Linux examined: Fedora 9

The community edition of Red Hat's distro works well and is widely supported -- but it can be a difficult install

Of course, open-source operating systems can enjoy quick fixes to problems, and it's possible that some of these problems may be corrected soon (or may already be corrected when you read this). However, until they are, they represent areas of serious concern, at least to this author.

Conclusions

On the whole, Fedora is a solid Linux distribution that will probably serve you well for desktop usage. Red Hat can rightly claim extensive experience as a commercial Linux vendor; it practically invented the market. Installing Fedora is a good way to ensure an extensive repository of prebuilt software. The hardware support is right up there with any other user-friendly distribution.

But my experiences with trying a multiboot install make me leery of recommending it to anyone who wants to use it in a dual-boot environment. The distribution may be robust, but the installer needs to learn to play better with others. It's also a little too intimidating for nongeek users, so if you're going to get any less-experienced friends on Fedora, you might want to schedule an afternoon to help them out.

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