2010-12-10

Fedora 15: A Potential Savior?

One of my friends was showing me today a Gource-created video of his semester's work that he made on his Fedora 14 "Laughlin" laptop. It looks really nice, but even though it has a quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a very nice AMD ATI dedicated graphics card (I don't know exactly what model/specs), it still took a couple hours to do (i.e. far longer than it should have).
I told him that I'd love to be able to do a similar thing on my laptop, but given that it has even lower specs than his, it would take even longer. This is also because Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora" doesn't properly recognize my NVidia graphics card, so I can only use the Intel integrated card which works fine for me now but would choke under such processor-intensive activities. He then told me that Fedora 15 will have native support for seamless switching of graphics card drivers (especially these NVidia-Intel setups).
Linux Mint, I've loved using you for the last year and a half, but I'm definitely going to be looking into this more closely, because I really do want to use my laptop to its full potential in Linux. If Fedora 15 is relatively stable, I'll probably be using it until Linux Mint gains similar support (and if it comes in the rolling "Debian" branch, I'll just use that then). In any case, I'm excited!

9 comments:

  1. The reason fedora 15 will have that ability is because they are switching from X to wayland as a display server. Ubuntu (what mint is based off of) is also switching. So you will have that ability.

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  2. @yochalgal: Depends. The Linux Mint developers have said they won't be switching to Wayland as soon as Ubuntu is. If it's really because of the switch from X to Wayland, then I'll just wait until Mint 13 LTS (which hopefully will have Wayland by then). Thanks for the comment!

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  3. The Nvidia-Intel video problem stems from the newer Optimus line of Nvidia cards. Nvidia has said they have "no plans" of supporting the switching technology under Linux. That means that in Linux, the Optimus cards will be locked into the Intel graphics performance, while keeping the Nvidia card on as well. Poor performance and poor battery life. Worst of both worlds. Hopefully Wayland will be able to work around this issue.

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  4. @Anonymous: Right, and that's exactly what's happening to me now. (I haven't experienced battery problems because I almost always leave my laptop plugged in, but that's a different story.) That's why I too hope that Wayland can work around that. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. PV: Is there a reason you don't foresee yourself being a long term Fedora user? I'm just wondering because I am a Fedora NA Ambassador and a Marketing Team member and I'm always interested in phrases like "If Fedora 15 is relatively stable, I'll probably be using it until Linux Mint gains similar support".

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  6. @threethirty: There are two reasons for this. One is that Linux Mint has worked for me thus far and I see no real reason to switch from it. The other, more important reason is that the two times I tried installing Fedora on my computer failed miserably. Fedora 11 somehow managed to simultaneously not install properly AND screw up my (at-that-time) existing Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" partition, while creation of a Fedora 12 live CD, install DVD, and live and/or install USB all failed repeatedly. Plus, from the reviews I read of more recent Fedora releases, stability appears to be hit-or-miss, and kernel panics appear to be a little too common. Anyway, I'd like to know what you think of these things, and thanks for the comment!

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  7. Wayland won't be ready by the next round of distros anyway

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  8. @PV: wow it looks like you have had a lot of trouble with even getting installed. Since 11 we have done some changes to the installer both technical and to the interface. When Fedora 15 is released (or anytime really) if you would like email me threethirty [at] fedoraproject [dot] org, I will mail you some pressed media. Please remember it takes awhile to get the discs made so they wont be ready on release day.

    If you ever have questions let me know I'd be happy to chat

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  9. @Bob Hazard: Really? I'm just wondering then how Fedora 15 will be able to support NVidia's Optimus. Anyway, thanks for the comment!
    @threethirty: Please do note that this was a couple releases ago, so things may very well have changed for the better; I just haven't gotten around to trying it again. I'm actually going to be comparing two derivatives of Fedora 14 soon, and when Fedora 15 does come out, I'll certainly review it here. Anyway, thanks for the offer, and keep your eyes peeled!

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