Fedora Core 7 Test 4 Notes

I installed FC 7 Test 4 on one of my home machines, which was previously running FC6, and it pretty much all went fine. Like with all new releases, there was a definite speed improvement in most operations.

I personally like the new live CD installer. If nothing else, simply for the fact that you get a chance to see how the OS will behave on your new machine before you install it. It’s still ironic to me to see the major distros going to that format, because I remember how most Linux users were poking fun at the first developers to use a live cd install process (that I know of), back in 1999: the now defunct LinuxPPC distribution.

For those interested, you can access a lot of FC7 screenshots and videos at the main wiki: Fedora 7 Tour.

Besides the obvious changes, one that puzzled me for a while since I’m not a hardcore follower up-to-date with all the details, is that all my IDE hard drives were now showing up as /dev/sd* (historically SCSI) instead of /dev/hd*. One quote I could find on the wiki about this was: “In this release, all hard disk partitions follow a /dev/sd* naming convention due to a new libata driver interface in the kernel. The Anaconda installer eases the transition for release upgrades.”

Another puzzler was the fact that despite choosing to setup my box with a manually assigned IP address in the install process, it was still acquiring one with DHCP at boot time. You can see this in the attached screenshot below (click for a larger view): note the discrepancy between the network config panel and the address reported by the ping command in the terminal. This continued, even after rebooting the machine or just the network (service network restart” as root), until I issued a “ifup eth0” command as root, which made it all fine from there on.

Trying to run FC7 Test 4 on my MacBook worked fine natively from the Live CD (no install), which did not under Test 3, but I haven’t been able to boot it while virtualized in Parallels Desktop for Mac. I haven’t tried in VMWare Fusion yet.

The last note is quite a personal one: I much preferred the default theme (icons) in Test 3 (3D) than the ones delivered in Test 4 (2D)… The new ones make me feel like I’m back in the pre-BlueCurve years. ;)

That’s it for me, for now. This box being mostly a file/web/db server, running on older hardware (P4 1.65Ghz), I can’t really play with compiz, which would be one of the major improvements over FC6, besides running new versions of everything.

Update: here are a few notes form a friend who recently installed it on his shiny new Mac laptop: FC7T4 on MacBook (Core 2 Duo).

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