Monday, September 18, 2006

Fedora is not ready for mainstream yet.

I did another "software update" yesterday. Today I boot up and X11 doesn't work. I check the xorg.conf. It has not been edited. I found myself thinking "this is like on Slackware when I upgraded the kernel and I had to recompile the nvidia video driver".

Fedora updated the kernel on me. I guess that's part of updating software. Now just for a moment try to imagine how angry Steve Jobs would be if a Mac did that to a user? Think about it.

To Fedora's credit the problem is related to Nvidia not releasing source code for their video driver and letting it be integrated into the linux kernel.

To Fedora's deficit I don't recall being informed that the kernel was updated and custom added modules would need to be recompiled.


Christian said...

I don't think you can really blame that one on Fedora. If you've overriden the default 'nv' driver with the nvidia binary blob, you are taking the responsibility of upkeep onto yourself.

That being said, the solution is really simple. Running the nvidia installer again will only takes a minute. A quick init 5 and everything is gtg.

Rantinator said...

I suppose that's a fair point.

Fedora should still report that it is upgrading the kernel and non-fedora modules have been loaded into the kernel and that those modules may need to be recompiled.

The "nv" driver does not support more than one monitor. Also the "nvidia" driver supports TwinView which gets better performance than xinerama.

I think my life would likely be eaiser if nvidia would just give up their source code to the legions of linux weenies to maintain.

Lakin Wecker said...

I had a similar situation with ubuntu the other day. I installed some experimental software and the update broke my machine a few weeks later.

In the case that Chad talks about, Ubuntu actually keeps a package of kernel modules that includes nvidia, and ati's propietary drivers, etc. When they update the kernel, they update those packages so this situation doesn't arise. Of course, that means that you're running a 'few-months-old' nvidia driver.