8 Dec 2010

Does Net Mean Inter? Or Not?

Fedora is a nice part of Linux OS family. I have already tried Fedora 13.
But, as I noted there, while I was doing my experiments and writing a blog post, new version of Fedora was released. It is now time to try new release - Fedora 14.
Fedora comes with different type of Windows managers: KDE, XFCE, LXDE. But my choice for Fedora 14 was the same as for Fedora 13, was GNOME.
So, download image. Burn it to CD. Reboot computer. Choose boot from CD. Let's go!

What can I say here?
  • From the very start, Fedora does not ask you many questions about your computer and location, as some other systems do. The only question during the CD boot was confirmation of user ID. Default one is suitable for Live run. But nevertheless, CD boot is always slower than USB of HDD one. Fedora took me 3 minutes and 44 seconds for full load, including network connection.
  • Connecting to network in Fedora 14 is as easy as 1-2-3. The same as for Fedora 13. WiFi card was found and activated automatically. My home WiFi network was automatically found and appeared in the drop-down menu when I clicked the network icon on taskbar. I only had to enter my security code. And here I am.
  • But... What's up? Firefox shows that it cannot connect to any web server. At the same time, local resources (router and external network drive) can be easily pinged. I even managed to connect network drive share as Windows share in GNOME. But nothing goes out! "PING GOOGLE.COM" returns "unknown host" message. I tested my Internet connection from Ubuntu - everything works without any issue. So, the problem is somewhere in Fedora 14. I did not investigate the issue in depth, so you can do it yourself if you decide to go for Fedora 14.
  • Configuring of Russian keyboard in Fedora 14 was also an easy task. As it is always in GNOME. No issues at all, few clicks and here I am.
Image by Johny Ashburn

  • Another point that surprised me again was... absence of Office software. Same as in Fedora 13. Maybe that's a strategy? Hm...

Any differences between Fedora 13 and Fedora 14? To be honest, I have not noticed much from my nodding acquittance. Maybe they are very well hidden.
I liked Fedora 13 when I tried it. I ran into some trouble with Fedora 14 now. But anyway my opinion about this OS is still very high. It is still candidate No1 if I ever wanted to replace Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Puppy Linux with something else on my hard disk.

Useful links:
http://fedoraproject.org/ - official site
http://forums.fedoraforum.org - forum of Fedora users
http://www.home-computer-help.co.uk/ - useful forum about anything concerning home computers... hardware, network, software...


  1. "Burn it to a CD" implies that you installed from the Live CD, which would explain why you didn't get Office software. Such is life when you only have 700MB to deal with, and while other distros may swing this, Fedora doesn't. Installing from a DVD, if that's possible, is the workaround.

    I've used Fedora 14 almost exclusively since its release, and I'm ready for Fedora 15.

  2. You didn't notice an elephant - Virtualization

  3. @Larry Cafiero:
    You're almost right. I used Live CD. But I did not install it. Only used Live mode.
    I am waiting for Fedora 15 too. Will certainly review it. And, if I am more happy with it than with my current system(s), probably switch to Fedora instead of Ubuntu 11.04. But that's just an idea for now.

  4. @Anonymous:
    probably because I don't need this and I don't use it.

  5. @DarkDuck

    Fedora 13 and 14 most certainly do have office suites. Just use your package manager to install OpenOffice. Larry was correct a LiveCD does not have space to add the 100+ MB OpenOffice suite. You are not limited to OpenOffice either, the yum repos for Fedora 14 lists LibreOffice (the newer OpenOffice fork) and koffice.

    Had you installed from a DVD and not just run the LiveCD you would have been given the option to install these during install time.

    Keep in mind a LiveCD is a minimal preview meant more to test hardware compatibility and see the environment run than to be a full everyday Desktop. Use the right tool for the job and you will get better results.

    If you do not want to install it on your laptop/Desktop then use VirtualBox, KVM, Xen, or VMWare and create a virtual machine to test on.

    As to the network issues that sounds like a DNS issue that also had more to do with the LiveCD than Fedora 14 as a whole.

  6. @dadreggors:
    You're right that Fedora has an option to install Open Office. But other distros have it already included. It means you do not need to download extra Megabytes to have it on your computer. It can be very useful for SOHO market.
    If you read few more on this blog, you may notice that I always review Live mode of system. Comparing them in installed version is not always fair, because of amount of fine-tuning I may (or may not) do during the review itself.
    As for probable DNS issue, Fedora 14 was the only Live CD where I had this issue. Probably it'll be fixed in Fedora 15.
    As I wrote in my review, I like Fedora, and probably will make a move towards it sooner or later.

  7. I do not disagree with the point that there is fine tuning that can be done on an installed system vs a LiveCD. I would make the point though that you can (once in the Desktop) use yum or package manager and install software or fine tune as well. That kind of makes that point less valid.

    That said, you are correct I was not aware that you "ONLY" review LiveCD distributions. Being new to reading your reviews, I read that as these features are not available in Fedora 14. I probably will not be the last person to read these statements that way either. I just wanted to point out that this is NOT a reflection of the installed product. As a long time user of Linux (pre 2000) and Linux System Admin by trade I here these kinds of comments parroted up as truth all the time. Many users are still scared to try Linux because they "have read" that...

    1. Hardware support is lacking
    2. Software is scarce (no office suite?)
    3. It is for programmers and hackers only

    I really get tired of correcting/elightening them and many times having to prove it by opening my laptop. This is why when I see an article like this I cringe... not that you are wrong, just that you are not clear that you meant in LiveCD mode not after a full install.

  8. @dadreggors:
    I am afraid the points you listed are just a general image which Linux got ~pre-2000. It is so difficult to get rid of this.
    Unfortunately, some of these points are still valid.
    Hardware support - vendors still prefer to release drivers for Windows and only after that think about Linux-native drivers. Not talking about closed-source drivers and puristic distros. Luckily, Fedora is not so puristic.
    Software - choice is big, but not all the Linux programs are as polished as Microsoft ones. It does not stop me, but can stop somebody else.
    Programmers and hackers - it depends on distro. Some of them are specially made for programmers and hackers and not intended for regular user. Fedora is very good in these terms.

  9. You can also create the net install disk and that will allow you to install all packages from the repositories including OpenOffice. My understanding is that F15 will use LibreOffice instead. I have F14_PAE and F14_64 installed.

  10. @Anonimous:
    Good point about netinstall. But this method is something different from Live run which I used.