Installation and Setup
I installed Fedora Core 5 on my IBM ThinkPad T41 last night. I’ll go through a few minor annoyances before the good news:
– NetworkManager wasn’t the default and I couldn’t find a way to enable it through the GUI (not that I should have to explicitly enable it anyway). I ended up dropping to the terminal and running it manually. Bug 171348
– After I got wireless networking working I wanted to be able to click on an MP3 link in Firefox and have the MP3 play automatically. So I installed the GStreamer plugins. When I clicked on an MP3, HelixPlayer was the selected default. But HelixPlayer started up and threw up its usual “format not supported… download?” dialog. So I uninstalled it. The next default was Rhythmbox. It started up but didn’t play anything automatically, and I couldn’t figure out how to play the file manually. So I uninstalled it. The next default was Totem, which worked perfectly. Bug 154392
There are 36 open bugs for Rhythmbox in Fedora Bugzilla but none that describes what I was seeing. I’ll have to file a new one.
– I tried to install the Eclipse and Java Development groups but Pup failed with “no more mirrors to try”. Bug 184326
The servers were probably busy last night so I’ll try again later.
Various media types weren’t supported out-of-the-box, obviously, but I installed the “GStreamer Universe” from GStreamer’s excellent FC5 web page and was very happy with the results. Most media types worked perfectly in Totem.
Installing the GStreamer repo files could have been smoother. It would be nice if pirut were the default handler for .repo files. Bug 186112
Apart from these minor annoyances I’m very happy with this release. The new installer worked well, bootup feels much faster, all my laptop’s hardware worked out-of-the-box, sleep-on-lid-close works, NetworkManager eliminates manual network management, a few simple steps allow GStreamer to provide good media support. I’m very pleased that release-by-release I require fewer and fewer hacks to make Fedora into a comfortable, complete environment. In most cases in the past, these hacks involved installing unintegrated proprietary software.
Fedora Core 6
There are still places in Fedora Core 5 where such hacks are required. Three that stand out are:
– playing web-page-embedded audio and video
– Java applets
I’m hoping that the free equivalents (GStreamer, Gnash and gcjwebplugin) will eliminate the need for these hacks in Fedora Core 6.