Monday, July 9, 2007

Fedora 7 First Impressions

Now that I've had a day to soak in F7 here are my initial impressions of the new distribution.

While F7 should be more of significant upgrade, I'm not sure if the average user would feel that way especially if they just upgraded from FC6. At least, I felt a bigger leap was made between FC5 and FC6. One problem with Fedora's upgrade process is that all it really does is to upgrade your existing packages to newer versions. If you were running Firefox or Thunderbird, you get version 2.x instead of 1.x. Fedora's upgrade process never asks if you like to try the new things they've added such as Xen virtualization which is a pretty major portion of the new version. The same thing happened in FC6 where the much heralded Compiz desktop effect didn't get installed if you just do an upgrade from FC5 so the user would have to know to find the package and install it themselves.

Obviously, my very first impression of F7 wasn't that good because it didn't boot up! It wasn't too difficult to fix it, but still annoying especially because my FC6 instance was working fine and I didn't upgrade to fix a bug.

Beagle might be a good desktop search system and I do appreciate desktop search tools that Google and Yahoo provides, but I don't like Beagle or more specifically how it tries to do stuff without you knowing. First, it runs at the most inconvenient times and slows down the system. It doesn't make it easy for you to turn off because even after "turning it off" it still have scripts that runs without telling you. I had removed Beagle in FC6 and it appeared again in F7.

For those with a stable FC6 system and isn't dying to try the virtualization elements of F7, I'd suggest waiting a bit for all the bugs to be worked out. This is the first time I've recommended that for a Fedora release but it is only the second time where the kernel it comes with actually has a bug that effected me.


  1. You can shut down Beagle by running beagle-shutdown. That will completely shut down both Beagle processes (beagled and beagled-helper).

    You can also prevent it from starting up when you log in by running the session properties capplet. That's not particularly usable, but that's a GNOME problem (that's being solved) and not exactly a Beagle one.

    There is a beagle-crawl-system script (which runs beagle-build-index) which is run as a cronjob that runs once a day. You can shut that off with the cron tools.

    Hope this helps,

  2. Thanks! This is good to know.