Upcoming Fedora 10 Release Has Style and Substance

by Kristin Shoemaker - Nov. 06, 2008Comments (16)

These are good times for Linux users. Ubuntu's 8.10 release recently went live, Fedora's 10 release is coming up in mere weeks, and openSUSE will finalize its 11.1 offering in December. Even if none of these distributions are your first choice for daily use, they are popular and are frequently worth checking out on liveCD, even if you plan to continue using your current distribution.

This is where I admit I've been remiss. Taste aversion is a funny thing, and a few previous experiences with Fedora left a funny taste in my mouth. I have not seriously sat and looked at a Fedora release since FC2. As Fedora's new release started to take shape, I was hearing a lot of positive things -- comments about how good it looked, and how fast and solid it was. It seemed the right time to overcome the mental block I'd developed, and see what the fuss was about.

I can't tell you if Fedora 10 is a vast improvement over the previous release. I can say that my taste aversion is officially cured, and the upcoming release is impressive from nearly any angle.

Fedora 10 is available for download via FTP/HTTP, Jigdo, and BitTorrent for the x86, x86_64 and PowerPC architectures in a number of configurations (PPC is limited to install media only, with no liveCD available). The preview page also links to a number of customized spins (disk images with alternative desktop environments or specially focused applications) based on the upcoming release. The Fedora Project is also clear that this release is still in a testing phase, and requests that any bugs and issues be reported, and advises that the release should not be used on production machines.

It's always a little mysterious when downloading a liveCD image (especially when dedicated "install media" is offered elsewhere) as to whether the liveCD will have a functional installer. It has become less mysterious recently, especially on more mainstream distributions where installers on live images are now the norm, but it is hardly ever explicitly stated. The Fedora 10 release live images have an installer that behaves more like the openSUSE/YaST live image installer than Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer, but still has a more "traditional Linux install" feel.




Clarification of "traditional" is in order here. Fedora 10's installer is graphical and unintimidating. It may not be the seven step Ubuntu process, but it is explained and presented logically (and if system help is unable to point a new user in the right direction, part of the beauty of a liveCD is that there is a browser readily available, no additional machines required). Fedora 10 does not use the sudo command and will ask that the system have a password for the root user. For me, this just feels right, but that probably has more to do with how I became familiar with Linux. It also shows that Fedora is just as easily able to be a single user desktop (where sudo is generally best employed) as a multi-user or server system.


Screenshot-Fedora Installer


The actual installation is speedy, with the GNOME desktop version seeming to take a little less time to set up the initial boot than a typical Ubuntu install.

Like openSUSE, booting Fedora for the first time is a different process, and essentially "finishes" what the installer started. Hardware is detected and configured, and users are created at this time. And I admit, I was a little concerned as I finished the user configuration process and was presented with the GNOME display manager.

One enhancement (and the source of very heated debate) featured in Fedora 10 is how fast and flicker-free the X server kicks in. The technical explanation for the speed increase and the absence of the "flicker" is that the X server has been moved from the traditional virtual terminal 7 to virtual terminal 1. The debate revolves around whether this performance increase warrants the departure from how the rest of the Linux community -- currently, and historically -- manages the X server and virtual terminal configuration. While I can see both sides of that argument, I was more concerned that the first time the X server and GDM started, it seemed pretty typical of every other Linux system.




Initial boots, however, are different animals. A later reboot (though I have no benchmarks) seemed to start the X server and bring up GDM faster than other distributions. More surprising was how smoothly it all started. The "flicker" that the Fedora 10 team sought to eliminate seems to vary between distributions generally, I've found. Sometimes you'll get a quick glimpse of the login prompt prior to the display manager kicking in, or a grainy gray screen with a small "x" in the middle on more noticeable occurrences. With Fedora 10, I realized that even when I wasn't noticing the flicker, I was experiencing it. The display opened quickly, but it was solid, as well. The verdict may be out whether the cost/benefit ratio makes this enhancement worth it in the long run, but it does make booting up look polished.

It likely has a lot to do with my choice of a live disk image running a single desktop environment, but I appreciate the fairly minimalist nature of the GNOME/Fedora 10 default installation. The simplicity is visually appealing, for sure, but more intriguing is the fact that Fedora seems to subscribe to the "less is more" school of thought. There are, of course, applications and utilities bundled in the distribution that aren't necessarily specific to GNOME or Fedora, but there are a number omitted (available through the Fedora 10 Rawhide repository) that are commonly included in other distributions. For instance, an image viewer, and GIMP are included in the GNOME version, but photo management tools (such as F-Spot) need to be installed through the repositories.

My initial issue with Fedora Core 2? I had a computer with a common motherboard from a major manufacturer that FC2 would not boot with (other distributions were unaffected). The advice at the time was to wait until the FC3 release, as it was a known issue and the fix was quite involved. It was disappointing, and when I did try Fedora here and there, mostly on other machines, I just wasn't compelled by the presentation or performance -- not enough to really give it a good run.

Things have certainly changed.

Fedora 10 is quite beautiful, but even better, it runs well. And though it's best to avoid installing it on a vital production machine before the November 25th release, there's little harm in treating yourself to a liveCD test drive.

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


Everytime there is a new release of Fedora or Ubuntu I read about how great the new visual elements are.... it looks like it always has...sure maybe the back grounds are prettier but its linux...until someone writes a new interface all together (i.e. apples OSX interface) its not going to change much

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The other commenter is missing the point. Linux is not OS/X. In my opinion, efforts to make Linux look and feel like any other OS are pointless. Having used OS/X, Windows, and Linux, I chose Linux because it is best suited to the way I choose to use my computer. If I wanted the look and feel of OS/X, I would use OS/X. I also think that when you make the system look like OS/X, then people expect it to act exactly like OS/X and when it doesn't, they are disappointed and tend to bad mount Linux.

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duh, moving X from vt7 to vt1 is not about speed in any way, it's only clean up. The speed and flicker free behavior stems from the fact that the graphics mode setting is now a function of the kernel and not inside X. Please fix the article

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"sure maybe the back grounds are prettier but its linux...until someone writes a new interface all together (i.e. apples OSX interface) its not going to change much"

I pretty much agree on this one. Linux's UI(KDE,GNOME,etc) is way too inferior to Vista and Mac OS X. I am really happy about the KDE's Plasma but KDE's UI(i.e. widget themes) still is very ugly and old schoolish. Plasma and KDE's UI doesn't compliment with each other visually.

Please stop pretending Linux is beautiful visually. Come on were are not idiots, are we? I mean what's beautiful for you?

BTW, who says Oxygen(KDE) or Human(GNOME) theme is beautiful?

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Hey, Kristin Shoemaker,

[--- Even if none of these distributions are your first choice for daily use, they are popular and are frequently worth checking out on liveCD, even if you plan to continue using your current distribution.--]

what do u mean by this?

Isn't fedora first choice of Distribution. Is Ubuntu the only GNU/Linux Distribution existing for daily use. Be quite reseaonable while writing something like that all distributions other than ubuntu like fedora, opensuse,mandriva,gentoo etc are all for daily use. It your mindset that needs to be changed. Thought is the truth that most of linux newbie use ubuntu but it doesn't mean other distros are not for daily use..

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Yes, these are good times for Linux users. But the author forgot to mention Mandriva 2009. For those readers bored with gnome-centric distributions, Mandriva is certainly the best KDE desktop available.

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OS X like interface ...its no big deal .......check this out http://www.pagux.com/pics/linuxosx.png ...................just enable Compiz-Fusion ...you will be suprised a linux distro can do + 23,000 free softwares available at click of your mouse its priceless

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Fedora 9 was pretty good too and so is Ubuntu 8.10. Mandriva 2009 does have too many issues to sort out(it did when I installed it on a Lenovo 3000 Y500). Right now I'm just going along with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS because it's stable and functional. But what I miss are good applications for Linux in general. The repositories may have thousands of apps at the click of a mouse, and it's certainly very very easy to install them, most of the apps seem substandard compared to proprietary software that's available.

If one searches for good video editors, there are just a mere handful available for Linux but many many good ones available for Windows. The people who don't like me saying this have never done any serious video editing. There are hardly any CAD programs or engineering design programs available Linux too. This is one area which is a black hole in Linux.

IMHO in a few years and maybe even now, its not the OS which matters the most. Linux is definitely stable, secure, infinitely tweakable and a pleasure to use. But we need serious apps for this platform, not only the stock apps like Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice etc.

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Surja: it's funny you mention the lack of CAD tools on Linux. Just yesterday I discovered that Linear Technologies free spice simulator, LT Spice, runs quite well under Wine. Eclipse is rapidly gaining prominence in the embedded development world and there are interesting initiatives such as DSDP in the works. The Xilinx FPGA design tools all seem to have Linux versions, though I've personally only used the Windows versions myself.

If you insist on having that one great application you love, you're going to get whatever OS it comes with, whatever that might be.

The reason I choose the slightly less great tools available for Linux is to not find myself working with someone else's insanely great tool at my next gig, because it was expensive and already paid for, rather than the merely capable (and constantly improving) tool which I've invested in and attained proficiency.

I think your list was a little thin.

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I recently switched from ubuntu 8.10 to fedora 10 beta . Ubuntu would break working things with each new update . When i installed fedora 10 and tried to install development tools I got a message about it not being about to install kernel-headers because its not signed . Did a little searching and couldn't find anything to work around that . Then posted a bug on fedora bugzilla and within 15 minutes the bug was resolved . Thats a very fast response to a bug report . Also fedora bootup is alot faster then ubuntu's . The best thing I have found in fedora is the grouplist in yum makes it really easy to install software you want without having to install each package individually . I am very happy with fedora 10

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I have not used this beta of Fedora but Fedora has always produced an extremely stable computing experience. One of the most consistantly stable in my opinion.

As for the availability of Linux software it is true that there could be better programs suited for specific tasks such as video editing. This does not meant there are not programs that will work and the idea that proprietary software is better is a mere opinion. I have used both and in many cases I find Linux software to be easier to use, better designed, and extremely customizable.

I think as Linux continues to gain market share with the help of the Ubuntu's, Mandriva's, Linux Mints, etc it will by its user base and demand begin to flush out these issues. If you do not insist and push the movement in a direction you want then your editing software will never happen. Make it an issue and find out who is developing this software and help them!!

As far as looks go, if you want OSX then try DreamLinux. It is simply amazing!! The beauty of the DreamLinux UI is really nice. On top of that the XFCE Desktop is extremely stable and very fast. It is also based on Debian, not Ubuntu.

I love Linux. Is it perfect? No. Are all the apps available the best? No. Of course I could say the very same thing for Windows or Mac. Is Mac and Windows programs better? In some cases they are no doubt but the Linux versions of these programs continually improve and as demand increases and people start paying for Linux software then maybe you will get what you want.

I would say all of us using Linux should be very grateful for such an amazing amount of free software. Using any Linux OS is a choice in freedom and that in of itself is a very strong arguement against Mac and Windows whom you are privaliged to buy there software and not even own it! EULA!! Not to mention NSA back doors built into Windows and the horrible insecurity of an ancient Windows OS. Mac is no better owning the hardware and software and telling you what you can and can't do with it.


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Fedora 10 is a fabulous linux distribution. It's everything you ever wanted and dreamed of. It's easier and faster than ever to handle packages. I used Ubuntu from 6.10 to 8.04, and got more and more disappointed for every release, so when I tried Fedora 9 it felt like magic. Now I use Fedora 10 preview and wait for the Fedora 10 final release, that will arrive tomorrow tuesday, 25/11-2008.

Many people use Ubuntu because they believe that there isn't a commercial agenda behind it, but there is. Behind the scenes you find Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth, waiting to make a lot of money. Don't be dazzled by Shuttleworth's Ubuntu illusion!

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i can not login root

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You'll have to bear with me. I'm a guy who has wanted to try Linux for some time and I've never found a single reason to stick with it for more than the time it takes to become completely overwhelmed with the amount of time it takes to find any information. I read in one forum someone had written that Linux separates the men from the boys...I suppose if you're dick is so small that you have to play with computers for ten hours a day...yeah, I agree. The problems with Fedora and other Linux stuff is that it's full of hyperbole. It has this "developed by the people for the people mystique", which admittedly attracts me, and then you try it out and in order to input a time zone that's not in "America", you have to SCROLL through an entire list instead of simply typing the first letter of your country. Actually the problems started with trying to download it, but I won't even go there. After that, well, after that the fun really begins. Because then you get to find out that you can't do everything with "Open Office" that you can with MS Office. Not even close, actually. There are at least fifty functions in Word that Open Office does not have. In Excel another 40 or so. It goes on and on. Now, I'm assuming that the development community behind this farce is well aware of all of that. I'm not looking for a new Windows, I'm looking for something that works...I don't care if I have to familiarize myself with certain things, but COME ON! Installing apps from a command line with commands that are close to impossible to locate, because the documentation is retarded, and basically assumes that everyone knows what, for instance, an X session is. If it's meant for "everybody" as the propaganda would have you think, then why is it not laid out just a little more damn intuitively. That just plain sucks.

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@anonymous user, march 14

time zone: try clicking the dot that represents your closest city. a little more investigation never hurt anyone.

and help is extremely easy to get for all linux distro's - forums are packed full of experienced users willing to help. i should know, i used some help 2 hours ago.

dont be so quick to discount something you know nothing about. classic signs that you are way too attached to the things you are familiar with.

quit complaining.

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Some of the SELinux policy module's in Fedora 10 caused absolute pain.

I had to disable it's protection altogether when I want to use a HSDPA modem. Hope Fedora 11 will give a solution to this though.....

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