I've been running various Red Hat related Linux distros on a test PC since 2002 starting with Red Hat 7 or 8 (I can't remember which and not to be confused with Red Hat Enterprise Linux), moving on to CentOS 4, and most recently Fedora 6 (yes, 6). It has been a while since I updated Linux on my olf eMachines D3024 (which replaced my earlier Linux test PC a few years ago). So, I downloaded Fedora 10 a few days ago to update my Linux box. Being eternally optimistic, I decided to try to update Fedora in place from 6 to 10 despite the fact that I have never seen an in-place Red Hat update go well (I've tried in-place updates many times in the past).
The first problem I ran into seemed hardware related. I burned the DVD on a newer PC on a 16x DVD+R disc. It had a lot of read errors on the D3024. I've seen this problem elsewhere. So, I grabbed an old blank 4x DVD+R disc and burned the ISO to it. And, yes, this disc booted fine on the D3024. The update from Fedora 6 to 10 seemed to go smoothly. Fedora saw the existing installation and let me update it. I rebooted and was able to login. But, after the login I noticed that a number of graphical applications did not startup: Firefox 3 and yumex were my first problems. I used yum to uninstall the current Firefox 3 and then re-installed it from from the Fedora update sites. This seems to have fixed that. Then, I had yum update the rest of the system. This may have caused the next problem. Since I don't need my Linux box running 24x7, I turn it off (or hibernate it) like a conventional desktop PC to reduce power use and heat generation. X11 and Gnome would not come up at the next boot. At this point I probably could have ssh-ed in and reconfigured X. But, that seemed like a waste of time since I expected to see other problems with graphical apps. Since I had a good backup of the data on the hard drives, I decided to perform a clean install.
The clean install process went fine and I booted up again and Fedora 10 and various graphical apps like Firefox and yumex started up and ran more or less fine (Firefox 3 crashed once or twice though). Fedora didn't seem to recognize my graphics card during the installation, however. And, my display was 800x600. System Preferences -> Hardware -> Display Resoultion didn't provide any higher resolutions. So, I tried to run system-config-display. Unfortunately, that is not part of the default installation. So, I used yum to install it. This let me select my display type (LCD) and set a higher resolution.
I installed a couple of items like Adobe Flash 10 for Firefox and HelixPlayer 11. However, Adobe AIR for Linux Beta 1 would not install simply reporting that An error has occurred. That is too bad since I really like using twhirl which is an AIR app. I should note that Adobe AIR alpha installed under Fedora 6 when I tried it around August. FYI: You can find me on twitter as toddogasawara.
I've read various other people commenting how fast Fedora 10 is. However, it seems to boot a lot slower on this old PC than Fedora 6 (or CentOS 4 earlier). Once booted, it seems to run reasonably fast. And, despite the inability to run AIR apps, I'm happy to be running a current distro release on this old PC.