Fedora 13 delay fixes Linux GRUB bug
No, Fedora 13 Linux is not coming out today (and if you read my blog last week you'd know that!). The release was pushed back by a week to fix a number of blocker bugs, among them is an interesting one that many users might simply consider to be just a papercut nuisance.
GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader), the loader that most Linux users see when they first boot up, had a very small issue in it that might have affected users. For some users (myself included) GRUB is a critical screen where you can select which operating system you want to load. That could be a different Linux kernel on the same OS, a different Linux distribution altogether or even Windows.
Usually the way GRUB works by default is the user gets to select which kernel/OS they want to load with a time delay before a default kernel OS loads. That's where the GRUB bug comes into play.
"GRUB bootloader should have a
few seconds delay on a multi-boot setup," Rahul Sundaram wrote in a Red Hat bugzilla entry. "GRUB by default is configured in Fedora to not show the menu and have zero delay but in a multi-boot environment where Anaconda detects Windows and configures GRUB to boot Windows as a alternative, GRUB was configured by Anaconda to have a few seconds delay and show the menu so that the user can choose between Fedora and Windows. Unfortunately this is not the case with Fedora 13 RC2 anymore. This results in a non-technical user unable to boot into Windows after installing Fedora 13."
So to recap, one of the reasons for the Fedora 13 delay was to help new users that want to run both Windows and Linux on the same computer. Yes it's a small bug, but it could have been a big deal for new users. Making the new user Linux experience as easy as possible, especially for those coming from Windows is a good idea and one that will likely help Linux adoption.