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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Fri, 18 Dec 2015

Fedora 22 with Xfce deep into the cycle -- most 'stable' Fedora release ever for my laptop

Fedora 23 has been out for awhile and I haven't yet upgraded the HP Pavilion g2-2210us laptop I've been running and upgrading since I first installed F18 on it in mid-2013.

One reason I'm not upgrading, though under examination illogically, is that Fedora 22 is the best-running, most "stable" release I've ever run on this now-2 1/2-year-old hardware.

Most if not all of the stability is not due to F22, per se, but to the Linux ecosystem in general, and since this still is Fedora, I'm getting new kernels all the time (running 4.2.7 now) with nothing broken in recent memory.

But given the "production" nature of this laptop, on which I hammer away at Fedora 22 all day in the course of my work (and play), I'm at a point where there's really nothing to complain about.

I am hitting all of my must-haves:

  • Video works great with open driver, including on HDMI
  • Audio works great with no problems switching between laptop and HDMI outputs
  • Suspend/resume works with no tweaks
  • Laptop CPU runs as cool or cooler than it does with Windows
  • Touchpad works perfectly
  • Wired and wireless networking work perfectly

It's an admittedly short list. But critical. When I started with Fedora 18 (and which would have been true for any Linux distribution at the time), I only had maybe one of those "must-haves" -- the touchpad part. Everything else was a bit of a disaster.

A lot of tweaking ensued to make things work. But over the many Fedora releases I have run (and particularly during the F22 cycle), I have been able to drop pretty much every tweak, even the GRUB tweaks that allowed me to successfully suspend/resume and run well with a "stock" configuration.

If everything had been this good when I originally bought this laptop, I would have been very happy saving myself the many hours it took to figure out how to make as many things work in Linux as I could.

But now, two years after I got the laptop, I'm in a sweet spot that I thought would have happened at the six-month mark. But the fact that it's here at all is better than the alternative.

I'm fairly confident that upgrading to F23 won't break anything, but in lieu of any blockbuster new features, I'm in no hurry. If I was running GNOME, there are updates every six months, but since my work goes better with Xfce, a project that moves much more slowly, there really is no incentive for me to upgrade to F23 with any kind of urgency.

So on F22 I stay, though that could change whenever I find enough time to sit the laptop down and go through the dnf-powered upgrade procedure that was introduced with the F23 release.