Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Fedora - annoying issues

Before I start with this gripe can I please make my stance clear: I love Fedora as a Linux distro, although I change the distros on my PC almost every week there are two partitions that do not change: Gentoo (my primary distro) and Fedora (my secondary choice).

However there are two things that really annoy me about the last couple of Fedora releases: the nouveau driver and grub.

I am personally very glad that the open source community is making great strides in developing an open source alternative for graphics drivers, it's even better to see them working. However the nouveau driver does not work well with my current Nvidia AGP card; 3D games do not work, neither does Compiz. So why have they made it so annoyingly awkward to uninstall the nouveau driver? Surely this could be done in a much simpler manner than following a guide like this.

Now we come to the Grub issue. I actually don't have a problem with Grub. I like how it can be edited quickly and once you get the hang of it, the Grub menu is highly customizable. However whenever Fedora performs an update and a new kernel image is installed Fedora automatically makes this new entry your default choice at booting time. I may be a cynic; but I feel that this is trying to force you into making Fedora your default distro. The main reason most Linux users hate Windows is due to how restrictive and closed it is and always complement Linux on it's freedom of choice and openness. Anything that tries to force you into making a specific choice is going against freedom in my issue.

Fedora is a great distro, anybody with a bit of Linux experience should give it a try (not for complete newbies though). But these two points in the latest releases really have got under my skin.


  1. In my experience (though maybe I haven't tested it in F13), if you change the default=0 to the current kernel you want in /boot/grub/grub.conf, that change persists across a kernel update. If you changed it to default=2, the kernel update would modify your grub.conf to default=3 I think.

  2. I currently have my grub set at default=1 (Gentoo is the 2nd on my list) after each update it should change the line to default=2, but instead this gets changed to default=0 to make the new update of Fedora your default distro booted by grub, very annoying.

  3. That's probably worth a bug report then. It would be a very confusing problem for novice dual-boot users expecting a Windows partition to always boot by default.

  4. Ubuntu behaves the same way, so its not so much a distro specific issue it lies more with grub/grub2 ...