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Fedora 19: Chasing the perfect GNOME distro!

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Are you still trying to discover the perfect GNOME distro? You are just loosing your time! There is no such thing.. However what seems to make a difference is Arch Linux. Huge super active community, pure rolling release, native GNOME experience, unlimited packages, the very best documentation.

Arch is excellent choice for enthusiasts, excellent choice for veterans but not really good for people that they just want a free box to serf on Internet. Believe it or not, Fedora 19 comes to close that gap, despite some issues with installing proprietary software, which is *necessary* evil.

My personal  backflash in Fedora releases with GNOME 3.

Fedora 15

fedora15 The first release of Fedora with GNOME 3. I switched to that from Ubuntu, when they adopted Unity as their primary (and only) desktop. It proved to be crap, and I switched back to Ubuntu almost immediately with GNOME 3 PPAs

Fedora 16

fedora-16 One of the same. Used it a bit and I again forced to switch to Ubuntu with PPAs due to bugs I couldn’t solve or work with.

Fedora 17

fedora17 Fedora 17 was an amazing improvement over their previous version. Sadly 3-4 months after the initial release problems came up. It was like an abandoned distro, with obvious bugs that were taking too long to close. I got that feeling that Fedora Team was focus in the upcoming 18 release, and they just had forgotten 17. Again I switched to Ubuntu.

Fedora 18

Fedora18 Wow! Hard to believe that the same guys that did all the previous versions came with that one! F18 was a huge huge improvement over 17, and overall a very good distro. It was the first time I installed something but Ubuntu to my friend’s machines.Also Fedora 18 was quite stable (with Anaconda exception) from their Alpha.

Fedora 19

fedora19 Double Wow! Yes I’m in Rawhide (the development version, Fedora 20) and when things should brake everyday, nothing bad happens. Boosted with GNOME 3.8, it just made me to switch to it as my main desktop even if there are a few crashes, but nothing really annoying -it’s pre-alpha anyway.

That was my personal experience but not exactly my personal opinion about Fedora. I know that many people have troubles with it, but everything run smooth on me. Personally experience? Fantastic! Personal opinion, good enough!. My biggest complain in Fedora always was their distro upgrading method. I never ever made that work. Fedorians have now a new upgrade tool (FedUp), which promises to put my complains away.

What’s really important is that Fedora seems to becoming a serious mainstream solution and an alternative option to the very popular Ubuntu’s. Fedora right now is nowhere near to the Arch community, they haven’t the momentum of Ubuntu, but is definitely one of the fastest improving distros! Also they run a nice infrastructure with Koji building system, which is very very helpful if you get any package dependencies issues.

In Fedora 19 release we also get the GNOME Initial Experience with new first boot and of course GNOME’s Initial Setup. Yes, Fedora is the one release that is very tight with GNOME development.

If for any reason you’re looking to change distro, don’t miss to try Fedora 19. However if you are happy with your current one, just stick to it ;)

Don’t want to wait for alpha release? You can get a nightly build!

Alpha is coming in 6 days, so is better to wait and check for potential block bugs on their release notes.

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  • railroadghost

    for me fedora 17 was the best by far…
    18 is better only because it has gnome 3.6
    and please dont make such articles anymore because you re really teasing me to switch to 19 :D

    • alex285

      When someone says that, I am thinking that joke when you buy something just because someone else has told you it was cool. But then you realize that it was crap, and you start #$%^&** at him.

      Fedora however is free, so why not try it? :)

      • railroadghost

        sure i would but i m currently doing my master’s thesis on the very same laptop i want to test it

        • Matthew Javelet

          We have things like backup storage devices and cloud services to temporarily store the data on. Fedora 19 is easily the best fedora distro yet.

          • railroadghost

            i do know this, almost everything is stored in the cloud :)
            the setting up of the needed tools and applications however cannot be backuped yet :(
            i pray for the day when apps and os settings can be stored altogether in the cloud

        • alex285

          What’s the topic? (of your assignment)

          • railroadghost

            i m developing a text-to-speech news reader as an intern in a company :)

          • alex285

            lucky you to find someone to sponsor your master ;)

          • railroadghost

            it s not as big as it sounds :D
            but yes i m lucky i am in this master because although i am a linux user since my teens, my bachelor was in linguistics (what the hell was i thinking?)

    • w1ngnut

      lol Totally agree! =D

  • alex

    Not bad. I still see that I’m gonna need 2 days of screaming at my computer, trying to convert gnome into a desktop desktop environment rather than a tablet desktop environment.

    • alex285

      What’s the real difference between a desktop desktop and a tablet desktop environment? I mean how you can identify what is what? Consider touchscreen default in both.

    • sramkrishna

      What do you mean? How can it be a tablet desktop environment when multi-touch doesn’t even work? Just bcause the interface has a design that superficially looks like android doesn’t automatically make it into a tablet. The interaction models are completely different. You couldn’t use touch to do anything remotely user friendly in GNOME 3.

      • Luya Tshimbalanga

        Note how it is very easy to forget Tablet PC did not use interface for tablet and most of them relied on stylus until multi-touch became usable.

      • JaSauders

        A bit late to the game here, but in all fairness, I bet Gnome 3 could be ported to work on a tablet *very* easily. Something like Gnome 2 would be a disaster as a touch system, but Gnome 3 is far more fitting. I’m not trying to say that Gnome 3 is a tablet interface, I absolutely love it as a desktop and laptop interface, but I think with the alteration of a few default behaviors, it could work on a Nexus swimmingly well.

  • Remjg

    Despite the hard work behind Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu isn’t the best choice any more if you want a full up-to-date GNOME desktop. But it’s hard to leave what you’ve been used to for so many years… I might go for Fedora 19 ;-)

    Too bad Mageia 3 will not be released with GNOME 3.8 though, I might have chosen it!

    • Craig

      What? You really want to keep using a distro that bundles spyware, created by liars and cheats? Fedora is where all the real innovation happens. Ubuntu just get it 6-12 months later and then claim it was their work.

      • Remjg

        Well, “spyware”, “liars” and “cheats” sound a little too strong for me ;-)

        If I was looking for a word in order to describe Canonical behaviour (as if it was a person), I would chose the word “selfish”.

        “Selfish” because I’m under the impression that they are only driven by their own needs without caring much about consequences. They want to act fast, to have full control over their projects, which leads amongst other things to fragmentation (“Online accounts” entries or “Mir/Wayland” for example).

        I’m in favour of more contribution upstream which implies consultation with existing project and sometimes concessions. Of course it takes time and Canonical wants to innovate.

        I like better GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell, I’ll stick to it and switch to a distribution that fits me better (sure Fedora is great choice for it), but I’ll keep on watching Ubuntu and see what they have to offer. You can’t deny that they have great ideas in many areas and are shaking up the Linux desktop!

  • jod

    I am running F19 with Gnome 3.8 and have just updated to kernel 3.9.0-0.rc6.git0.1.fc19.i686. Since I updated to the newer kernel I can say that my system is now blazing fast. 3.8 is definitely way faster than 3.6 with some nicer transitions particularly at the login screen. I have used Fedora since F15 and the debut of Gnome 3.0. Fedora is the best Gnome experience IMHO.

    To update to F19 from F18 run this in terminal:

    yum –releasever=19 –disablerepo=* –enablerepo=fedora,updates,updates-testing distro-sync –nogpgcheck

    • railroadghost

      did you have any overheating problems after suspend with 3.8 kernel and if yes did 3.9 fix them?

      • jod

        Can’t say I had that problem with 3.8

      • skyy

        The problem is still there in fedora 19!! And the system doesn’t go to rc6 just not after suspend and now it happens randomly!!

  • nono68200

    What are advantages of Fedora against Ubuntu? If we remove ads, just in terms of interface…

    • Victor Rico

      It’s a distro that stands for free software, no proprietary software. Thinks just work.

      Ubuntu 12.04 was great. but now…Cannonical taking power over users (They see us like consumers not users).

      Pretty sad for the GNU/Linux community.

      • nono68200

        Yeah I understand. I use 12.04 for now. But I believe they create some options for desactivate ads, no ?

        • w1ngnut

          My problem about Ubuntu is that Canonical is trying to make profit out of it. While I don’t think that should be a problem – for them – it’s for me! And besides all of that, with all the fronts they work now (server, desktop, tablet, phones, etc), my sensation is that they lost the speed (if they had).

          Just compare the evolution of Gnome and Unity desktops.

      • Brian Bentsen

        “It’s a distro that stands for free software, no proprietary software. Thinks just work.”

        Yes, they work when you post-install proprietary software manually.

    • ftrain

      I would add that I often find tools that deal with advanced usage such as admin and dev tools more up to date, or even only existing for fedora (likely because of it’s relation to RedHat distro).

      Though with Ubuntu it’s of course easier to find many user packages like games and such, so for me fedora/redhat ecosystem is better but it’s all about personal usage.

      • nono68200

        Thus for me, who is a normal user (nothing admin and dev tools, some games but Gnome Games), Ubuntu is better?

        • alex285

          Well, discovering applications in Fedora is harder than USC, but once you get know Fedora basics, you won’t have any problem.

          • nono68200

            I installed Fedora 18 today. I will try it. Just something weird I think is that is no “away status” in user menu… Just Online, Offline.

          • alex285

            You can change that only within empathy.

          • nono68200

            Okay… I find it is a strange idea… :P

        • Craig

          A distro is just a sum of packages. The only difference is what’s available, the defaults it uses and how well it’s packaged. Ubuntu has a few more packages available, but Fedora packaging quality is generally better. Defaults are a matter of taste.

    • Juanjo Marín

      Fedora usually adopts new upstream technologies before than other distros (kernel, gcc, systemd, gnome, kde). It is a bleeding edge distro. Check Ubuntu 13.04 and Fedora 19 packages:

      linux kernel 3.9 vs 3.8
      gcc 4.8 vs 4.7

      • Venelin Stoykov

        You are not completely right. Fedora has luck that they released his version after linux 3.9 release. Ubuntu also had plans to use 3.9 but Linus delayed the official release with 1 week.

        If you say that Fedora is bleeding edge because they use Gnome 3.8…. Yes Fedora use latest Gnome version but Gnome 3 sucsk more after each release. It’s totaly unusable.

        After Unity came for the first time I also doesn’t liked it but after each release it’s better and better. Gnome 3 on the other hand became so bad after each release.
        I tryed Fedora 19 for a few hours but I will stay with Ubuntu. The reason is not speed or craches, the reason is Gnome 3 – it’s awful.

    • Craig

      It’s where the real innovation happens. Just follow the Fedora features page to see what is going on in the Linux world. Ubuntu gets it about 6-12 months later and then claims it was their work, which their fanbois believe unquestioningly. CentOS for stable Fedora to follow the latest and greatest. Fuck Ubuntu.

  • Victor Rico

    Yes, Fedora 19 rocks! so this blog!

  • w1ngnut

    After trying to convince myself that Unity does not suck, I switched to Fedora. Have been play with it (Gnome 3.6 though) and apart some small refinements (some of them available on Gnome 3.8) I have to say that Fedora is my distro.

    And Gnome Rocks! Again.

    • Pingus

      But don’t you think switching between apps/windows sucks in GNOME 3..

      • w1ngnut

        No. Why would it?

      • Craig

        I thought that too but, as people say, workspaces solve it if you give the workflow a change to sink in. Move long running apps to another workspace and have 1 workspace per task. It makes perfect sense. The only thing I needed was the extension to make Alt+Tab show only the current workspace.

  • Ranjith Siji

    Ubuntu was never my primary distro but my friends. I always install Ubuntu on others machine and keeping fedora on mine. Rock Solid distro with very less known bugs. Fedora Rocks..

  • Domagoj Bet

    Switched from Ubuntu a couple of weeks ago and am SUPER SATISFIED! I LOVE the pure gnome experience. Interestingly, I was oftenly rejected by warnings of fedora being bugy but that is obiously a thing of the past. 18 is stable and almost bug free for me – could be even more than ubuntu.

    All the additional software I nedeed like amd drivers and skype I simply installed with fedora utils – a really handy tool.

    All in all, Fedora has the potential to be a REALLY great distro. Much support to the developers, keep improving Fedora, your on a good track!

    P.S. (Anaconda needs vast improvement, it’s buggy and the disk partitioner is a joke to say the least) :)

    • Craig

      Anaconda is fixed now. It was rushed out for Fedora 18 because the release was already very late.

  • Víc Asecas

    Is there any way i can install fedora 19 nightly right now?

    • alex285

      I haven’t try it, but sure why not?

      • Víc Asecas

        Got it, I just got problems burning the .iso into the usb… Here another Fedora converted ^^ This Gnome-Shell is just different from the one from Ubuntu with gnome3 ppa :)

  • Dav Inder

    fedora is best… it took me going through some tutorial to get ubuntu work on my macbook….but fedora installed in first attempt… loving it…

  • Peter IJben

    I love Fedora sinds the number 3 Fedora core version. The only time i did not use a new distro from Fedora was with de number 13 :). I had a lot of trouble with Fedora 18 on a new Acer Aspire S3 with a build in ssd and harddisk. I lost the acces to network shares on several occasions and could not get it back. After installing the older Fedo 17 there was no problem with tis acces. So on this ultrabook no Fedora 18. I’ll be waiting for number 19.

  • Colin Gillespie

    I found that fedora 15 and 17 were really good. But 16 and 18 were really buggy. I haven’t tried 19 yet. Hopefully better than 18.
    However Gnome is way better than Unity!

  • IsacDaavid

    Mine is such a bad luck. Every time I stop visiting worldofgnome for a week or so the ultra interesting entries appear, and when I come back discussion has already moved to newer posts…

  • skyy

    With respect to your report about fedora 19 and as a long time linux user I think choosing “Chasing the perfect GNOME distro!” is not accurate! Fedora is just a “perfect beta linux server”. GNOME in fedora and every where in linux desktop world has still problems as known bugs or(and) disabilities. But I think GNOME is better than other desktops at least for me. The worst side of linux distros (and Fedora as open source leader child) in desktop world is that old bugs like Intel Sandy Bridge power regression is still there and it makes PCs to be very hot and makes Laptops unusable. There are other big bugs that make me considering “perfect” is not suitable for Linux desktops with GNOME or other desktops.

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