Friday, November 10, 2006

Ubuntu vs FC

I think the fight is never going to end . The only topic the whole glugt seems to discuss for the past one month ( or even more than that ) is UBUNTU or FEDORA.

Fedora Supporters :
Gcdart, Sahil , Verma
Ubuntu Supporters
Evo, Donatello and me ,

I have no clue why i support ubuntu. I have never had any big problem with FC , though the only feature which attracted me towards ubuntu is
apt-get dist-upgrade
I had a chance to use ubuntu ( for the first time ) when i was in Novell, Blore. There internet was never the problem . So installed the breezy base and a simple apt-get distupgrade upgraded my system from breezy to dapper. I cant think of something like this for fedora. Though the installation cd always comes with an upgrade option people do go for a fresh install .

Had a small chat with gc regarding the bootup time comparision of ubuntu and FC, finally googled for the comparison , Though i did not get that i got a better one from here.
Some of the details i got from there is

Fedora Ubuntu
GENERAL FEATURES Fedora Core is a community distribution sponsored by Redhat. Fedora Core is a general purpose system - it does not concentrate on one specific market. Fedora Core is innovative (adopts a lot of bleeding-edge software) and secure (includes great security tools like SELinux). It is suitable both for home users, programmers and the corporate server. Ubuntu is usually described as Debian for newbies. It is based on Debian Unstable and offers some Debian compatibility, adding a lot of features to make the system more friendly for new Linux users. Ubuntu installer is very automatic. After the successful installation, the system is mostly confugured. Ubuntu package selection is very wise and non-redundant, providing one app for a single task. The desktop is very clean and looks consistent. Installing Ubuntu is a great way to have a Debian system with minimal knowledge required.
Random screenshot fedora - desktop ubuntu - desktop
Supported architectures i386, ppc, x86_64, sparc (via Aurora Project), alpha (via AlphaCore) amd64, i386, ppc
Minimal hardware requirements For text mode: 200 MHz Pentium-class, 64MB RAM, 620MB HDD
For graphical mode: 400 MHz Pentium-class, 192MB RAM, 620MB HDD
For text-mode: 24MB RAM, 450MB hard drive
For graphical-mode: 64MB RAM, 1GB HDD
Software freedom status Free as in freedom.

The distribution is not officially recommended by FSF probably only due to not enough vocal declarations about the free software (Fedora tends to prefer the term “open-source”).

Mostly free, but includes some proprietary drivers
Installer - overall (8) Very mature installer, offering features both for beginner and expert users. Contains most of the features a modern OS installer should have. The only flaw can be install speed and no separate expert mode. (8) Since Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake), a graphcal installer is available with the Live-CD edition. The installer is fast and asks a minimal number of questions. It’s one of the easiest Linux distros to set up for a newbie user.

Ubuntu alternative text-based installer is based on the Debian Sarge installer. It adds a few new screens in expert mode, and removes a few in novice mode, to make it even simpler to install the system with default setting. And the defaults is: latest Gnome with a selection of GTK software.

Package selection (9) Present. Single packages can be selected (ald dependencies resolved) (2) Not available. You can however install additional packages before running the Live-CD installer (graphically or using apt-get). Every package you install before running the main installer will appear in your final installation.
Predefined package groups (9) Very well-thought package grouping. All package groups incude packaes installed by default and optional ones. The default installation is a desktop system with GNOME. (2) Desktop or server installations are available. No package group selection.
Expert mode install (7) No special “expert mode”. Most of the screens (e.g. partitioning) include “advanced” options for non-standard configuration. (8) Expert/Beginner and kernel 2.4/2.6 choices.
Graphical installer (9) Graphical (anaconda) or console based installation. (6) Available since Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake). The older text (dialog-based) installer is also very simple and suitable for most cases as well.
Installer speed (6) Reasonable speed of the installer. (6) The Live-CD installation is pretty fast. The installer only asks a few questions and then copies the entire Live-CD image to the disk, configuring the hardware and the boot-up menu.

The legacy (alternative) installation process is rather slow. Default installation took 35 minutes on 1.6Ghz, 1GB RAM laptop. On the same machine, Yoper has been installed in 13 minutes.

Graphical system management (7) Many graphical configuration tools (mostly GNOME-based). Most system-wide operations can be performed without the need to open the terminal window. (5) Ubuntu does not provide a disto-specific Control Panel app (like in SuSE or Mandriva). Still, a few Ubuntu-specific tools has been added to the default Gnome desktop: the update notifier, update and installation manager (similar to Windows’ Add/Remove Software app), an applet to mount disks, a NetworkManager for wifi support, Beagle Search integration and more.
Console-based system management (5) Some console tools provided, including network card configuration (netcard-config), etc. (8) Very good package configuration tool - debconf - from Debian project.
Number of packages (7) Package numer is better than openSUSE, but not as big as Mandriva or Debian. There are however lots of alternative sources of packages, like, etc. Recently, with versions Fedora Core 4 and 5 and the arrival of Fedora Extras project, the number of alternative software repositories grew considerably. (8) Except for base Ubuntu packages (built and supported by the Ubuntu team), there are official but unsupported repositories: universe and multiverse. It all sums up to over 10,000 of Ubuntu specific packages. Using alternative sources from Debian or its derivatives is not recommended (and usually not useflu).
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (6) The famous Redhat dependency hell is almost over with the arrival of yum (the default package manager) and apt-rpm (the alternative one). (8) Dpkg, APT and aptitude - Debian package management tools are among the leading GNU/Linux tools for software management. Installing software in Ubuntu is simple and troubleless, and certainly much more pleasurable than in most distros using the RPM format. Only Smart package manager is considered superior to APT (however, it can be used in Ubuntu as well).
Graphical package management tools (7) Fedora Core 5 provides yum based graphical tools such as Pirut for package management and Pup as the
updater. Fedora Core 6 provides an update notifier called Puplet.
There is Synaptic (a frontend to APT) and other similar tools available as the alternatives.
Previous Fedora Core releases (FC4 and earlier) included the old up2date application for package management and a desktop Alert Icon.
(8) Synaptic - a graphical frontend to APT - a software installation and update tool, very useful if someone likes to click rather than type. Also, an “Add/Remove applications” program is delivered, which is much simpler and more straightforward than Synaptic, but allows to install only the most typical desktop apps.
System boot-up speed (5) Average boot-up speed. The boot-up scripts written properly. (6) Thoughtful services selection and default configuration make Ubuntu boot faster than Debian. It’s getting better with each release, but there is still some room for improvements.
System responsiveness (5) Acceptable speed and responsiveness, although there are no special optimizations for either desktop or server use. (7) Quite responsive system. Working with Ubuntu is fast and effective. Much better than default Debian installation. Technically, packages (except for the kernel and libc) are compiled for 486, but with Pentium III (or higher) optimizations.
Popularity (7) Very popular distro. For many months locates around 1-5 place on the DistroWatch rank. (8) Ubuntu got extremely popular during the previous year and places currently takes the first place in the DistroWatch rank.
Security focus (8) SELinux is included in the default install. Fedora Core offers a whole bunch of extra security features like Exec-Shield, Compile Time Buffer Checks, ELF, Data Hardening, Restricted Kernel Memory access and more. (8) All of the key security packages (including kernel package) are being updated daily, so if someone updates the system regularily, he/she should not worry about security much.
Stability and maturity (6) Fedora Core stability is comparable to similar distros like Ubuntu or openSUSE. There are many efforts to make the software testing within Fedora Core even better by implementing an automated test system. Will Woods is currently leading this project. (7) Ubuntu is based on Debian, which is one of the most stable and mature distros available. Still, Ubuntu comes with fresh software and instabilities may occur.
Does the installer support multiple languages? (8) Fedora installer is pretty well localized. (8) Ubuntu installer is translated into 40 languages which makes it one of the leaders in this area.
Internationalization is one of the Ubuntu project priorities.
Is the system localized after installation? (7) System speaks the language selected during the installation process. Of course not all apps are well-translated, but Fedora-specific ones usually are. (7) The installed system is localized. The only problems may occur with QT-based apps. QtConfig app can fix this problem when installed.
Is manual system localization easy? (8) Additional localization procedures are easily available (docs, FAQ-s) (5) If something does not work, we should make friends with dpkg-reconfigure tool which makes it easier to change the package configuration without the need to mess up with the configuration files.
Support for restricted formats (4) Fedora is a community distro devoted to Free Software thing. No support for non-free formats is available by default. Fedora Wiki entry Forbidden Items explains the reasons for this and offers possible solutions. If you need restricted formats for some reason or don’t care for the FSF philosophy, don’t worry. You can still install all the packages from third-party repositories like (5) Ubuntu is a community distro devoted to Free Software thing. Almost no support for non-free formats is available by default. If you need restricted formats for some reason or don’t care for the FSF philosophy, don’t worry. You can still install all the packages from the multiverse repository (no officially supported but hosted at The Restricted Formats wiki entry describes the Ubuntu policy and the multiple ways of getting support for non-free packages. Using EasyUbuntu - a graphical non-free software installer is another good option here.
Sagem DSL modem support (4) No eagle-usb packages. Kernel source and manual module compilation is necessary. (4) Eagle-USB has been available as a Debian package since version 4.11 (Warty Warthhog). Unfortunately, the support for Thompson modems got worse and worse with every release. Now, it’s not posiible to install the modem without kernel recompilation…
Alcatel DSL modem support (4) Like in Sagem, installation process is totally manual.

A speedtouch.conf script (tested with FC2 and FC3) can be also downloaded from to make the process automatic.
(5) Speedtouch modem installation is not fully automatic. Package “speedtouch” is responsible for firmware loading. Still, we have to copy the driver manually. Manual configuration is also a must.
Wireless support (7) Good WiFi support. Native drivers are well supported (clickable installation). Ndsiwrapper is available for Windows-only cards. (8) System automatically detects wireless connections (adequate icon appears on the desktop). Of course, other debian tools for handling wireless cards are also available.

Each system gets a mark from 0 (min) to 9 (max). In most cases the description precises the mark. A question mark (?) means that we do not have any information about certain feature.

Note :: Have edited the post from FC5 to FC after reading the first comment. Think comment is posted by a FC supporter . :) . Anyway i have not seen Edgy till now, still downloading the repos (seems it is some 14 GB for i386 ) . And not yet explored FC6. I just hope i find enough time to explore both FC6 and Edgy .


Leslie Satenstein said...

I have this question. Why did you compare Ubuntu to FC5, when FC6 and the current UBUNTU that you included in the review where both released within two days of each other?

Why did you not discuss in more depth, security, or virtualisation?

Why did you not indicate that FC6 can be concurrently installed with KDE and Gnome, and that it was available by user decision as default, or alternative at user login time?

Please redo the review comparing the two October releases by each vendor. And don't forget the severe technical glitches found in each.

Anonymous said...

Pretty nice review. I've used quite a number of distros and found ubuntu far more pleasing. If you wish to go for core development work there is lot ot learn in fedora. It was fun to compile things right from source in fedora. If you wish to do the same in ubuntu you will end up with lots of dependencies.

It would have been better to compare between the latest FC6 and Edgy Eft.