It’s been almost an eternity since I’ve had Linux on any desktop. Fedora was known as RedHat Linux, Ubuntu didn’t exist, and Windows XP was the norm (and some argue it still is!). While I’ve always used the Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone CentOS on server systems, I’ve strictly run Windows or OSX on all desktops.
Things changed recently when I got myself an Asus EeePC 1005P netbook. It’s quite a nice machine – but it just seems to thrash around a little under the shipped Windows 7 install. It doesn’t get any better replacing it with Windows 7 Ultimate either. I’d heard a lot about running Linux on netbooks on the various geek sites (slashdot.org etc) and I figured I’d give it a try.
With my RHEL background, I decided to go with Fedora 13. Installation was painless, it booted and just ran. With about half the memory footprint of Windows 7, the increase in speed was quite noticeable. A faster hard disk and things would be much nicer – especially if I swapped out the standard HDD for a solid state drive.
As far as compatibility goes I was more than impressed. The onboard wifi, bluetooth, ethernet, even display controller were detected and ran perfectly – right out of the box. Power management seems to be much better implemented. A few simple scripts later and I had the Super Hybrid Engine working correctly as well. Much, much better than my last attempt at linux on the desktop!
What impressed me even more is that I turned up to do a contracting gig and needed to print to the office printer. The first thing I thought was “oh no, here we go”. Imagine my surprise when I pointed Fedora to the printers IP address and away it went. No external drivers, no fuss. Even advanced features like duplex printing worked out of the box.
In summary, Fedora has come a long, long way since the RHL days and I’ve been using it every day for around 3 weeks now with no major issues at all. Keep up the good work!