To Fedora or Not to Fedora

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:21 AM

I'm presently trying to figure out what Linux distro to install on my church's library computer. It has been running Mandrake 9.2 for some years now, and as it is in for a “overhaul,” I thought I should give it a new OS. I was going to do Ubuntu, but I cannot even get Ubuntu to startup all the way, which makes it impossible to get to the installer. I think that is because the system only has 128 megs of ram.

As such, I was trying to decide between Fedora Core 6 and openSUSE 10.2 My main goal is to go with a system that will require minimal effort from me. I also am insisting on GNOME as the desktop (well, it is going to be a web kiosk, so primarily all the user will see is Firefox, but I digress). I think I'm going to go with FC6, but I'm open to those who want to persuade me otherwise. I'm really not too keen on the idea of an OS that uses anything other than RPM or DEB packages, but that too is negotiable, if anyone can come up with a good reason why I should try something else. The big thing is time: I need it to work as a desktop out of the box without any X11 tinkering or anything else of that kind.


Re: To Fedora or Not to Fedora
I use PCLinuxOS. It's probably not for power users like yourself, but works really well for the average Joe and is designed to work "Out of the Box."
Posted by Jason P. Franklin - Mar 26, 2007 | 4:47 PM

Re: To Fedora or Not to Fedora
You may not get any of the FCs to load, because most of them require 256MB RAM, IIRC. Indeed, CentOS/RHEL 3 or 4 won't, either. I believe 2 will install nicely, with the old GNOME1 desktop, and it's still being maintained. Vanilla Debian will probably work, which offers GNOME 2.8. I'd be surprised if SuSE would even try.
Posted by Ed Hurst - Mar 26, 2007 | 6:24 PM

Re: To Fedora or Not to Fedora
Thanks, Jason. PCLinuxOS might be interesting; I've never actually tried it, although Texstar use to do very nice work on Mandrake. That still runs KDE, doesn't it, though? Ed: Fedora Core's site says FC6 will run with text-mode anaconda with 128 megs of ram. It boots OK, but the installer freezes part way through. The system has had some problems in the past, so I'm wondering whether this freezing might be related...
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Mar 26, 2007 | 9:06 PM

Re: To Fedora or Not to Fedora - or nottobuntu ;-)
Yo Tim, I did an Ubuntu LTS 6 install on a ancient compaq armada PII 266Mhz laptop with only 192Mb / 6Gb. There is a trick to first make a swap partition on HD before starting the install CD. This will use the swap part. during installation and will run the install much better (=faster). Best thing is to upgrade memory to 256Mb if old iron can handle that :grin:. Realize that newer OS versions need more resources due to upgraded, more software and kernel modules (suported hardware). I recently did a FC6 gold ppc64 install on a 5 yr old IBM powerpc (64-bit power3-II dual 375Mhz - 2GB mem - some SCSI disks) that runs marvelously. Fedora Core 6 runs good but same issue on very old HW. You can try a minimum install but that'll leave you possibly with less functionality so i quess the basic question for is: "What does IT (the iron) need to do or what are the basic needs for the user(s)"? Usually it all comes down to email/office/web appl's and you do not need the latest OS versions 4 that to satify some people. Quess i send you in the right direction jaja :idea: suc6 Marc
Posted by Marc - Mar 27, 2007 | 2:32 PM

Re: To Fedora or Not to Fedora
KDE is the default for PCLOS, but you can opt to use Gnome instead. That being said...I've never tried it with Gnome. :?:
Posted by Jason P. Franklin - Mar 29, 2007 | 4:37 PM

Re: To Fedora or Not to Fedora
Hmm, interesting. Thanks Jason.
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Apr 02, 2007 | 4:58 AM

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