Sunday, March 01, 2009

5 Minutes of Fedora 10

Hardware: Dell Latitude C610
CPU: Mobile P3 - M 1133MHz
RAM: 256MB
HDD: 20G
Video: ATI Radeon Mobility M6
Wireless: TP-Link TL-WN321G USB, Ralink chipset
LAN: 3Com 3c905c
Audio: Intel 82801CA/CAM AC97

Fedora 10 - Live CD Install
Mind-bogglingly slow. Yes, some of you are probably thinking I'd have to be insane to run the livecd from a laptop cdrom in only 256MB of Ram. But it's what I had, so that's what I used. Also, it is possible I am insane. You should probably not rule that out.

I booted from the CD. At the same time I was burning an ISO of Slackware CD1. After burning the Slackware CD, searching for the CD writing Pen (Can never find that damn thing), labelling the CD and finding a CD sleeve (Dammit, they were around here some place) I only had to wait four or five more minutes for the Fedora CD to get to the login screen.

So then I Set Fedora to logging in and went to make a cup of coffee. Finished the coffee, and I am a slow slow coffee drinker, and then sat and waited for the login to finish...

Eventually got to the desktop and clicked the Install link. This prompted a further five to ten minute wait before the installer popped up.

Aside from a few longish delays between screens while the next part loaded the install itself was smooth and efficient and probably quicker than the OpenSuse install. First install I've done to date that defaults to LVM for partitioning.

Issues found in first five minutes.
Hibernate & Suspend both failed. Actually, Hibernate succeeded but xorg crashed and restarted after resume.

Right clicking the CD-Rom drive and selecting "Eject" gives an error "Unable to mount media", exactly as in Debian and Ubuntu. Isn't this a fairly obvious bug to have persist across multiple Gnome versions? (Well, at least two versions).

What's with the ugly progress bar on a black background when booting the system. It looks, well, incomplete.

Add/Remove Software was extremely slow, and only the "All Packages" selection showed any packages - all other categories give "No results were found". Updates to Packagekit fixed this last problem. Speed is still an issue.

Sound card was detected, but no sound. Packagekit frontend hung trying to update pulseaudio and alsa. Killed all packagekit & Yum processes and attempted running Yum from the command line. Yum complained of locks on package database. Rebooted and updated pulseaudio & alsa packages. Still no sound. Time to install something else. Slackware perhaps?

Five Minute Goodness:
As expected all devices detected, although sound did not work. Connected to wireless lan. Mostly felt responsive. Like the wallpaper.

This post is way too short for conclusions, as was my testing.


Fabrice said...

indeed that's a quick test. At least you can see how modern distro work on low hardware :-)
You may want to test Mandriva 2009.0. The installer when detecting low end system ( Free edition ) will select a low resource desktop ( lxde or icewm ). But you may want to give a try to the LiveCD version too ( One ), but I'm not sure about the fact that you will have enough RAM.

Ben said...

Mostly I think the modern distros worked quite well on this hardware - suspend/hibernate being the exception. Certainly performance overall was better than I expected.

Fedora's problem was the livecd, not the installed system.

BUt see Knoppix review (lxde + compis), and coming up: elive(e17).

If I can bring that laptop home from work again, will try Mandriva. May try Mandriva. Have to download it first.

039 said...

i also have a c610 running fedora 10 using the install cds not the live install due to the very sluggish pace of the live install and i still cant get my sound to play, however on the firstboot the login sound played. after a yum update, no sound. if someone could help, id greatly appreciate it.