Review: 3 top Linux distros go for different users

inode0 inode0 at
Sat Jan 30 02:33:19 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 11:41 PM, Mel Chua <mel at> wrote:
> Forwarded with Michael Tiemann's permission. The short version: should we
> look into (1) figuring out an optional (opt-in, I'd suggest) tweak to get
> Fedora-specific search results when looking for Linux howtos, and/or (2) SEO
> ( at some point?
> --Mel
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: Review: 3 top Linux distros go for different users
> Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2009 09:13:05 -0500
> From: Michael Tiemann <tiemann at>
> Kara Schiltz wrote:
>> Computerworld
>> 12.16.09
>> Review: 3 top Linux distros go for different users
>> By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
>> [clip]
>> Paul Frields, Red Hat's Fedora Project Leader, described Fedora to me
>> as being "first and foremost for users interested in and capable of
>> contributing to open source." So if you're a Linux power user, you're
>> going to love Fedora. If you're not, this probably isn't the distro
>> for you.
> I just installed Fedora 12 (DVD iso x86_64) this past weekend on a very
> hostile piece of hardware: an old MacBookPro version 2,1.  By hostile I
> mean that it's now old enough to reject the installation of modern
> versions of Mac OSX.  The installation process went perfectly smoothly
> until it was time to reboot, and that failed because the MBR and/or the
> GPT has a "bootable" flag that needed to be reset.  I reset the flag,
> and then grub failed.  Some googling led me to question whether my ext4
> boot partition was really a proper choice, and when I backed up /boot to
> some temp space in my rescued filesystem image, reformatted /boot as
> ext2, and restored the contents, everything worked perfectly
> thereafter.  WIN!
> What does this have to do with Ubuntu, the implied distro for non-power
> users, you might ask?
> I have yet to find a way to search via Google for answers to my Fedora
> problems without Ubuntu being a prominent, if not nearly exclusive
> search result.  Well, that's not quite adding +fedora -ubuntu
> I start to get the kinds of results I'm looking for, but by golly for
> all that Google is supposed to be my Big Brother, it keeps trying to
> lead me away from Fedora and over to Ubuntu.
> If there were some way to make technical support help focus on the OS
> installed on one's machine, I think we'd find at least a level playing
> field.  Any way we could set up Mozilla preferences (and other browsers) to
> treat "Linux" like Fedora?

I've been meaning to reply to this for a while and was reminded again
tonight when reading

As a Fedora user I occasionally encounter some problem, usually fairly
obscure. I search and occasionally find a solution embedded in some
similar problem encountered by someone using Ubuntu or another
distribution. I can see how from a marketing perspective it might be
nice if I found a solution to my problem on a Fedora related link but
the truth is that as a user I really don't care. I have a problem I
want solved, I really just want the fastest access to the solution so
I can move on. And I write it off as those other guys have so many
people having problems it is just natural that I'd find the resolution
on one of their links.

Without knowing whether the solution actually did exist on a Fedora
link I would be very much against changing the search behavior that we
have now. I like finding answers more than seeing Fedora related links
especially in the negative context of having problems.

On the plus side have you ever checked the number of Google matches
for the following?

I hate Ubuntu - about 6,420,000
I hate Fedora - about 364,000

Maybe the fact that we can't find problems on Fedora links isn't
really such a bad thing.


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