribution is the fact, that there are tasks I know how to acomplish with rpm, but don't know how to do with apt. Maybe you can help me one step closer to switching, by explaining how I do the following taskks with apt.

      • Find out which package a particular file came from
      • Get a list of the files which came from a particular package installed on my system
      • Given a .deb file get
  • "Fedora -- the Linux that is developed as a community effort, is the sand box of Red Hat.
    I guess that's better than being the litter box of Red Hat.
  • Misleading Summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mpapet (761907) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:12PM (#17007092) Homepage
    They incorporate all the new features after they have been exhaustively tested into its commercial product, namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    Really? I thought it was the other way around? It was when I last tested it.

    In all respects Fedora is the same Red Hat Linux but with cutting edge packages.
    No, it's not!
    1. No support. (This matters to some. Not me though)
    2. Buggier. Look at the distros created with the Enterprise source code. That's a production ready OS. FC is not.
    3. (b)leading edge everything where applicable. Comparable to Debian unstable IMHO.
    4. Red Hat's Management/Sales probably don't like "free as good as paid version" statement either.

    There are a few great distro's out there and FC is probably one of them, but not for production equipment. Every version I have recently tested I've ended up with randomly broken systems after applying patches. I never knew when or what to watch out for.

    Debian stable and copycat Red Hat Enterprise distro's make it into production just fine. The path from Debian Testing versions to Stable is quite good as always.
    • I tried to install FC6 on an old opteron box here at my work, the installer locked up everytime, FC5 installed without a hitch.. even did the media check in case the iso was corrupt..
      • by McNihil (612243)
        Maybe it ran hot because Cool'n'Quiet was on? I had no troubles installing/using on a 144. My problem is the X2 I exchanged it with, where it will go warm quite fast (low noise environment so the fans need to be "slow".) Most of the time the CPU is at 50C / 122F but getting to 62C it will lock up (this isn't OS specific though.)
    • by Kelson (129150) * on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:49PM (#17007702) Homepage Journal
      They incorporate all the new features after they have been exhaustively tested into its commercial product, namely Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
      Really? I thought it was the other way around? It was when I last tested it.

      The sentence is poorly structured, hard to parse, and has a few grammatical errors (they/its), but is not backwards. It could use a couple of commas:

      "They incorporate all the new features, after they have been exhaustively tested, into their commercial product..."

      • by SoapDish (971052)
        Hey at least the correct form of "its".
        • by SoapDish (971052)
          I pressed the submit button too early. I forgot a comma, and I used bad punctuation in conjuction with my quotation marks.

          I hate making grammatical errors when talking about grammar!
          • by Kelson (129150) *
            I hate making grammatical errors when talking about grammar!

            Heh. I think it's one of those unwritten rules of the internet that posts about spelling must contain speling mistakes, and posts about grammar must grammar mistakes.

    • Fedora and Debian are fine if you understand their development process enough to hang back from the bleeding edge a little and not to use unstable or testing packages. I've ran both on servers under heavy load, for years, and have never had a crash or a major security issue. The Enterprise editions are mostly useful if you want support.

      My biggest complaint is that they often compile software with to many dependicies, that aren't needed, required. This gets to be a pain when you have to compile half of your
      • by Ed Avis (5917)
        I used to use Red Hat and I've stayed with Fedora out of inertia. It seems like a perfectly reasonable if somewhat boring distribution. Red Hat's enterprise stuff is even more boring. That is usually a good thing.

        Right now, however, I'm trying to work out how to replace the hard disk in my PC and transfer files from the old disk to the new one. It used to be you could just 'mount' but Fedora uses LVM by default, which has about forty different commands and manual pages. There's no handy tool to say 'ju
        • by MikeFM (12491)
          I've suffered that problem and it does seem an issue with LVM especially if you're like me and take the drives out and put them, unmarked, in a box for a couple months before trying to figure out how to put them back together. In the end my general solution is to just use proper RAID configurations as it's easier than rebuilding a complex filesystem.
      • by Rix (54095)
        That's inevitable for a non-source based distro. You either have to maintain dozens of variations for each packages, or compile them with everything. Most choose the latter, as it's simpler, and works better for most people.
        • by MikeFM (12491)
          It'd seem logical to always provide a minimal version of each package and to use an add-on package to add the kitchen sink. To some extent it may be a problem because of badly written programs that don't have an easy way to add and remove features without a recompile. Amarok comes to mind since installing it in Fedora also forces installing things such as MySQL that the default options don't even make use of.
          • by Rix (54095)
            Even with that, your doubling the number of packages you have to build, test, maintain and support.

            You aren't a coder, are you? There's absolutely nothing wrong with compile-time configuration. If you don't want MySQL support built into your Amarok, don't build it in. If someone else builds your system for you, tell them you don't want MySQL support. If they don't care what you want, pay someone else to do it, or suck it up and do it yourself.
            • by MikeFM (12491)
              A distro exists to provide packages that are pre-tested and done right. Fedora is one of the most important distros and they don't feel like doing it right because it's more work?

              I am a coder. There is nothing wrong with compile-time configuration except that it results in bloated, unflexible, crappy messes. Yes, lets just go ahead and hard compile every module we might need into the kernel because heck that's easier. Or why not compile in every possibly Apache module? Who cares if that wastes resources and
      • I would argue that point since most packages where the options configured actually mattered for performance reasons tend to have workarounds. Take apache for instance. While the httpd package comes configured with mod_php and mod_perl, by commenting out those modules in the configuration file those interpreters aren't loaded and so apache takes up less memory. Or take Samba -- they have factored out a single large package (which is how it exists upstream) into half a dozen smaller packages divided up betwee
        • by MikeFM (12491)
          Things that aren't needed are just one more thing to break or cause a security problem. It's best to not put them in.

          Besides I run my own servers off 4GB flash drives (read only) because it makes them faster and more stable so it does make a difference. Even my hosted servers often only come with 40GB of hdd space and space does become an issue so saving a couple gigs of space does matter to me. For your average bumpkin that just uses their computer to play Minesweeper sure it doesn't matter but to serious
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Nikademus (631739) *
      1. No support. (This matters to some. Not me though)

      Indeed. Better support at ubuntu forums. But, I think the support is better at ubuntu forums than at any RHEL forums.

      2. Buggier. Look at the distros created with the Enterprise source code. That's a production ready OS. FC is not.

      Indeed, FC is buggier than RHEL. But RHEL is buggier than most other distros too. Not a reference in my mind.. Especially in package management. I don't even count the problems in RPM database I have had.

      3. (b)leading edge everyth
      • ...FC sucks even more

        What the hell are you going on about? You keep telling us that Fedora sucks over and over without a single reason? You sound more like an idiot than someone who should be listened to.

        I don't think any linux distro "sucks". I have been using Redhat since version 5.2. Now, I use Fedora Core(3-6) in 3 different data centers on three different continents. One Fedora group runs the 3rd largest gaming website. Another Fedora group runs our data center that powers the entire backend of a
        • by Fred_A (10934)
          Here's a reason FC "sucks" for me. It's not technical, purely ideological if you will :

          My problem with RedHat is that their attitude is purely along the lines of :
          "Here, build a distribution for us and beta test it. We'll clean it up and sell it at an outrageous price later. And don't even think of asking for support. You may call yourselves a 'community' if it makes you feel better about it."

          I know it's the common business model of pretty much every distribution packager/seller out there but RedHat is bein
          • by tuffy (10202)
            I don't agree with the notion that Red Hat is taking advantage of Fedora users like unpaid beta testers. The software that gets tested and fixed in Fedora has patches submitted upstream and those improvements wind up in every other distro - including CentOS for those that don't like paying Red Hat. It's fair enough to avoid Fedora if one wants something less bleeding edge, but being more bleeding edge benefits all Linux users in the end.
            • by Fred_A (10934)
              It seems to me that Mandriva for example manages to get the "bleeding-edginess" without the disturbing (to me) community exploitation. I'm all for bleeding edge in some contexts (like some home machines, or some test machines...), that's not the point.

              Maybe it's just me having an odd view of things. :-/
  • Sales Push? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dimes (10216) *
    Without(seriously) trying to be a Tr*ll, this really felt like a sales pitch.

    I am not talking about Fanboy Fawning either, but more like "out of a brouchure".

    Really, its not a review, but a list of talking points....no critical review, no Pro/Con.....strictly Pro/Pro.

    Why is this a book review?

    dimes
  • Fedora -- the Linux that is developed as a community effort


    That rather overstates the case, don't you think?
  • Ravi Kumar maintains a blog where he shares his thoughts related to GNU/Linux, Open Source and Free Software at linuxhelp.blogspot.com. He has also reviewed in a concise way the history of GNU/Linux.

    Dear editors,
    We don't want any more slashvertisements. If there is stupid crap like this in a summary or book review, or whatever, especially if it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the submission, remove it! You are editors. You edit. That is your job. Do it. Or face the wrath...

    With lo

    • by SoapDish (971052) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:46PM (#17008582)
      Ravi was kind enough to provide a book review for slashdot. It is only common curtesy to give him a little attention.

      Also, without that little explanation on who Ravi is, I would have no idea. The fact that he writes about linux (even though it's a blog), and has written other reviews makes the entire review a little more credible.
  • by lgftsa (617184)
    > Fedora -- the Linux that is developed as a community effort

    s/the/a/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:48PM (#17007684)
    As Bruce Perens said it a while ago:

    Fedora project is obviously intended to look like Debian. But unlike Debian, Fedora is an extremely unequal partnership. "Fedora" is where the community developers are supposed to build Red Hat's product, while the certifications and vendor endorsements are held back for the high-priced "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" brand. This is especially obvious in recent certification announcements: the Common Criteria certification will go to "Red Hat Enterprise Linux", not "Fedora". And of course the entire steering board of the Fedora project are Red Hat employees. Red Hat recently announced a second draft of the leadership structure for Fedora, in which they have eliminated voting, expressing the need to keep control in the hands of Red Hat's management.

    But the most ludicrous aspect of the Fedora project is that with Fedora, Red Hat seeks to achieve what Debian did long ago. Because they can't (and shouldn't) control Debian, they decided to re-invent the wheel. It would take them years to achieve a fraction of what Debian already has.

    If you need a stable, easy-to-administer, well-established, production OS, I would suggest Debian.
    • Having recently had the misfortune to have to administer a Red Hat Enterprise* Linux box, I can't agree too strongly. It's a joke of a distribution compared to Debian and charging for it only adds insult to injury. If I ever want a wide selection of non-standard outdated packages to test application compatibility or something I'll know just where to look, though.

      *as in "Herald of Free Enterprise"
  • Review (Score:2, Insightful)

    by retsil (763798)
    I have to agree that the review is very poor and misleading. I like the book, I like Fedora and I think that it is underrated. But, this review leads the reader to think Fedora is something which it is clearly not. Could someone re-write a decent review?
  • What a joke. FC6 on day of release had already 20MB of software updates. Day later - 100MB. So called great updater has to download whole RPM package for a minor update.

    I can't imagine anybody in large corporations wants to spend all their time and bandwidth propagating bleeding-edge software updates.
    • by caseih (160668)
      RHEL respins the ISOs every so often to incorporate the latest errata into their install disks. Fedora does not do this for obvious reasons. But it does make doing the initial install a bit of a pain, especially 4 months down the road.

      As for downloading an entire package for a minor update, that's what debian does too. I think I prefer this anyway. Binary patching is too messy. Something else you might not realize is that, unlike on windows, most linux programs come in a single binary with a few auxill
  • Okay, I recently installed Fedora Core 6 on a new computer for my class, here are my observations as an infrequent Linux user:

    -Frequently crashes on I/O errors (I assume a bad driver, not working well with dual core?).
    -Inconsistency between control panels (too many tools do the same thing, scattered around the system).
    -File sharing is a _little_ easier to setup, but I still had issues with it. Why can't a right click a folder, set permissions, and share?
    -Fonts are still INCREDIBLY UGLY and illegible even af
    • by essdodson (466448)
      The last three at least are by design. Fedora does not ship packages which are restricted by patents or aren't entirely open source. Sorry.
  • That's great! Now not only do I get to upgrade my OS every 6 months but I can also buy another book too! After all, the FC4 book is now obsolete (and in seriousness, in some ways this is true). O'Reilly's got quite a thing going here!

    Seriously, their Fedora books are pretty good.
  • I am curious. Does a "newbie" actually buy a book on a linux distribution? I would assume that plenty of online guides are much easier, cheaper and are (arguably) a better choice.

    For example:
    http://gagme.com/greg/linux/fc6-tips.php [gagme.com]
    http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mjm-fedora-fc6.h tml [mjmwired.net]
    http://stanton-finley.net/fedora_core_5_installati on_notes.html [stanton-finley.net]

    If I'm pessimistic about the "free" part about Linux, would I spend $30 on a book? Additionally, so much changes in a given 6 month period for something l
  • Confusion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheoMurpse (729043) on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:09PM (#17009670) Homepage
    Fedora the Linux that is developed as a community effort
    Well what the hell do you call the other five billion Linuxes (Linuces?) out there? Aren't they community-developed as well? Debian, Slackware, Gentoo, DSL, FeatherLinux, etc. I mean, Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, so if Fedora is a "community effort," then surely Knoppix, Mandriva, and other corporate-associated Linuces are "community-developed" as well!
  • why bother with Fedora? I mean really! Ubuntu, debian, gentoo, archlinux are all so much better... heck, I'd even take mandriva over fedora.
    • by McNihil (612243)
      Mandriva? Really... I doubt that very much. But hey whatever makes your boat float. Would be interesting for the rest of the readers to know WHY all the others are so much better or worse don't you think?
      • by ylikone (589264)
        Maybe just the simple fact that companies like Redhat and Novell have no problem selling out to Microsoft at any moment... they get a sweet enough deal. I don't want to touch distro's like this which are tainted.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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