Message ID: 138741
Posted By: bill_beebe
Posted On: 2004-05-31 12:33:00
Subject: OT: Two distros compared

This simple impromptu comparison covers Fedora Core 2 (FC2) and SuSE 9.1.

I have three systems at home, and all of them are multi-boot. All of the machines can boot into SuSE. Two of them dual boot between SuSE and Windows XP. The third is a test workhorse that has space for four operating systems: Windows Me, Windows 2k Pro, SuSE, and FC2. It is the later system from which I'm writing this.

The four OS machine is a Compaq 5000 (5WV280) running a very modest 900MHz Athlon (TBird core). Everything has been beefed up over time (dual drives, 512Mb ram, etc). It's adequate for throwing something on for testing as well as tinkering and mucking about the web.

Windows Me was the original OS, as it came installed on the box. I put up with that for two weeks before installing a second drive and Windows 2K Pro on that. Shortly after that I installed Redhat 8, then Redhat 9. During that period I resized the original Win Me partition to get space for SuSE 8. For a long period I let Redhat's grub handle the OS selection chores at boot. When I installed SuSE 9.1, I let its version of grub take over, and that's where it will stay.

I have to say, without reservations, that FC2 is a mess, compared either to SuSE or even Fedora Core 1. FC2 locks up solid during a clean installation process when it attempts to read the geometry of the drives. The only way to get FC2 installed was to perform upgrades over FC1/FC2 test. After the final installation from FC2 test 3 to FC2 final, the network was broken because of a bad entry in modprob.conf. The line “options 8139too irq=5” broke the ability to bring up the network card. I'm a geek and had a pretty good idea what went wrong when the network just died after the final update (dmesg gave me a clue), but a newbie wouldn't have had a snowballs chance.

I could go on about how bad Gnome is on FC2 (just like they did recently on /.) but I think Petreley pretty much sums up my attitude towards it. FC2 can't find the sound system, even though all Windows, FC1, and SuSE 9.1 did. FC2 doesn't recognize my mouse wheel, even though everything else before it did.

The difference between SuSE 9.1 and FC2 is the difference between day and night. With SuSE everything runs right, right out of the box. KDE 3.2 is a joy to use compared to Gnome. Where FC2 can't shoot straight, SuSE can do no wrong. Conclusion: Use a winner, install SuSE.

Message ID: 138758
Posted By: spamsux99
Posted On: 2004-05-31 14:21:00
Subject: Re: OT: Two distros compared

Ever heard of vmware?

Message ID: 138781
Posted By: ColonelZen
Posted On: 2004-05-31 16:17:00
Subject: Re: OT: Two distros compared

I think RH has made a very serious mistake in the strategy they've adopted in this last year.

It is very plain that RedHat's RH and Fedora offerings are in competition. I think the whole community is aware of that. Whether FC2's problems are deliberate or from (much more likely IMO) relative neglect they've made the choice to split their for-pay/for-free offerings gambling that their name recognition staff competance (admittedly considerable) can make up the lack of enthusiasm (and some hostility) toward their business plan.

This is the same mistake over again. Techies want to take home and play with what they use at work, and vice versa. And this is a good thing because they gain extra competance through that play and are far more likely to make contributions through their "play" than going through channels, possibly "making waves" at work. RH has, if not divorced itself, at least moved itself a step or two from the head of that play-channel contribution stream.

I can be wrong, but I think they've made a big mistake. My next install, where I have the choice, is likely to be Suse. And as the (hopefully) growing economic grows, I'll be going into NOVL stock, and once the market crests again in two to three years (watching market conditions and future RH behaviour in the meantime of course) I'll probably short RHAT.

Debian, of course is political. But it's not commercial and there is relatively little commercial support available for me to point to and say "hey, you can call XXX if you decide you don't like my support", hence I would never recommend it for commercial use. I definitely mean to try it at home one day (I use gentoo - I love it for my primary box, but I'll get a round-tuit for deb one day).

-- TWZ

Message ID: 138792
Posted By: bill_beebe
Posted On: 2004-05-31 17:56:00
Subject: Re: OT: Two distros compared

>> Ever heard of vmware?

Yes. In ye olden days when the 900MHz box was more current, VMWare didn't run very well on the hardware, and it was easier for me to just boot back and forth. Now that I've got hardware strong enough to run it, the price keeps me from purchasing it. I'd just rather dual boot. It's easier and cheaper. My next upgrade cycle will probably be next year (2005) when the dual-core chips from AMD and Intel are beginning to hit the market, along with the supportubg motherboards. Then I'll look again at VMWare and see if it makes sense.

Message ID: 138799
Posted By: bill_beebe
Posted On: 2004-05-31 18:29:00
Subject: Re: OT: Two distros compared

>> I think RH has made a very serious mistake in
>> the strategy they've adopted in this last
>> year.

I purchased a RH9 subscription for home use. A friend of mine at work purchased two, again for home use. And from talking to others I found we weren't the only ones. I'm not about to say that $60/year subscriptions are going to make you rich. But it was a way for us to give something back to Redhat for what Redhat had worked very hard to give to us. But when Redhat announced they were going to drop _all_ support for every version of RHL and offered its RHEL WS in its place at a higher price, we all (without exception) started to look around at other distributions, especially SuSE. We just didn't like the way the whole affair was handled.

I can't ignore the good that Redhat has provided to the Linux community in the past. But Linux (through the GPL) does provide healthy alternatives in its market, and I do have a choice to use another distribution. You can't do that with Windows. And this is what Sun apologists need to understand. This is the way competition is supposed to work in a healthy, normal market.

Message ID: 138804
Posted By: ColonelZen
Posted On: 2004-05-31 19:03:00
Subject: Re: OT: Two distros compared

I can't ignore the good that Redhat has provided to the Linux community in the past.

Nor can I. And I expect them to, and suspect that they have every intention of continuing to make valuable contributions to the community in the future. I don't wish any ill to befall them; I simply believe they have made an extremely serious error in judgement.

Too many cases where I've installed Linux are borderline; something that starts out as an afterthought or a plaything then later grown into something that provides a value. When I build such toy's I usually start with somebody's leftover desktop; I'm not going to get a PO for this; I'm going to grab a CD for an OS/distro I can load with a clear consience. Then when it does "grow up" to go on it's own server (presuming it's big enough to warrant such), I am by strong preference going to put it on the same distro I developed it on just to minimize the post migration trauma, and call the distro's maker and add the new server to the company's support.

Similarly when going the other way, I'll want a strongly supported distro for a major server - but I'll want one I can image to one (or several) "play" machines at no cost for testing and development purposes. RH's contract on RH/WS/AS/ES means I can't do that (without paying a year's subscription for a machine which may see two months of service) - so I won't; end of story. Where I make the recommendation for such a system, it won't be RH.

Once again; I have no animosity toward RH. I have great respect for what they have done, and what I expect them (so long as they are able) to continue to do for Linux and F/OSS generally. But their new policies mean that I can't do things the way I frequently have in the past, working from the margins up, and from the top down without causing unnecessary expense to my employers.

-- TWZ

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