Borys Bradel's Blog

Ubuntu 10.04 and Fedora 13

Tags: linux September 1, 2010    

I have used both Ubuntu 10.04 and Fedora 13 since they both came out, and found that while they're relatively nice, they lack stability. The following are my views on the two operating systems. Currently, Ubuntu runs on the computer and has two virtual machines. One virtual machine uses Fedora and the other Ubuntu.

Although, it is hard to decide between Fedora 13 and Ubuntu 10.04, I have decided to go with Ubuntu because 10.04 is an LTS version, which allows me to not have to update for three years. After that I will just delete the partition with the previous operating system and install a new operating system, assuming my hard drive does not die before then.


This time I have decided to perform a fresh install, and the installer on both systems is good, although the Ubuntu one is more polished. Ubuntu's installer allows other partitions to be adjusted in a straightforward manner (with slider controls). Also, for Fedora 13, when I first selected a hard drive, the system prompted me to initialize the drive on kvm, which I found was a bit strange and scary.

Installation Steps

Turn off screen saver.

Change Terminal background. The purple background in terminals is annoying. The option can be changed in Edit - Profile Preferences - Colours. White on black works well for me.

Delete the bottom panel. Move the top panel to the bottom. Add Window List, Workspace Switcher, and System Monitor. Add Terminal to the quicklaunch area and remove the other items.

Run the following command: sudo apt-get install vim autoconf autogen automake bison flex g++ gcj sbcl clisp gnucash gnuplot sysstat texlive texlive-pictures texlive-pstricks texlive-latex-extra texlive-science latex-xcolor clamav kvm graphviz

In a virtual machine run the following command: sudo apt-get install vim thunderbird flashplugin-installer

Also, a note for vim users on Ubuntu: torte is ugly with the new color scheme. Just leaving no color scheme seems to work okay. Therefore, I do not set a color scheme.


Hibernate has become more unstable than before. However startup time of the system (i.e. starting from a shut down or reset) is much better. On Fedora, I never use hibernate, while on Ubuntu I use hibernate only in a virtual machine. The reason is that the virtual machine, with less RAM, seems to resume from hibernate a bit faster than starting up. However, shutting down from time to time is advised to avoid unstable behaviour. Also resume from hibernate tends to cause the screen to go blank immediately, so you need to press a button to make the login dialog appear. For Ubuntu, there is still no usb keyboard support in grub after a resume from hibernate.

Virtual Machines

Ubuntu and Fedora are better for virtual machines than Debian because they allow for higher resolutions for the virtual machines than Debian's 800x600. For whatever reason, virtual machine behaviour has gotten worse.

A virtual mouse has been introduced that allows for smooth transitioning between the desktop and virtual machines. Besides being prone to causing me to accidentally close the virtual machine instead of the browser window inside, this feature has issues in that it causes significant slowdown. Initially, CPU usage tends to go up to 100% CPU every few seconds. This bad performance has been fixed in updates. However, the performance is still worse than before. To remove this feature, remove the xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse package in the virtual machine (look for vmmouse).

Occasionally the operating system in the virtual machine becomes unstable. For example, in Ubuntu, all gnome panels and window borders disappeared and there was a flashing gray rectangle in the top left. I had to close the virtual machine. Also, Firefox crashes occasionally, and flash crashes all the time. Fortunately, Firefox now has flash in its own process, so only flash crashes.

Also, the new version of kvm seems to have issues with the network interfaces. The e1000 model is no longer there, and neither is the l8139. However, if the default nic is used, the kvm will work even though it complains.

Finally, to click away from the virtual machine and focus on a different window tends to require two clicks, which is annoying.


I had panel items crashing on both systems.

On Fedora 13, open office is not installed by default, which seems weird.

Also, Fedora continues to have way too many packages to update.

A reminder for Thunderbird users like me, to get the full articles to appear you need to select the following from the menu: View - Feed Message Body As - Web Page.


Overall, most things have stayed the same, except that the installation process has improved and stability has decreased somewhat. Still, I prefer the interface in "nix" systems over Windows.

Copyright © 2010 Borys Bradel. All rights reserved. This post is only my possibly incorrect opinion.

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