A non-developer taking Fedora 8 for a Spin

Andrew Overholt from the Fedora team sent Wayne and myself a USBkey with the Fedora 8 Developer Spin. This morning I decided to take it for a spin.

First some disclaimers, 1) I am ashamed to say that I have never installed Linux on my machine. Basically, I use the standard Windows XP install I get with my laptop and hope it doesn’t fail. 2) the last time I did any professional programming was in the late 80’s when I was hacking Eiffel code. Although I do have a perfectly reasonable comp sci degree. Bottom line, I would not consider myself a Linux hacker. 😦

Given that, I was amazed with how easy and FAST it was getting Fedora 8 up and running. Within 1 hr, I had Eclipse, PHPEclipse, e-mail, IRC and blogging all up and running. The Developer Spin includes a core set of the Eclipse projects, so you don’t need to download or install anything. It also points to the Europa update site, so it is easy to add any project that you are missing.

For those less technically inclined than me, here is the process I went through.

1. Have Matt, our IT guy, change my bios setting so that booting from a USB key is first priority.

2. Plug USB key into computer; turn on computer.

3. Wait a few seconds. This is not Windows, so you don’t have time for a morning coffee during the boot process.

4. When asked for a user name, I just hit enter. A default has been set.

5. You are now up and running in Fedora 8.

6. To start Eclipse, go to Applications -> Programming -> Eclipse
IMHO, this couldn’t be easier. I’d recommend it to anyone that has been holding off trying Linux as a developer desktop. If I can get it installed and running, I am sure others can. Download it now and give it a try.

It looks like Fedora makes it easy to build custom spins. Maybe we should try to do different Eclipse spins?

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