Recently I downloaded and installed a Fedora Core 6 installation on my Hyper-V machine. Actually I have two now. Theres my normal AMD superserver and now theres my Lenovo T61p running Hyper-V. Now I have to say - Im normally a SuSE Linux person. Yesterday though I tried to copy my SuSE 10.0 image over from my AMD Hyper-V box and run it on my Lenovo Hyper-V machine (with its Intel Santa Rosa chipset). It failed. Not only did it not start properly but it peaked the proc in the virtual environment straight to 90%. Lilo failed to start and the whole thing became a sorry mess....eekkk!
I tried a Fedora Core distro awhile ago now on Virtual PC 2007. That was also an unpleasant experience with the thing kernel panicing and promptly dying. So when it came this time around to try it again I had doubts....nevertheless I downloaded the FC6 DVD from Internode's mirror and started installing. Install went fine - it has the usual selections that have remained fairly consistent now since RedHat 5 if I remember rightly. you partition the disk up, pick your packages and let it go.
The telling point for me was the first boot - and it came up sweet!
Next thing I knew it was wanting to update. At this point I took a step back and rubbed my eyes in disbelief.....it wants to download 264 updates?? Surely not? Surely yes...
Now I know theres supposed to be this thing about Linux having better security and better quality of code requiring less patching and this general perception of it being somehow more professionally done... For me clearly the proof is in the pudding! I dont ever remember having to apply just this many patches in Windows for a recent version - including Office and driver updates etc. And it wasnt a quick or easy process. At one point it threw out an error with one package it had a conflict with (and spat an unpleasant error message) and instead of just proceeding with the other patches and leaving that one to be resolved, it stopped the whole process, waiting for a resolution. I had to wade down the list of patches to manually deselect the one it had the issue with before it was happy to proceed. Surely it could of worked it out right?
Whinge over....one thing I do like about these modern distros is the use of online package installation. I like to copy files around using Windows so of course in order to do that on Linux I needed to install Samba. This bit was just plain nice.
1. Go to Add/Remove programs
2. Select the package you want
3. It just installs from the internet - no CD's or DVD's required.
In all it seems to be a reasonably quick distro - the only bummer is relearning the location of all the stuff you normally play with. In my case I like to play around with authentication and get it to authenticate to Active Directory through Kerberos 5. In SuSE 10, the pluggable authentication bits (PAM) are located in a bunch of different files. In RedHat (FC) its one file I believe. Thats the pain with Linux in my opinion - its just not a consistent experience and each distro is very different. Ah well...thats what search engines are for right? :)