For those who don’t know about this Linux distro, Fedora is one of those Linux distributions that comes released with cutting-edge software rather than staying on the same boat with other distributions that prefers stability. Fedora comes in three flavors: Workstation, Server, and Atomic. I’ll be reviewing Fedora Workstation; used by many developers and users as their general purpose computing platform. Read on below to learn and discover what’s new in Fedora 28.
Fedora 28 Installation
As usual, installation is simple and straightforward. Not much configuration to accomplish apart from setting keyboard layouts, locale, and date-time zone. If you are trying out Fedora for the first time, you might be surprised it’s easy to install, though slightly different from the way how Ubuntu (and its derivatives) installation works.
After installing Fedora (and then successfully rebooting) you’ll be taken through another setup to create user account and password.
If you are not comfortable with partitioning and installing new operating systems on your hard drive, I recommend trying Fedora on VirtualBox or GNOME-Boxes. It comes with guest tools pre-installed so you get seamless integration with your host operating system i.e., guest window resizing and folder sharing.
Fedora 28 comes with GNOME as its default desktop environment. Moreover, it boasts new and vanilla GNOME v3.28. However, if you dislike GNOME and prefer some other desktop environment (like KDE, Cinnamon, XFCE, etc) there are Fedora spins too. You can get them here.
If in case you don’t know what GNOME is… GNOME is a collection of software that gives the Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the end users. Unlike most other desktop environments which imitate the look and feel of Microsoft Windows and OS X, GNOME is very much unique with design goal on “focus” while at the same time provides a familiar user interface for new users.
Let’s review some of the common stuff concerning the Graphical User Interface and apps.
To change the desktop background/wallpaper, right click and select Change Background. However, after installing Fedora 28 on my HP notebook, there were only two wallpapers available to customize my desktop.
I rectified that by installing supplemental wallpapers by executing the below command on a terminal program:
sudo dnf install f28-backgrounds-extras-gnome
Fedora 28 doesn’t provide a lot of out-of-the-box, but below are some of the commonly used apps that come pre-installed on it:
- LibreOffice suite (for productivity)
- Boxes (for virtualization)
- Firefox (for accessing the web)
- Rhythmbox (for accessing music contents)
- GNOME Photo (for organizing images along with basic editing capability)
Nautilus has been renovated too, by adding Starred category along with the likes of Documents, Pictures, Music, etc. Simply right-click any file and select Star so you can easily access them later.
Moreover, power users might notice that there is no “Open in Terminal” option (on right-clicking) from the list of context menus. It’s safe to note that GNOME is gearing towards more friendly UX (user experience) through GUIs.
Now toggling windows maximization state is more cool with animation! Calculator app can also be maximized which was not possible on earlier versions of GNOME. Unfortunately, Fedora doesn’t come pre-installed with GNOME-tweak tool, so customizing the window with themes is disabled (or discouraged). Still yet, keeping the look consistent is good for environments that deploy training to personnel or students.
System Monitor look is also updated with gradient effect. Moreover, on activities overview the workspace switcher is scaled slightly smaller than earlier GNOME versions.
GNOME software comes with another cool update too, the ability to integrate third-party software repositories. So now one doesn’t have to browse the internet to find a solution on how to get their graphics card working or accessing the official website to download their favorite proprietary software. With third-party software repositories enabled, you can download those popular proprietary apps like Google Chrome, Steam, PyCharm, etc.
Fedora 28 saves more charge on battery-powered devices like laptop by enabling hardware power-saving features by default. The details are explained on Fedora magazine website. You can learn more about this here.
If you are entirely new to Fedora, there is a life-saver icon on the dash (or access it by clicking Activities and typing “help”). Launch the app and click the link “Getting Started with GNOME”. It’s useful and will help you get comfortable with the desktop environment. Moreover, launching Firefox by default loads the page describing new updates to Fedora and how to keep your computer secure too. Be sure to check them up.
And lastly Bugs and Updates
The latest software invites bugs and this is unavoidable when innovation is considered over stability! Fedora users most likely will face them at any point very soon (as soon as their computer is booted up). Just make sure you update your computer regularly. Another interesting thing to note is the rapid updates software patches are released, unlike other distribution that remain up-to-date for over three days or a week. Fedora is constantly updated.
That’s it, folks. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this content and found it useful. It’s noticeable that Linux is getting more and more GUI savvy, and Fedora is in the lead. So what’s next? Are you excited about trying Fedora out or wiping your computer completely clean and starting over? 😛 The latter part, I’m just kidding and in fact don’t do that. Something cool I missed out mentioning in this article? Please let me know in the comment section below.