Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution. If it’s not your favorite, that’s OK. We can still be friends. There are good reasons to prefer other distributions. But my decision making process leads me to Fedora.
However Fedora is not without its problems. It’s strict policy against nonfree software makes it hard for a user to get certain components like Wi-Fi working. I agree with the policy but something must be done to help users get their machines working until the time of nirvana when all software and firmware is free. That is assuming that nirvana ever comes to pass. Therefore I’m creating this guide.
In addition to the free software policy there is also the problem of the inherent usability issues with Gnome 3. These can be fixed, but a user must know how to fix them. I must point out that these problems are not the fault of Fedora as they simply are trying to provide Gnome as the creators of Gnome intended.
The fault lies squarely on the Gnome project for failing to follow the appropriate engineering practices required for user interfaces, particularly usability testing and the incorpation of the results of usability testing back into the product. Instead of proper usability testing, they are trying to force users to conform to a theoretical idea of “good” usability created by a single group or person without any basis in practice. This is the exact same mistake that Microsoft made with Windows 8. It didn’t follow the use case of any real user. They just made it up and tried to force it on their users. However, Microsoft has actually done better than Gnome because they at least listened to they’re users and fixed the problems with the release of Windows 10. Gnome refuses to listen to their users and is apparently happy to see them abandon Fedora and Gnome for Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
To fill in the information that is missing from the standard guides from the Fedora project. I don’t fault Fedora for not providing the information. It all has to do with the issues I described above.
These are some things I’ve been working on that I plan on posting soon:
- How to compile & setup cc65 on Fedora, Ubuntu, and Windows.
- How to create a cc65 project.
- How to install Apple Commander to access floppy disk images.
- How to compile & run GSport.
- How to setup AppleWin on Windows and on Linux under Wine.
- How to build out a real Apple II to run like a modern computer.
- How to develop for 6502-based computers on Linux.
The above image shows Lubuntu running on my Mac PowerBook G4 Aluminum.
I’ve been using OS X 10.4.11 on my PowerBook. It can run some pretty good modern software like git, the latest Firefox, Eclipse 3. It’s fine for development work, but not YouTube. I can sync to my Dropbox folder on another Linux machine using rsync and/or nfs. But it started to have problems with bad blocks on the hard disk. OS X can’t exclude bad blocks without expensive 3rd party software. So, I decided to switch it back to Linux until I decide to spend the money to replace the disk with an SSD. Excluding bad blocks is a simple process in Linux and I’ve already done it with this machine to fix the problem in the past.
I’ve been using Red Hat and then Fedora since 1993 before most people knew what Linux was. But, Fedora dropped support for 32-bit PowerPC several years ago. The options now are Debian or Ubuntu (actually Lubuntu, the LXDE version of Ubuntu). There are others but I don’t consider them good options. Ubuntu is not my favorite distribution because they don’t give back to the Linux community or cooperate with the rest of the community. Most new Linux developments are sponsored by Red Hat and developed in Fedora, and then made available to the rest of the community. Ubuntu mainly puts some polish on top of Debian to create Ubuntu. Debian is doing the heavy lifting to create the core system that Ubuntu is based on.
Anyway, Debian did not work. There is a problem with the graphics driver that prevents it from running X. None of the suggestions on the support site worked either. But, Lubuntu does work. I had to work around one problem with the graphics driver, but then it worked. The LXDE UI, which has been heavily customized for Lubuntu, is simple, fast, and memory efficient (< 100 MB base memory usage) but also very nice looking (attached). The whole thing runs significantly faster than OS X, especially network access. People say that the BSD (Max OS X) network stack is faster, but it’s not. There is only one use case where it beats Linux and that is FreeBSD with the Apache web server.
Below is my desktop with Firefox, PCManFm file manager, Task Manager, Gvim, and LXTerminal.
There are multiple vim packages in Lubuntu which are available to install.
I was not sure at first which one I should install. I wanted the one that would look consistent with the other applications on the desktop. That turned out to be vim-gtk.