Saturday, December 04, 2004

So, Is Fedora Core For You?

A friend asked me what kind of Linux installation I would recommend for the novice user, which reminded me that I wanted to address the question:

Who Should Use Fedora Core?

As I think has become apparent to anyone reading this blog, Fedora Core 3 is not for the novice nor the faint-of-heart. The installation process isn't too bad, but the initial choice of software to install wasn't particularly useful for me. Then there is the outdated version of mplayer provided, a lack of certain fonts, sound turned down by default, and numerous other minor irritants. All of which can be fixed, but you have to know what you're doing (or read this blog). If you don't like tweaking, don't use FC3. If you like tweaking, however, but don't want to do the reportedly endless recompiling of Gentoo, and find Debian GNU/Linux too politically correct, then FC3 just might be for you.

What about for novices? I'd recommend Mandrake, from personal experience, but I've heard good things about Ubuntu and even Novell.

The best thing about Linux is that you have a lot of choices. Free-for-downloading choices. Don't like the current version of Linux? Rip it out, try another one.

Of course, the rip it out part of the last line will scare off some novices. Don't let it. Hold their hands, offer words of comfort, help them back up their home directories. And then tell them to try something new. After a few tries, they'll either:

  • Find a Linux distribution that makes them happy, and cease bothering you;
  • Learn how to install a Linux distribution, and cease bothering you; or
  • Go back to Windows, and cease bothering you.

Any of these is a pure win.