Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

The Heidelberg Manoeuvre

Hubris and impatience once again overcame caution and bitter experience this weekend, as I upgraded my PC to Fedora Core 3. I had planned to hold back until FC4, but with no news or roadmap announced, and an increasing urge to use the GIMP v2.2.2, I caved in and downloaded the FC3 ISOs. Backing up all the vital config files, crossing my fingers and fingering my cross, I rebooted into the installer.

Executive summary: f**k me, it works!

That’s right, after it came back up, the mouse still worked, the audio still worked and all my peripherals were visible, which makes it some kind of roaring, champagne-worthy success for those bozos*. In fact, it seems extremely stable all round so far.

Here’s my list of hints and tips for upgrading to FC3:

  • Nothing, it just works. Honest. I’m not delirious, although I suppose shock is a possibility.

So instead, here are my impressions of Fedora Core after three releases. It’s a fully-featured, workable - I hesitate to say astounding - Linux distro, if you can tolerate the more-than-just-occasional bug and breakage. Support is mostly good in terms of updates (security fixes are timely), although you only get the newest versions if you’re running the most recent Core release (anything older typically only gets vulnerability fixes), hence my GIMP dilemma. This is my major complaint; it would be acceptable if upgrading between releases was less of an event. Downloading four ISO images, taking the machine down for 3-4 hours while Anaconda does its stuff and then repairing the bits that broke is unacceptable for a distro with such a rapid release cycle. The “dist-upgrade” option in APT needs to work (people have tried it with some success, but it is not supported and it will need some manual fix-ups that aren’t well documented). Debian have been doing this for years, and yet they have the longest stable release cycle of anyone.

(The day after the upgrade, the project announced a planned May release for FC4, so the effort and risk wasn’t even wasted.)

*Affectionate sysadmin term for developers.