Warning: Debian-based Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, Elementary and Pop!_OS may be the gateway to stronger substances… like Fedora.
I was going to title this post “Drinking the Kool-aid” but I thought it was very inappropriate and a bit extreme. That being said, I’ve been struggling with the task of finding a more accurate way to put it.
Right after I wrote my introduction to this community, where I stated that I was going to install Fedora on my laptop (an Acer Aspire 4739Z) once I upgraded it, I thought to myself: “Why wait?” and installed it right away.
Live-testing a distro is a world apart from actually installing it, tweaking it, tinkering it and actually using it. So, for a time, I had Pop!_OS on my old 2007 iMac, Elementary OS on my Intel Compute Stick and Fedora on my laptop… And I think it is part of the natural progress of a newcomer to this Linux journey. Is one of many ways to live the distro-hopping phase.
But, as with many phases in life, it has to end… eventually.
After some technical difficulties on my side of things, we spent some time talking about how I got there, Neal’s new situation at work, how to contribute with the Fedora Project (for a non-technical guy like me), the technical challenges of running DaVinci Resolve on Linux and why there’s a tendency to overlook Fedora on first impressions but loving it once you use it for a time. It was quite a good conversation, indeed, and I felt very welcome.
Then it hit me: I was on a video chat with people from the innermost circle of the Fedora Community, sharing my first-hand experience with them. It was very casual, open, and friendly. This is a very open and healthy community… and I love it!
One vision, one workflow
So as the new week began I started my plans to move the old iMac into a newer frontier: From Pop!_OS 21.10 to Fedora 35. At first, it was easy: Backing-up my few local files, plugging the USB drive from my Distro Kit, setting up the installation with Anaconda, then installing.
The difficult part came after: Shutting down and unplugging the iMad, moving it to a table I placed besides my router for the occasion, plugging the iMac to the router and to the power outlet, switching it up again, doing the basic tweaks and first update and then figuring out how to make the WiFi card work since, thanks to Apple benign Apple, it doesn’t work out of the box and you have to find the drivers for it.
With the WiFi working, it was time to take the iMac back to it’s place on my desk and install the rest of my daily apps. I’m in the middle of that part of the process right now as I reflect on the experience.
The decisive factors on choosing a distro
And so, my distro-hopping days are officially over. I might keep the Compute Stick on Elementary since I’ve been using it as a glorified media centre and not as often as the iMac and my laptop.
Besides functionality, stability, features, how it works under the hood, and how cutting-edge it is, I think what makes or breaks a distro are those intangibles, like documentation and the community. And Fedora has it all… especially the intangibles.
So, why doesn’t it make a good first-impression? I initially thought about the tweaking and tinkering I had to do in order to make it work the way I like, but now I think it is something else. I also had to tweak Pop!_OS and I also had to learn the basics of the command line… but the look was quite familiar: It looked a bit like the MacOS I was previously using on that iMac. It was this perceived familiarity System76 managed to build using quite a bunch of Gnome extensions.
Fedora uses vanilla Gnome: Untouched, unaltered, untweaked… in its purest form. It is perfectly usable without any tweaking, actually, but you have to get used to it. And that time sailing into the unknown, is not comfortable, or familiar…. but is a great experience once you get over that early discomfort.
So, I just wrote all these lines in order to say that I found my distro, my home…. and is Fedora. Well, I just wanted to share this part of my journey.