Many desktop users love Red Hat's community Linux Fedora 30. They have good reason. Fedora is a great Linux desktop. But Fedora's far more than just a desktop. It comes in three major versions: One for the workstation, another for containers, and still another that works as a server both on your server hardware and on the cloud.
Why so many versions and changes? Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader, explained in a statement:
"Computing scenarios don't remain static and neither does Fedora. With the updates around Fedora 30, we're providing an evolving spectrum of operating system editions to better meet diverse IT challenges. From containerized developer workspaces with Flatpak and Silverblue to expanded server and container infrastructure options in Fedora 30 Cloud and Fedora CoreOS, the Fedora Project remains focused on Linux innovation."
All the Fedora 30 editions come with common underlying packages updates. Besides the usual bug fixes and performance tweaks, Fedora 30 base updates include Bash shell 5.0, Fish 3.0 shell, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 9, and Ruby 2.6. Powering all this is the 5.0 Linux kernel.
With this release, there are three primary Fedora editions: Fedora Workstation, Fedora Server, and Fedora CoreOS.
Fedora 30 Workstation
Fedora 30 Workstation includes the latest version of the GNOME interface, GNOME 3.32. Fedora also supports the other major Linux desktop environments, including Cinnamon, KDE, LXDE, MATE, and Xfce. It also includes fractional scaling, a refreshed visual style, animation improvements, and new icons. The net effect is to make a more visually pleasing desktop, which works well on high-end monitors.
You can also now run the Fedora desktop as a containerized desktop, Fedora Silverblue, with rpm-ostree at its heart. This replaces the traditional RPM package management with atomic upgrade/rollback. In this model, Fedora provides ready-made base operating system image. When you install a program, using either rpm-ostree or Flatpak, it creates essentially a restore point. These are then tracked, and if something goes wrong, you can reset to your restore point with minimal harm done.
It's an interesting take on the desktop, but after playing with it a bit, I'd stick with the traditional desktop for now.
There's also a containerized version of Fedora 30 for servers and the cloud on its way: Fedora CoreOS. If you're planning on working with containers and Kubernetes, you'll want to get a copy of this. Unfortunately, it won't be available until June 2019.
Fedora 30 Cloud
As the cloud grows ever more in importance, the Fedora Project has melded the traditional server capabilities of Fedora Server with Fedora Cloud. You can still run it on the server in your backroom of course, but it's equally at home on a private, hybrid, or public cloud.
Coming down the road, Fedora will introduce a lightweight version of Fedora Cloud for the Internet-of-Things (IoT), Fedora IoT. You can use this edge-oriented release from everything to your do-it-yourself home projects to industrial R&D testbeds. I expect to see Fedora IoT this summer, but Fedora has't given a date for its release yet.
Ready to try it? You can download the Fedora 30 desktop today.