Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx vs Fedora 13 Goddard

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This post is updated version of my comparison of Fedora 12 and Ubuntu 9.10, and includes fresh observations based on my new experiences with the two.

I would try to answer it from a regular user’s perspective without getting in too much detail. Remember we are talking about two linux distributions, so they are fairly equivalent in most respects but yet different.

I used to be a Fedora lover for quite a while. Fedora is geared more towards the Tux faithfuls, the experienced linux users, and hence Fedora distribution is always the first one to bring down the cutting edge Linux technology to their distribution, e.g. they were first to use new version of GDM, they were the first to release ext4 as standard file system for their stable release. Further through yum, Fedora offers an easy way of installing and managing packages. But being adventurous can have its side-effects too. New linux technology means more bugs, which translates to more crashes and more issues in compiling new modules and stuff. My personal experience with the recent Fedora releases have not been the greatest since Fedora 10.

On the other hand, Ubuntu is targeted more towards the upcoming Linux lovers and noobs, so they are more careful in integrating new stuff to the distribution and try to keep the user friendliness on top of their priority list. But this doesn’t mean that it cannot satisfy the needs of a linuxphile. It has probably one of the most comprehensive distribution of pre-compiled linux packages available through its canonical repository. apt is a very matured and  fast package management utility, to my understanding a tad bit faster than yum, and Synaptic package manager which is GUI for apt beats the crap out of yumex (GUI for yum) in terms of speed and user friendliness.

Let me list out the pros and cons for both Fedora and Ubuntu and you can decide for yourself what you want.

Fedora 13.0

Pros:

  • Up-to-date  cutting edge linux distribution.
  • Catering to linux experts, might involve some learning for noobs.
  • Lot of additional packages and drivers available through RPMFusion repository.
  • Upgrading used to be a hassle, but now with preupgrade command you can upgrade to the next distribution, though I haven’t tried it myself yet.
  • Easy to search and install packages using fast Add/Remore Software (PackageKit)

Cons:

  • New release can be a bit buggy and usually takes a while for most bugs to get addressed.
  • Some softwares and applications may not be available as pre-compiled package, e.g. VMware Player doesn’t have a pre-compiled driver tool for Fedora while it has one for Ubuntu, but then thats not Fedora’s mistake. Sometimes compiling things from the source can be a bit of a hassle, especially for noobs. I had really hard time compiling the above mentioned VMware player tools package.

My experience:

  • I installed Fedora 13 on my Dell E1505 Core Duo Laptop with Ati Mobility Radeon X1300 using DVD media and couldn’t get any video acceleration.
  • Reinstalled using Live media, got graphics acceleration and everything working, but now the screen would flicker heavily, using nomodset in the kernel boot parameter fixed it, but then I can’t get 3D video acceleration.
  • Tried creating a virtual machine in VMWare player 3 and the VMWare tools won’t compile fully, even after put couple of hours of effort and trying everything I could and what I learn googling.
  • Installing LAMP (Apache, MySQL, PHP) can be more “intensive” and less noob friendly.

Ubuntu 10.04

Pros:

  • Slick  and fast and usually more stable.
  • Good for noobs as well as experts.
  • Vast and probably most comprehensive package base.
  • apt-get is very fast.
  • Upgrade to next release is much simpler and streamlined, software updater can handle it own its own, all you need is a fast internet connection.

Cons:

  • To maintain  the user friendliness and sturdiness, they are slow in bringing forth the cutting edge linux tech.
  • Support for old graphics card can be questionable. Some old graphics cards got black listed with Ubuntu 10.04. 

My experience:

  • Installed it on my HTPC desktop, upgraded as well as did a fresh install on a different hard drive on the same old Dell E1505 Core Duo Laptop with Ati Mobility Radeon X1300 and got everything working for upgrade as well as fresh installs.
  • Installed or upgraded for my Acer netbook, for netbook remix it worked without breaking anything.
  • Won’t work on some older hardware due to blacklisting of older video cards. I couldn’t upgrade 9.10 to 10.04 on an old Gateway laptop which had Intel 82852/855GM.
  • Installation of Apache, MySQL, PHP is far easier and least tricky with Ubuntu.

Thats all the share of my experiences with the two. If you think I have missed something or have incorrect impression, feel free to point it out. Ideally you should give both of them a try, which is very easy these days with virtual machines, and then choose the one you like! Given enough time, you can master either of the two and fell in love with it.

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About the Author

has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

7 Comments on “Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx vs Fedora 13 Goddard”

  • Luya Tshimbalanga wrote on 8 June, 2010, 14:46

    “It has probably one of the most comprehensive distribution of pre-compiled linux packages available through its canonical repository. apt is a very matured and fast package management utility, to my understanding a tad bit faster than yum, and Synaptic package manager which is GUI for apt beats the crap out of yumex (GUI for yum) in terms of speed and user friendliness.”

    Canonical repository has Debian origin. apt is mature but its dialog is not sane IMO. The speed illusion is mostly due to configuration and the speed of mirror server. Be in mind, for example, “yum install” command is not the same as “apt-get install” which is common mistake for those who are comparing both package manager. apt-get is unable to use already downloaded package for installation.
    PackageKit is the default frontend for yum since Fedora 9 while Yumex is just an alternative. You should try it at first because readers have false impression yumex is the default gui.

    “Some popular software packages
    are not available as pre-compiled packages, and compiling them from the source can be a big hassle, especially for noobs.”

    Define popular packages. Fedora repository only includes free and open source packages which is Fedora Project philosophy. Canonical chose to compromise by including closed source like Cataclyst, ATI driver. For those who are looking to install say closed source driver, they can install RPMFusion.

    “Noobs” are not that ignorant. Given assistance and suggestion, they will be able to properly maintain their own system.

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  • lifehacker wrote on 8 June, 2010, 16:00

    @Luya Tshimbalanga – I stand corrected, thanks for pointing out the mistakes. I had been out of touch with Fedora for a while and hence the mistake.

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  • noname wrote on 12 June, 2010, 20:44

    this crap ubuntu 10.04 stuff wont work on my _new_ (i7 860, ati sapphire vapor-x 5750) hardware
    the “stable” release has a bug with some graphic cards which leads to an black screen after install and thats a absolute no-go!
    ubuntu 9.10 is ok, everything past this should stay in hell, i’m using fedora 13 now
    dont have half a day to waste into solving this buggy behavior in a stable (lol) LTS (rofl) version

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  • Daniel wrote on 7 July, 2010, 0:35

    I had the same problem with an old Gateway laptop with Intel 82852/855GM. I fixed it following the directions in this page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes

    HTH.

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  • lifehacker wrote on 7 July, 2010, 10:23

    @Daniel
    The problem is that whatever you do you won’t get 3D acceleration, which would mean no compiz and no XBMC, which I needed to install. Thats why I chose to continue with 9.10 on the Gateway lapto, which is ok, as it is not my main computer, its more of a multimedia front end.

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  • Barry wrote on 29 October, 2010, 23:20

    I’m looking to get off the Windows upgrade treadmill. As a Windows expert/Linux noob, and based upon what I have read in the past, I went straight for the Ubuntu distro. But what I quickly discovered is that it doesn’t support my older Promise raid controller. The Ubuntu live CD won’t even boot on my system, which is an older Dual Xeon 2.8 with a GeForceFX 5700LE video card. It just hangs.

    So having failed with the Ubuntu, I decided next to try Fedora 13. The live CD recognized the RAID controller with no problem and I was up and running with it installed on my hardware raid stripe in about an hour. Getting the nVidia hardware graphics acceleration working took a couple more hours of searching and reading on Google, but the beauty of the web is that (almost always) someone has encountered it and already solved it.

    So I’m just not that impressed with Ubuntu but I’m loving Fedora 13. Of course, everyone’s experience is different. But it certainly appears that Fedora’s support for a wider array of hardware extends well beyond video cards. Now I just need to figure out how to overburn a CD. =^)

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    lifehacker Reply:

    @Barry, That was my initial impression too, that Fedora has better hardware support, than Ubuntu, but my recent experience have been a mixed bag and I think it just depends on your hardware. Linux would always be hard pressed to support all possible hardware, simply because of the hardware vendors reluctance to help out the open source community. Be it Fedora or Ubuntu or Suse or ant *nix. Open source rocks.

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