back to article Fedora back on track with Schrödinger's cat

Fedora 19, codenamed Schrödinger's Cat, follows the much-delayed Fedora 18 and the good news is things looks to be back on track. Not only is the release just a week away but it also sees Fedora returning to its core focus: building useful software for developers. The Ubuntu Linux distro may be busy tricking out its new touch- …


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  1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

    A new keyboard...

    ... if I had been drinking coffee:

    "a series of animated tutorials to help you get a handle on the counter-intuitive interface that is GNOME 3."


    Yes, why not have some tutorials for an interface nobody understands instead of fixing the interface.

    Glad to see a Reg article with an author who firmly takes a position instead of regurgitating press releases.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: A new keyboard...

      There is nothing wrong with KDE.

      1. Tony Green
        Thumb Down

        Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

        Having recently decided to give KDE another try, after dumping it fairly early in the KDE4 cycle, I have to say that there certainly IS plenty wrong with KDE.

        Yes, it looks fantastic. But by default it still insists on running all kinds of un-wanted crap around the pointless Nepomuk (which still seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem) and takes a lot of digging to work out how to disable what you don't want. (My guess is they want to make it hard to get rid of in case people realise how little use it is).

        But just try something as basic as adding an icon to launch one of your own programs or scripts into a panel! On XFCE it's just a couple of clicks and the job's done. As far as I could work out, this can only be achieved on KDE by editing the menus, then copying a menu entry to the panel. It may be that there IS an easier way, but if there is, they've hidden it well.

        1. fandom

          Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

          Disabling Nepomuk is about the first thing I do after an install, but it isn't that hard "System settings->Desktop search" and you see the tick to disable it.

          As for adding an icon I right-click on the desktop to get the context menu and then "Add New->Application Shortcut". I have to admit though, that I have the desktop set to 'folder view', which should be default but isn't.

        2. Jim 59

          Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

          Ditched KDE on Fedora a couple of years ago in favour if XFCE, which is good but a little too basic sometimes.

          1. Dave Lawton

            Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

            Haven't tried a recent KDE release, does it still have the stupidity with default 'all-white' icons ?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Thumb Down

              Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

              re: icons, No, they now default to various shades of almost identical greys.

          2. Disco Dance Donkey

            Re: There is nothing wrong with KDE

            I'm currently running F18 LXDE spin (uses slightly less resources than XFCE from what I could tell) basic, but I do enough in terminal.

    2. Jim 59

      Re: A new keyboard...

      "Glad to see a Reg article with an author who firmly takes a position instead of regurgitating press releases."

      It's a news story, not a review.

    3. AceRimmer

      Re: A new keyboard...

      "Yes, why not have some tutorials for an interface nobody understands instead of fixing the interface."

      If Microsoft tried anything this shoddy I'm sure there would be at least 3 other people complaining

  2. fandom

    "Not only is the release just a week away"

    Actually, it has already been released

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: "Not only is the release just a week away"

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Schrödinger's cat

    What is being implied here, that Fedora 19 has several states of operability and even quite possibly that the all states exist at the same given time.

    Confused : yes, dont worry, Schrödinger's cat was too.

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Schrödinger's cat

      Yes, but you don't know which functionality you get until you open the box, at which point the distro collapses into a single C function...

  4. Sebastian Brosig

    Fed Up metamorphosis shocker

    The new upgrade Tool, sef-deprecatingly named "fedup", is also coming good now.

    For the first time in many years of "upgrading a linux distro", in Suse, Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora (that's what I used, in order, since 1997) It went absolutely without a hitch, even though there are a fair number of customisations deviating from the default on my system.

    Fedora's approach is a bit different from Debian/XXbuntu, the updater is a shell command that downloads all packages and installs a special "upgrader" boot image.

    The updater feeds for many hours downloading the new versions for all my packages, including from 3rd party repositories. It's like a caterpillar eating and growing, but of course you can go on working until it's time to re-boot.

    When you boot the FedUp image, the computer goes into the "chrysalis" stage where the system performs the updates, and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

    On Granny's Ubuntu box the update takes place with a pretty GUI and while the old system is still running, but it interrupts the work several times through the run with debconf asking questions, so you can't have it run while you're out.

    Well done Fedora.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Hang on a sec

      I thought updates that required reboots were a prime example of how Windows does things wrong and isn't written properly...?

      1. Bronek Kozicki

        Re: Hang on a sec

        Upgrading Linux distro is similar to upgrading Windows version, rather than running Windows update. In both cases the process ends with you running a new kernel (as well as drivers and all sorts of userland programs). Upgrading running kernel without reboot is not really viable proposition, at least not in typical desktop scenario running without hypervisor and without microkernel.

        Kudos to Fedora team for making it (apparently) less disruptive than Windows version upgrade, though.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Hang on a sec

          How is that any better than windows update? It don't always need a reboot, and it happens automagically if you configure it to...

          But I'm not really clear on your answer. Are you saying it's never possible to update a running kernel, or that running a desktop makes updating a running kernel impossible? Or are you drawing a distinction between updating and upgrading? Or does a micro kernel (whatever that is) enable an update to the kernel (but not, presumably, to the microkernel.) Remember I don't use linux, speak slowly and clearly, I'm a windows user!

          1. AJ MacLeod

            Re: Hang on a sec

            You're thinking of applying security updates using Windows Update; he's talking (I gather) about upgrading from one version to another (like XP to Vista)

          2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: Hang on a sec

            The difference is that while a Linux update will reboot a system once, there is a good chance that if you are updating Windows with other components (like hardware drivers), Windows will reboot more than once, sometimes many more times. It's got better than it used to be, but.....

            Updating a kernel of any operating system on-the-fly is difficult, regardless of whether it is a desktop or a server system.

            The problem is that the kernel is more than just another programme, and is being used all the time by running processes, and one of the things the kernel does is to track and allocate resources to the running processes. In theory it is possible to replace the kernel while it is running without disrupting the processes that it is controlling, but to get it right under all circumstances is difficult, time-consuming to test and thus costly.

            A micro kernel implementation may be easier to update, but that assumes that you can re-bind running processes to new instances of a service on-the-fly. But even if you can do this, it is likely that there is one or more components that will require a system re-start if they are updated (the thread scheduler is one example).

            With modern on-the-fly service migration, it may be possible to boot the new kernel in a different VM, and then migrate processes into the new VM, but most people just put up with losing their system for 10 minutes.

          3. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Downvoted for trying to learn about linux?

            And they say you lusers are unfriendly!

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hang on a sec

          > Upgrading running kernel without reboot is not really viable proposition, at least not in typical desktop scenario running without hypervisor and without microkernel.

          Actually, there is kexec for doing exactly this: launching a new kernel from an existing Linux kernel.

          It's quite experimental however, and is more akin to a "hot reboot" (i.e. holding down shift when telling Windows 95 to reboot.)

          A warm reboot (instructing the firmware to reset) is still the most reliable and best tested approach for replacing one kernel with another.

  5. The New Turtle

    So is the state of release rather like a certain feline presence, and it is only there if you know it's there?

    "I find your lack of faith disturbing".

  6. Amorous Cowherder

    S's cat? Going to be a bit of bugger to test this release then!

  7. Kubla Cant

    "There are even some setups for Vim, Eclipse..."

    What do you mean "even"? With the greatest respect to developers who use Django for Python and Rails for Ruby, I should think they're outnumbered 1000 to 1 by users of Eclipse. And what's a setup for Vim? As far as I know vi or Vim is present on pretty much every Linux and Unix system by default.

    1. Richard Wharram


      Django and Rails are web frameworks. Eclipse is an IDE. You can develeop Django and Rails in Eclipse. Or VIM. Whatever.

  8. bjr

    First usable Fedora since 14

    Fedora 19 is the first usable version of Fedora since Fedora 14. The Gnome3 disaster made versions 15-18 ususable, I've been using Scientific Linux 6.x as my workstation as well as my server OS in the interim, but in 19 MATE is fully integrated so you now have a functioning desktop again. The new installer is much less functional than the old installer but it does work, unfortunately it requires a lot more post install work. The principal problems are,

    1) Almost no customization except for the selection of desktops (you can only install one). This isn't terrible, it just means that you have to use Yumex to finish your install later.

    2) They changed the User number base from 500 to 1000 which makes it incompatible with every other Redhat system since Redhat started. On an isolated single boot box this isn't a problem but it's a disaster if you have a multiboot system or multiple systems running NFS. The workaround is to not create a user account on the initial boot, just create the root account and then create the users after the system is up.

    3) You can't install GRUB in the root partition so you can't do chain loading of multiple OSes. Your choice is either no GRUB at all or to install GRUB2 into the MBR. Apparently this was a deliberate choice so I don't expect this to get fixed. I've been using Redhat since 1999 and it's always been easy to use it in a multiboot environment, now they've made it very difficult, what were they thinking?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They called it "Schrödinger's Cat". If nothing else, a name like that will test Fedora's UTF8 support.

    1. SD24576

      Re: umlaut

      You will enjoy this bug then:

      "Fedora 19 bugs cannot be reported because the server side cannot handle the release name "Schrödinger's Cat" "

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: umlaut

        When I first started out on unix/linux many moons ago, the old hands would tell me never to use punctuation characters (or spaces) in file names for just the kind of reason that bug report exists.

        Seems like the lunatics are taking over the asylum!

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: umlaut

          Get used to Unicode, old man.

          The only no-no character should be the "/", and any sane person should agree.

          If you want the Windows Cancer Of Special Cases, you know where to find it.

          Old fart myself, but such "rules" are best thrown back into the face of the guy who comes up with them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: umlaut

            @Destroy - beg to differ, old fart.

            Only too often I've seen users typing something like 'rm Schrodingers *' and wondering why everything in the current directory disappeared. Because of this, I've spent nights attempting to cobble together deleted data from free inode lists. We can all hope that all users are educated/trained to know everything about the command line - but in the real world, that's just not the case.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: umlaut

              How to torment a newbie:

              sudo mkdir -p /\\*/delete/me

              The correct way to remove it: sudo rm -fr /\\*

              Another way that will work: sudo rm -fr /?

              The (wrong) way: sudo rm -fr /*

  10. BitDr

    "The default Fedora install CD still installs the GNOME Shell, though there is now, helpfully, a series of animated tutorials to help you get a handle on the counter-intuitive interface that is GNOME 3."

    "counter-intuitive interface" is exactly what a GUI is NOT supposed to be.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Fedora 19 brings integration with Google Drive and other NSA services

    Yes... good... downloading now.

    I wonder when Mr. Snowden will tell us where the backdoor-in-plain-sight has been finagled into Linux? Come on Ed, spit it out...

  12. Disco Dance Donkey

    So, I decided to use FedUp.

    I'm now running F19 LXDE, in a Hyper-V VM (Win 8 Pro) on a Mac Mini. It took probably 30 mins to reboot (it's a 5400RPM HDD, with other processes sharing access. I have to say it worked a treat, although the Fed Up documentation needed a small tweak.

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