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Moving back to Fedora - Technical Blog of Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes
Date: 2006-11-12 22:46
Subject: Moving back to Fedora
Security: Public
Okay, for the first time in my life I'm a distro whore. I'm now running Fedora again on my development laptop (replacing Edgy). Why the switch so soon?:
  • RPMs from CVS are easier to make than DEBs in my opinion.
  • I've found out you can run synaptic (and apt-get) on Fedora.
  • I found myself looking on google to do things with Ubuntu that I know by heart for Fedora.
  • A clean init system that I can understand and tweak.
  • Signal to noise ratio. The Redhat guys are easy to talk to and there is a minimal amount of noise on the mailing lists and IRC.
  • I can use custom DKMS ipw3945 and nvidia packages so my custom kernels can work automatically with binary-shitty drivers.
  • Black magic. I'm doing lots of work with development versions of the kernel, PolicyKit, HAL and X and I need a clean environment. Ubuntu has lots of black magic, which is great from a "just works" perspective but bad when you are trying to hack on core bits of the stack.
Don't get me wrong, I still think Edgy is great, and would wholeheartedly recommend it for someone new to Linux. For me, Fedora is just right.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-12 23:59 (UTC)
Subject: Magic
You're right... lots of magic going on in Ubuntu.

About your first point, have you tried `checkinstall`? I haven't used it myself, but supposedly it will make debs or rpms by watching make and make install.
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-13 09:11 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Magic
>have you tried `checkinstall`?

Yes, and it's a bit of a bodge in my opinion - it's not a proper install method as it doesn't cope with postinst changes but just file changes.

Richard.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 00:17 (UTC)
Subject: ...
"RPMs from CVS are easier to make than DEBs in my opinion." -- you probably need to rephrase that as "I am more familiar with RPM".

"I've found out you can run synaptic (and apt-get) on Fedora." -- if you are going to use fedora, then use yum3. It is pointless to run apt.

"I found myself looking on google to do things with Ubuntu that I know by heart for Fedora." -- Some people like to learn, and grow with life. Others stick to what they know.

"A clean init system that I can understand and tweak." -- Again, just what you already know, and that you apparently have a distaste for new information.

"Signal to noise ratio. The Redhat guys are easy to talk to and there is a minimal amount of noise on the mailing lists and IRC." -- Yes, Fedora as a desktop product doesn't come close to the amount of activity Ubuntu has, so yes it will be more quiet.



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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-13 09:05 (UTC)
Subject: Re: ...
>and that you apparently have a distaste for new information.

Err no. I work on HAL, PolicyKit, ConsoleKit and gnome-power-manager - ALL new technologies.

I don't want to spend my time looking at other details.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 12:07 (UTC)
Subject: Re: ...

Desktop work in Fedora is *much more* than Ubuntu. Fedora people just work rather than talk about superficial stuff.

http://www.redhat.com/truthhappens/leadership/osdevelopment
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 00:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"I've found out you can run synaptic (and apt-get) on Fedora."

God, how I understand you. My distro of choice is Gentoo, but my main machine is actually out-of-service because of bad RAM (and because the shop I bought it just couldn't sent a replacement in more than 3 weeks *** ADVICE: IF YOU LIVE IN ITALY, DON'T BUY ANYTHING AT FRAELPOINT *** ). I'm using a machine I made up from spare parts, with a 7 GB hard disk, I needed it quickly so I installed Ubuntu. It works, but there are glitches and I simply have no time to learn how to do things.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 00:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry, I meant to quote "I found myself looking on google to do things with Ubuntu that I know by heart for Fedora."
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 07:20 (UTC)
Subject: I use both
>RPMs from CVS are easier to make than DEBs in my opinion.
just different

>I've found out you can run synaptic (and apt-get) on Fedora.
okay

>I found myself looking on google to do things with Ubuntu that I know by heart for Fedora.
hu, what ? there are so many differences between two linux ? okay okay, for example debian put /etc/apache/... and redhat /etc/httpd/.. and the config files are not organized the same.. but sincerely no need to use google


>A clean init system that I can understand and tweak.
what ? you can "understand" the MESS than is plain old system V init files ?? I urge you to read about Startup (ubuntu) or Launchd (os X). in the end, it's just little files to describe services, but not huge bash scripts which has to do all the ugly works and many hacks.

Signal to noise ratio. The Redhat guys are easy to talk to and there is a minimal amount of noise on the mailing lists and IRC.
yeah, it's a lot quieter. it frightens me for the whole fedora project.

>I can use custom DKMS ipw3945 and nvidia packages so my custom kernels can work >automatically with binary-shitty drivers.
I don't understand here. binary drivers are available in universe/multiverse repositories (you can activate them in synaptic preferences)


>Black magic. I'm doing lots of work with development versions of the kernel, PolicyKit, HAL and X
hu, no black magic in fedora ,you are sure ?

>and I need a clean environment. Ubuntu has lots of black magic, which is great from a "just
>works" perspective but bad when you are trying to hack on core bits of the stack.
one tiny example, many told me redhat was a huge patched kernel, with things as label disk and not standard grub.
so what ?
and how did people forget XEN and SElinux in fedora ? that's huge new technologies, changing a lot in linux. how people can say fedora is not "black magic" or "new territory" when suddenly the "context is not good" ?


I just think you know better Fedora than Ubuntu, but mark my word : _you_ _need_ to know ONE redhat-based and ONE debian-based distro. it's reaAAAaally important.
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-13 09:10 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I use both
>I urge you to read about Startup

I write software to work all all distros - it has to be generic and not specific to one distribution.

>binary drivers are available in universe/multiverse repositories

Yes, but not for the kernel 2.6.19-rc3-git4...

>redhat was a huge patched kernel

Compared to the Ubuntu kernel, it's pratically vanilla.

>and how did people forget XEN and SElinux in fedora

Both turned off in this install.

Richard.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 12:08 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I use both
"yeah, it's a lot quieter. it frightens me for the whole fedora project."

Why? How does noise help?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 12:10 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I use both
"one tiny example, many told me redhat was a huge patched kernel, with things as label disk and not standard grub"

How about you not believe silly rumors and actually check yourself? Ubuntu kernel carries crap load of patches compared to Fedora. Label disk is not a kernel patch and Fedora uses standard grub.
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THE MAGIC WORDS ARE SQUEAMISH OSSIFRAGE
User: deviant_
Date: 2006-11-14 00:14 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I use both
Well, to be fair, our copy of grub is pretty heavily patched. But at the same time, so are the grub packages for most other distros.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 10:10 (UTC)
Subject: Gentoo
Richard, you should try Gentoo(at least 1 time in your life :))... it's the best distro for developers imho, applying custom patches to existing packages or making new packages(ebuilds) is easier than in any other distro.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-13 12:18 (UTC)
Subject: module-assistant
I can use custom DKMS ipw3945 and nvidia packages so my custom kernels can work automatically with binary-shitty drivers

For the Debian/Ubuntu equivalent, you want module-assistant. apt-get install module-assistant, and then just run "m-a a-i nvidia-kernel" or (with the appropriate apt source added) "m-a a-i ipw3945". m-a a-i (module-assistant auto-install) will download and install a module source package, then build and install a module package for your kernel of choice. For this to work, you either need to build your kernels the Debian way, with make-kpkg from the package "kernel-package", including a linux-headers package, or you need to otherwise install the appropriate Linux headers in the right place (I don't know precisely where as I always use make-kpkg).

I would also point out that you can get Ubuntu sans the black magic by just installing Debian. :)
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-14 12:16 (UTC)
Subject: Re: module-assistant
"I would also point out that you can get Ubuntu sans the black magic by just installing Debian. :)"

Not for any developer who wants to work on the latest technologies. SElinux? Xen? 2.6 kernel?
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fluffynuts
User: fluffynuts
Date: 2007-02-09 15:53 (UTC)
Subject: Re: module-assistant
SELinux has given me more headaches than it's worth. But you can do it on Ubuntu if you really want to. Honest. Xen is neat -- but again, you can get it on there if you really want to. 2.6 kernel is very easy to get on a Debian box. Especially if you just go visit kernel.org, or just go get out of the repository. If you want newer stuff, bump your reposiroty up, say, to testing.

The effort is worth it.
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fluffynuts
User: fluffynuts
Date: 2007-02-09 15:51 (UTC)
Subject: I guess I come from the other side, but...
I wanted to write more than I can fit here... So I've had to put it over on My LJ. I hope you have a look, and perhaps respond, if you like (:

I'm not starting a war (: Just that I had to respond to your posting, since I'm on completely the other side of the fence.
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