Fedora 8 came out today and quite frankly, it sucks. I’m a Fedora user and I run Fedora on about 10 servers right now, including this one that hosts Dvorak Uncensored. But even though I’m a fan I think that it’s time to end the intellectual welfare that all the Linux reviewers give it and raise the bar to the same standards that commercial software is judged by. What is that standard you ask? It’s the standard of “does it work”. My conclusion – no – it doesn’t. Fedora 8 is broken.

I downloaded the 64 bit released version. My hardware is as follows:

1. Motherboard A8N-VM CSM
2. CPU: AMD 4400+ dual core processor
3. 4 gigs of ram
4. Maxtor 300gb SATA II drive
5. Monitor Samsung Syncmaster 912n 1280×1024

I did a generic install using all the defaults. The only thing I did unique was the root password. The install appeared to go fine. Did a reboot and it took 10 minutes to come up. It got stuck on loading Sendmail until something timed out. Eventually it came to in 800×600 resolution by default in spite of the fact that my screen is 1280×1024. The first thing I noticed was that the cursor was missing. Technically it was there – but you couldn’t see it. This by itself makes it fail the “just works” test.

Being an expert, I already know to try to disable the fancy GUI boot-up to get the cursor back but the average person doesn’t know that, nor should they. So after switching to text mode and editing the /boot/grub/grub.conf file and rebooting, I managed to get the system up with a cursor.

But since I had a 1280×1024 screen, I wanted to see it in the resolution that the screen supports. So I ran the display configuration and set the Monitor to Samsung 712n which was on their list. Now if this were a Windows computer, I wouldn’t have had to do that because Windows just knows what monitor you hook up.

After selecting the correct monitor, I returned to select the resolution and even though I had selected a 1280×1024 monitor I still couldn’t select anything bigger than 800×600. So I tried a reboot thinking maybe after it boots up with the new monitor setting, then it would give me the choices for the resolution. But after the reboot, it came up in some strange mode that was something like 1370×768, which is beyond the dimensions of the selected monitor.

I could have started trying to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file but decided f*ck it. Why should I spend several more hours on Fedora 8 just trying to get it to work with a standard size screen? I have better things to do. Yes, if I wanted to, I could eventually get it to work but why should I?

So then I downloaded the “Live DVD” for the 64 bit version, the i386 version is called “Live CD” which is what they used to call it in Fedora 7 until I pointed out that the size of the image file they put out was too big to fit on a CD. I filed a bug report and the response was “Won’t Fix”. So I download the Fedora 8 version called “Live DVD” but when I went to burn it, the burner software said that the image can’t be burned onto a DVD because it was in CD format.

So – the bottom line is that when tested on a standard system using hardware that is about 2 years old, it just plain doesn’t work. On first boot there was no cursor. Once I fixed that, it failed to adjust to the resolution of my monitor. And the “Live DVD” image is formatted for a CD but to big to fit on a CD. I’m not going to report this as a bug because if I get another “won’t fix,” it’s really going to piss me off.

The bottom line is – it doesn’t work. Fedora 8 is as bad as Fedora 7. It’s broken and it sucks.

Like I said, unlike other Linux reviewers, I have a higher standard of what I consider a passing grade. To me an operating system should at least come up and work. If it doesn’t work, it’s a failure. I’m not going to give Linux welfare the way other reviewers do. If it’s broken then I flunk it. Fedora 8 flunks.

A lot of people put Vista down because it sucks. I’m not using it myself but Vista does at least work. Can you imagine what people would say if you installed Vista and you didn’t have a mouse cursor? Or if they put out a “Live DVD” in CD format? Or you were stuck in 800×600 mode with a 1280×1024 monitor? Do you think Vista would get the kind of positive reviews that Linux gets? I don’t think so.

I think it’s wrong to lower the bar for Linux. When we pretend that Linux works when it doesn’t it creates a false sense of success. People ask why folks choose Windows or Macs over Linux when Linux is free. That answer is simple. Windows works, Linux doesn’t. If you give something away for free and people still pick the expensive OS over your free OS then maybe it’s time to get a clue.



  1. bogdan says:

    Fedora 8 is just killing me. I do not claim to be an expert but I am not an idiot either.
    1. Using the Fedora 8 live cd/dvd I tried to recover the home directory from a previous FC6 broken installation. Such a pain that was… The partition was Linux LVM, so i had to first learn how to discover and use the tools. The one coming on the GUI was cowardly refusing to work mentioning something about the incomplete conf file (of the live cd, eh)

    2. I have a Dell 2407WFP-HC monitor that is supposed to work in 1920×1200. After the first installation, it got the proper resolution/refresh rate.
    I updated the 180 packages fedora suggested and that resolution disappeared from the list. It was now suggesting 1932x133x or 1600/1200
    Needless to say I have tried 239x possible combinations of xorg.conf
    Eventually that was partially solved by replacing the nvidia drivers (it shows the correct resolution but 50Mz instead of 60)

    3. HUGE Problems with every single stupid package I need.
    a. I installed java1.6 for x64.
    I installed Azureus – crashed. Many searches, I find that a similar problem exists for eclipse and is related to java for x64. Remove Java/ install java x32. problem solved

    I am attempting to install rails, therefore go install gcc, ruby, rubygems.
    When i go gem install rails, it complains about zlib library.
    Needless to say that stupid library is present. I even recompiled ruby again, with no luck.
    I am not even able to watch a movie. I do not understand why this version comes with all that worthless crap of kde applications. There are hundreds of them, but they are all crap.
    It has a torrent downloader that is useless, it moves like a turtle. It has an unzipper that is so stupid it did not think that i wanted to unzip from multiple volumes, not just a piece of the file.

    I was content with FC6, although i remember i had to go through days of pain trying to configure all the packages, but FC8 seems to give me enough pain to push me towards Windows, as I am sick of having to deal with hundreds of errors for every stupid little package.

    Sorry for the tone, I am obviously pissed off :P

  2. Jaded Linux User says:

    Mperkel, I agree with you. I just did an install of Fedora 8 and had ridiculous issues. Like you no cursor, wtf? This is Fedora 8 and you can’t get the cursor right? Development distro? Thats not an excuse. Botched my MBR with some silly crap so I can’t get back into XP, why? How long has Linux been around? Lilo worked fine why add something that doesn’t work? Every experience I’ve had with Fedora was bad… Like mperkel says, certain things should work without having to think about it. Linux noobs are the biggest preachers, preachers that are full of it. And when I say noob I mean using Linux after Red Hat 9. You shouldn’t have to get something to work after its worked before for many years. Yeah, we know how to fix it, but after after 12 years of Linux maturity, why the hell cant the cursor work by default? Like mperkel said, it has become a waste of time. All the ridiculous repsonses that defend something that doesnt work are examples of the open source welfare. Community? Any real server admin doesn’t want to waste his time fixing something that should work already, and anyone with a life wouldnt want to waste even 10 minutes of his weekend building a machine for personal Linux use, fixing a cursor and bootloader issue that should work by default. NM, the fact its fixable. Linux is the best at server side side applications, but when you just want something that works, at least Fedora sucks.

  3. test says:

    # 21 wiscados said, on November 9th, 2007 at 2:12 am PIBKAC

    haha what? its PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair), wtf is PIBKAC?

  4. test says:

    # 21 wiscados said, on November 9th, 2007 at 2:12 am PIBKAC

    haha what? its PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair), wtf is PIBKAC?

  5. Captnemo says:

    As with computers and software, like any tool – you got to be smarter than what your working with!

    Linux (like unix) is better than windows will ever be.

    Signed, from the keyboard of a Redneck built machine. (Running Fedora 8)
    Adios – Bozos

  6. DM says:

    Never had video problems wit Linux Or Windows XP..Humm, Maybe the ones who said it’s your video card are right. Linux (In my short experience with it anyways) has not giving me a problem. I have noticed that Linux can be fussy at times. (Well so can Windows XP at that matter). I my humble opinion each OS has it Attributes Of good and fault. The only thing that has got me is the vagueness of help in Linux. They (The developers ) Should fully describe how to fix problems with out going to a thousand vague postings on the internet. (Microsoft does this via tech net..etc.) May be there should be a base set of installation specifications and trouble shooting pages for all distributions. I don’t how ever think Any OS sucks.. I think I (The customer and User) Should have the choice of what I want to use..Windows is Cool Up to XP) I us it on a daily basis.MAC OS X is cool I don’t get to use it much MAC hardware is unfortunately way expensive for me. Linux Is Cool too I use it a lot for internet. I think all theses Operating systems/Hardware formats have a place on the computer market. Neither is actually “Superior” to the other. May be it is just “Intellectual warfare” Or Someone trying to justify why he/she is using a OS..Maybe these type should think I use (Insert OS/Hardware format here) Because I choose to us this and I like it and if some one chooses another OS/Hardware format thats cool for them.

    Thanks you for tolerating my little rant here. I always wanted to express this. I been using PCs since the early 80′s (Yes I remember the Apple ][s the commodore 64s the early Macintosh ..etc.) I have seen formats (Including Video Game plate forms) So I know what I want to use..I am not going to let someone make the choice for me not some Linux fans boy..Not some Mac Fans boy..Not Microsoft..No one. So don’t try to sell me my OS is superior.. I say No it all the same just a different approach.

  7. lucentuser says:

    It just works for me.

    I have installed Fedora on AMD and Intel based systems. I have seen no problems with sound or input devices on any of the laptops, workstations, or servers that I have installed it on. I have found Fedora 8 to be fast, stable and reliable.

    It even worked great on my Dell Insprion 1520, and correctly configured the video for the built in Intel video chipset out of the box, correctly setting up my 15.4 inch widescreen.
    It also correctly adjusted for my 20 inch widescreen LCD.

    The Truth is, it doesn’t, “JUST WORK.” Individuals, Groups, Companies all work hard to MAKE their products compatible with the widest range of hardware possible. It is simply not possible to cover all hardware combinations, especially all in one integrated logic boards.

    All operating systems have a list of known hardware that they work with.
    Windows NT had a Hardware compatibility list. Windows 2000, XP and Vista do as well. OpenBSD, FreeBSD and NetBSD all have hardware compatibility lists.

    OEM’s like AMD and Intel do as well.

    As a consumer, you certainly have the right to buy any hardware you like and hope it will work, but I do not have the money to throw away.

    I look to see what is going to be compatible with my hardware before upgrading. I have skipped working with several revs of Fedora Core, because of quality issues.

    Fedora 8 is a great step forward for Redhat.

    I am back using Fedora 8 because for me it just works great.

  8. Jorge Lu says:

    I have experienced the same failures described in this article using kubuntu 6.10 and suse 10.2. I have tried mandriva 2007 (the spring version too) and all of them have presented major failures.
    The only linux that has worked with some kind of stability for me is Sabayon, and I don’t have any sound if I boot Sabayon when the computer has already been used for a while.

    My problem isn’t Linux, it’s the way it’s publicited. Like an stable OS, with no bugs, and very eficient. When I used SUSE the RAM was used up to 800MB, now 600MB with Sabayon, while XP doesn’t goes higher than 400MB. I konw that there are process running, why not to say the same thing about Windows? (Vista is really different).

    Linux is relativelly good for being free (in most of the cases), but it’s no better than XP (nor Vista).

  9. rohitvan says:

    i completely agree with the views of this author,
    i myself am frustrated with the fedora 8.IT hangs up on my sytem too often which is not the case with the windows.

  10. Shining says:

    I’m using Fedora 8 currently. And I found it was great but not that perfect. Trust me, Fedora is growing and things will be different.

  11. jo de France says:

    Fedora 9 live CD is 690MB so fits easily on CD

    i don’t remember the size of the version 8 one. At the time of Fedora 8, I only tried it on USB media, not CD.

  12. sniffsmith says:

    I’m a Fedora user too but Fedora 8 is too shitty ! I can’t make my work on it. I prefer Windows instead of Fedora 8. OK I lied, I prefer Fedora 8.

    _____________
    masini de inchiriat otopeni

  13. Withheld says:

    I have been a Fedora 6 user and have been beating my head against the wall with Fedora 8. Fedora 8 issues include (i386, KDE): logout button stops working (temp fix is to install gnome and developer packages but that doesn’t seem to work), start menu disappeared on a user account – it is just gone, too many crap programs with always the useful one disappearing (Network Device Control), DVD playing problems that were not an issue under Fedora 6. I dabbled with Fedora 9 but KDE4 is just not ready. If I wanted to be constrained and entertained by a GUI, I wouldn’t be running KDE. It attempts to do a lot of things the mac way. It is so sad when bad programmers copy each other. Anyway, my hopes for an up-to-date, menu-driven GUI are going to have to met elsewhere.

  14. tibet tour says:

    Want to go to tibet tour? You can rely on us! We are expert in tour in tibet.

  15. what’s the link between fedora and tibet?

  16. Der says:

    “Yes, but on windows you need to install a nvidia driver for that card to be accelerated.”

    Like going to the manufacturer’s website, selecting your OS and downloading the driver is such a complicated task.

    Idiot.

  17. kyle larson says:

    I’ve been using Fedora since Core 1 and have never had an issue that couldn’t be resolved. Once running, it is very dependable and is exactly what I want it to be.

    Most issues that Windows users have with Linux is due to the fact that they are using a wrong expectation based on a biased experience of using Windows.

    Complaining that Fedora is a problem is like going to a buffet restaurant and complaining that nobody is bringing food to you. If you want food served to you, go to a fancy restaurant with full waiting service, or hire a personal waiter. If you want to sample food on your own and pick and choose the best that you want by reading the food descriptions, then you don’t sit on a table hoping that the right food will come to you.

    I hope this helps understand what you need to expect from Linux, and you will not be so disappointed.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @ #105

    “what’s the link between fedora and tibet?”

    Ideology.

    @ #107

    You, dear Sir, are an idiot.