Here is a list of notes from installing Fedora 10 (the KDE live CD) on my computer after more years of Debian.
1.Boot works quite smooth, after around 2-3 minutes of torturing the CD-drive I get a desktop at the right resolution, with sound working, no obvious oddities.
2.Installation of packages on the partition is very fast. I guess it merely unpacks everything, this is a good thing from my point of view.
3.Suspend works, unlike in Debian.
4.Radeonhd works, unlike in Debian, but without correct 3D (I may move this to the Bad list).
5.The audio controls only show two settings, via PulseAudio, but actually the microphone worked correctly by default.
Installation on the hard disk:
1.The program used to select the timezone is hard to use:
-the dropdown list of countries cannot be navigated by pressing the initial letter of the country on the keyboard.
-on the map the tooltip covers the points around the cursor;
-the map cannot be zoomed enough;
2.The graphical representation of the partitions is not functioning correctly. If a partition is too small compared to the disk size you cannot select it with the cursor, altough it is drawn on the screen.
3.It does not want to install on an existing empty partition, and insists on formatting the partition („partitions need to be formatted during live-cd install”).
4.There is no option to format a partition as Reiser3.
5.After so many years there is still no Linux installer that can resize a Reiser3 partition (there exist programs like Acronis Disk Director which do it perfectly, I don’t know any OSS program that can make Reiser3 smaller).
For points 3, 4, 5 it is fair to mention that as a rule, the work that what Linux installers can do on partitions is limited.
6.The NTFS resizer seems to be CPU bound.
While doing the NTFS resize a busy progressbar* will appear on the screen and the speed of the moving indicator seems to be unlimited. My conclusion is supported by ksysguard which shows that one of the processors (50%) is fully used: 31% Xorg (probably performing the drawing) and 19% the Fedora installer. This is further sustained by the fact that neither the HDD nor the CD are active. After 30 minutes the resize was still not over. It took only 5 minutes with ntfs resize run from the command line, with the HDD being continuosly active, the operation was obviously I/O bound.
7.The NTFS resizer does not feedback the progress, only showing the busy progress bar.
8.The NTFS resizer will quit without offering any warning/option if the close button is pressed, potentially leaving a damaged partition.
9.The bootloader installer does not do any efforts to automatically (automagically in Debian terms) discover existing operating systems on the other partitions.
If I remember correctly this is a done for many years now, SuSE and Mandriva (and i believe even Debian) did it for at least 3-4 years.
10.The window of the installer is fixed size.
Live CD/Desktop experience:
1.Booting takes a lot, and is obviously bounded by the seek speed of the CD-ROM drive. Knoppix seemed a lot faster, but I may be wrong. I guess giving up some of the things loaded is one simple step to make this faster. For example, after 4-5 minutes of booting, the KDE desktop appears; other 30+ seconds and KDE4 start-up jingle is played.
2.The desktop comes with all the KDE4 known bugs. Example: replace the Kickoff KMenu with the old KMenu. After a desktop crash there will be no KMenu in the panel. This is very repeatable.
3.Replacing the Kickoff with the old menu will disable the Alt+F1 shortcut. I have this bug with my KDE from svn though.
4.The VLC that comes with Fedora seems to have some bugs, its sound is continuously jittered.
5.The text terminal may work or not depending on something I haven’t yet discovered.
1.The package management program that is found in the menus is KPackagesKit, but it doesn’t do anything: does not show any package, it cannot be configured, no repositories can be configured.
2.Information on Fedora package management is not easy to find, Google shows a very spread and fragmented pool of documentation. With some lost time, this is workable though and of course may be an artifact of being used to Debian. I found no obvious right way to do things (say aptitude+synaptic in Debian).
3.There is no obvious sign saying that there is no MP3, Amarok2 will simply not play. I installed the forbidden codecs and the players worked but Amarok remained unable to play MP3s.
4.Yumex is not good. You can’t search anything detailed in it. I wasn’t able to find the radeonhd driver, but after finding the exact package name, I could install it from the command line with yum.
Yumex also has a text area that show information about the package. Too bad that it is fixed size, so you can’t get it to show more that 5 lines of text.
1.The first Xorg session is on vt1, the next ones on vt7, vt8.
*A busy progressbar shows only an indicator that walks around, without telling the exact progress, like this one.