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ITworld review: Fedora 14 is leading-edge Linux

I like Fedora, Red Hat’s community Linux distribution, a lot. But, let me warn you right now, that it’s not a Linux for beginners. That’s not to say that the newest version of Fedora, Fedora 14 Laughlin, is hard to use. It’s not. But, if you need a lot of handholding as you explore Linux, I think you’ll be better off with Ubuntu.

To see what the latest and greatest Fedora could do I put it on my reliable laptop buddy, a Lenovo ThinkPad R61. This 2008-vintage notebook is powered by a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7500 and has 2GBs of RAM. I also tried it out on a Dell Inspiron 530S powered by a 2.2-GHz Intel Pentium E2200 dual-core processor with an 800-MHz front-side bus. This box has 4GBs of RAM, a 500GB SATA (Serial ATA) drive, and an Integrated Intel 3100 GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) chip set.

In addition, I tried, and failed, to get it to install on VirtualBox, Oracle’s desktop virtualization program. This turned out to be a known problem with VirtualBox and Fedora 14 betas. There are ways to work around it, however. I was finally successful in installing Fedora 14 on a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM) using Virtual Network Computing (VNC) to remotely connect to Fedora’s Xserver, but I can’t see many people jumping through this many hoops to get it to run on VirtualBox. I was, I should add, able to run Fedora 14 on VMware Player.

No matter the platform, once it was up, Fedora 14 basically worked fine. I add the qualifier because I did run into a number of small, but annoying, problems.

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