[CentOS] Slightly OT

D Steward dsteward at internode.on.net
Wed Aug 6 13:05:05 UTC 2008

> OK ... this is silly
> CentOS is an Enterprise distro and works great as a workstation.  In 
> fact, it is just as good as Ubuntu for a desktop.  I would argue that a 
> stable, supported for several year desktop is much better than a distro 
> that upgrades every 6 months.

I've been starting to ascribe to your opinion.

For several years now, I've used CentOS on my servers and fedora on my
laptop and desktop computer.
However, F6 and onwards have been a bit flaky to install, with myriad
little things going wrong which needed some TLC which no beginner could
possibly do.
And just last month when I went to install F8 on my laptop since F7 was
EOL, the darned thing consistently segfaulted, despite the media passing
OK, and my laptop being a bog-standard 4 year old HP corporate
centrino-powered which is certified RH3-compatible. The only way I could
do it was via the LiveCD :/
And then I had lots of little things going wrong on the install like
vital rpms not being installed by yum which I had to do by hand since
yum refused to even acknowledge they were available. :-X
In 6 months time I'll have to do it all again to install F9 which by
many accounts is a POS, freezing up for several minutes at a time for no
apparent reason.
So IMO, having used Fedora since about FC3, stability is getting worse -
each version is more and more on the bleeding edge, too unpolished, too
unfinished - definitely not suitable for beginners unless they have
someone to hold their hand and pick up the pieces.

Ubuntu has its own problems. While it is slightly less cutting-edge than
F9 and thus easier to install, the forums are huge and unwieldy. Every
problem that one can possibly have, has already been answered by 100,000
+ people in 10,000+ threads. The noobs outnumber the proficient users by
100 to 1, so finding the right solution to your problem is a real
challenge in that 95% (my estimate) of the answers are wrong. So you'll
spend a lot of time doing (and undoing) the advice given and
backtracking from dead-ends.

In stark contrast, this list has one of the highest signal-to-noise
ratios I have ever encountered, and the standard of contributors makes
me feel inadequate :/
However, IMO, CentOS is still slightly too old to be used on a modern
laptop, but probably fine for use on a desktop where standby and power
conservation is less important.
Stability of CentOS is outstanding, but still not perfect - I remember
one problem from last year when I was using CentOS on a desktop and
Evolution refused to start after an update.  It needed a small tweak
which was supplied on-list. But this problem came from upstream so also
affected RedHat.

FWIW, I don't know what version of NetworkManager that CentOS uses, but
the one used by F8 not only doesn't require wpa-supplicant to connect
via WPA/WPA2 but many 'puters (such as my laptop) don't even need the
network service running, since NW is now managing wired connections as
well as wireless. It even integrates with OpenVPN now, although I am yet
to try this.

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