Fedora 11

Although I have been mostly occupied with UNR and Moblin for the past week or two, I have managed to take a little time to look at the new Fedora release. The results have been decidedly mixed.

Although I have been mostly occupied with UNR and Moblin for the past week or two, I have managed to take a little time to look at the new Fedora release. The results have been decidedly mixed.

The first hurdle I had to get over was the installation quirk that I wrote about recently. Once I got that worked out, I was able to install Fedora 11 on both of my notebooks (Fujitsu S6510, Intel, and Fujitsu-Siemens S2110, AMD/ATI), and it works very well. Support for all of the various integrated devices and controllers is just fine, including the ATI display controller, Broadcom and Marvel wired network and Atheros and Intel wireless network. Speed seems good, although I have the feeling that it actually doesn't boot quite as fast as Ubuntu 9.04 - I haven't tried to time it yet to see if this is true, though.

I was also able to install it on the Dual Atom nettop system with no trouble, The performance seems much worse than on the laptops, though. The display in particular seems very sluggish; admittedly, that system only has an Intel 950 display controller, but Fedora is noticeably slower on screen updates and such than any of the other Linux distributions I have loaded on it. Two examples - when the login screen comes up, and I click on my name, it is very noticeably slow in changing the display to the "Password" prompt - I can actually watch most of the screen changes taking place; also, if I leave the system idle until the screen saver comes on, then touch the keyboard or mouse to wake it back up, it takes 5 seconds or more before it finally prompts me for the password. Now, to be fair, this is only an Atom-based system, but as it is a pretty well equipped dual CPU Atom system, I suppose this means that I wouldn't be rushing right out to put Fedora 11 on a netbook...

Which brings me to the last problem. I wasn't able to install it at all on my HP 2133 Mini-Note systems. It boots and starts the installation process just fine, but about halfway through it gets an "unexpected exception", and the installation process crashes. I've tried both the LiveCD and the Installation DVD, and both do the same thing. I've tried a few things to get around it, but I didn't really have much time to spend on it, so I gave up fairly quickly.

So, in summary, if you are a Fedora fan, and you have a more or less "standard" desktop or notebook, you will probably be able to install Fedora 11 without too much trouble, and you're very likely to be happy with the results. But if you have a netbook, with either an Atom or VIA CPU, I don't think you'll have much luck - I certainly didn't.

jw 28/6/2009

Update: After writing this (on Ant under Fedora 11), I let it install all the latest Fedora 11 updates. The display is clearly faster now. It's still not spectacularly fast, but the Intel 950 is not a spectacularly good display chip. It is certainly good enough now, though.

jw

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