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Operating systems software Reviews
15,449 Reviews

Fedora 9.0 Linux distribution review

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Manufacturer: Fedora/Red Hat

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Fedora 9.0 is a solid Linux distribution that will probably serve you well for desktop usage - but it's tricky to install and not ideal for non-technical users.

Fedora 9.0 is a solid Linux distribution that will probably serve you well for desktop usage - but it's tricky to install and not ideal for non-technical users.

For many of us, our first painful introduction to old-school Linux installs came from installing early versions of Red Hat. Like most early Linux installs, it was a highly technical, highly finicky process that was best left to the experts.

Well, times have changed. Today, many Linux users are getting blase about the ease with which we can install Linux. We've been spoiled by distributions such as Ubuntu, which is actually easier to install than Windows. Unfortunately, Fedora 9.0, the community edition of Red Hat, was a bit too much of a blast from the past for me.

This new release keeps Fedora in step with the rest of the popular distributions, updating Gnome and KDE to recent releases, improving the network management capability, freshening the kernel and adding a USB booting capability.

However, when comparing Linux distributions today, the differentiating factors are fairly limited - a 2.6.x kernel is a 2.6.x kernel, Gnome is Gnome, KDE is KDE and so on. So you have to look at a few specific factors. How easy is the install? How well does it recognise and accommodate different operating systems that share the disk? What's the package manager like? Does the distribution offer you the chance to use proprietary drivers for your hardware? How well does it work with Wi-Fi?

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Fedora 9.0 Linux distribution Expert Verdict »
Minimum CPU: PowerPC G3 / POWER3
400MHz G3 or better, 256MB RAM
IBM RS/6000, pSeries, iSeries, and Cell Broadband Engine
90MB hard disk space
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 6 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

On the whole, Fedora is a solid Linux distribution that will probably serve you well for desktop usage. Red Hat can rightly claim extensive experience as a commercial Linux vendor; it practically invented the market. Installing Fedora is a good way to ensure an extensive repository of prebuilt software. The hardware support is right up there with any other user-friendly distribution. But our experiences with trying a multiboot install make us leery of recommending it to anyone who wants to use it in a dual-boot environment. The distribution may be robust, but the installer needs to learn to play better with others. It's also a little too intimidating for nongeek users, so if you're going to get any less-experienced friends on Fedora, you might want to schedule an afternoon to help them out.

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