Of course, Fedora has lots of "spins" which include other desktop environments, but who can lose an opportunity to play with new toy? Not me, for sure.
Surprisingly, Fedora 15 with GNOME 3 is pretty light in disk image size, even less than 600 Mb. Fedora also features LiveUSB Creator tool. Unfortunately, it did not work for me. I could only see black screen with blinking cursor in the top left corner after its work. Of course, dd command is also supported by Fedora images, and this time round I found myself in the Fedora boot screen.
If you want to know more what I have done with Fedora and other Operating Systems, please feel free to subscribe to this blog. You can do this via e-mail, RSS feed, Twitter or Facebook page updates.
Do you want to try Fedora yourself, but cannot download image and burn it to CD yourself? You can check the page Buy Linux CDs and make an order there.
If you already own Fedora, you may be interested in reading books about it.
Fedora 15 does not ask you any questions, apart from boot method. Boot time itself is quite quick, as you can expect from USB drive.
Finally, I am in GNOME 3 default desktop.
Canonical's (Ubuntu's) Unity and GNOME 3 are based on similar principles. They both aim to provide as much screen real estate to user as possible. That' s why they both have narrow taskbar at the top plus dock on the left. GNOME 3 also has right panel to switch between available desktops.
First impression is the most important one, you know. From my perspective, GNOME 3 looks more intuitive than Unity.
Number of desktops in GNOME 3 (at least in Fedora 15 realisation) is dynamical. Panel on the right shows currently used desktops plus always one more. The process of switching between desktops is not very convenient from my perspective. If you want to switch desktop, you need to move cursor to the left to "Activities" first, and then across the screen to the right panel with desktops. Quite long way for the little mouse.
GNOME 3 does not have buttons for window maximize or minimize, only to close. Right click on window title can help with this. Double-click also works. Window borders are very narrow, and this makes quite difficult to pick the point where you can resize the window.
Enough about GNOME 3. Let's return to Fedora 15 system. As in previous versions, my WiFi card Broadcom 4311 was found and activated automatically. I only had to chose network and enter security code.
Language indicator and additional layouts are easy to set up. This configuration can be found in "Region and Language" section of Systems settings. I spent not more than a minute to replace default English (US) layout with combination of English (UK) and Russian.
|Image by Johnny Ashburn|
This is good time now to have a look at software installation options in Fedora 15. Of course, old friend CLI gives us yum command, which works fine. Fedora 15 with GNOME 3 features Package Manager as graphical tool. From my point of view, this tool is less convenient than Ubuntu Software Centre. But still it is more intuitive than all-mighty yum.
As long as office tools are not included into Fedora 15, let's see what is included.
Firefox 4 is default and the only browser. It works fine. Quite fast and stable. Neither Chrome nor Chromium are included into Package Manager. If Chrome can be easily downloaded from Google's page, then Chromium installation is not an easy task, as per this post. I have not checked any of them in Live version.
Adobe Flash is not included in Fedora 15 out of the box. It means in particular that Youtube videos does not play. You have to install it separately.
Several games come with this distributive.
Graphical tools are represented by few task-oriented programs like Image Viewer, Document Viewer, Shotwell and Simple Scan. No editor included in CD version of Fedora 15.
Movie Player and Rythmbox represent media players. There is also CD extractor.
I would say that Fedora 15 brings bare minimum of software which I would consider useful for average user. It would be nice to include some other tools like GIMP or Libre Office as default. But I think CD restrictions are very tight. These packages most likely can be found in DVD version of Fedora 15, which I have not checked.
My usual task in each system I try is to connect my external network drive to laptop. Nautilis file manager has network browsing option, but it failed to find any other devices in the home network at all. I had to revert to command line interface in this instance.
Fedora 15 boots Live session with user liveuser. This user is not in sudoers file which makes command sudo unavailable. But su command is still there, of course.
Mounting with usual mount command worked fine. It means that Samba is included in default Fedora 15 distribution. Russian characters were also OK in both Terminal and Nautilus even without my usual iocharset=utf8 option. Little bit later Nautilus crashed during browsing of network folder with big list of folders and files in it. Fedora 15 suggested I should send an error report to developers. Why not? I helped Fedora team even in Live mode. Hope, my help was required.
Folder is mounted. Let's try to use files from remote drive. Usual check is with MP3 files. Unfortunately, MP3 playback is not possible in Fedora 15 out of the box, because necessary decoder is not included. Movie player is default application for MP3 files and it suggests to search for MP3 plugin. Of course I want to search. And search is... unsuccessful. Manual search in Package Manager is also unsuccessful. You probably know that MP3 support in Fedora is famous topic. There is FAQ about this. Ditto.
Instead, VLC installation instructions for Fedora can be found on official site. But these recommendations do not work.
GPG key retrieval failed: [Errno 14] Could not open/read file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-rpmfusion-free-fedora-15-i386Is it an issue of Live version? Or VLC in general? I cannot tell myself.
Finally, little trick which is not obvious. There is no Shutdown option in the Fedora 15. In order to shutdown the PC, you need to click your username in the top right corner and press Alt button on keyboard. This will change "Suspend" option to "Power Off". This advice is taken from here.
What are my thoughts about Fedora 15? This is another step forward for this operating system. Sure, debates between GNOME 3 fans and haters will inevitably heat up the atmosphere. But from my perspective GNOME 3 is decent software which deserves its future. I think if Unity was as well designed and developed as GNOME 3, it could gain more supporters in Ubuntu camp.
As for Fedora 15 as operating system, I still like it, as I always did. And it is still in the list of possible options for replacement of my any other system on my quadro-boot laptop. When will it happen and if this is Fedora to replace my current systems - only time can show.
|Little clue: I have a wish to replace my *buntus with something new since power-off issue in both systems and desktop effects issue in Kubuntu cannot be resolved by myself yet. Honestly, I waited for Fedora 15 release as for one of possible candidates for swap. But today's experience cooled off my desire a little.|
Update 09 November 2011: review of Fedora 16 GNOME3 is available.