by February 1, 2009 0 comments



Free and OpenSource, that’s the term we always think of when it comes to
Fedora (or Linux). This automatically means there will be no support for MP3,
DVD, AVI and YouTube video as they will require non-open source plugins. Still
you can enable Fedora 10 for playing these multimedia files format and enjoy
your time. Comparing with the last release of Fedora, the current one comes with
quite a few enhancements and hardware support. Initially we installed both GNOME
2.24 and KDE 4 to get a look and feel of both the desktops, and trust me they
didnt disappoint at all.

Desktops
In Fedora 10 you get to choose from four different desktops. Apart from GNOME
and KDE, one gets LXDE and Sugar. The LXDE desktop is a new project; it is light
weight and fast specially meant for lower end computers, as it keeps the
resource utilization low as compared to other desktops. The concept of ‘Sugar
Desktop’ originally came from OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project. The OLPC
project was started to provide low cost laptops to children in developing
nations, and will be powered by stripped down version of Fedora Linux and Sugar
interface. The goal of sugar interface is to provide easy, fast and social
experience to users. In KDE 4.1, the Kwin desktop manager now provides support
for desktop effects and compositing which you have to enable manually. But KDE
Live does not have Compiz/Beryl. Well in GNOME you also find desktop effects
which need to be manually enabled.

Multimedia Applications
By default you will not be able to play all the songs you have in your existing
Windows collection; but yes you can play them after certain tweaks. The codec
installation helper ‘codenia’ is replace by the Packagekit in Fedora 10. And
hence whenever multimedia players such as Totem or Rhyembox try to play a
multimedia file, whose plugin is not installed, it automatically searches the
required plugins in its repository and installs them. Yes, you need to have
Internet connection to your desktop or laptop, else it’s of no use. We also
tried installing VLC player which of course most of us want to. As usual this
was not on Fedora 10’s list, hence we installed the rpmfusion and then installed
VLC through YUM. For installing the rpmfusion, we execute the following command:

Direct Hit!

Applies To: Linux users
Price: Free
USP: Learn to use the rich new features
in Fedora 10
Primary Link: fedoraproject.org
Google Keywords: fedora 10

# rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm

# rpm -Uvh



http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

Using Fedora 10
We installed it on an Intel Core2 Duo machine with 512 MB RAM and the
installation was smooth, and similar to its earlier release. It very well
detected all the hardware and everything worked fine. We also compared the
installation time and booting time with its predecessor Fedora 9. For this we
installed Fedora 9 on the same system on which Fedora 10 was installed, without
changing any hardware. Surprisingly there was hardly any difference between the
two. Both the distros took almost half an hour to install and took approximately
same amount of time to boot. The installation was done with default package
selection. But what’s worth mentioning here is that the number of default
packages to be installed in Fedora 9 was 928 whereas in Fedora 10 it was 1070.

Next we installed Fedora 10 64-bit on HP Pavilion dv6000 for checking the
performance on a laptop. As most of the laptops these days come with a processor
that supports 64-bit OS, and also as a 64-bit open source OS doesn’t cost you
any extra penny, so its worth having one. The installation process was smooth
and was over within 20 minutes. After the system got restarted, there was no
text booting sequenceand was removed by a three phase graphical sequence. Some
difference there with the previous distro. When the login screen prompted us, we
tried the finger print scanner which didn’t work at all. However, we logged
ourselves in by providing username and password.

The File Sharing Preferences window has made it
easier for desktop users to share files over the network.

Like the previous distro, this also failed to detect the NVIDIA graphics
card. Hence we were required to download the driver from NVIDIA’s site and then
install it. It worked fine afterwards. However, you could face the same problem
with Windows as well for some specific graphics cards. The support for webcam is
pretty much enhanced and this was proven when it promptly detected the laptop’s
in-built web cam. Even applications such as ‘Cheese Web Cam Booth’, which use
this hardware, accessed it without any problem. Later we installed Skype, for
making calls and checked both input and output sounds. Skype is only available
for 32-bit OSes, so we had to forcefully install 32-bit pulseAudio sound driver.
But things didn’t work as per expectations. After doing some research we found
it was the pulseAudio driver creating problems. Hence uninstalling the
pulseAudio, and working with ALSA solved the problem. Everything was perfect
after this step.

Similar to Add/Remove Programs in Windows,
Fedora also has a feature to manage programs easily.

 Wireless connectivity was good and we got the laptop connected to a WPA
secured WiFi with ease. You also have the option for connecting to hidden
wireless networks which is indeed going to find favor with a lot of people. This
feature was missing in the previous versions of Fedora, where manually
connecting to these hidden wireless devices was a pain. Now since terror is at
its peak these days, you better make your organization’s WiFi system hidden,
which makes it hard for others to access.

You have to install NVIDIA drivers manually.
Compared to Windows, you still get lesser features.

Overall, this distro proves itself to be a good competitor to others and is
definitely worth a try. We have provided Fedora 10 with this month’s DVD. Just
boot your machine with the DVD and install it. Who knows, with the economy in
recession and IT budgets taking a hit, you might be tempted to give it a shot
across desktops!

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