[CentOS] Slightly OT

Jayson Rowe jayson.rowe at gmail.com
Wed Aug 6 13:31:28 UTC 2008

D Steward wrote:
>> 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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I agree with both posters 100% [especially about the Ubuntu Forums - 
sometimes bigger isn't always better :-) ]
I started using linux with Red Hat 6.2 and I stayed w/ Fedora until 
around FC3, and that's when things started going downhill. I ended up 
being the classical distro-hopper for some time trying to find what 
would work for me, and I ended up using CentOS on my desktop 
workstation, and I use a small lesser-known distro called Foresight 
Linux on my Laptop - it's very up-to-date, has a unique and wonderful 
package manager and is far more stable than either Fedora or Ubuntu.

That combination works very well for me.

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