Fedora 7 is a flop

This post was written by marc on June 1, 2007
Posted Under: Technology

Every time Fedora comes out with a new version the usual suspects all write about how wonderful it is. I’m not one of those people. I’m the kind of guy who puts the DVD in and install it on a real computer and see if it works. If it doesn’t, I slam it.

So I get it downloaded and try to install it on an Asus motherboard that’s about 2 years old. It has a dual core Athlon processor (939 pip) so it’s at the sweet spot of what Linux likes to run on. I ran the install and it came up in 800×600 mode. Not smart enough to figure out I’m running a 1024×768 screen, but what really bothered me was that the cursor was invisible. In order to get the cursor back I had to get rid of the graphical boot. (I didn’t like the graphical boot anyhow but it should have worked).

After getting it to come up I tried to get it into 1024×768 mode. I’m running an older LCD generic monitor. It’s a Samsung 570V. Every time I tried to set the configuration to 1024×768 it would change it so bizzare settings like 1300xsomething. I spent 2 hours screwing with it and failed to make it work. Nothing I did worked and if it doesn’t work when I do the ordinary right thing then who’s fault is that? Not mine. FC6 works.

The next thing I did was download the Live CD. I chose the x86_64 version with KDE because I like KDE. So when I go to burn the CD the ISO image is too big. The image is about 900 megs which is too big for the CD. So – I report it on Bugzilla and here’s the response:

Please do not reply directly to this email. All additional comments should be made in the comments box of this bug report.

Summary: 64 bit KDE live CD too big to fit on CD

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=242185

jkeating@redhat.com changed:

What |Removed |Added
—————————————————————————-
Status|NEW |CLOSED
Resolution| |NOTABUG

——- Additional Comments From jkeating@redhat.com 2007-06-01 21:49 EST ——-
It is not labeled or advertised as a “LiveCD”. It is a Live Image, this particular image is for DVDs or usb sticks of appropriate size. We cannot fit it on a CD without sacrificing a bunch of applications. x86_64 hardware is far more likely to have a DVD reader in it.

——————

Clearly they don’t give a damn if it works so I’m not going to report any more bugs. The comment that assumes all 64 bit CPUs have DVD drives is beyond rediculous. Most of my servers neither have CDs or DVDs because servers don’t need them. Why waste valuable power for equipment you don’t need unless something is broken.

It also didn’t work when trying to burn it on a DVD and it didn’t work installing it to a USB stick. So I downloaded the 686 version which was smaller and it burned onto a CD. I booted it up. There are a lot of error message on the screen but it did come up. One of the things I wanted to do was get a good USB boot so I don’t have to haul around a CD drive to boot from when I want to fix my servers. So after booting up I saw there was an option to install the Live CD on a hard disk. So I put my USB stick in, wiped out the partitions, and tried to do an install.

The install looked a lot like the regular Redhat installs. I chose to let the system choose the partitions automatically. It did, but after a few more dialog boxes it decided that the root partiton wasn’t big enough to install. So instead of a 1 gig flash drive I tried a 4 gig drive. I got the same error, not enough space.

Then I tried out the CD to see how I liked it. Tried to run Firefox but it wasn’t there. As far as being useful it have very little. It’s definitely not a Knoppix. Even basic tools lik fdisk were missing. As far as I was concerned it wasn’t as good as the rescue CD.

My conclusion, the folks are Fedora should at least test the release to see if it works. I say that they should show up at a Linux users group and pass out copies to see if real people can make the software work as it’s supposed to. If they had tested this before they released it they would have known it was seriously broken.

Just because a product is free doesn’t mean that if it’s sucks that no one should complain. Being free doesn’t lower the bar. The bottom like is that Fedora 7 doesn’t yet work and it should be unrealeased and then rereleased when it passes the install test. F7 isn’t done yet. Send it back to the kitchen and cook it some more.

Reader Comments

“F7”
Only minor install problems exist which are easy to solve on both 32 and 64 bit live images and install DVDs. GRUB boot required a little modding from the anaconda setup. (disks labeled differently to other distros). Install can be allowed to continue on a system with disk(s) of more than 15 partitions until anaconda? crashes in disk partitioning later on. Updater seems to work well but I note there are F6 RPMs hereby installed. Quitting chess without closing the game causes a logout!!! Suspend with Beryl operational gives odd window decoration. Windows decoration sometimes (no clues why or when) disappears leaving screen windows aswas. Generally these annoyances separate this experimental distro from the more stable but less bleeding edge Debian Etch.
zkdabek

#1 
Written By zkdabek on June 10th, 2007 @ 7:59 am

I had similar experience with live cd even with a DVD burner Nero tells me it is wrong media type or if I use CD it tells me not enough space-
the install DVD gives me input not supported for 2 different monitors and tried fix from forum without luck (something like mode=vesa resolution=600×800). Unreleasing Fedora 7 would be the right thing to do before anyone else wastes 30 man hours going through every permutation

#2 
Written By frank roarty on June 12th, 2007 @ 4:45 am

I am quite experienced with Fedora (used all versions since V1). I had a wierd experience with F7. I installed the 64 bit version on my experimental machine, had no problems installing at all, and it worked great! However, I then tried something else on it (XP X64 actually). Later, when I tried to clean install F7 (not dual boot) on the same machine, the install worked fine, but after the initial first-time setup boot, it will not boot into the desktop ever again, and is now pretty much unuseable (even after re-installing it twice!). Hopefully the next spin will be better!!

#3 
Written By Keithb on June 27th, 2007 @ 6:21 am

I feel your pain.

I struggled with that same issue. I searched for a way to try installing from a USB drive but that was nearly impossible as well without an already working linux box to do it from.

Finally I stumbled on installing over HTTP through the minimal boot.iso

ftp://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/releases/7/Fedora/i386/os/images/boot.iso

burn that to a CD, boot it, when asked for download info enter the domain of one of the http mirrors on this page

http://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/publiclist

In the first box enter just the name.domain (no http://) and in the second type the path. For the mirror I used “fedora/linux/releases/7/Fedora/i386/os” worked.

#4 
Written By gman on July 1st, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

Years ago I gave up on the Red Hat since it refused to install on any of my hardware (not very Linux like if you ask me) and in some cases taking more than an hour to tell me it could/would not intall. I figured things have changed by now… dream on. I tried the network install with minimal boot CD just as gman described above. No matter which mirror site I plug in I get the same response: “Unable to retrieve http://mirrors.whatever.utry//fedora/linux/releases/7/Fedora/i386/os/images/stage2.img . ”
Notice the second slash after the server name? I can’t get it to stop putting that in there, and if it is truly putting that in there it explains why it can’t retrieve the file – duh. Trying the ftp options fails even quicker without any error message.

So here I was, looking forward to finding out how much they may have fixed their botched install routines and I can’t even get to them. What a piece of crap. Still.

If you want to see a network install of linux that has worked unbelieveably smoothly on EVERY piece of hardware I’ve tried it on, try the latest (now stable) release of Debian Etch. What a dream!!

#5 
Written By Dave on July 25th, 2007 @ 10:34 am

Yes, i acknowledge, Fedora 7 network install does not work. I have the same error:

“Unable to retrieve http://mirrors.whatever.utry//fedora/linux/releases/7/Fedora/i386/os/images/stage2.img . ”

Did not hear anybody succesed FC7 network install .

#6 
Written By Cezary on August 2nd, 2007 @ 9:02 am

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