Today has been released Fedora 15 (codename Lovelock); it’s some time i don’t use Fedora as Desktop, i think to have switched distribution around Fedora 2 or 3, from that time I’ve become a Fan of Gentoo or all .deb distributions, but I’ve read wonderful review of the last 2/3 Fedora and so, why don’t test this.
I’ve downloaded the default Desktop release that is a Gnome 3 release, but Fedora is also available with KDE, XFCE and LXDE.
You can download your favourite flavour here
Please note, if you want to test it (Gnome 3 release) on a Virtual Machine or old computer the minimum memory you need to install is 640 MB otherwise Fedora will refuse to install (i noticed it on the first run on a VM with 512 MB).
Once booted the live CD, test it a bit and if you want to install go to Applications -> System Tools -> Install to hd.
The installer is pretty easier to follow, just the usual things, language, time zone and disks.
In the disk partition the option “Use all space” set up a dedicated boot partition in ext4 all the remaining space is dedicated to a partition with LVM, where it builds a logical volume for Swap and another for / (file system ext4)
Once chosen your disks setup you’ll be asked about MBR setup and than the installer will start to format disks and install packages.
Note: if you are used to ubuntu here there is also root password 😉
After the first boot you’ll have the same desktop saw in the live CD, but now you can install more software or start to use your browser, setup the email and so on.
This is the first time i use Gnome 3 so this has been also a good opportunity to make some test with this Desktop Environment, and after a first run i must say that at first glance i like it (for sure more than Unity).
Out of curiosity i’ve gave also a system update and found that there are already 60 packages to be updated.
But let’s see what selection of packages have been included in this distribution.
This is a list of the main packages available in Fedora 15:
Desktop Environment : Gnome 3 or KDE 4.6 or XFCE 4.8 or LXDE, depending of which one you choose during the download.
Office : Libreoffice is now the standard office suite, goodbye OpenOffice.
Browser : Mozilla 4 it’s the standard Browser in Fedora 15.
Instant Messaging : Telepathy 3.0.1
From the release notes:
Better power management : Fedora 15 includes a redesigned and better version of powertop and newer versions of tuned and pm-utils for better power management. The tuned package contains a daemon that tunes system settings dynamically to balance between power consumption and performance.
Btrfs filesystem: Btrfs, the next generation filesystem is being developed with upstream participation of Red Hat developers, Oracle and many others. Btrfs is now available as a menu item in the installer (only for non-live images. live images support just Ext4) and does not require passing a special option to the installer as in the previous releases. Btrfs availability has moved up a notch as a incremental step towards the goal of Btrfs as the default filesystemin the next release of Fedora.
Systemd system and session manager : systemd is a system and session manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux cgroups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements a powerful transactional dependency-based service control logic.
Dynamic firewall Dynamic firewall makes it possible to change firewall settings without the need to restart the firewall and makes persistent connections possible. This is for example very useful for services, that need to add additional firewall rules including virtualization (libvirtd) and VPN(openvpn).
Fedora is one of the “old” Desktop distribution and over time has gained a lot of respect as one of the best Desktop Distribution.
Perhaps it’s a bit less user friendly, compared to the last release of Ubuntu ?
I don’t know, in my small test run (around 4 hours) I find it complete and usable, of course it’s in the long run that you notice the small glitch that every distribution has.
So for the moment I can say that this is the best Distribution for Desktop with Gnome 3 included and supported by default that I’ve tested, and that if you want to use Gnome 3, Fedora is probably your best choice at the moment.
I think that this distribution will make happy some of Gnome addicted Ubuntu users that don’t want to switch to Unity.