Having found no elegant solution to the chicken-egg problem I was having with the wireless network on Fedora, I decided I’d had enough. So I installed Ubuntu.
The installation did not go that well. First, checking the CD for errors caused an endless loop. So I had to hard-reboot and just keep my fingers crossed that the files were all ok. Booting the LiveCD went fine, although I was stuck in 1024×768 resolution (this is annoying on an LCD screen with a native resolution of 1280×1024). First I made sure Fedora’s logical volume wouldn’t cause any problems, by deactivating it (see Ubuntu installation notes). Then I just went ahead with the installation.
The installation is incredibly simple: double click the “install” icon on the desktop >> choose language >> choose keyboard >> choose timezone >> choose automatic partition >> install Ubuntu.
Have you counted that? Six steps. A child of five can install Ubuntu, very impressive. But there are problems.
The resolution was, again, wrong, requiring me to manually edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. My view is, if you are going to NOT ask about my monitor type and resolution during the installation, then you’d better make sure this information is correctly autodetected by the installer!
Typing “lsmod” revealed a number of insane modules running for things I don’t have in my desktop computer (bluetooth devices, wacom tablets, laptops, small children). I have found a page on the Ubuntu forum (very helpfull people!) to help disable all that nonsense. Again, if you are going to just skip questions in the installer (What mouse are you using? Do you have any bluetooth devices? Do you enjoy hearing the system-beep-from-hell?), then I say you’d better make sure people need it.
To an extent, the partial GUI/CLI way of administrating the system reminded me of Fedora all over again. What’s up with using GUIs for administrative tasks when I end up modifying half the system with vi anyway? Other than that, it looks nice, if you like the “coffee” coloured theme (I do!)
I may go back to Fedora and then just write a quick and dirty script in the local file of the runcom directory, for handling the wireless interface. Because one thing Fedora does do well: its installer is hard to match. Will I keep Ubuntu or go back to Fedora? I don’t know yet. But this race is going to be closer than I thought.