Giving CentOS 5.2 a Whirl on the Desktop

Written by James McDonald

January 23, 2009

OK so I’ve been using Ubuntu for about three releases but recently the quality of the Ubuntu builds has become an excercise in running into bugs that stop me getting my work done.

e.g.
tsclient renders X session unuseable when rdp’d into windows
NetworkManager OpenVPN doesn’t work unless you follow work-a-rounds on Launchpad
NetworkManger PPTP client didn’t work at all.

I tried Fedora 10 under VMWare and it was well-good but I ran into an intel video bug when I installed it on my physical hardware which resulted in blurry text, slow scrolling, and a corrupted screen.

So I’ve gone back to CentOS 5.2

Despite it’s age it’s got several advantages that I have found.

The pros:
VMWare 2 Server (build 122956) installed without any of those arcane update-any-any patches used to get VM going on unsupported Host OS’s
Less buggy – Things are older but they work as advertised.

The cons:
OpenVPN isn’t a standard package
Packages are several releases behind (e.g. OpenOffice is at 2.3, the current release from oo.org is 3.0)

So for CentOS I have enabled the centosplus repo and also something called Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux using this command:

rpm -Uvh http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/epel/5/i386/epel-release-5-3.noarch.rpm

Hopefully I will soon have a setup that Just Works®

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