Back to Fedora -- for Firewire!
It's been a long, fun trip with CentOS on the desktop. But all good things must come to an end. In the next week I'm going to move my personal workstation at home to Fedora 7. It's not that CentOS doesn't provide the best, most rock-solid server environment in the world (next to their Upstream OS Provider). It's the devices. A specific Firewire device in particular.
This has been a difficult decision because I migrated off Fedora a few years ago to get away from the exhausting pace of new releases that the developers maintain. Rebuilding up to a new major version every 6 months was just not my idea of fun. And then there were the dependancy failures that inevitably resulted when someone forgot to dot an "i" or cross a "t" when releasing an upgrade package that touched a few dozen other packages. That's OK for a development distro, which is what the developers keep reminding us is what Fedora is. For someone who spends most of his day wrestling enterprise software into submission, howerver, it was a little too much.
But I need good, reliable, Firewire support. I really do.
You see, in addition to being a full-time tech, I'm also a full-time dad to a couple of very active kids. That's why I bought a nice new Sony DV cam last summer. When I was on CentOS 4 I was able to use a combination of the latest centosplus kernel and hours of Googling to get the right configuration to allow me to download taped video onto my workstation for editing. Since getting up on CentOS 5 I've tried the same procedure again, although there still is no release version of centosplus and I've had to make due with test. Although it worked for a day, it suddenly just quit. Although lsmod shows the ieee1394 and ohci1394 modules loaded, none of my software like kino can see the camera or it's output.
So, in the hopes that the newly re-engineered Firewire stack in Fedora 7 will do the trick, I'm migrating off CentOS and back onto Fedora. I've already added a second, real big, hard disk to the box, and moved all the stuff I want to save onto it. All that's left is to tar up etc, home and var just in case I missed something. Then the fun will begin.
Hopefully this will be the last rebuild I'll need to do for awhile. I've already done 3 in the last couple of months, from CentOS 4 to CentOS 5 x86_64 and then to CentOS 5 x86. Just need to be careful about not running an open-ended "yum update".