I have recently been looking for a new Linux Distribution to switch to, and in my journey I thought I would report on some of the distro’s out there. The first one I tried recently is Fedora 18 64bit using the Gnome Window Manager / Desktop Environment.
Installing Fedora 18 was really easy (after I got around my own issues with Flash Drives and my lack of CD Drive). It has a GUI installation process bundled with a Live CD so you are able to try out Fedora without any change to your computer. Up until the partitioning and hard drive settings everything was very simple. I had some issues setting what hard drive to install to and deleting partitions. I couldn’t find the buttons easily but after a few minutes it was all going swell. After the installation you then setup your user accounts. Unlike some other operating systems you are able to setup as many accounts as you want before you finish the full install. You do setup the root account during the main install though. Installing didn’t take more than probably 15 minutes on an older laptop.
I’m not going to lie, I first installed Fedora because of how it looked. It had a nice clean look, very polished. A lot of recent versions of Linux distro’s that use Gnome do look nice but Fedora just had the other beat that I’ve seen. With the minimalist design of the Window Bars, the nice gradients, and wallpaper set you couldn’t ask for more. But of course Design vs Function is always an issue between the two departments. By default the minimize and maximize buttons are disabled. I don’t know if this was the best choice, but due to how windows are handled without a “Task Bar” on the bottom of the screen, it kinda works for them.
What Comes Installed
Now most people want their OS to be functional when they get it installed, and Fedora does a great job doing this without being too overwhelming. It comes with Libre Office for Writing, Presentations and Spreadsheets. Other than office programs you have a chat client, e-mail client, web browser (Firefox), and just some little things here and there. This is great because you wont’ spend your first hour or so uninstalling and deleting programs that you will never use.
Fedora Community and Project
The Fedora Project is one of the more major Desktop distributions just after Ubuntu. They do updates every 6 months, with every other release being a LTS release. Fedora has an update manager also and patches do come out when they are needed. Everyone involved and using Fedora provide great support if you ever have issues with anything. They setup an IRC channel #fedora on the network Freenode.org.
If you would like to see a video showing off Fedora look below.