Today, I have mostly been having fun with VMware. This post is brought to you by (shock!) Fedora Core 4, running in VMware Player on my trusty Cooker desktop. I've more or less figured out creating new machines with qemu and a bit of text file hacking; I've already got this machine and a SUSE 10 one set up, by the end of today I'm hoping to have Ubuntu 5.10 and Mandriva 2006 Xmas edition as well, and in the end probably Mandriva 2005, Corporate and some others. It'll be a great help troubleshooting problems (sometimes it's a bit hard since I don't run 2006, like most MDV users, and I don't run KDE) and looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the other distros.
The main reason I got into this, though, was to get ready to test the Shiny New Secret Project, about which I now know a couple of more things than I did before: it's called Mandriva Linux 2006 One (or something like that...if it is overly complicated / sucky, that'll be Point One on my feedback), and from what I can gather, it's an installable live CD, like Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS. If all goes well there'll be a public beta up tomorrow or early Saturday, and we can all get cracking on it. Excellent.
So far my Adventures With Other Distros have shown me that Red Hat's 'up2date' thingy stinks (what were they thinking?), but the FC community came up with a pretty good replacement in yum, which seems just as good as urpmi, apt or smart at normal tasks. SUSE's automatic update monitoring thing is, er, better than MandrivaOnline (although to be fair to our Online guys, SUSE's is free so they don't have to handle the substantial added complexity of individual user accounts). When I mentioned this on our internal chat, one of our tech guys told me to wait for the major update to Online that's due in a month or two and see who kicks whose ass then, so that sounds interesting! SUSE still insists on running suseconfig (or whatever it's called), which rewrites every configuration file it monitors, every time you make even a small change in just one area - insanity. Fedora doesn't have /usr/sbin or /sbin in root's path, which is really amazingly annoying.
It's been fun so far. Ubuntu and MDV 2006 Xmas are currently downloading - I'll see how smoothly installation of those goes, later on.