Friday, August 10, 2007

The Pursuit of Snappyness

Ubuntu Feisty had me tamed. My distro hopping was down for few months now. Its a great distro, which gives you that rare to find smooth-ride. But I have a big grudge against Ubuntu due to one single thing. Its all i386 code and doesn't feel snappy enough, particularly when my latpop runs on lower frequency of 800Mhz. At 1600Mhz it feels ok, but still not snappy. So I was looking for a able i686 replacement. And PCLinuxOS fits the bill, its a ultra-polished distro. But it has this problem, since the last 4-5 versions that it never completes a shutdown on my laptop. So it was out of question.

Then I read about Fedora 8 test release. I had given up on Fedora for desktop use long back when it was in versions 2 & 3. Something or the other used to be broken all the time. But this time they have changed their minds. Since last version they have started coming up with live-cds, it took them quite some time to realise that stuff in 4 cds can be packed in a single live-cd. And now they also release "desktop" versions which are i686 optimized. Exactly what I was looking far.

So I burnt the stable Fedora 7 desktop live-cd, and took it for a test drive. Liked what I saw, so decided to install it. But I was still skeptical whether it would be good for desktop use. Installation was quick, all hardware running fine, including cpu frequency scaling. I googled how to put multimedia things in place. In a matter of 5 minutes all packages were downloaded and installed by yum ( if there is any contender to apt-get and Debian/Ubuntu's repository size its only yum and Fedora/Redhat). I fired up the browser, flash played fine, so did stage6 divx videos. No copying around plugins or fixing broken symlinks. 5 minutes, and Fedora was running fully loaded! That took more time even on Feisty. I have yet to setup wifi, but with Gnome's Network Manager around its has as easy as it could get. There are some finishing touches that are seen in Ubuntu which are not present, but considering that Fedora has newly ventured into desktop arena, that can be waived.

As for the snappyness, its all there. Nautilus file manager never felt so light nor did the window manager Metacity. Fedora has gained back the lost confidence, and I'm glad. Its nostalgic to see those bluecurve colors once again, which were my very first sights of what Linux looked like way back with Redhat 7. I hope Fedora will soon cater desktop needs better than Ubuntu. But even right now its as good a shining new desktop it can be.

On a side note, with Dell, Acer & Lenovo now shipping Linux installed machines, Linux penetration will definitely soar. And let not those idiots fool you who think you run Linux on desktop just because you want to be different. Tell them to get a better excuse for being out-of-touch with the state-of-art.


Gandalf said...

Someone is getting personal about linux ;)

JDS said...

Technically speaking, "bluecurve" did not debut until Red Hat 8.