Is Fedora 18 Linux – ‘The Worst Red Hat Distro Ever’?

alan coxFrom the ‘Former Red Hat Employees Gone Mad’ files:

Alan Cox is a name that is well known in Linux circles. The former Red Hat kernel dev has always been influential and in recent years he has made his work home (until yesterday) at Intel.

In what is the most scathing description I have ever seen of a Fedora release, Cox referred to Fedora 18 as: “…the worst Red Hat distro I’ve ever seen.”

“The new installer is unusable, the updater is buggy,” Cox wrote in a G+ update. ” When you get it running the default desktop has been eviscerated to the point of being slightly less useful than a chocolate teapot, and instead of fixing the bugs in it they’ve added more.”

No surprise, the post has generated a fair bit of response. As a long-time user of Fedora myself, I’m no stranger to the first week of bugginess that typically accompanies many new Fedora releases, though for the most part they work. And so does Fedora 18. Then again, I literally *hate* the default shell desktop too (hurray for Cinnamon!!), but overall calling Fedora 18 the worst Red Hat distro is completely unwarranted in my opinion.

However, Cox’s opinions do carry weight and if Fedora 18 and its’ new fangled installer are to be the base of the upcoming new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, that’s where bigger troubles could emerge. Fedora is a proving ground and I’d expect that installer and default desktop issues will be fixed in Fedora before they land in Red Hat Enterprise Linux proper.

What’s also particularly interesting is that Cox rant about Fedora 18 was followed relatively quickly by his disclosure that he is leaving the Linux world and his current employer Intel.  He is leaving is ‘family reasons’.

“I’m aware that “family reasons” is usually management speak for “I think the boss is an asshole” but I’d like to assure everyone that while I frequently think Linus is an asshole (and therefore very good as kernel dictator) I am departing quite genuinely for family reasons and not because I’ve fallen out with Linus or Intel or anyone else.”

I personally wish Cox all the best and hope that his family concerns work out and that the day will come soon when he can return to contributing his valuable expertise to the Linux community.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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