I’m doing a test drive of the Berryboot Fedora install today. So far, I like it.
It is a MATE desktop, that is in many ways comfortable.
It didn’t ‘balk’ when I hand edited the /etc/passwd file to add the user “pi” with the same user id and group id as on Debian. I mounted my (now living on external disk) pi home directory and then logged in a ‘pi’. There’s all my stuff, and it works nicely.
Launched FireFox. It is a faster browser than the IceWeasel and IceApe clones on Debian. No idea why. Using IceWeasel on Debian (the newer) had slow spots and was just “an issue”. Even with squid running. With the IceAgeNow page open, it tends to consume most of a CPU (likely the way ads are done on that site. I have seen this on several browsers with them, so now I use them as a test case.) At present, I have my site, WUWT, and IceAgeNow all open AND I’m puting in a posting.
No type ahead. CPU is at 53% of one core. That’s a significant gain.
I did install Squid on it, and found that it installs with a different user ID, so I can’t just point it at the same cache directory on the external disk drive. No big deal, I’m just leaving it with the defaults for now.
Overall the system is clean and fast. It does have that “slightly stuffy” feeling of all things Red Hat. Crisp, but in a “you WILL do it my way” sort of way.
Yet it works, and from a first look, rather well. I suspect that the new Debian (Jessie) is having “issues” from trying to integrate systemd and message bus processes. Fedora was where it was developed and integrated from the start (only one of the reasons I’m not fond of systemd… it forces change in so much other stuff, all of which will take a good bit of tuning and debugging to get back to where they were prior to the conversion…) But “it is what it is” and Fedora looks to be using those basics better, for now.
It looks like some other folks like it too:
[fedora-arm] New Raspberry Pi 2 with ARM v7 processor
User Digital user0007 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 22 17:40:19 UTC 2015
Fedora is running indeed on RPI2 – you may use Berryboot – Boot menu / OS installer for ARM devices (http://sourceforge.net/projects/berryboot/). The Berryboot web site is http://www.berryterminal.com/doku.php/berryboot It is needed to download 32.8MB zip file and to copy the unzipped files to a FAT or FAT32 formated microSD card. Then you may add to the Berryboot main menu the existing Fedora ARM 21 OS with MATE desktop. It is running very well, the desktop is nice and fast, Firefox v.33.1 is already pre-installed (Raspbian OS has only old Firefox version Iceweasel). Audio hardware should be added. The previous version included in Berryboot was Fedora 18 with xfce desktop – it was running very well too on RPI2.
I’ll be “living on Fedora” for a few days now. Mostly to see how it does with a wider range of things. See what the “build script” for it would need to be to get “all my usual tools” in place. It isn’t all that big a deal to do:
yum install squid
apt-get squid install
but knowing what is already in, and out, is the longer part of the process.
I’ve been using CentOS on the Antek/ASUS box, and it is just a slightly older Fedora with bit more QA and a package set more aimed at large data centers. The two are more alike than different.
But what I care about is the browser performance, mostly. This one is significantly smoother. (Hey, they both can be nearly identical, but if one is using 1.5 X the CPU, it hits 100% and bogs while the other doesn’t. As of now, I’ve not seen this Firefox hit 100%…)
I did mount a ‘real swap’ on it, and with just the browser and 2 terminal windows open I’ve got 16,052 blocks of swap already used. It’s a bit of a memory hog build. That may be where the extra speed comes from, a willingness to put more stuff in memory to save some cycles. On an all SD card system this would likely mean more SD card wear. As I really like having “real swap” this isn’t an issue for me. And as SD cards are cheap, just be ready to restore a backup if you run on an SD card for a year or two.
Ah! On clicking “save” during the draft of this article: the CPU usage for FireFox went to 117%, so more than one core. It is both ‘multicore aware” and efficient. Nice. IIRC, IceApe is not multicore aware yet, limiting on one core.
So that’s the update from this posting. If you are a Fedora / RedHat fan, or just like MATE, it seems to be an industrial strength ‘re-mix’ for the ARM chip set. So far. (this is still early in the test drive).
Oh, and I’m running from a Class 4 card, so it is a reasonable speed chip, but not like a Class 10 Ultra at 30 MB/second. It’s not the chip that lets this be fast.
Now that my home directory is external, a lot of the ‘issues’ of living on another OS for a while go away. All must current stuff and projects come with me. That makes ‘variety testing’ easier. Don’t be surprised if I’m bouncing between distributions for a while. But, with that said, the ease of making postings on a real FireFox without pauses is likely to keep me here when posting. At least for now.
There is a reasonable selection of ‘the usual suspects’ installed. Libre Office and gparted and transmission all already in place. Didn’t see Gimp, though. So until I’m installing it now. “yum install gimp”.
I’ve also not yet tested sound. That will be later today. It ought to work, though. We’ll see what happens on a youtube video…
All in all, it is looking like a decent release.