Update: Fedora 11 Live CD/USB Fail

Note, what follows has been updated in this entry.

I was going to applaud the decision of Red Hat and the Fedora developers for delaying the release of Fedora 11 a couple weeks to iron out some wrinkles. And they deserve to be commended for not rushing something out that they knew would have to be fixed very quickly. I don’t think things should be released as slaves to a calendar but should be released when reasonably ready.

Unfortunately, they didn’t fix enough bugs — or, perhaps, they broke some things along the way (after all, I chose the Gnome version of Fedora 10 after being put off by KDE 4.2 in a preview of 11 which actually booted correctly for me). I couldn’t get the bleeping live usb creator to work with the new image.  Actually, I couldn’t boot with either the Gnome version or the KDE version. When I’d boot from USB, I’d get a white-grey gradient GRUB splash looking thing without anything else visible. I finally got a “boot:” prompt by hitting escape, and I knew the kernel was vmlinuz0. Everything looked fine until the kernel panicked. I was able to get the GRUB menu when trying it in qemu but the boot was too slow and I didn’t have enough time to let it boot all the way. I gave up.

Turns out there are some issues beyond what I was able to discover the hard way. Like how those who want to install from the live CD versions need a very particular partitioning scheme with an ext3 /boot and ext4 /. Fuck that. I wasn’t planning to be yet another guinea pig for ext4. The good news is users maintain more freedom along those lines using the standard CDs rather than the live ones.

No idea if I’ll ever do that. I’m still wavering between going with something a bit more conservative like Slackware or Debian or one of the BSDs (NetBSD most likely, which I’m also about to install on another server here). I’d consider RHEL/CentOS if my hardware were adequately supported yet; I don’t need to be on the bleeding edge every six months, I just want shit to work right and to have support long enough that I don’t have to upgrade or install something twice a year (how old is XP again? and how long has MS supported it?). I ran Debian Live (Xfce version) on the AA1 earlier this evening and was impressed how nimble — from USB — it seemed compared to other things I’ve tried.

Tiny Core is kind of off my radar right now, but not because JWM is back as the default window manager. It’s obviously progressing and maturing quickly; I just don’t think it’s ready for production use yet (at least for what I need). I also want full use of commands which are limited in busybox. By the time I add everything I want, I’m getting very close to what I’d install in a “full” distro. I’ve booted the new release (2.0) a few times now. Haven’t set up wireless yet, but played around a while over wired networking. I was unaware of the Micro Core non-X release from Team TinyCore until I read Robert’s release notes. I’ve booted it now, too, on the AA1. Could be kind of cool to run in a non-X environment (which I do mostly when I use PCLOS) and also to run a full X server in lieu of k-drive. I’ll probably leave Micro Core on here regardless so I don’t have to deal with that wobbly wbar piece of shit at the bottom of the Tiny Core default desktop (bugfix: pkill wbar).

I currently have Windows XP, PCLOS, Fedora 10, and Tiny/Micro Core installed on my AA1. I was hoping to post today about the tedium of backing up stuff and repartitioning, along with my impressions of using and installing Fedora 11 so that my hard drive only had XP and Fedora on it. Now I’m pretty close to scratching it off my list. Just like I’d already done with PCLOS.

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