One Week With Fedora 9

Last weekend I broke down and repaved my work laptop. I used the
opportunity to upgrade the primary operating system from Fedora 8 to
Fedora 9. My laptop is a Lenovo T61 with the Intel X3100 mobile
graphics processor and an Intel 4965AGN wireless adapter.

Since the T61 includes a 64-bit Core 2 Duo processor, I installed the
x86_64 version of Fedora 9. The installation went very smoothly. Almost
all of the hardware in my laptop was detected by the installation tools
and the appropriate drivers and modules were installed and correctly
configured. In fact, the only hardware piece that was not configured was
the fingerprint reader. I should also note that I have not fully tested
all the power management functionality yet, so I do not know if the
suspend and/or hibernation features work correctly. (They did not under
Fedora 8.)

Overall, I am very happy with this release. I have noticed faster boot
times, much improved yum performace and better NetworkManager
support. I only have three two remaining issues that I need to

  • I can not get the Linux Flash plugin to work. Update: I
    found this wonderful installation guide on HackTux that tells
    you how to get the Flash plugin working correctly under 64-bit
    Fedora 9.
  • I am a heavy user of VMware Workstation, and currently when I
    switch one of my virtual machines to fullscreen mode, it remaps the
    Shift, Ctrl, and CapsLock keys on my keyboard. My current workaround
    is to connect to my virtual machines using rdesktop then running
    rdesktop in fullscreen mode. Most people are blaming this on a
    change that occurred with the latest version of I really hope
    VMware releases a fix for this soon. In the event that I forget and
    accidentally run a virtual machine in fullscreen mode, I run setxbmap
    to reset my keyboard mappings.
  • Finally, my final problem is not really a Fedora issue per se, but
    it came up as part of my upgrade so I am mentioning it hear. Since
    version 2.2 I have been a user of
    KDE. Earlier
    this year the KDE project released version four of the desktop, and
    Fedora 9 was my first chance to try it out. Unfortunately, KDE 4.0
    is not really ready for prime time just yet. In its current state it
    is virtually unusable for my daily work. The KDE team is currently
    working on fixing these issues and I am anxiously awaiting the
    release of KDE 4.1. KDE 4.1 is currently scheduled for release in
    late July, and look forward to trying out once it is available.
    While I view KDE 4.0 as a major step backwards from KDE 3.5 in its
    current state, I also understand the reasoning behind its inclusion
    in Fedora 9. In the interim, I have switched over to Xfce
    desktop and so far it has been serving me well.

The best part is that neither of these problems is show-stopper. They
are more nuisance than menace and I have functional workarounds in place
until the issues get fixed. I whole-heartedly recommend Fedora 9 as a
developer-friendly cutting-edge Linux distribution.