Distro testing marathon - Intro + Fedora - Day 1

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N3o's picture
Distro testing marathon - Intro + Fedora - Day 1

Distro testing marathon

These days are too hot to wander outside so I've decided that it's a good day to test some Linux distros. So far, I've decided to test the following distros:

  • Fedora 15
  • Linux Mint Debian/LMDE
  • Sabayon

I've also wanted to test Arch, Slackware and Gentoo but on a second thought they're too time-consuming and not well-suited for my laptop.

Every distro will be my “guest” for 3 days on my laptop (Dell Vostro 1720) and I'll do my best to test them in every possible way. So, let's get to business and start with Fedora 15 Lovelock.

I don't have (yet) a template for testing so I'll write here my conclusions/findings not really in a orderly fashion.


I've used the *Live-Desktop.iso which features the new Gnome 3. I'm a KDE fan/user for 6 years now (well, from my beginnings in the Linux world) and I find it to be well-suited for my needs but sometimes it feels too “heavy” from the resource-eating point of view. So that's why I'm open to test new DE/WM.

The boot speed was fairly quick – close to the speed of the Mandriva Linux 2010.1 One. After the boot was complete I noticed the artwork which is lovely. Elegant, smooth, well-integrated pleasing for the eyes.

Ok, skipping (for now) over this part we continue to the installation.

Well, with the new Gnome 3 it felt a bit strange and confusing at first until I've found the “Install to disk” button (erm, is it a button, a shortcut or a menu entry?! I can't really put my finger on it).

So, the installer blasted-off and it was simple and straight-forward. No big fuss about it.

After the reboot I was presented with a configuration part of the installer. A nice thing here was the option for setting the UID/GID of the users which for some people is important (like me, if you keep your old /home partition and you have a user there with a specific UID/GID which you want to keep).


Now the system booted completely and I was presented yet again with the new G3 (Gnome 3). I've noticed immediately that I had some sort of transparency and other bling-bling effects already active. That was possible because of the video driver – nouveau. So, first things first, I've installed the Nvidia driver. It was a bit tricky not knowing how to do that at first. I've tried the Mandriva approach (get the driver from the nvidia website, install the kernel-devel package, stop X and install in text mode) but it kinda failed because I couldn't blacklist/remove the nouveau kernel module. Now that I think in retrospect I think I could have succeeded by removing the xorg-x11-drv-nouveau package. But, as I always think – that all bad things have a good ending – I've found out this thread which helped me with two things: installing the driver and getting the RPMFusion repos – so, two birds with one stone!

After the installation of the proprietary Nvidia driver (275.09.07) and after the installation of Adobe's flash-player 11 beta I've fired up the browser (Firefox 5.0) and tested some 1080p videos in fullscreen. I was both pleased and sad because here on Fedora 15 the videos play smooth but on Mandriva 2010.2 they kinda skip frames on 1080p (could be the KWin's fault there? I have to test it!).

Immediately after the graphic card driver was all set I've went for the audio codecs and video player. SMplayer (usually I'm using simply MPlayer) and all the gstreamer-plugins-*. Everything went smooth and fast. Oh, that's one thing I've noticed, that yum seems to be a bit more swift but still not so fast as the urpmi.


Here we can talk almost only about Gnome 3. In one word: strange. In many words: I like the looks somewhat, everything seems to be well-integrated, it's fast, responsive but it has many downsides (too):
How the hell can I navigate trough windows in this? Only using ALT+TAB or WIN key? I really haven't figured it out (yet).
What's with the Unviersal Access Settings up there? How can I remove that icon? I'm not blind and I'm not changing the looks too often to have it all the time up there.
The Application Menu – it could be nice for a netbook but on my 17” bazooka I really don't need that. A classic menu would have been more appropriate.
What's with the IM app integration? I've noticed that it used Empathy but I don't like it and I've installed Pidgin. Well, guess what, those buttons up there (Available/Busy) ain't working anymore.

Oh, a good thing, Nautilus seems to be able to be configured with split view (that's the way I like it - orthodox file manager)

And if I've mentioned about resources, after boot, with no app started only with Gnome 3, the memory consumption is 389MB which is bloody nice!

I think this concludes this first day with Fedora 15 Lovelock. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll get back with more!

I'll post below a summary of pros and cons until now:


  1. Straightforward installer
  2. UID/GID config option
  3. Nice look and feel (esthetically)
  4. pretty new apps/components (kernel:, perl v5.12.4, Python 2.7.1, gcc version 4.6.0, glibc 2.14-4, Xorg 1.10.2-1, Gnome 3, Firefox 5, Mplayer SVN-r33251-4.6.0)


  1. Not so easy to install the video driver (for a new user this means doomsday)
  2. Gnome 3 is still not well baked from the ergonomics point of view
  3. The backlight levels are not “remembered” after a reboot (G3's fault?)
  4. The fonts are a bit bulky for my taste

Part 2: http://mandrivausers.ro/node/6704
Part 3: http://mandrivausers.ro/content/distro-testing-marathon-fedora-15-day-33

maaxx's picture
@Cons 4: Sincer sa fiu mie

@Cons 4: Sincer sa fiu mie imi place noul font (Cantarell) din Fedora. :-)

' Zombie: "Thou canst not kill that which doth not live. But you can blast it into chunky kibbles." ' (Quake1 manual, chapter VI, section D, line 676)

symbianflo's picture
+1 si mie

+1 si mie

http://www.mandrivausers.ro/ MRB aint no shit , :p Linux user number 507107 Nu dați banii pe prostii, puneți Linux pe PISI ![ARLUG]

Unix is user-friendly. It’s just very selective about who its friends are

maaxx's picture
Vad ca tuxmachines te-au

Vad ca tuxmachines te-au listat

' Zombie: "Thou canst not kill that which doth not live. But you can blast it into chunky kibbles." ' (Quake1 manual, chapter VI, section D, line 676)

N3o's picture
Hehe! Supe.. un moment, iar

Hehe! Supe.. un moment, iar bat vecinii la usa pentru autografe... BBL!