Fedora 14 (Laughlin) Released

Fedora 14 (Laughlin) Released

Summary: Yesterday afternoon, right on schedule, the Fedora Project released Fedora 14, aka "Laughlin". The Release Announcement gives a quick "What's New" look at the release (which saves me having to repeat it here), and the Release Notes provide extensive details on this release.

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TOPICS: Linux
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Yesterday afternoon, right on schedule, the Fedora Project released Fedora 14, aka "Laughlin". The Release Announcement gives a quick "What's New" look at the release (which saves me having to repeat it here), and the Release Notes provide extensive details on this release.

From what I can tell so far it is, as expected and as usual, a very good distribution. I have downloaded the 32- and 64-bit versions, and installed it without problem so far on systems with Intel, AMD/ATI and VIA cpus and graphic controllers, and Intel, Broadcom and Atheros wired and wireless network interfaces. The only special requirement I have run into so far is that the Broadcom WiFi adapter has to be downloaded from the Fedora Unity web site. This is a very simple procedure, which I described previously in a post about Fedora 14 Beta.

The default Fedora distribution is Gnome-based, but there are numerous other desktops available in alternate "spins", including KDE, LXDE and Xfce. When the Gnome desktop is installed on my HP Pavillion dv2-1010ez (AMD cpu, ATI graphics, Atheros WiFi, 1280x800 resolution), it looks like this:

Fedora 14 Gnome

That is a typical Gnome desktop, with nice looking wallpaper. Note that I did not have to do anything special to support the ATI graphics or the Atheros wireless adapter.

Installing the KDE spin on the same laptop produces this desktop:

Fedora 14 KDE

Again, a very typical KDE 4.5 desktop, with the nice looking Fedora wallpaper.

Things got more interesting when I got to my Samsung N150 Plus netbook (Intel Atom cpu and graphics, Broadcom 4313 WiFi, 1024x600 resolution). Installing the KDE spin produced this by default:

Fedora 14 KDE

That's starting to look pretty cramped on the 1024x600 display. But with KDE 4.5, you get the Netbook Desktop included in the standard distribution, so you effectively have a Fedora 14 Netbook Edition at your fingertips! Go to "System Settings / Workspace", and then select "Netbook", and it will change to this desktop:

Fedora 14 KDE Netbook

I think that looks much better on the smaller display. I have written about the KDE Netbook Desktop in detail recently, so I won't say a lot more here.

If you like Fedora, or if you prefer to get your Linux distribution from a large organization with a lot of resources behind it, the Fedora 14 release is very good news. It is solid, stable, it works well on everything I have tried it on, and it includes pretty much the latest versions of everything. My only reservation about it is that it does not include some of the things that I always want installed (Java, Flash and OpenOffice.org for example). None of these are hard to install, but my recent experience with PCLinuxOS has made me prefer that. So perhaps it really comes down to a choice based on the size and character of the organization behind the distribution. As far as I am concerned, either way you win.

jw 3/11/2010

Topic: Linux

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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8 comments
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  • Jamie, Thanks again for putting this review out there. I am more than anxious to try out F14 in a week or two myself.

    Thankfully, these issues with the Broadcom wireless drivers will be solved in the near future, since Broadcom finally opened up the drivers. I'm sure it won't take long for these drivers to be integrated into the default kernel with all major Linux distributions. Then, it will "just work", just like everything else typically does.

    You mentioned that by default, OpenOffice.org was not installed? That would be surprising. I have to believe that it's included on the install media, so if it's not checked for installation by default, checking it should get it installed as part of the OS installation procedure. Hmm.
    Chris_Clay
  • "Thankfully, these issues with the Broadcom wireless drivers will be solved in the near future, since Broadcom finally opened up the drivers. I'm sure it won't take long for these drivers to be integrated into the default kernel with all major Linux distributions. Then, it will "just work", just like everything else typically does."

    This is not really correct. The open driver supports only a very small number of Broadcom adapters, particularly it doesn't support any older ones. It's also apparently very messy code that's in no shape to be upstreamed any time soon, it requires considerable cleanups to be accepted into the kernel.

    "You mentioned that by default, OpenOffice.org was not installed? That would be surprising. I have to believe that it's included on the install media, so if it's not checked for installation by default, checking it should get it installed as part of the OS installation procedure. Hmm."

    It depends how you install. There isn't enough space for it on the live images. If you install from the DVD or network install and select the default GNOME desktop, it'll be installed.
    anonymous
  • @AdamW - Thanks for the comment, you beat me to the reply. I was going to point out that I choose to install from the Live media, and I would be reasonably sure that OpenOffice.org would be on the full DVD distribution. By the way, I really want to express my appreciation and admiration for the excellent work you and the others are doing at the Fedora Project.
    j.a.watson@...
  • Fedora font rendering sadly lacks 5 years behind Ubuntu. Either they're lazy or don't know how to do it.
    Brwn
  • Thanks very much! And thanks a lot for the article. It's neat to see the Plasma netbook interface works, I've already recommended it to someone in the forums on the basis of your article :)
    anonymous
  • AdamW: Thanks for the addition on the Broadcom situation. I was not aware that things were that much of a mess, so it sounds like it will be quite some time before we see integration into the kernel. I guess one milestone at a time.
    Chris_Clay
  • Brwn: Can you elaborate on the issue you mentioned? I do quite a bit of graphic design on Fedora (version 8 and up) and I've had excellent experiences with fonts. Are you talking about Opentype/Truetype based fonts?
    Chris_Clay
  • Try "yum install freetype-freeword" and feel better.

    Dear ubuntu-fanboys, please stop ubuntu-spam in every comments. Especially if you don't know what you say.
    klab-3f87a