maanantai 14. joulukuuta 2009

From Ubuntu to Fedora

There are lot of distros to choose for Linux users and I've been a loyal Ubuntu user since the beginning of the Ubuntu saga. Until now. Ubuntu is doing great work enabling "out-of-a-box" experience for novice users. But when you are not a novice user any more, this approach starts to annoy a little bit. So it was time switch from comfort zone to Fedora.

Why Fedora?
According to Paul Frields (Fedora's project leader) Fedora is intended "first and foremost for users interested in and capable of contributing to open source." I would really like to count myself to those users. In addition, Fedora is a bleeding edge distro and Red Hat is a big contributor to Linux kernel.

So Fedora just seems right for me :)

In practise
Of course I had tried several distros earlier but now I wanted to convert my work PC to another system and that is something that you I'm not willing to do very often. I've listed some differences that I had to deal with:

Selinux is an additional security layer and it can drive you crazy. I did not remember that Fedora has this on by default. I spent whole one day trying to get PostgreSQL and Apache working nicely. Finally I realised what was causing the trouble up and I turned the selinux off.

PHP Development
There are some differences in PHP settings between Ubuntu and Fedora.
I need PHP's xml and mbstring modules for my development. In ubuntu these are included by default, but in fedora they can be found as a separate packakeges: php-xml and php-mbstring. In fedora, PHP's errors are logged to file instead of showing them. That's good for production server but not for a development server. Not a big deal, just small edit in php.ini file.

display_errors = On

Yum is Fedora's "apt". It is little bit slower that Apt in Debian or Ubuntu, but it is also more verbal by default. The speed is really not an issue, at least for me. Yum install XXX, yum remove XXX, yum update, not big differences here.

By default Fedora does not find any closed codecs like MP3. Luckily there is a RPM Fusion. Just install RPM from the Fusion site and codecs are found when you try to play those unneeded closed formats.

Software Development
So far I haven't found any significant differences here. Make, scons, SVN and CVS just do their work like expected.

DWM is the window manager I'm using and can't live without. Downloaded source, compiled and it was working. So no complaints!