I quickly realized that the bleeding edge isn’t the place for me, so I’m taking a step back of sorts. I’ve resintalled Fedora 10 (Gnome). I think I had more stuff working faster or without manual reconfiguration using that — most of the reconfiguration I did was to reduce services running and change apps around to reduce initial resource use and to improve performance.
I’m currently updating the system. I’ll still have to change software around as I had it before trying Debian. Fortunately it hasn’t been that long ago and I remember just about everything I did before (so I think).
Let me say this: it’s nothing against Debian. I’ve run Debian on many computers and it’s wonderful on conventional (and “classic”) hardware. The stable release just isn’t ideal for certain newer hardware; if that weren’t an issue, I’d probably be running RHEL, SLED, or CentOS on this thing (maybe some day…). I knew the risks of switching to Sid included having more things that might crash (they did: rhythmbox wasn’t the only fly in the ointment) and possibly wouldn’t work (e. g., upgrading xorg broke tapping and scrolling on the Synaptics pad). I acccepted those risks and flaws with the hope of having better support of my AA1 than Lenny provided. Maybe Squeeze would’ve been a happy middle ground. Maybe I’ll try that at some point when I have more time to play.
Not surprisingly, I’d also face many of the same issues with Fedora 11. I already had noticed my Synaptics pad didn’t tap or scroll when trying the different (Gnome, KDE, Xfce) Leonidas Live CDs. I think I could still move to Fedora 11 when more bugs like Synaptics are fixed. I’d also like to be able to install without being forced to use a particular filesystem, especially ext4 which I’m not ready to try.
I’m open to further experimentation with other distros as I have time. I considered going Ubuntu LTS but I’d rather not. I was prepared to do something more drastic (Gentoo, Lunar, etc.) just to get things set up “just so” for my funky tastes. I don’t think this is so bad. Things worked and I was draining ~200 MB at boot using Gnome in Fedora 10, which isn’t much more (20-25%) than I was using in Debian with jwm — the difference being full desktop and file system integration under Gnome.
Nothing’s really lost beyond time (which I’ve had since installing Debian thanks to the flu; I’m just about back to normal). The biggest drawback to regressing to an earlier version of Fedora like this (10) is that it has only a thirteen-month support cycle and we’re already half-way through it. I’m just tired of stuff not working correctly and/or easily, or even crashing.
I deliberated about installing Fedora 10 as a lone distro on my hard drive after realizing Fedora 11 wasn’t going to work for me (yet). Turns out I’m right back where I thought I should’ve stayed. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I installed Debian for two reasons: I wanted a stable distro with long-term support and I wanted to integrate or streamline all my disparate Linux partitions (multiple distros and a large amount of free space) after being so displeased by the questionable way PCLOS automatically set things up. Speaking of which, I let Fedora set up a /boot partition and / (LVM) this time around. I think it’s also important to note that Fedora 10 from USB correctly installed GRUB to the correct drive (sda rather than sdb), even setting up an entry for Windows (as “unknown”) — hooray, Fedora!
I don’t have the latest version numbers of everything but I’m content that everything works well and is reasonably stable. That’s all I really wanted.