Unstable & Not Ready – Uninstalling Fedora 12 24-Hours Later

Well it has been 24 hours since I first installed Fedora 12 and I am ready to uninstall it. Even after trying to enable 3D graphics with an experimental graphics driver, because the official ATI is not yet ready, I am still experiencing graphical abnormalities, application crashes, and sluggish performance all over. This is not the kind of experience that I can deal with day after day on my primary machine.

I believe most of these issues are just par for the course with Fedora. By that I mean, the Fedora developers love to live on the bleeding edge of technology and unfortunately this time around they didn’t wait for the basic foundation to be ready before shipping. I’m sure within the next couple of weeks, or months at the most, all of my issues will be ironed out. Until then I am reverting back to trusty “old” Fedora 11.


  1. I don’t think you can blame Fedora 12 for being unstable because ATI hasn’t got a stable driver yet.
    I’m running Fedora 12 on a dated X1400 with the opensource drivers without problem.
    If the community had access to the drivers source, i think things would be quite more stable.

  2. I installed F12 but after I clicked OK to the pop-up “Additional firmware required” it will no longer boot to a usable screen. The display is totally hosed, no mouse no view to manually select items. This is with on-board intel graphics.

  3. Thanks for the comments,

    vincent :
    I don’t think you can blame Fedora 12 for being unstable because ATI hasn’t got a stable driver yet.

    I wish I could agree with you. There are 3 major graphics manufacturers (Intel, ATI, nVidia). If you launch an operating system without support for two out of three of them you’re asking for trouble. I hate to make the comparison but that’s exactly what happened with Windows Vista…

    On the plus side when ATI and nVidia do eventually get around to releasing their drivers I’m sure that will solve most of my issues. In the mean time I’ll stick with Fedora 11.

  4. I’m sorry vincent, but I really have to agree with Tyler on this one. If Linux wants to play with the big boys, it has to play by the rules.
    Releasing a new stable version without graphics drivers for a third of all systems on the market is not playing by the rules.
    Tyler was able to get around his issues because he knows a thing or two about computers – but what if somebody who didn’t (i.e. the market that Linux would like to capture) ran into similar problems? That would probably sour their Fedora experience.
    Tyler made the comparison to the Windows Vista release in his reply to your comment, and I couldn’t agree more.

  5. Fedora never releases without drivers for all major graphics cards. Fedora 12 has drivers for ATI/AMD graphics cards. Specifically, the F/OSS ‘radeon’, ‘r128’ and ‘mach64’ driver set that is part of the X.org graphical system used by all distributions.

    Fedora is a F/OSS (free / open source software) project. By policy and design, Fedora does not supply or support – or block its releases for – third party proprietary software. If you want a distribution which says ‘how high?’ when a proprietary vendor says ‘jump!’, Fedora is indeed not the distribution you’re looking for, but we don’t consider that to be in any way a bad thing. If there weren’t distributions like Fedora which properly emphasized software freedom, free / open source software would be much less actively developed.

    The F/OSS ATI/AMD drivers work well on the majority of cards available; we would not release Fedora if they didn’t. There are always particular hardware combinations that are problematic for any driver – including the proprietary one – this is more or less inevitable, due to the huge range of possible combinations. It appears you have one such system, and we’re sorry that’s the case. It would be very helpful if you could file a bug for this to help us resolve the problems.

    Please do note that the 3D support for recent-model Radeon adapters in the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package is, indeed, experimental. That’s why it’s in a package with ‘experimental’ in its name and not installed by default; we don’t expect it to work perfectly on most hardware like the basic driver functionality should. It would be best to test with this package removed to see if you still experience corruption or instability. If your system is stable without this package, then we would again like it if you could file a bug – this time against mesa – to help make those drivers more stable in future.

    Adam Williamson
    Fedora QA Community Monkey

  6. Right. If you look back at a couple of my older posts I do have such issues with my hardware. My point was not that Fedora is a bad distribution, in fact I rather like it, my point is that I felt dissapointed by the lack of good support for very new hardware from a cutting edge distro when it worked so well under F11. I do understand where Fedora’s team is coming from and while I don’t agree completely I don’t blame them for their excellent work either. I just wish someone was able to port kmod-catalyst to F12 while we wait for ATI to get in gear. As it stands I am unable to upgrade and take advantage of the awesome new features because of that lacking driver.

    In regards to Mesa and the OSS drivers: I experienced the same issues with all configurations I tried even with desktop effects turned off.

  7. @Tyler B

    Thanks for the update. In that case I’d definitely recommend you file a bug report, if you could – follow the instructions at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_debug_Xorg_problems . You may also want to try the common workarounds for miscellaneous X problems documented at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_F12_bugs#radeon-misc-gfx . If it’s a regression compared to F11, as your comment seems to indicate, mention that in the bug report too. Thanks!

  8. Dear Mr. Williamson,
    I have a simple and rather standard desktop computer built with an Intel DG45ID motherboard, a E7400 processor, 2GB of Kingston certified RAM, a SATA 2 hard disk, and nothing else. Thus, graphics, sound, and network are from the Intel onboard chipset. I was running a fully updated Fedora 11 x86_64 (with KDE) on this computer, and it was stable and worked very well. However, Fedora 12 x86_64 has a serious incompatibility with this motherboard. Even during the first steps of installation, before packages or even KDE or Gnome were selected, responsiveness of the system was very slow. I then installed KDE and all F12 updates as of November 19, but the problem persisted. Sometimes the system runs normally for 10 or 15 minutes, but then becomes EXTREMELY slow and hence unusable. When this happens, system monitor shows that X is consuming a large percentage of CPU time (as high as 70%). Therefore, and sadly, I will also revert to Fedora 11. If you have a solution for this problem, please let me known.

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