I’m not a distro hopper. I don’t run out and try every new version of Linux that comes out. Just not my style these days. I run Debian. Debian works. End of story.
I just rebuilt my main desktop though, and with tons of processor and RAM and a new mostly empty hard drive I’ve been getting the itch to try something else out. Fedora 11 released a couple days ago and I’ve always liked Fedora (I ran Core 1 up through Fedora 6 before switching to Debain) so I grabbed the x86_64 install DVD off of bittorrent yesterday.
Tonight I started the install and everything seemed familiar. Nice blue graphical installer and Fedora graphics. Just enough options to get things done right but not enough to confuse you. I picked mostly default options, but did a custom partition layout (just one big ext3 primary partition for /) and edited the grub configuration (so I could still boot Debian) but that’s about it. I was surprised that although ext4 is the default, you can’t use it as a bootable partition. So I picked ext3.
There’s a page where you configure installation repositories and in addition to the “Installation Repo” (which is the install DVD) I added x86_64 and x86_64 Updates. It set up networking and downloaded repo information and everything seemed fine. Finally I clicked OK and it started installing packages. The install really seemed to fly.
A short while later I saw a window pop up that told me there was an uncaught exception. Looking at the details I saw a python stack trace and what seemed to be some problem with setting the root password. I thought maybe I didn’t enter the password right (which should have been checked a few steps earlier when I set the password) so I just exited the installer and tried again.
This time I paid closer attention and did things pretty much as before. This time things went along smoothly but when it went to resolve dependencies to install packages a different error window popped up. This time there were package conflicts. Some files in the Gconf2-2.26 package were conflicting with files from Gconf2_dbus-2.16. Seems pretty strange that there would be unresolved dependencies from the install media.
So I rebooted and tried again. Third times a charm, right? Well apparently not this time. I ran into the same dependency problem so I backed up and unchecked the extra repositories, choosing to install only from the DVD. Surely the install DVD didn’t have packages that conflicted. I was wrong. I got the same error.
Finally I went back and unchecked the DVD as a repo and chose only the online repos to install from. It took a lot longer to prepare and I thought I was in business. No luck. Same error.
Between the second and third attempts I let the installer check the install DVD to make sure it was OK and it was fine.
Since then I checked the Fedora website as they usually have a list of known problems and mine wasn’t listed.
So… busted installer? Bad release? Problems because the repositories are overloaded this soon after the release? It’s hard to tell. I can’t say I’ll rush back to try it again in a few weeks, but if I hear through the grapvine that the problems have been fixed, I might try again. Until then, Debian testing still works just fine.
For the curious my system is an Asus M4A78 Plus motherboard with a fresh BIOS upgrade, AMD Phenom 8650 triple core, 4 gigs RAM and a Seagate Barracuda 250G SATA drive. The graphics card is an Asus EN8400GS with 512 megs and an nVidia 8400GS chipset.