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Fedora 18 - Gnome 3 Desktop - Application Menu
Linux users have been waiting quite some time for Fedora 18. The final release has been postponed seven times, for a total of more than two months, from the originally planned release date of 6 November 2012 to the actual release on 15 January 2013.
No one can accuse the Fedora developers of being slaves to a calendar, or succumbing to pressure to ship a release before they believe it is really ready.
With the arrival of fedup, all upgrade functionality has been removed from anaconda as well, which should make it considerably smaller and less complicated. I will include some notes and screen shots of the new anaconda later in this post.
One of the major new features in this release is support for UEFI Secure Boot.
I have installed this release on UEFI systems, with Secure Boot enabled and disabled, and on traditional BIOS systems as well, all with no problems.
My previous two blog posts discuss some of the issues of UEFI and Secure Boot installation, so I will not go into more detail on that here.
I have installed this release on pretty much every laptop, sub-laptop, netbook and desktop system I have around here, and had no trouble with any of them. All of the hardware was detected and supported out of the box, with no additional searching, compiling, downloading, installing or other special actions required.
That includes CPUs, graphic controllers with VGA, DVI, HDMI and laptop display connection (including the dual-display setup I have on my desk - Fedora is the only distribution I use that recognizes and configures dual monitors automatically), wired and wireless network controllers, audio input and output, and whatever else is around here.
A few other highlights of this release:
- Linux kernel 3.6.11 - This means it has a lot of new device drivers and hardware support. For example, this is one of the very few current Linux distributions which supports the Ralink 3290 WiFi adapter in my HP Pavilion dm1-4310 out of the box.
- X.org X Server 1.13.1 - Supports my various Intel and AMD/ATI Radeon graphic adapters with the FOSS radeon driver. I don't currently have anything with a nVidia adapter, so I can't comment on support for that.
- Gnome 3.6.2
- Firefox 18.0 - Keeping up with Firefox releases is not exactly easy any more. In fact, you have to install the latest updates after completing the base installation to get up to 18.0.
- LibreOffice 188.8.131.52 - Writer, Calc, Draw and Impress all included
- Shotwell 0.13.1 - Photo management
- Rhythmbox 2.98 - Audio player
- Totem 3.6.3 - Gnome movie player
As is normal with the Fedora distribution, there is no non-FOSS software included. The most notable example of this is that there is no Adobe Flash player included. An explanation of this, and instructions for downloading and installing the Adobe Flash Player for Fedora are on the Flash - Fedora Project web page.
Fedora 18 - MATE Desktop
New in this release, Fedora includes support for the MATE desktop. For those who are not fond of Gnome 3, MATE offers a traditional Gnome 2-style desktop, with upper and/or lower panels, menus, desktop icons and a variety of associated applications.
MATE is not included in the base distribution, to get it you have to run the command "yum install @mate" (as root, of course). It would be nice if there were a meta-target in the Software Install utility, but if there is, I haven't figured it out yet.
After installing MATE, the next time you log in you will see a new "Session..." button on the password entry screen. Click that, and you can choose between the Gnome and MATE desktops. MATE has come a long way, and for my purposes I can no longer distinguish between it and the actual Gnome 2 desktop.
Fedora 18 - KDE Destop
Fedora also offers a KDE (version 4.9.4) distribution. This is not just a KDE desktop built on top of the Gnome distribution, it is a separate distribution built with KDE utilities and applications. Some of the notable differences:
- Konqueror browser (instead of Firefox)
- Calligra Words, Sheet and Stage (instead of LibreOffice)
- Gwenview (instead of Eye of Gnome)
- digiKam (optional, instead of Shotwell)
- Amarok audio player (instead of Rhythmbox)
- Dragon Player (instead of Totem)
Of course, if you prefer Firefox, LibreOffice or whatever, you can still go to the Software Management utility, search and select the version you prefer, and install it on Fedora KDE. There are a variety of other application differences, and of course all of the standard utilities such as the file manager, CD/DVD disk burner are KDE-specific rather than their Gnome equivalents.