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-   -   How is Arch'es stability compared to Fedora's? (

Mr. Alex 06-05-2011 04:21 AM

How is Arch'es stability compared to Fedora's?
I am using Arch for almost a year now and have never used Fedora.
I know that Fedora is a beta-version of RHEL's ideas and technologies. And Arch is just a bleeding edge; all the latest; means not tested well. And I wonder - which of them is less stable in terms of bugs and crashes - Fedora or Arch? What is your opinion?

business_kid 06-05-2011 04:59 AM

Fedora is RHEL with multimedia stuff for desktop more than server use. It has all the server stuff as well, btw. I never saw it as a beta for RHEL. There's a lot more programming expertise behind these RH distros than most. It also uses OSS - and has a programmer helping you to get the best out of it. Blackdown Java, Nouveau nvidia card driver, etc.

The big + is the regular updates for problems you haven't heard about. When glibc had a security flaw (and everything is compiled using glibc) you could just update your way out of that.

The big - is the regular updates for problems you haven't heard about. My experience is that the more you compile, the sooner you run into trouble on updates(weird, crazy insoluble errors from left field). I have had an updated kernel which did not boot on my system on every box I put fedora on.

After a while, version numbers stop making sense. glibc-2.15.0-1 is glibc-2.15.0, first rpm. What's glibc-2.15.0-97?

I have a pet hate in rpm also, although I won't complain about it until I have suffered with debian's package manager

ButterflyMelissa 06-05-2011 05:13 AM


Glad you raised this question. I have used both, and both are great to work with. There are some pro's and cons, I will not list them here, most are personal taste to the user, but I'd like to mention some...

Fedora is, as you mentioned, a test platform for the commercial RHEL. In that, there are two inherent phenomena that keep getting in the picture: incomplete/untested (and sometimes broken) software and a (very) short life span. The proir means that a new install means a lot of tuning-in. Minor stuff if you're lucky, major stuff otherwise. But all in all you get a very complete package to use/test. The second point is the lifecycle. Fedora typically "lives" one year, after that it goes EOL and you have to re-install to upgrade because updates stop after EOL. A migration pathway exists, but is not recommended, even by the makers of Fedora.
Arch, on the other hand, is a rolling release. I've been using it for some time now and am very pleased with it. But, there is a downside: Arch puts ALL the responsability in YOUR lap. It is more console oriented, compared to Fedora, but that made it (for me) more educational than Fedora that tends to hide most of the "clockwork"...
Arch can be a pain, believe me. It starts with the install. Last night, I installed Debian (on a recording machine) and was done after clicking my options. Fedora's installer (Anaconda, I blieve) is in one sentence: "an utter pleasure to work with", complete and taking the (newer) user by the hand. Arch has a (curses based?) installer. After the install, you're left with a command line and not a lot more, and you have to build the system to fit your needs. That, for me was a pro, but can be a big let-down if you "just want a desktop"...
As far as the community around Arch is concerned, be warned, some of the members are not always nice :)
Stable? Well, yes, and no. Software is one (if not the only one) of the most artisanal products around. It takes ten fingers and a human brain to make it, not a "generator" or some automated process...that makes it "people work" and prone to "itches"...but that's to be expected...

Hope it helps in making a choice!


DavidMcCann 06-05-2011 01:27 PM

When I test a distro, I always try launching software from the terminal, to see if any complaints are left behind. The last time I tried Arch, I got a lot. I seem to remember Firefox had 6 warnings labeled CRITICAL. That may not mean it will inevitably crash or lock up, but it does make you think. Arch can be a pain to install and ship some dodgy software, but the one thing I will say for it is that the documentation is great.

Fedora is also a bit bleeding-edge. In version 14, Evolution locks whenever I tried to reply to a mailing list and Hunspell thinks all words with an -s suffix are mistakes. If you do regular updates, it's effectively rolling-release like Arch, unless you use yum-plugin-security to enable security-only updates.

I'm currently considering switching to Salix for both my computers. It's just that I'm used to yum/rpm and grub, and I feel a bit lost with slapt-get and lilo!

ButterflyMelissa 06-05-2011 01:40 PM


Arch can be a pain to install
and configure. And yes, I adopted the habit to run things of the console whenever I encounter something weird...for me it's educational, but Arch...can be a challenge...

Mr. Alex 06-06-2011 10:08 AM

Fedora 15
There are more thoughts about Fedora here. Gotta say, I'm a little surprised. I didn't expect Fedora 15 to be THIS bad and low quality. So it kinda answers my question and Fedora doesn't have an advantage in comparison with Arch.

ButterflyMelissa 06-06-2011 05:45 PM


So it kinda answers my question and Fedora doesn't have an advantage in comparison with Arch.
As you may have gathered, Fedora is a test platform...sad but true. As with all test platforms, it's up to the users/testers to filter out the wrinkles...fair ot not...

Actually, all pro/con comparisons aside, Arch is the better one. It challenges you but there always is an "end of the rainbow" - and it helps you understand Linux. Fedora...challenges you to fix what should not be broken to begin with...

My two cents? Stick with me, as in all relationships, it's the challenges that make it worth the while. ;)


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