For a long time I was a wearer of the Fedora. Starting with Red Hat 4.2, all the way to 8 and then adopting Fedora when Red Hat when corporate, I was a proud user of all things Fedora. But then something happened and I lost my taste for the research triangle and we parted ways. I found Ubuntu, which marked the end of an era.

And I tried to pick up where Fedora and I left off. I gave 7, 8, and 9 a try, only to become disappointed on a number of levels. The yum system seemed to spend more time broken than not. The GNOME desktop was little more than a joke, and usb was impossible. I had pretty much written off ever using Fedora again — that is — until 10.

Recently, I decided I couldn’t stand trying to make Vista work well on my laptop, and I had to make it dual boot (I had to keep Vista so I could continue to write about the things that DID actually work in this quirky-at-best OS). Naturally I went for my favorite Ubuntu 8.10, but for some reason the installer didn’t like the fact that Vista was present on the hard disk. After that I went for my next favorite, Mandriva. Mandriva installed well but the wireless card wouldn’t work (even though it DID work during the Mandriva LiveCD session – odd that.) With those two down, I reached for a recently burned copy of Fedora 10. I thought, “What the hey – it couldn’t perform any worse than the other two on this odd little Sony Vaio.” I inserted the CD and crossed my fingers.

The LiveCD session looked good. I have to say the default background is stunning (I know, there I go again talking about backgrounds!). Wireless worked great. Sound was working. If the install completed as smoothly as the LiveCD ran, Fedora 10 might wind up having a home on my laptop along side Vista.

Well, the install finished and I logged in. To my surprise, everything (and I mean everything) worked. On top of everything working, Fedora 10 was outperforming Vista hands down. Boot is faster, graphics are faster, every thing runs far more smoothly.

And one of the biggest surprises (and this might send Jaqui into apoplectic fits) is that GNOME 2.24 is actually a usable desktop! Sure I tweaked it a bit, but I would have to say that GNOME 2.24 is a far better desktop than KDE 4.x.

This whole experience has really taken me by surprise. I had written off Fedora, but now I believe I have found a renewed friendship and can proudly don my hat again.

To all the developers at Fedora and Red Hat, I tip my, well, hat to you. You have made me a believer again.