back to article Red Hat: Go support yourselves, Fedora users

One of the most frustrating aspects of open source but commercially supported software is that it takes many orders of magnitude of freebie customers to attain a base of core customers who will pay for a glorified product with commercial-grade installation and ongoing tech support. There is always a temptation to try to monetize …


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  1. Rafael

    Bye Fedora

    It is just me or Fedora died? After that package server glitch thingie there were almost no updates for Fedora 8 and the latest kernel simply does not boot.

    Hellooo Suse...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Enterprise == suport. Fedora == DIY.

    I 100% agree with Red Hats stance on this. If you need support, buy a fixed in concrete distribution.

    If you want to experiment, download Fedora, whatever it happens to be this week.

    It is totally unreasonable to expect that sort of support from a potentially bleeding-edge distribution like Fedora.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    FC9 -- load of bullocks

    I made the move to FC9 3 months ago, upgrading from FC6. What a mistake!

    Samba never worked as well as FC6. NFS was a disaster... And forget CUPS configuration. Not to mention the fscking fubat POS called Gnome. I couldnt get the damned 'Add Widget' icon from my desktop. And speaking of desltops: Despite loading ALL of the available desktops (mwm, twm, fvwm, kde) the ONLY thing that came up was the festering pile of putrid feces, Gnome.

    I dumped FC9 and loaded SuSE 10.3. EVERYTHING just worked!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I'm Not Sure ...

    ... if the author has ever used Fedora, but I'm guessing not. I do use Fedora (every release, and RH Linux before that) and I don't think I'd be willing to pay money for it at the moment. It's "bleeding edge", takes weeks if not months after release to become (IMHO) stable enough for newbies, and sometimes routine updates break things - and these aren't "testing" updates either - they're allegedly stable updates. The release lifecycle is only 13 months, so one then has to upgrade (risky in itself, even with the new "pre-upgrade" feature) or re-install and do it all over again.

    So why the hell do I use it? Well, I know what I'm doing and like the latest features pronto. At least I think I do. Or maybe I'm a masochist. Either way, there's no way I'd pay money for it.

    Maybe if the Fedora Project lengthened the lifecycle and released a re-spin (a proper "stable" release) it'd be worth charging for, but the FP has made it clear that they won't go down that path. "Use RHEL" is indeed the advice .... or the free CentOS clone instead, if enterprise support isn't needed (although if you use CentOS you need to take care not to be harrassed by mid-western US city officials without an IT clue).

    PS: Can we *please* have a better Tux icon?

  5. Steve Davies Silver badge

    Re: Bye Fedora

    I did a 'yum update' on a PPC MacMini running Fedora 8 two days ago. no problems. Then I did an update on a Fedora 9 in a VM and it worked fine.

    How many times did you try?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    No, Fedora has not died


    Fedora has not died. The servers went down for a while until they checked that everything was ok. They changed the signing keys and now everything is back up hunky dory.

    @AC 16:53 GMT

    Funny as I have been using Fedora 9 on four machines and everything that I need works fine. How did you do your upgrade? Was it a standard upgrade install or did you do a complete clean install? If it was just an upgrade then that is where you went wrong. I have not found one OS where they actually recommend performing an upgrade as there are sometimes problems. They all strongly recommend that you do a complete clean install.

    Assuming you performed an upgrade, your Suse install would have been a clean install so it would explain why everything worked!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Fedora 9 - fine!

    @Rafael - updates are back (even for F8), you need to install a small set of packages to get the new repositories and the new signing key and then the updates will flow in normally.

    Kernel not booting? You probably need to use an install disk, boot to rescue mode, then do a grub install /dev/sda, there's something about the way the UUID is passed to the kernel that makes it miss the root partition otherwise. It's a glitch.

    @AC - just the sort of helpful report that someone won't sign their name to. Yes F9 is different, but it isn't broken particularly, it's imperfect but functional.

    As ever with Linux in general, you get what you pay for and when it breaks you get to keep all the pieces.

  8. Richard


    There's been lots of updates for Fedora 8 since then.

    Rawhide (F 10) is currently in a scheduled freeze before the beta release, which is why there aren't any updates for that.

  9. Mike
    Thumb Up

    FC9 - not actually something that exists

    @bullocks-boy: If you're going to make a post flaming something, at least show that you know what you're talking about.

    There's no more Core. Fedora Core 6 was the last "Core" version. Its just Fedora 9, and soon 10. And its great.

    Redhat Enterprise Linux is a great product, but you're not going to get the up-to-date versions of your favorite applications with it. For an engineering desktop, its nice to have the wider selection and more up to date libraries of Fedora even if they are a little unstable -- but only unstable in the sense that the versions may change in the next release.

  10. Jodo Kast

    Fedora was compromised

    Once the Fedora source was compromised, they should have gone back to the last clean version.

    Who knows what was messed up?

  11. Joe Zeff
    Thumb Up

    @Rafael and AC

    Rafael, I don't want to be nasty, but in this case, it's probably just you. I've been running Fedora 9 almost since it came out, 24X7 and it's just fine. I won't pretend that there's nothing about it that isn't wonderful, but for the most part, It Just Works for me. Right now, my uptime is over 12 days; the only real effect of the updates outage was letting my uptime reach 25 days. Have you checked any of the user forums for help?

    AC, I can't talk about Samba or NTFS, because I don't need it, but CUPS works just fine for me, and most people. I don't know why the various desktops didn't work for you, but remember: Fedora is based around Gnome, so it's not surprising that it's more likely to work than any other desktop.

    As a general comment, I'd like to point out that Fedora (or Fedora Core as it used to be called) was specifically designed as a bleeding-edge testbed for RedHat, supported only by the community. There's nothing new in the announcement; they're just telling us that this isn't going to change, and why should it? Fedora has excellent community support. If you're having trouble with it, don't just switch distros, give the community a chance! There's lots of folks out there who want to help.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "loaded SuSE 10.3. EVERYTHING just worked!"

    "EVERYTHING just worked!"

    Suse's been like that for a bit, in my experience. I've tried various Mandrakes and more recently Ubuntus but so far always end back at Suse (going back as far as Suse 8 and before). Others may well have different experiences and opinions.

    There are some folks who won't touch Suse for religious reasons (usually because of the assorted Novell/MS links), but these folks are not doing the broader Linux world any favours with their personal anti-Novell vendettas.

  13. Richard Lloyd

    Fedora 8 (and 9) updating now...

    In response to the "what's happened to Fedora 8 updates" question, the Fedora team have issued a new signing key and associated "fedora-release" transition RPM - this updates your yum update repos to point "updates-newkey", in which there are indeed a shed-load of new Fedora updates now.

    Sadly, on my system, the fedora-release RPM appeared at the same time as some broken package updates and "yum update" fell on its backside! I had to "yum install fedora-release" and *then* do a "yum update" - all was well after that. It appears the livna repos for Fedora 8 got hit by the same breakage - F8 has had a new kernel for 10 days or so and no fglrx RPM updates from livna for the new kernel (they usually do it within 1 working day). It means I can't go to F8's new 2.6.26 kernel yet and hence no UDF 2.5 support (so I can't mount HD-DVDs for example on my new LG combo drive - yes, HD-DVD format is dead...nice to see that Linux can finally mount them 6 months after the format is 6 feet under...).

  14. Richard Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Support for Fedora is pointless really

    Fedora moves too quickly really - its release schedule is typically 3 times faster than RHEL's - so unless either you plan to upgrade your entire distro at least annually or Fedora's release schedule radically slows down *and* they keep supporting more than the latest 2 releases, then paid support for it is a total non-starter.

    Fedora is very useful to install on the desktop (or a spare non-production server) so you can "play" with the new bleeding edge technologies and see what's going to be in the next RHEL release, but it's painful if you want to run it in a production environment (updates stop less than 18 months after its release for one thing - what about security fixes after that time? We got burned by Fedora Core 2's kernel simply dying on a busy mail/firestore server - we had to hand-roll a much newer kernel to fix it because FC2's updates stopped quite a while ago. Needless to say, we've moved that to CentOS 5 now and the kernel's been rock solid on that platform).

    The best compromise is to use CentOS - being a free clone, it's released on the same slower schedule as RHEL and has updates for multiple years (at least 5 usually - enough to last the lifetime of the hardware at any rate). I've actually switched our work desktops away from Fedora to CentOS 5 - the essential apps (OpenOffice/Firefox/Thunderbird) have to be hand-maintained because CentOS 5 is too far behind, but I leave most of the rest of the stuff to standard (and one or two select third-party) repos to be updated.

  15. Richard Lloyd

    Fedora 9 is a botch-up - F10 should be much better

    Anyone who's used Fedora for a while knows that it's best to a) wait a little while for the rush of updates immediately following a version's release to subside and b) install the new version on a separate partition and test it first whilst keeping your original older Fedora install intact. I did this for Fedora 8 (old) vs. Fedora 9 (new) and soon realised that F9 was a release disaster.

    The number one problem with F9 was that they incredibly irresponsibly shipped the final version with a beta release of the X server. Yes, part of the blame should go to the treacle dev speed of the folks (it took 4.5 months *after* the final release of F9 for the final version of the X server to come out!), but it does appear that the Fedora team were unwilling to roll back to the previous X server at all (which would have suspended a fair chunk of work they'd done for 4.5 months after the release, plus put X back to the same place as F8 had already been 6 months earlier).

    The upshot is that F9's "radeon" open source driver is a joke with my ATI HD 2600XT card when connected to my analogue Philips CRT. It flickers like crazy and has the screen boundaries 100 pixels too far to the left! ATI don't release driver support for beta X servers either, so I couldn't even switch to the ATI 3D driver. The F8 stable X server works fine with both the "radeon" and "fglrx" drivers, so I was hugely miffed about this. Fedora 10 alpha hasn't fared any better, but at least they have a chance of proper driver support for the final release of Fedora 10 now that the stable X server is out. Yes, I have F10 alpha on another partition too...

  16. Anonymous Coward

    OpenSolaris 2008.05 too good to be true?

    I'm using OpenSolaris 2008.05 as my main desktop OS at home and in the office. I've updated the OS several time to the actual development release.

    Everything I need (a lot!) works like a charm. Hell, if it wouldn't, I might even think about buying support...

    Maybe Sun could introduce more bugs? They could get more money from me! :-D

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ FC9 -- load of bullocks

    I disagree. My fc9 install went very well. Everything works, the 3d desktop is nice NFS works fine, I can access the whole of my mixed network and if you want to use a different window manager, log out then back in after changing your options on the login screen.

    What did you expect , a sign saying "I know what you're thinking " ?

    At least you didn't ubuntu.

    And FWIW, it explicitly tells you that Fedora is community supported before you download it.

  18. Dave

    Fedora Not Stable

    Surely anyone who is in need of reliable support would steer clear of Fedora anyway? By its nature it's bleeding edge and occasionally doesn't work. There's a reason why the latest RHEL lags behind the feature set on Fedora.

  19. Mick Russom

    The reson RedHat wont support Fedora, THEY CANT.

    I have RHEL licenses. I have always found a solution faster via google and the centos forums over the redhat ticket systems. In fact, I have a single RHEL license (the premium / 24/7 one), and I retain this for last resort help on difficult problems, but the service is basically horrible. So Redhat will simply say fedora is out because they cant help.

  20. Steve Smith

    Re: "loaded SuSE 10.3. EVERYTHING just worked!"

    Dude! You must be aware that Novell management is Always poised to do something intensely, insanely stooopid. I ran Netware from 3.11 to 6.5, and finally just couldn't take the suspense anymore! (plus they stopped supporting the NW kernel after promising 5 more years, then later dropped to their knees for MS, etc. etc.)

    I'm happily on RHES4 for the important stuff and Fedora 8 for my desktops. Fedora 9 sucked mightily in undefinable ways - couldn't stand it for more than a day or so even after several attempts. I have high hopes for 10 though!

  21. Gareth Jones Silver badge

    @AC 25/08 17:29

    "I have not found one OS where they actually recommend performing an upgrade as there are sometimes problems"


    Been running Ubuntu through three major upgrades, plus the betas. I have switched from gnome to KDE 3.5 to 4.1 and back again without issues. Never had a single problem. Like the guy with SUSE "everything just works".

    If upgrades don't work they shouldn't be offered. And there is simply no way end users should be expected to wipe and completely reinstall their systems simply to upgrade an OS. IOW, sorry, but you really are talking crap.

    If you like Fedora then fine, thats your perogative, but you can't defend them of the basis that their coders are simply too damn lazy to make an upgrade work.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Obvious really

    Unfortunately I have to use Fedora (and not 8 or 9 either!) on prod boxes, as some alleged sys admin/architect in the US said that's what we're doing. He claims that we don't need "supported" software as we can rely on "in house expertese", ie him. Oh and it's free! All well and good apart from when we hit some sort of problem and he's about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    And then there's the small matter of any hardware based problems. We can't speak to Dell (his idea again, we'd prefer HP) as when they find out we're not running RH/SUSE/Windows they tell us to get lost.

    However he's now figured out that using Fedora isn't a good idea as he can't get it to play nicely with storage and Dell keep telling him to get lost when he's trying to get some firmware updates. So the next step is to move to CentOS which is a step in the right direction...

  23. Rafael
    Paris Hilton

    "I don't want to be nasty, but in this case, it's probably you"

    @Joe Zeff

    No hard feelings :-) but I did all steps when the updates-newkey thingie was released. What I was complaining about is that from some time "yum check-update" didn't return new releases. Some time ago it showed a new kernel, but no fglrx so far, so booting that kernel is sort of pointless for me (I have the old kernel version so I can boot the computer to an usable state).

    There are 52 new updates today, but no fglrx. The latest updates also broke kpdf (which refused to open PDF files, I had to recreate some file associations -- shouldn't be related to updates, but who knows?) and created some removable devices mounting annoyances.

    I've refused to use Suse or Ubuntu in the past simply because of sheer laziness -- I am more used to Fedora, know something about the tools and where the configuration files are, couldn't bother even to run YAST, etc. Since I had those problems I had to spend some time working to solve things that weren't broken before, by changing I will at least learn something new. And I've read some nice things about opensolaris too...

    So thanks for the comments, here is an peace angel icon for y'all.

  24. Jay

    Re: "loaded SuSE 10.3. EVERYTHING just worked!"

    I am sorry but I find that hard to believe.

    Novell forces us to run SuSE 10 to run any of their services on Linux. We (us Linux admins that is) hate it. Please Novell just give us RPMs and we will install it on Red Hat or CentOS.

    To get back on topic, I agree that Fedora 9 is whacked, so whacked in fact that we deployed CentOS 5.2 for our latest desktop image.

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