Fedora 15 Released, GNOME 3 Looks Good

by Susan Linton - May. 25, 2011Comments (13)

fedora 15If you've been on the Internet at all today you probably already know that Fedora 15 was released as scheduled. We'll all be treated to numerous reviews in the coming weeks and most will probably be quite interested in hearing of those personal experiences with GNOME 3. Fedora 15 brings lots of goodies, but most just want to hear of GNOME 3. I'm usually a KDE person, but I too just had to test GNOME 3.

It looks good. I like it. Fedora did use a customized version of the upstream default GNOME 3 wallpaper, but it's pretty with the "birds in the tree" embellishment in the lower corner. The GNOME 3 desktop is different from what most folks are accustomed to using, but in my quick tests I don't think it'd take a lot of work to get used to using it.

You start by clicking Activities. Well, in a "normal" desktop you have to start by clicking the menu button usually. Instead of a menu popping up you get either a list of your open windows or a list of applications. If you're looking for an app, then you'll have to click "Applications" but with the kick-off menus seen in KDE quite a lot these days, you'll do lots of clicking to find anything. I'm not big on clicking around. GNOME 3 has a search box in case you can't seem to locate your application in the hodgepodge of listed applications. You can also filter out and display the list of applications under the category you're seeking - so it's not a complete "lost and confused" situation. You could also add your favorites to the launcher on the left by right-clicking the application in question.


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The lack of minimize button takes a second to get used to. You can double click to expand to fullscreen or back. To minimize just right-click and choose minimize. To find your minimized windows, click Activities and there they are. Click on the one you're looking for.


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During the developmental cycle folks complained about the lack of multi-display support, but I didn't find the support lacking really. But I don't expect too much. Just display and let me move my mouse or windows over to the second one. By default my secondary monitor was setup to show at the right of my main display - but it was easily movable in the System Settings. I didn't have any trouble with resolution, wallpaper rendering, windows management, or anything. Bearing in mind I don't expect much, I didn't have any trouble except the inability to set a different wallpaper in the secondary screen. I tested using the default Nouveau drivers for my NVIDIA card.

Speaking of Nouveau drivers, I seemed to have at least a minimum of effects. Things faded in and out and rolled in and out. Other things were transparent at the appropriate times. Performance seemed pretty good. I just can't find a whole lot to complain about. I think Fedora folks did a good job. I might be a bit harder to please if I spent days working in it, but you'll have to wait for GNOME and Fedora users to chime in for an in-depth critical analysis.

But I guess it would be inconsiderate not to mention all the other goodies too. This release brings things like a Dynamic Firewall. This has been getting a lot of play in recent days because of the convenience of making changes without having to restart. More on that here.

Fedora switched to LibreOffice this release and systemd is now default. Consistent Device Naming Scheme was one change that a lot of folks bemoaned, but it's supposed to make naming more consistent through hardware additions and reboots. A new Robotics Suite has gotten some attention as well. There's a real good explanation of that here. Btrfs support might be welcomed by some.

There's a full list of New Features here.

So, all in all, Fedora 15 looks like a whole lot of good work. Thank goodness for them too. With all the uncertainty in some projects lately, it's nice that Debian and Fedora are sure bets.

Download your copy here.


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Mark Walker uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


Do you see any improvement in the fonts. I really like the font on ubuntu which is missing on fedora.

0 Votes

Obviously GNOME and Ubuntu are on a "ruin the desktop" spree. Unity and now GNOME 3 are total failure They are more for tablets and for desktop they are just not suitable. And as if GNOME 2 wasn't lacking in configurability enough, they just had to make the new versions plain dumb in this regard. At least KDE developers still have common sense and are improving the desktop instead. So I've just switched to openSUSE with KDE and look like it will be a long time before going back to GNOME.

1 Votes

@Anon why not just use KDE in Fedora?

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The default font on the desktop is small and pixelated. There didn't seem to be a font configuration in system settings (unless I overlooked it), but under the panel accessibility icon there is a "large font" toggle. One you toggle that, the fonts not only get several sizes bigger but look more antialiased as well.

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Looks good, works bad. I'm trying to give Gnome 3 a fair chance and have been using it for awhile now on a daily basis, but a few things still bug the shit out of me and plenty of other people as well.

1) Stop trying to hide all of the configuration options. How can I change my system fonts? Have to hack it. 2) Then you hide the important stuff - like how to restart the fucking system - put that in the menu option when I click my user name - why should i have to hold down the ALT key to make Suspend go to Poweroff? or logout in order to restart? 3) No real screensaver - really? Who's the dipshit that thought of that? 4) Minimize - the old minimize missing button war - i've read all of the reason behind it, but if i can still right click on the window bar and minimize the window, all of those reasons are bullshit. Put the fuckin' minimize button back on the window. 5) Accessing workspaces requires me to move my mouse to the upper left hand corner hotspot to get the desktop overview display and then all the way back to the right to select my workspace. Again, who's the dipshit that though of that? Why not create a hotspot in the upper right hand corner that brings up the workspaces? This is not that hard folks. Is anyone who works on Gnome 3 actually using Gnome 3?

It is not complete horrible, but it is not good either. There are definitely some complete morons working on this project from an overall design and usability perspective.

1 Votes

You can get a minimize and maximize button with Gnome Tweak Tool

Then you can easily set up various "hidden" configuration options.

Some stuff worth to install:

yum install gnome-tweak-tool gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu

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I am using Gnome 3 since it it available. I like it but i have disabled the hot corner, because i had to often hit it with the mouse.

There is also a problem with Gnome 3 if i change the User sometimes. Then i can not reach the activities menu or user menu. I need to press F2 +Alt and hit "r" and Enter to restart Gnome.

But i like it. I have changed from Ubuntu to Fedora for that and got a suspend mode that works on top.

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I must say, I agree with Enzo.

From what I see on fedora forum, most Gnome advocates use... Macs. And when I played a bit with Mac quite recently, I found it very similar to Gnome 3. What a surprise.

I've been trying to use Gnome 3 since Fedora 15 Alpha came out. To be honest - I cannot get used to it. It's difficult to use and makes my work harder to do. It would work well on my future tabled, but unfortunately, I don't have tablet computer yet and I need to have work done on my computer. Gnome 3 does not help me to work efficiently.

For a time being I'll stick with Fedora 14. Trying Fuduntu, but have some issues with it. Will see what future brings, but don't believe Gnome folks will admit they've gone bit too far.

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I gave gnome 3 a fair test, about the time it took me to figure out how to install kde which I have really never liked before. Since now the choice is between kde and some unusable desktop I don't have much choice.

Hopefully I will manage to customize my kde desktop to look as closely to my gnome 2.32 as possible. I am trying to figure out how to put buttons on my top taskbar. Hopefully it is possible to do that.

This was pure insanity to destroy such a fine desktop as gnome used to be before version 3.

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I agree with Enzo. Trying to turn my machine off was confusing and so i got pissed and found a terminal window. It has been off for 2 days now while i decide if i want to deal with this again. I came over to Linux so that I could customize and change things. Gnome 3 is very reluctant to let me do that.

Wasn't aware of Enzo's observation about the (lack of) screensaver and use of the Alt key.

I am a new Mac owner and I have to tell you this is not what i was looking for in my Linux desktop. I see a lot of potential in Gnome 3 but right now it's utter crap. Why would you release a version of software with so many glaring usability flaws? It feels like they were trying to push this release out the door the way Mozilla crew is pushing out FireFox and Thunderbird quicker just to inflate their release numbers.

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to naught, Enzo, megaloman

You are talking about Gnome-Shell, it is not Gnome3 Classic. If you prefer, just use Gnome3 Classic.

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GNOME 3 is ruining what was once a great and noble desktop. I have gone through several GNOME distributions that have "tweaked" it to resemble a 2.x look and feel, but they've failed miserably. I am a huge Debian user, but their time is coming - Fedora, my usual desktop, has lost me. I've gone so far to use Mint, but their time is also coming, probably before Debian. Should we, as a community, reinvent Sawfish, Afterstep, WindowMaker, or FVWM? KDE 4.x is as bad as GNOME 3. If the Linux developers, who aren't by any means ALL behind these changes, continue on this path to some kind of easy-to-use and visually stimulating desktop, the attraction to the typical Linux user, especially those of us who started 15+ years ago, will be nil. Better at this point to simply use a terminal/command line for everything (or move to openIndiana or Haiku).

0 Votes

GNOME 3 and KDE 4 both appear as amusement parks for the optic nerve. A great way to get preschoolers to play with the pretty colors and nicely iconed desktop, but come on folks, it's terrible. Even the venerable Slackware went the way of the dodo and caved in to the need for a switch. CDE is screaming at me to return!

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