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  • Ubuntu or Fedora

    Hi,

    After many years I have finally decided to make the leap to to linux. I have been doing a good bit of reading, and I have narrowed my choices to either Fedora or Ubuntu. I'm a very quick learner when it comes to computers and I like to play games every now and then, most of all I like to learn about computers. What distro do you guys think that I should used. I hope I havent posted this in the wrong forum.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    You're not the first one that asked this type of question, and the best answer would be that you should have a look at both of these distributions.

    I personally would recommend you to use VirtualBox (or VMware) and have a look at both of them in a virtual machine. The default desktop environment for both of them is Gnome, however their KDE desktops are catching up quite fast. So what about giving Ubuntu with Gnome and the Fedora KDE-Spin a try? If your internet connection is not too slow, just grab both of them and start playing with them in a virtual machine:

    VirtualBox
    Fedora 8 Live KDE
    Ubuntu 7.10

    Comment


    • #3
      If your looking for the most refined KDE distro though I would have to say openSUSE leads the pack though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by d2kx View Post
        If your internet connection is not too slow, just grab both of them and start playing with them in a virtual machine:
        Or just burn the images and put them on a CD to boot.

        If you want to learn things, I'd recommend Fedora. Ubuntu is great and it does lots out of the box and I'm happy about there being a Linux-distribution for beginners who are not familiar with how it works. What I really hate these step-by-step-tutorials that encourage you to just copy and paste the commands without knowing what you are doing. (At least that's my experience. I have to force Google with -ubuntu -howto to *not* display such things)

        Technologically and philosphy-wise I prefer Fedora for being really free, without any proprietary stuff. Also the codec-installation from the Livna-repository is a great start to learn how about your packet management.

        It's a matter of taste, though. Performance-wise, you won't notive any *real* differences. Also there's lots of precompiled packages for both distributions. Ubuntu may be a bit ahead, because they tend to get grab a lot of debian-packages.

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        • #5
          I'd pick Ubuntu over Fedora. Fedora's release cycles are very fast and before you know it, your distribution is out of date and Fedora's upgrade scripts are almost always broken.

          I don't mind Ubuntu's how-tos. They are a means to an end, you just have to be diligent in figuring out what they do before copying and pasting.

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          • #6
            From my experience Ubuntu would be a better option since Fedora is very bleeding edge. As niniendowarrior said, updating can be very painful on Fedora, and my personal experience of it isn't pleasant when it comes to updating. I don't hate Fedora, I think its a great workstation distribution but for your needs I don't think it would be the best option.

            Ubuntu is just a better out of the box experience in my opinion. I would not recommend running the Ubuntu 8.04 Beta release though being new to Linux so just pick up 7.10 for now and upgrade when 8.04 final is released.

            One last question Tsabo, what kind of video hardware do you have? nVidia, ATI, Intel or something else? Just curious.
            Last edited by Malikith; 03-27-2008, 07:05 AM.

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            • #7
              Both Ubuntu and Fedora have 6-month release cycles... Though Ubuntu has "LTS" support for every third release I think; I am not sure.

              Fedora tends to bring stuff in fast from upstream... really bleeding edge. Thus there may be a few rough corners; but on the flip side new stuff often sands down rough corners of older software.

              Fedora also (from my opinion) seems to offer more flexibility on various configurations. Like while there is a "KDE-spin" of Fedora you don't need it to run KDE in Fedora... You can have both Gnome and KDE installed on the same system without conflict on Fedora. The "spin" just refers to a default configuration choice on the install media.

              While Ubuntu make things easier by including easy access binary blobs for device drivers(fglrx,nvidia) often times they are older versions that are buggy. Moreover, it isn't *good* to throw your users at proprietary solutions if they don't know what that even means.

              Overall I've noticed Ubuntu is classified as a "Desktop" distribution akin Windows XP. Whereas Fedora is more of a general-purpose distribution which is applicable to non-mission critical servers, workstations, and desktops.

              In response to others claims that Fedora is "hard" to upgrade, I'd like to debunk that myth... Upgrading usually requires the install media for the next version rather than doing a "live-upgrade"; even though live-upgrades are known to work on Fedora you just have to read the relevant pages before you do it. There is a project for Fedora9 here called Preupgrade http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/PreUpgrade
              to improve the upgrading process such that Live-upgrades are seamless. This would effect Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 and onward upgrades. (F9 hits the streets late April)

              Ultimately Linux is Linux... With enough motivation you can do anything in one distro on the other. However because your aim is to learn more about computers, I'd probably gear you towards Fedora. It's cutting-edge release cycle will give you a good tour of new stuff that is going on in Linux development. Plus it is more than stable enough for any application you want to try it for (Workstation, Desktop, Server, etc..).

              Best of Luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                ditto koolmanoncampus

                I use fedora because I have used redhat distros since RH7.

                Use different distros, have more little distro specific things to learn

                I agree with everyone about the flexibility of fedora and definitely agree with the bleeding edge comments.

                I moved to fedora 8 2 weeks ago ( used "yum upgrade" BTW which acted very flaky and required "advanced" configuration hacking to get it to finish ) and had lots of video/xorg issues. I have fixed most of it but still get a hard lock when I play urbanterror. This could be directly related to all the new "features" in fc8?

                Except for the yum issues, fedora is not really at fault above. I'm using an IGP ATI x1250 and the fglrx driver is in a crazy state right now. I'm looking forward to the future drivers though. I'm really interested in xorg radeonhd when it gets 3D support, its for this chipset. I still haven't tried plain xorg radeon, it might be the best for fc8?

                All said, I say fedora, fc7 is rock solid now, and around the release of fc9 I bet fc8 will be rockin too.

                -- kool* --

                Not having much luck, does that mean hard lock ups? I agree its ATI, similar bugs are reported across distros. Sweet that they opened the code. I thought xorg radeon now has 3D support? Maybe you have to add a package to xorg radeon to get 3D? I'm foggy on what 3D really means. I need to read about XGL AIGLX all the other acronyms I see when I'm searching for fglrx information. radeonhd looked great, had the best resolutions (using a default xorg.conf) I've seen with this computer.

                -- *warrior --

                I heard dat! I guess an answer to the question would be :
                fedora if you want the newest packages knowing that fedora is like a beta for stuff going into RHEL
                ubuntu or another distro that is strictly stable desktop focused if you need a solid workstation out of the box
                Last edited by c247; 03-28-2008, 07:17 PM.

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                • #9
                  On fglrx and Fedora ---
                  I haven't had much luck with fglrx and fedora...But I imagine the blame is more on the development cycle of ATI with fglrx that new things take 2/3 releases to get working, so often by that time a given release of a 6-month distro is half over!

                  Once radeon or radeonhd get up to 3d-land then they will prove to be better drivers than fglrx, probably overall but especially in fast-moving distros like Fedora.

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                  • #10
                    Yum is one of the very reasons people who are starting out should steer clear of Fedora. Yum upgrade can do very nasty things on your distribution and as a person who losses of money from every moment I have to waste trying to fix a distribution after upgrading it, I cannot really get myself to pick up Fedora.

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                    • #11
                      I think in a lot of ways Ubuntu is a better 1st choice.
                      I've heard lots of yum horror stories, plus I think the Ubuntu community it a lot more beginner friendly.

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                      • #12
                        Just because ubuntu is more beginner friendly does not mean it's power user hostel, because it's not. Even though some people would like you to thank that, so you'll pick their distro and everyone that does not is a "lame n00b". That's all just nonsense. They are both linux distros, with not much different other than makeup and default packages!

                        I like fedora a lot and one of my servers has RHEL 5 on it right now. Although compared to apt, yum is painfully slow to use. For me, on the desktop that is a deal backer because I install and uninstall a lot of stuff.
                        Also when I put RHEL 5 on my laptop after it first came out "stable" it kernel panicked after reboot. The laptop was using and older all intel chip set that no other distro has kernel panicked with. So needless to say I was not impressed with that.

                        So as a desktop I really feel ubuntu is the way to go. But if you need the DoD certified coolness that Red hats SELinux provides that's the way to go, although ubuntu has apparmor, all I know is it was forked from SElinux. I don't know how different it is, have not played with either that much.

                        All and all, it's best to just try both and see what fits your taste.
                        Last edited by daniel of sarnia; 03-28-2008, 10:30 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by daniel of sarnia View Post
                          Just because ubuntu is more beginner friendly does not mean it's power user hostel, because it's not. Even though some people would like you to thank that, so you'll pick their distro and everyone that does not is a "lame n00b". That's all just nonsense. They are both linux distros, with not much different other than makeup and default packages!
                          Very true, I have never considered any distribution a true newbie distribution. Well except the ones that look exactly like Windows with the start button and all, but I guess each to their own.

                          I've throughly used Gentoo, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Slackware. Only distribution I never got around to trying was SuSE/OpenSuSE. I can say this about all of them, they all have their ups and downs. Although Ubuntu seems to have less of them, at least out of the box. Debian and Ubuntu are practically identical since Ubuntu is based on Debian, except there are some small differences. Mainly just with what comes out of the box and what doesn't.

                          Basically Tsabo, your other option and best option as already said is probably just picking up a few live cds for various distributions and find the one for you. Although I'm willing to bet you would probably like Ubuntu the best.

                          Keep in mind, underneath the package manager, and all of the software in any distribution, Linux is Linux.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by daniel of sarnia View Post
                            But if you need the DoD certified coolness that Red hats SELinux provides that's the way to go, although ubuntu has apparmor, all I know is it was forked from SElinux. I don't know how different it is, have not played with either that much.

                            All and all, it's best to just try both and see what fits your taste.
                            Just factual correction here... So the thread isn't tainted with misconceptions if it ever comes up as a reference in the future.

                            AppArmor was a security suite that Novell came up with to compete against the SELinux Security package developed principally by the NSA. AppArmor is NOT a fork of SELinux thus they have different designs. Though ultimately their goals may be similar.

                            The one major difference that would effect casual users is that Novell layed off the entire AppArmor team in 2007 vs. SELinux which is actively maintained. I haven't read anything that Canoical has picked up the slack there either... so I really wonder why Canoical would base its security solution for a LTS release on unmaintained software.


                            Other Notes ----
                            If you ever get into the theory behind open source software you'd probably enjoy Redhat/Fedora's view on it more than Canonical... Redhat seems to do more for open source than Canonical. (JBoss, IcedTea, etc.. vs. Landscape, Launchpad, etc..) Reading some comments from Mark Shuttleworth about the open sourcing "process" of Launchpad really leave one desiring.. Last I heard it was akin to the standard BS Steve Ballmer used to bash open source back in the 90s! Only difference is that is coming from a linux company...

                            But hey, I'm probably a little bias... I've been using RH products for years without a hitch and love what they do for the community.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by koolmanoncampus View Post
                              Just factual correction here... So the thread isn't tainted with misconceptions if it ever comes up as a reference in the future.

                              AppArmor was a security suite that Novell came up with to compete against the SELinux Security package developed principally by the NSA. AppArmor is NOT a fork of SELinux thus they have different designs. Though ultimately their goals may be similar.

                              The one major difference that would effect casual users is that Novell layed off the entire AppArmor team in 2007 vs. SELinux which is actively maintained. I haven't read anything that Canoical has picked up the slack there either... so I really wonder why Canoical would base its security solution for a LTS release on unmaintained software.


                              Other Notes ----
                              If you ever get into the theory behind open source software you'd probably enjoy Redhat/Fedora's view on it more than Canonical... Redhat seems to do more for open source than Canonical. (JBoss, IcedTea, etc.. vs. Landscape, Launchpad, etc..) Reading some comments from Mark Shuttleworth about the open sourcing "process" of Launchpad really leave one desiring.. Last I heard it was akin to the standard BS Steve Ballmer used to bash open source back in the 90s! Only difference is that is coming from a linux company...

                              But hey, I'm probably a little bias... I've been using RH products for years without a hitch and love what they do for the community.
                              I herd it was a fork I swear I red it some were. But your probably right. Also apparmor has been in ubuntu since 7.10, not just now in their LTS. It's also a little misleadings to day that it is unmaintained. It is, buy open suse and ubuntu community members.

                              Launchpad is just a collaboration web site, are any of red hats web sites open sourced? Let alone this one or one like google. Frankly who cares, it's just a custom lamp stack. I don't mean to rage one web developers, me being one, but not much they do is novel or that hard to repeat. There just is not that much value in it.
                              Also you're being unfair to the ubuntu development team, they work really hard to get stuff upstream. Stuff like upstart, and features in gnome. Ubuntu just does not have as many people as rad hat, and they have only been doing this since 2004. They also don't charge for their LTS like rad hat does. So give them a brake.

                              Fedora also likes to be high and mighty that they don't use proprietary software, but last release they put in a codec manager, to buy fluendo codecs. Which now they are taking out I here. Also they use proprietary firmware like everyone else to get thinks like wifi runing. What's the difference, look I'd like everything I use to be open source. That's why I use linux. But when your just using close software to enable the use of open software, what's the big deal. Your just nit picking because you don't like ubuntu. I hardly think you don't use one bit of close software, between flash, firmware, codecs, and 3d video. What's the difference if you enable it. Or like ubuntu the os asks you IF you'd like to enable it. This is all just bickering and bias nit picking in my eyes.

                              I'm using both ubuntu and rad hat right now, which I have been for years. So don't be mad for me calling out people just name calling. Childish...

                              Tsabo, like me and other people have been saying, just pick up different live CDs and see what's best for you. There is a new version of ubuntu and fadora coming out at the end of this April to keep your eyes open for.

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