In spite of swearing off (and swearing at) Linux (especially openSUSE 11.1), I downloaded Fedora 11 beta, burned a CD on the Windows XP side, and then booted trusty old europa into Fedora 11. The primary reason is I have a lot of material on the Linux partitions that I need to back up, and I had heard that with Fedora 11 I could once again look at all existing Linux partitions including everything under /home. One of my biggest complaints in the past was that at some point somebody decided that allowing the viewing, let alone mounting, of home partitions was Not To Be Allowed for Security Reasons. Right. With Fedora 11 you can mount everything, including home, and see everything. I was even able to su to root and modify files on those forbidden file systems as well. All in all, from a rescue standpoint, Fedora 11 beta was very useful. I'm sure someone somewhere will note this and consider this feature to be a bug and 'fix' it so it won't work on release. It always seems to work that way.
What follows is some screen capture porn.
This was the desktop after boot. Note the lovely kernel failure message in the lower right corner. It didn't seem to effect the operation of Fedora 11, and I clicked on the "Yes" button to send it off to where these are supposed to go. I got a message a short time later signifying that the message had been successfully sent. The background is the default Leonidas wallpaper.
This amusing file-not-found message was presented by the Firefox browser. This is just to remind us it is a beta after all.
Screen resolution was at an odd 1792 x 1344 resolution at 60 Hz. I was able to quickly and easily set it to 1600 x 1200 at 65Hz refresh rate, which made the vintage Dell CRT easier to view and read.
After selecting browser-style viewing in Nautilus I can more easily see and navigate all the existing file systems.
My digitized movies, just a small part of the data I need to back up. I've had this collection since openSUSE 10.2, where I ripped most of them with the tools (K3b primarily) supplied with that release. I'll back them up to a portable USB drive. And of course, double clicking any of them starts a Totem fail where I'm informed I don't have the necessary codecs installed. Lovely.
A closing desktop. I miss being able to right-click on the desktop and launch a shell. Instead I have to find the shell command in the Applications | System Tools menu, then right-click that entry to "Add to launcher panel". That's because I sometimes like to have more than one shell window open (rather than multiple tabs on one shell window). Like when I want to view side-by-side output.
Normally at this point I wax poetically about the wonders of this latest distribution. Not this time. Based on my Linux experiences since mid-2007 I find it's a wonder that Fedora 11 works at all, and works the way I need for it to work, which is to allow me access to my data without having to install the bloody thing. That is, after all, what the promise of live Linux systems was supposed to be about, first popularized years ago by Knoppix. I've modified the Grub start menu on the busted hard-disk-based openSUSE 11.1 to automatically start Windows XP first, and I'll just limp along with that until I have more time to do a full purge and installation of Windows 7. In the mean time I'll keep Fedora 11 around as the rescue disk until everything I need is fully backed up and off the system.
I will say this about Fedora 11: bitter I might be at the moment, but the quality of Fedora 11 is the best in three releases. The rise in Fedora quality began with Fedora 9. Perhaps this rise is due to Fedora's proximity to Redhat. I would like to think that Redhat would want to maintain a solid reputation for quality in both its commercial as well as its 'free' versions of Linux.