Fedora 18 is a major upgrade from 17 and a pleasant surprise for its users. This is definitely the best Fedora release so far – even if beta-, it has a good and pure GNOME 3 implementation, a new installer based on GNOME OS installer designs… and is extremely fast!
However Fedora is still not ready to for a broader user base, mostly because it lacks a serious Software Center, has bad support from 3rd party Apps, and proprietary software (mostly drivers) is hard to install.
Delays Delays Delays
Fedora 18 initial scheduled release date was Nov 6, 2012 but after several postponements, it was delayed till Jan 8, 2013; and there is always a chance of further delay. Similarly Fedora 18 beta was scheduled for Oct 2, 2012 but postponed to today, Nov 27 2012. You can see the full schedule in Fedora 18 Schedule Wiki.
The delays happened because of the issues in the revamped Anaconda, with RAID and Partitioner problems. Regardless, the delay harmed Fedora’s credibility. The worst part is that Fedora 18 is now 4 months behind the GNOME 3.6 release, and as Fedora is the main distributor of GNOME 3 it also harms GNOME. With GNOME 3.8 coming out in March, it is a question when Fedora 19 will come.
However the outcome is quite good and that somewhat reduces the bad impressions.
The first good surprise comes very early when starting the Fedora installation. The new Anaconda is one of the most modern installers you will find in any distro (including Ubuntu) and is also very user friendly.
You can install Fedora with the Live Installer that runs inside GNOME 3 and while you are waiting for it to complete you can surf on the internet. If you go with the non-live installer everything is the same, but you won’t have GNOME Shell, just Anaconda in full screen.
Anaconda obviously follows  the GNOME OS Installation Designs and Fedora 19 will also ship the Initial System Setup which is also part of the GNOME OS. If you want to have a full view of GNOMEe 3, you should have Fedora. This is of course a GNOME disadvantage.
Keep in mind that these screens are from an older Fedora 18 installation from nightly builds, and there are some differences.
Fedora doesn’t ship any proprietary software and that includes Video Cards drivers as well. At first Fedora will use the open drivers (Nouveau) though they lag far behind in the performance from of proprietary ones. To install them you need to visit RPM Fusion and follow their guidelines.
There is much more software you will miss like Java Oracle, Adobe Flash and Chrome/Chromium.
Satya has written a nice little App known as Fedora Utilities that will save you lot of time and Googling. You can set up pretty much anything you will need from there with just one click. I have used and tested it excessively and it works as intended.
Get it from: https://github.com/satya164/fedorautils
If you encounter any bugs on it, please let Satya know in a message on Git Hub. It’s a really useful App for Fedora and you will be a great help by submitting bugs (if any).
Things couldn’t be worse. Yum + GNOME Software is the worst possible combination!
Above I am just trying to search for and install Libre Office. Impossible. I am a huge Fedora + GNOME 3 fan but this is #$%^&*().. To install Software you * definitely* need the console. This is not an issue for me, but for new users it is just… WTH Fedora!
On the bright side you can skip Yum for Dnf (next generation Yum) which is amazingly fast. Dnf doesn’t download all the repos every time you are searching for a package or updating your system. As a matter of fact, Dnf is faster that Apt and can resolve dependencies and discover update packages within 2 seconds!?!
Dnf will (most likely) replace Yum in Fedora 19 but you can still use it in 18. Hopefully we will also get and a better GNOME Software App in GNOME 3.8, although major changes in there will probably take place in 3.10. Another small detail here is that Fedora 18 features Offline Updates. Packages are downloaded silently and then you get an info in your user menu about Installing and Restart.
Fedora 18 does it great in Virtualization, everything works perfect (no crashes) and fast.
Above is GNOME Boxes. To be honest I don’t use that much, and Boxes can’t compete with Virtual Box in features at the moment. I am a heavy user of VBox and I am totally happy with Fedora in this area.
Plenty of new features and updates come with Fedora 18. GNOME 3.6, 256 Colors Terminals, firewalld, Avahi by Default on Desktop, Dnf and Hawkey, the new Installer and many many more. You will get the full list along with a detailed explanation of each one in Fedora 18 Feature List Wiki.
GCC: 4.7.2 20121109
This site is full of GNOME 3 and Fedora 18. So there is much to talk about, a very nice GNOME 3 shipping, amazingly fast… and some bugs, mostly with Empathy. Fedora is pretty much -in a sense- what we call GNOME OS and most of the GNOME developers (though not all) work in a Fedora distro.
There are additional Apps here!
Fedora works perfectly with GNOME, and bugs are mostly GNOME bugs rather than Fedora’s. I did a test by removing the whole GNOME stack, leaving my Fedora naked and re-install GNOME modules one by one. Everything worked.
Fedora Vs Ubuntu GNOME Remix
Although I use Fedora, I don’t think that Fedora can look UGR in the eyes yet. UGR has better support (both from the community and Companies), has more App updates, has a better software installer (you can add Ubuntu Software Center).
On the other hand, Fedora is noticeable faster and it ships a more genuine GNOME. But still UGR is superior in almost any aspect, as long as it concerns a User Friendly Desktop system.
Moving to Fedora
Moving to Fedora from another distro might be disappointing to you at first glance. Once you get comfortable with your system and yum, you will love this distro. The same applies for new comers to Linux. Fedora 18 could be your first distro, but it needs a bit more Googling than others.
Upgrade from 17
The upgrader has become obsolete for Fedora 18. So if you are interested in upgrading it is better to follow the official notes in Fedora Wiki. A clean installation might be the wisest solution.
Fedora 18 makes sense for people that work in web-development on CentOS/RHEL servers. I have tested mySQL, postreSQL, MongoDB, Apache, nGinx, Php, Rails (with RVM), Nodejs (with NPM) and everything runs smooth. Also compiling is super fast!
I am keeping an upstream version of GNOME 3.7.x with JHBuild and I haven’t encountered any serious bugs. I know that people with other distros get many errors with JHBuild and GNOME 3 building. Well, that doesn’t apply in Fedora 18.
I have been using Fedora 18 for about 2 months. This is one of the best distros I have ever had since the beginning of using Linux -which was since GNOME 1! The truth is that I don’t use many applications, however last month I spent like 18h a day front of my PC and I am totally happy with Fedora.
I just get a few crashes with the lock screen, I couldn’t run Chrome (Chrome beta works) and once I had to dracut for installing my nVidia. But that was all. Fedora 18 is a very solid system in my case.
Before you use Fedora 18 please check the Fedora 18 Beta Known Bugs that they may affect your installation.
Where else? http://fedoraproject.org/ :) You will get the Download Link in their home page.
Good luck to Fedora 18!
***Of course Fedora ships more Desktops, KDE, XFCE etc.. It has also Mate (GNOME 2 fork) in repos.
 Máirín Duffy Anaconda leader UX Designer said:
As the lead UX designer I can tell you this is markedly not true (Anaconda doesn’t follow Gnome OS Installer designs). We did – of course – try to keep it GNOME-friendly and tried to follow the HIG and GNOME visual style, etc.! But the GNOME OS installer designs were much too limited to meet the needs of our more sophisticated users, especially in the storage dept….
So that was just a wrong impression from me, sorry!