I’ve been running Fedora 10 since the Preview they released a while back and I must say that I’m incredibly impressed. After switching away from FC 3 to NoNameYet (which became Ubuntu) I’ve never looked back, being thoroughly impressed with it. Fedora has managed to make me reconsider, flaws and all.
It all starts when you boot the computer, and the extremely impressive start-up screen comes on. Not is it just animated, it’s of a blue sun with solar flares. I rebooted 2 or 3 times to just look at it. The show is all too soon over though, since Fedora 10 boots quite fast, almost matching Vista.
Freedom at a (really low) price
Now, Fedora is of course geared towards Freedom in the somewhat narrower than usual definition of software freedom — Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Now this comes at a bit of a price for the typical user — you’ll have to spend quite a few minutes installing bits and pieces of proprietary, or otherwise un-free software like Nvidia drivers, MP3 playback, Java and so on. This isn’t particularly difficult thanks to RPMFusion.
Shiny new stuff
Fedora certainly does deliver on its promise of an up-to-date, easy to use desktop. The latest GNOME, and all the latest GNOME/Gtk/Mono applications are included in repositories, and are merely a click and some automated downloading away.
One complaint I do have about Fedora though is
yum and PackageKit, the package management duo of choice. Compared to
apt it is downright sluggish. All the waiting required makes me pre-plan(!) my package management.
I find that Fedora makes for an able desktop, wonderful development environment, and presents a good chance to contribute to the free software community. I haven’t even been trying and I’ve filed bugs and spent a couple of hours with the SELinux people discussing minor problems in the Preview. For some reason it seems to encourage me to give back shrug.
Maybe it’ll even convince me to start contributing code again…