I run Ubuntu on my Laptop. On my desktop I decided to give a try with a Fedora 9. Just to know what all has changed. I started my Linux usage with Redhat 5, back in 1998. I was a great fan of Redhat and moved my entire company from Windows to Linux back in 2001. Redhat 9 was one of the supreme stable system I saw from Redhat. Things suddenly changed when I received Fedora core 1 in my hand. As a system admin of growing company I found it hard to deal with suddenly growing crashes and dependencies thrown by the Fedora. I had no choice but to continue using Fedora cause Debian was not keeping its self updated with the latest packages. I continued to use Fedora Cores with every update. Fedora Core 3, 4, 5. It became even complicated for me to maintain multiple versions of Fedora. It was hard to first identify which Fedora version I'm using. Fedora core 5 really checked my patience. It took me 2 complete days to install Asterisk PBX system by resolving all dependencies because Asterisk PBX was not available in yum! By now my organization had around 50+ desktops running Linux on desktops and test machines.
It was during 2004-2005, I came across a link of Ubuntu during that period I ordered Free Ubuntu CD's... tried it but was not convinced of jumping on to the same. The release of Ubuntu 6.06 I tried again and was really impressed with its slick packaging. The most important thing was I install the Ubuntu on one of my test machine and opened the Synaptic... searched for Asterisk ... found the same ... marked it .. install ! It took Ubuntu 6.06 around 6-7 minutes to resolve all the dependencies and install a package on Ubuntu 6.06 with latest packages!!! I was pleased to the limit. I tried more packages with Ubuntu install/uninstall it was breeze. I also tried apt-get system and it was super fast when I compared it with the yum. On most of the occasions I had terrible experience with yum. Example: Every time I type "yum install asterisk" it used to take 2-3 minutes doing some updates and at the end used to display "Nothing to do!" As against on ubuntu I rarelly came accross package not found issue!
Well update manager in Fedora was also mess... it used to take hours to update the system. After using Ubuntu on one system I was fully convinced that this is the distro I want to go with, if I have to reduce the administrative task. One day I installed Ubuntu 6.06 on my senior's laptop. First he had demanded Fedora 5 but I told him give a Ubuntu try! He agreed!! He used it... and came jumping to me that his Wireless card of laptop is working in this Ubuntu after following the Forum steps. He was hardcore icewm fan he asked me how can I install icewm on this Ubuntu? I said lets try following command.
sudo apt-get install icewm
It worked! He was watching all the time... it took hardely 2 minutes for Ubuntu to install icewm, update the gdm login manager to include icewm into sessions. After that day that engineer always insisted to me that he wants Ubuntu on his all test machines. Also when his junior folks saw him using Ubuntu it became trend of removing Fedora and install Ubuntu. There were more discussion of Ubuntu and people started waiting for Ubuntu release!
All I needed was to convince one senior user to use Ubuntu and entire company started to sing Ubuntu! There were few servers I had configured back in 2001-2002 that were still running Redhat 9. It was time to retire them. I naturally went for only 2 choices on server side.
2. Ubuntu server edition.
After that I saw news of Fedora 6, 7, 8 releasing but I never looked at them. Today I thought of checking Fedora 9 to see how its doing after 3 long years. Installation on my Pentium 2 GHz PC went pretty well. I have 40 GB HDD with 512 MB of RAM. I selected the GNome as my desktop on Fedora 9. Logged in system. Gnome on both system looks and behaves same so there was not much to complain!
During the installation I skipped OpenOffice installation on my Fedora system to complete the installation quickly. Now I'm trying everything to install Openoffice using my Fedora DVD. If I try to install using rpm command there are hell lot of dependency packages to be install. If I try yum localinstall openoffice.org-core-xxxx.rpm then it takes only that package from the DVD repo directory but rest of the packages from internet! I checked "Software source" menu from System->Administration but I didnot find any way of adding my DVD into sources there.
The good thing I noticed in Fedora 9, it also has "Add/Remove Software". Although it is extremely slow in searching and fetching packages compared to Ubuntu.
System update runs very slowly and never shown what exactly its updating and searching. It runs a scrollbar for 15-20 minutes and at the end comes up with message 65 new updates 2xx security updates are available! Since the Fedora 9 is shipped with Firefox 3.0 beta it was freezing all the times. To install the latest Firefox I may had to deal with 200+ packages. I did not find any option of de selecting packages from the update. Even though i have checked updates 5 minutes ago, if you try to check again then it takes 10-15 minutes again to tell you the update number available!
Because of Freezing Firefox beta version I decided to download and install Seamonkey. To my surprise I faced problem with libstdc++5 and I could not find the required "compat-libstdc++" package in yum. I had to download the same from web. I remember this same package in Ubuntu I was able to install using apt-get.
My experience with Fedora 9 was not so good after 3 years! I was quite disappointed with the package management handled by the yum. On the same desktop I felt that Fedora 9 was not as fast as Ubuntu 8.04. One of the Major blocker in Fedora adoption is its package management system. Today I'm running more than 120+ desktop, laptop, test systems and Servers on 32 bit and 64 bit Ubuntu!
I'm naturally complaining about yum. Fedora's out of the box experience with package management is hampering due to the same. I really wonder why Fedora is sticking with yum.
Only good thing I'm missing in Ubuntu is that Fedora offers is Kickstart system for installations over http, nfs.
Looking at the received comments I decided to update my blog page to show how easy it is to add required packages in the repositories and make end users life easy and enhance experience. The trick has been successful on ubuntu, check the simple dialog shown in the screenshot. These small small changes has made Ubuntu very successful.
Here is a cool link that covers the packages available in Fedora and Ubuntu
- Fedora.- (Repositories enabled are: core, extras, updates, livna)
- CentOS.- (Repositories enabled are: kbs-CentOS-Extras, update, rpmforge, base, contrib, addons, extras)
- Ubuntu.- (Repositories enabled are: main, restricted, security, universe, multiverse)
- Debian.- (Repositories enabled are: main, security)
The number of packages reported by yum list all command
The number of packages reported by yum list all command is: 5785
The number of packages reported by apt-cache stats command
The number of packages reported by apt-cache stats command