Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Alan Cox – Fedora 18 seems to be the worst Red Hat distro I've ever seen (plus.google.com)
64 points by giis on Jan 24, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments

The problem is - they are keeping adding unnecessary stuff to just keep going, regardless of whether it is better, rational or not.

All those replacement of classic shell-script-based start-up tools, adding countless "managers" and "buses" and "services" and "settings daemons" just makes the whole thing worse.

It is like MS or SAP - keep producing bigger and bigger bloatware until there are no more suckers to buy it.

Piling up meaningless stuff is not just a Linux distro problem. It is also in languages (look at CL or R6RS) and libraries. Almost everywhere, especially in non-CS world.)

The more sane approach is, surprise! of BSD systems. They have an OS and a system of packages made out of ports of OSS software. They keep the core OS stable, sane, and without unnecessary, unreasonable changes. CenOS also has some additional repositories, but it is basically a polished Fedora anyway.

> All those replacement of classic shell-script-based start-up tools

In case you are referring to the introduction of systemd, I'll mention that Arch Linux has also made the switch, and away from the BSD style in doing so. None of my Arch installs became unstable or slower and the reasons explained for the switch seemed rational: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1149530#p1149530

Spot on. Everytime I have to debug dbus, udev, acpid or anything horrid like that, it throws me one step back towards freebsd.

They just aren't part of the Unix philosophy. NT perhaps.

Here's a more detailed description: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/fedora-18-kde.html

This made me laugh out loud (in regards to the installer):

"You enter a world of smartphone-like diarrhea that undermines everything and anything that is sane and safe in this most important of software configuration steps."

It describes the thing perfectly. If you have an hour or so and like to cringe, I can only recommend trying that abomination of installer software in a VM. If only as a nice guide to find UI/UX problems by being shown perfect examples of what not to do.

Unfortunately I pointed out and filed bugs for many of these during development, but they were ignored ...

I had seen this also,I filed a bug ,they waited till the version reached End-of-Life and closed bugs asking me to reopen the issue,if it exists with latest version. I see lot of bug closed like this.That's bad.

The installer made me feel really stupid. I think the only other UI that has that effect is Calibre's.

EDIT: interesting read about the installer redesign: http://blog.linuxgrrl.com/2011/06/16/making-fedora-easier-to...

> I think the only other UI that has that effect is Calibre's.

This made me curious. Care to elaborate?

I don't seem to get the UI, it feels cluttered to me. Some actions have several variations that sound almost the same and apparently do different things (ie. send to device).

I guess that because I don't use it frequently, I always have to click around several times until I find what it looks like the thing I need, and I'm almost never sure of it :)

That sort of "what's going on!?" feeling I got with the new anaconda installer of F18.

EDIT: typos

It's kind of sad to see the "What It's Like To Be Ridiculed For Open Sourcing A Project" and "I'm Sorry" stories just above this one, where Alan Cox essentially says his former colleagues have released an unusable distribution.

Unlike the posters in the other article, Alan isn't blindly commenting about some knee-jerk visceral reaction to one developer's approach to solving a problem. Nor is he blindly joining the agitprop bandwagon.

He's taken the code (mainstream distro) and tried to use it. He found a couple bugs. He even tried work around those bugs only to be thwarted by even more bugs. All the while he's explaining what's going wrong and why he's upset. His reaction to the bugs is entirely appropriate given his past experience with Fedora: their (RH's) build quality is slipping.

Agreed! I think Alan Cox has hurt the Red Hat management's feelings and should apologize.

Well he's actually right. Honesty or loyalty - I'll pick the former over the latter any day.

He's right about the installer. I know that it's new and probably not finished yet, but the facts remains.

I think the real problems is that, instead of working to create a good version of Unix, many people are more concerned with creating Windows and Mac clones. Sadly, this is creating complexity that isn't really needed.

Affirming that is essentially the same as saying that both platforms achieved their respective market shares by accident. However, I understand your point. Linux is a great infrastructure OS, and investing resources in anything other than that is pure waste.

Debian stable or FreeBSD.

Everybody else seems to be losing the plot. Well, I bet Slackware and Puppy continue to work just fine.

For what its worth. All my Fedora 18 Upgrades have been smooth and the desktop works greats great. Its been working so well I even upgraded all my servers from fc16.

I faced issues when upgraded from Fedora-17. First it failed with message like "GPG key retrieval failed:" which was fixed when i added '--nogpgcheck' Then it displayed conflict message with existing django.f17 package.I removed that package and finally upgrade worked.

SO you did actually remind me of one of the issues I did have which was the --nogpgcheck, but I already knew that was coming because I didn't bother to download the rpmfusion GPG key. It is annoying that fedora doesn't acknowledge that most people will be using rpmfusion and plan for that in the upgrade instructions.

If what this review says[1] is true though, why would you suffer through all this madness for what is essentially an upgrade without anything worthwhile offered?

[1] http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/fedora-18-kde.html

Eventually it will have compelling reasons to upgrade ( i.e. Firefox might not be back ported to fc17)

I'm sorry but being a little naive, but what is the big issue with Fedora 18? I moved to Fedora 18 from Ubuntu 12.10 because it was so awfully buggy. Every other time I turned on my laptop I would get a black screen with an error message. Another reason were the Amazon search results in Unity.

In comparison, Fedora 18 is superb.

I do (perversely) use Fedora to see where RHEL is going longer-term, and 18 has been really rough for me so far. Not impossible, just demoralizing.

Is the installer buggy, or just un-usably confusing? It's both. Sometimes the "submit" type of button is waaaay down in the lower right (e.g., "Continue", and sometimes it's in the upper left ("Done"). Modals are not differentiated from full screens.

Forget customized partitioning -- I tried everything I could and never got it to fully accept my very ordinary partitioning choices. An exercise in frustration.

To summarize, it feels like a thick, hard-to-remove layer of dysfunctional GUI gunk has been added needlessly, and it's time-consuming trial and error to remove to get back to something more tolerably vanilla (e.g., dig into grub, remove "rhgb quiet" and keep stripping things off until it's clean enough). And that's just the aesthetic stuff.

The xfce and lxde spins are vastly better but give fewer options for, e.g., little systray widgets, so I feel conky (really jurassic but lovable old pre-DE widget) is required.

If someone is looking for a "just works" distro, I'd recommend Crunchbang. Personally, I'll continue to work through the F18 issues and file bugs, but the problems are more philosophical than technical per se.

He should stick to Fedora 17 until the next version which will likely be less buggy.

What's an initrd and why do I need one?


The one I have tells my kernel how to boot into my encrypted drive. It is also necessary for RAID, LVM, and NFS root filesystems, loading special modules and drivers before booting, and loading swap back into memory after hibernation.

The bootloader loads the kernel + a tiny, temporary initial (init) filesystem in RAM (e.g. ramdisk -> rd), where the kernel can load other modules to load the real filesystem (otherwise it would need support for many filesystems compiled in, vs. modules).

redhat is not exactly known for desktop

- rhel/centos for server environment is an entirely different animal

Its true Redhat not known for desktops,but lot of users use fedora as their desktop. Recent versions of Fedora getting more and more difficult to use,especially things like systemd or gnome-3x.Many users complaint about this but nothing changed.

Apparently people still say "pr0n" in 2013.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2018

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact