I cut my Linux teeth on Redhat Linux (Fefora’s predecesser).  I’ve tried about half the releases since then…14 was/is the first that I found remotely usable.  Usually the first round of updates break the system beyond repair, thankfully things have improved.

Note that all comments are directed at the KDE spin, I’ve never been much for Gnome.  If I can’t use KDE, then I would rather run Windows.  Not being a developer, the OSS nature of Linux is not the primary draw.  I want an easy to use, stable, customizable, and fun desktop with enough software to satisfy.  In my view, KDE and Windows are the only desktops that can deliver on that.

So I installed Fedora 14 KDE to replace a broken Kubuntu on my laptop while I wait for the Mint 10 KDE RC (which should be imminent).  There is a script called EasyLife which makes installing codecs and such easy (be careful, it is designed for GNOME and will install a ton of garbage if directed).  I was able to successfully configure the odd hardware on my laptop/tablet, including middle button scrolling and touch interface.

I got all my standard software installed including proprietary favorites flash, java, and Dropbox as well as new versions of old favorites including the latest beta of Firefox 4.  I was able to install all suggested updates without borking my system (+1 Fedora!!).  The desktop is beautiful, GTK apps are well integrated, application availability is wide and deep, and the theming is among the best and most complete.  Fedora’s benefactor is one of the best OSS businesses, on any debate, you will find Redhat on the correct side (along with Mozilla, these two companies keep the rest honest).

I really want to like Fedora.

Compared to Kubuntu, Fedora is slow and balky.  Some typing can’t keep up with my 33 WPM, the desktop compositing consumes 5 to 10 percent of CPU resources when sitting idle, there is a general lack of responsiveness, it continuously drops the wireless connection. And what is up with SELinux?  I am not a government contractor, I do not work for the NSA; the nags were worse than Vista RTM.

I am glad to see Fedora progressing, but it is clear that mainstream desktop is not one of their goals.  It will be interesting to see what the Fedora derivatives do with this distro over the next few releases.  Linux Fusion seems to have some good ideas (but no KDE:-( )

Ranting aside, Fedora is the best distro about contributing upstream, and they deserve major credit for that.

Now I think I am off to install the new Pardus 2011, a Turkish KDE release that I’ve never tried.  That should hold me over till Mint 10 KDE is released.