Fedora 12 (Rant)

1258685146000 » Tagged as: lame , X11

It is said that thanks to Fedora's half yearly release cycle, you always get to use cutting edge technology. Bleeding edge would be more appropriate and it is no surprise that some RPM repositories do have a branch labeled 'bleeding'.

Every Fedora upgrade introduces more problems than it solves which makes you wonder if this is any different from Windows. The new features are usually not even worthy of a blog post and an upgrade never goes smoothly. So why bother? Well each time I install a new version, I sweart that I will skip the next upgrade but after six months of using a buggy OS, you get tired of it and want to get those problems fixed the new version will usually do that but introduce a new set of problems.

The major issue with the current version F11 is that X server keeps crashing for no apparent reason. Ctrl-Alt-backspace (annoyingly disabled in most new xorg versions, you need to enable it by editing the key mappings) will not kill the server. Ctrl-Alt F2 , F3 etc will not get you a console. Yet the machine is not dead. You can very easily SSH into it from another computer. You can even kill x from the shell but X refuses to die. Well it does die but the screen does not change. It remains steadfastly stuck on the last screen that you worked on. Even those annoying Ajax spinners are frozen for once. The only fix is to go all the way down to runlevel one and then do an init 5 from there. But who has the patience of all that stuff? I usually just hit the reboot button.

So my desktop, which once upon a long ago would run continuously for weeks at a time, now needs to be restarted several times a day. One sad day, X crashed thrice. Surely even m$ can do better than that?

If that's not bad enough the update makes things worse. X wouldn't start at all. There is absolutely nothing in the Xorg.log file either but it would start up when you type startx from the shell! explain that!!

I suspect the reason has lots to do with F11 and F12 RPMS getting mixed up. Each Fedora installation leaves an unbelievable number of packages from the previous version lying around. This version has left 581 F11 rpms behind. The worst was when the first 64bit version came out. There were so many 32bit RPMs left behind that almost nothing would  run, even the boot process got stuck.

In the past I got so fed up with fedora that I even tried Ubuntu and Debian only to find that they are even more annoying.

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