Two weeks ago today, I re-installed my laptop, this time around with Fedora 14. I haven’t tried a RedHat-based distro for personal use in nearly a decade (though the vast majority of servers, workstations, and desktops at work all use some version of CentOS 5—we’ve got an AD domain and surrounding desktop and laptop ecosystem for the sales staff and reporters).
So here’s the things I did to make it work the way I wanted it in the first day:
- Was given some kind of SELinux warning about ntpd and sockets—it’s unfortunately incomprehensible to those of us who haven’t ever actually used an SEL system before, and the bug report option requires a login to bugzilla.redhat.com. Once I got past that hurdle (forgotten password), it throws what looks like a DNS error, so the bug report tool doesn’t actually work. And, as someone who actually knows what “scp” and “ftp” are, I am a little puzzled by what those buttons on the dialog actually do. What will become Fedora 15 has a rewrite of this interface, but I haven’t seen it yet.
- Went into Appearance and switched to LCD font-smoothing with full hinting. I didn’t look at what it was doing by default, but I now wish I had—if it wasn’t doing sub-pixel smoothing, I have to question why, since LCD/LED TVs have been the majority sold for the last 2 years
- Went into regular preferences and turned on auto-updating—every piece of software should have auto-updates for security fixes turned on by default. The only reason not to do this is because you don’t have a trustworthy QA process (fix the process, don’t paper over it by shipping vulnerable default settings).
- Ran the available updates, watched it bomb with a python trace about apr-utils (containing XML-escaped characters), but apparently the updates went through. I’m attempting to do as much as possible as a normal desktop user would, and this would be an antacid moment for anyone who doesn’t know about yum.
- Muddled around a bit further to find the Add/Remove Software under the System menu.
- Installed Do. Inside the Add/Remove Software application I can see a few UI issues that could use resolving:
- The fact it’s doing something when you click “Apply” isn’t obvious (that is, there’s nothing big and in your face to say “Yes I’m doing what you asked”), and I’m a little tepid about the ability to continue doing things in the ARS dialog while the installation continues—I’ve been using Linux for a long while, and fucking up the packaging system twice in the first few hours is a bit much
- The progress bar hangs for long periods at a time without updating. It’s still spinning, but it’s not actually moving forward or giving any sort indication that it’s still doing stuff. This is a problem when your simple install ends up pulling in 100MB of dependencies which take 20m to download: Is the app dead? Should I kill it?
- Once the feedback issue is resolved, the next one is the ability to “pause” the installation, and come back later. I’m never comfortable doing that on any system (Fedora, Ubuntu, Windows, MacOS X) so there’s going to be some amount of awesome awarded to the first group to implement that feature.
- Install Firefox 4.0b7 (via the Remi repository).
- Download and install Chrome stable.
- Download and install Dropbox.
- Install Flash, albeit the 32-in-64 version.
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve since upgraded to Chrome Beta (8.x)—it seems roughly as fast as Firefox 4.0b7, and (ironically) has less chrome onscreen, switched to Compiz + Emerald from Metacity, installed the Orta themes and dependencies (murrine).
One thing I would like to see is the GNOME menu use different icons for the main menu icon—that is, try to load “%(distro)s-main-menu” as an icon, then fallback to the existing “gnome-main-menu” icon if it can’t find it. That way I can use Faenza and have it use the “correct” icon for the main menu.