Fedora 18 release is now out for anyone who wants to try it. If you are disappointed with any previous versions, Spherical Cow might give you a pleasant surprise -but also might not.
Spherical Cow in my opinion is the very first Fedora release that can be used from rookies, if they are willing to make some concessions ;)
Fedora Connecting People
It will be meaningless to review Fedora 18, because everything seems to be the same as it was in beta version.
Fedora & GNOME
Fedora 18 delivers a pure GNOME (3.6) experience and by that I mean that Fedora tries to offer the experience that GNOME Developers envision for their Desktop. All GNOME dependencies and libraries are here in their latest versions to make sure you will get the very best out of GNOME. No fallbacks, no extra tools (ie extra control centers) are here. I am not saying that is bad or good, is just the way it is.
Fedora is pushing GNOME experience further by adopting a new installation environment that respects GNOME HIG(Human Interface Guidelines), and they might include GNOME Initial Setup in Fedora 19.
Fedora 18 is for ..?
..anyone! That is the short answer. Beyond that, Fedora is specially good for people who work with RHEL and RHEL-like Servers, people who develop applications for GNOME and people that want to keep an upstream GNOME release with JHBuild, as JHBuild works without serious issues in Fedora, something that isn’t always true for other distros.
Other than this, people that do Web Development will be also very pleased with Fedora as it is very very fast and it will save you some time.
Fedora 18 isn’t for people that want to install and try as much software as is available under Linux. Application discovery is hard in Fedora (really bad Gnome Software Center and no good alternatives), and also Applications are not getting update frequently (at least that was the case in previous Fedora’s).
In my opinion if you are running another distro and you are happy with this, there isn’t some strong reason to switch to Fedora.
If you visit IRC #Fedora Channel in Freenode (which you have to be registered to join!?!) and ask a simple (for them, complicated for you) question, there is a high possibility to get some sarcastic answer back. Fedora’s IRC is a really bad channel for an Open Source/Community project. Fedorians should pay some attention to it.
However with a bit Googling you will find many tutorials around for issues you might have, but still the guides are not so good as in other Distros. Fortunately there is Fedora’s Documentation Project that is one of the best, but it doesn’t bothered so much with problems.
In short, community support is average, not good in any case, and this is something you have to take into consideration before you try Fedora.
Fedora 18 and Windows 8
People that want to have a Dual Boot with with Windows 8 should pay attention to it:
If you are going to use Fedora is a good idea to check on their release notes. You never know what can go wrong ;)
Fedora 18 introduce a new dynamic Firewall which is on by default. If you are running any kind of servers (ie Torrents) you might need to check a bit more on that.
Another good surprise here. SELinux in Fedora 18 works terrific, but if you want to disable it for some reason (ie speed up boot) it is easy anyway.
Fedora doesn’t ship Proprietary Software by default, including the close-source drivers for your Video Cards or some Wireless Chips. You have to install some extra software from:
An easier way to install proprietary software including Drivers, Flash Players, Video/Audio Encoding etc is to use Fedora Utils:
You can install it by:
$ sudo yum install fedorautils
Notice that in addition to GStreamer packages in previous Fedora, you now need to install the GStreamer1. For example:
$ sudo yum install gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free
Fedora 18 is a very very good release. However Fedora traditionally gives different experiences per installation and use, and for one successful story there is also an unsuccessful one. I have only good things to say about it ;)
I am sorry for the first paragraph “Fedora Connecting People”. I delete it, I recognize my mistake, I am really sorry, there is nothing more I can do :(