back to article Fedora 16: Linux home for lost Ubuntu GNOMEs

The Fedora Project has released the first beta of Fedora 16. Dubbed "Verne" and sporting desktop artwork that echoes Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Fedora 16 is shaping up to be a worthwhile alternative to Ubuntu 11.10, particularly for those that aren't happy with Canonical's home-brewed Unity shell. Among the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better Off With KDE4

    Yes KDE4 was quite painful up until 4.5 but after that it really started to shine. It's going to be a while before GNOME 3 gets near KDE 4.7

    PS as you can tell I'm not a GNOME fan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm not a Gnome fan...

      ...but I do use Gnome 2. I've looked at Gnome 3 and it seemed interesting. I've tried KDE 4 and had many features I liked, but was too heavy for my system.

      They all have their upsides and downsides but Gnome 2 is what works for me, so I use it. Simple.

      I do not use Unity and nor will I. 10.10 is my last release of Ubuntu due to Canonical's anti-community attitude. The Ubuntu lot can't even be arsed to contact LUGs when arranging events, they just do their own thing and don't give two damns about the rest of the community.

    2. Tom Chiverton 1
      Thumb Up

      Well, apart from KMail folders being full of grey'ed out ghost messages....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's on KDE 4.6.4

        Tom, we are on 4.7.2 now. Looking at both reports it appears to be a Kubuntu issue as I've never seen this on Opensuse.

  2. Iain Hamilton
    Thumb Down

    What has Unity got to do with anything?

    I'm sat here posting from gnome-desktop on Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 11.10 Beta which was installed from the Ubuntu repository and works just as well as it does on Fedora. I would also argue that it works better due to better repositories, fonts and all round gloss. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. A 2 minute install of gnome-desktop is far easier than completely switching distro.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Nothing really… it just seems a lot of people get confused with the OS and the desktop.

      They're used to them being tightly coupled as they are in Windows and MacOS X…

      Unix never did have tightly coupled desktop environments (or window managers), and often the user could choose. Often, if a display manager was in use, it would have a menu by which you could make a selection. Linux is no different. All you have to do is install it, and choose it at your next log-in.

      I run Gentoo … and usually the first "desktop" to go in is FVWM, as it's quite usable, but has minimal dependencies. I've been using it since Red Hat 4.0 days. That gets me going under X until I get KDE compiled and installed. If KDE breaks, I've got FVWM as a fall-back. I can switch between them at will… I can even switch from FVWM to KDE on-the-fly. (But sadly, not the other way around… there's no feature to kill off kwin4 gracefully and exec fvwm in KDE.)

      This is, however, a new concept to people who are used to being dictated to by the desktop maker of their choice, and will take a bit of getting used to.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      "But don't let the facts get in the way of a good story"

      and don't let reading the article get in the way of a good pout.

      The author recommends installing the beta in VirtualBox which is good advice - it's easier and safer than "completely switching distro" or going to the trouble of installing a new desktop beta on (possibly) your only PC.

  3. Lars Silver badge

    What about KDE on Fedora

    Any information/experience of that choice.

    1. AdamWill

      it works pretty well

      obviously I'm biased (I get tired of writing it in all my posts, but I work for RH as the fedora qa community manager), but it's fine. It's maintained mostly by Da Community, but this is of course not a bad thing; the group who maintains KDE is very talented and committed and usually produce something that works very solidly. (in some releases, better than GNOME does). they also maintain a side repo where you can get the latest KDE releases for slightly older Fedora revisions, should you be so inclined (so you can get 4.8 on Fedora 15, for e.g.)

  4. Mage

    Eveventually you get tired of testing Betas

    Why don't they ever finish anything properly in the Linux /Gnu community?

    They seem to get bored or seduced by latest Apple or MS changes and go off at a tangent again.

    If the GUI was even like NT4.0 and everything just worked in an expected manner it would be good,

    They fix the stupidity of how Linux does sound, then fix WiFi forgetting settings... That takes about 6 years and then they go and break a lot of stuff.


      Everyone is "testing betas".

      You drone on like somehow Linux GUI developers are the only ones that can't leave well enough alone when infact every platform seems to be infected with the same insanity. EVERYONE wants to trash well developed and thoroughly debugged interfaces for a lot of tablet hype nonsense. It's not just Linux. Apple is doing it and so is Microsoft.

      How many times has Microsoft pulled the rug out from everyone since NT?

      Been there. Did that. Don't try to BS an old veteran.

    2. P. Lee

      re: Eveventually you get tired of testing Betas

      So download a stable release.

      Stable releases aren't so much fun to review because, well, they've been around for some time and people know what's in them.

      And speaking of being seduced by Apple gear, has anyone hacked their desktop trackpad to work do multitouch/gestures with linux?

    3. FreeTard
      Thumb Up

      your missing the point

      Fedora is a testing platform for redhat. Just as opensuse is for Novell.

      Once all is stable and well, it eventually filters down to enterprise linux.

      I'm writing this on my SLED 11 laptop, but I also have fedora 15 on another one.

      Fedora is much faster by the way, because its more bleeding edge, or maybe redhat distros are just better. Don't know, but I purchased sled11 so I'm sticking with it :)

    4. AdamWill


      "Why don't they ever finish anything properly in the Linux /Gnu community?"

      Um. What?

      Let's see, every single release of Fedora so far has had a Beta, and then a Final, release.

      So, we're 15 for 15 so far!

      Fedora 16 final is scheduled for November 8th, so if you can possibly cool your jets for a whole month and four days, you will be able to run something that is 'finished properly', you lucky dog, you.

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Yes, because the present Aero interface, and the upcoming Metro interfaces are of course just minor "upgrades" of the Program Manager in Windows 3.0.

      Nah, Microsoft hasn't changed in years!

  5. Zmodem

    the biggest problem in gnome is nautilus being basic and worthless to use for a long time. and needs the option to have text area folder address instead of text buttons for each folder

    the file search is next up and needs to search the whole drive and not just your users folder and for all types of files

    1. Mystic Megabyte


      "needs the option to have text area folder address instead of text buttons for each folder"

      Press Ctrl+L

  6. llewton


    both "unity" and gnome shell are train wrecks and there's no way around it. being based on debian, ubuntu is still to some degree usable under all that ui horror, though i wouldn't use it personally. fedora on the other hand is basically a permanent RH beta that's good for testing but not running on computers used for work.

    people leaving ubuntu imho will find a good new home with mint.

    i run debian.

    1. Zmodem

      gnome isnt a train wreck.. if you want the same kind of workflow and state of mind as windows, then opensuse and gnome go hand in hand, and the only linux dist where most applications are where you expect them to be on all of the menu`s

      most other linux distro and KDE turn your PC into a mac, especially mandriva which is the best if you dont use your desktop for much

    2. RISC OS
      Thumb Down


      Linux users complain all the time that people should stop trying to make linux like windows... they are different. if windows users complain that it is different they get laughed at.

      Yet you and lots of other linux users don't seem to like change either. Now maybe you'll understand why people coming from window dislike moving to Linux... because it is different to what they are used to. Your just as locked in as the people using Windows and Apple

      1. Zmodem

        you can customize windows all you want with new toolbars and shell extensions, content menu options, and you hammer around windows and get something done within 30secs

        in any linux, everything takes 100x as long as it does in windows, from windows to linux, you will just get frustrated at how much of a chore every task is todo

        if windows didnt cost 20k to have a server room the size of a prison cell, linux probaly wouldnt be used at all

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What about KDE on Fedora"

    You mean in general or specifically FC16?

    I use Suse at home (11.3 'cos I'm lazy) but at work the experts prefer Fedora because it's a closer fit for the deeply techy stuff being done (which seems fair). So as a compromise I use the KDE which comes with Fedora 15. I haven't found any notable issues as yet. Others may have different experiences.

  8. BatCat

    Maybe it's just me...

    ... but when I tried GNOME 3 on Fedora 15 (I think) I found it just as much of a culture shock as Unity.

    I don't really get all the anti-unity fuss, well certainly that from the GNOME 3 fanbois anyway, to me they're almost as bad / good as each other. They're just different. Like the chap before said, the beauty of Linux is if you don't like something you can usually swap it out for something that suits you better without too much fuss.

    1. Alex.Red

      No, you are not alone...

      I am in the same boat.

      Tried to get used to the new Gnome 3 in Fedora 15 and finally gave up, installed Fedora 14 with Gnome 2.32 and in a process of configuring kernel 3.0 since the current kernel for Fedora 14 (2.6.35) does not support switcheroo that I need to switch between ATI 6770M and Intel HD3000 on my dv6t-6100 laptop.

  9. ofdustandnations

    Fedora 16 is *not* using BTRFS

    The wiki page is outdated. See:

    The development of BTRFS hasn't been quite as fast as anticipated, and there isn't yet a fully functional chkfs utility that can repair errors.

    Wouldn't be surprised to see it for Fedora 17 however.

  10. AdamWill

    VBox, and stability

    "Indeed the main reason to install the new beta (something I suggest you do in VirtualBox)"

    There is a problem with that: VirtualBox's 3D passthrough stuff has only very very recently grown support for the version of included in Fedora 16, so unless you have the absolute latest VBox + guest additions you won't be able to get GNOME Shell running under VBox. Even if you *do* have the latest version of everything, it only works in theory, I wouldn't exactly stake my house on it. (standard disclaimer: Fedora's supported virtualization techonology is qemu/kvm, and if you mention VBox to our virtualization developers, they get this sad, sad look on their face like you just kicked a puppy, and either wander off, or spend the next thirty minutes explaining how terribly badly VBox is written. Note they don't do this if you say 'VMWare' or 'Xen'. It appears to be a VBox-specific phenomenon. But then, qemu/kvm has precisely no 3D passthrough support yet, so you're always going to get fallback mode with that.)

    "Not only is the default theme nicely integrated, GNOME 3 feels extremely stable on Fedora 16, even as a beta build."

    Not for me to un-blow my own trumpet, or anything, does? Did you really try it very hard? Let's call this managing expectations, but 16 Beta is not the most stable Beta I've ever stuck my name on. It meets our Beta release criteria, yes. It doesn't surpass them with flying colors like a few other Betas have. There's bits of it that are extremely Beta-ish. I'd hate people to download it expecting it to work with absolutely no problems whatsoever and entrust their working lives to it or something.

    One obvious thing is that the integrated IM stuff is pretty crashy: telepathy-mission-control falls over all the damn time. This isn't going to kill you but it's a bit inconvenient if you rely on the IM integration heavily. (If not, you can just use Pidgin instead or something). There's also some known wonkiness related to the migration from grub to grub2 and from msdos disk labels to gpt disk labels, which has eaten up about the last month of my life. Fun stuff. Most of the known breakage is documented on the Common Bugs (Errata, basically) page, which I'd highly recommend you read before running F16 Beta:

    in summary, I'm okay with F16 Beta as a Beta. But it really is a Beta. Please don't expect to download it and have it work perfectly without fail, it probably won't. We're still bashing on it. Just sayin'.

  11. Richard Plinston

    I installed Fedora 15 on what was previously Fedora 14. Of course this defaulted to Gnome 3. Initially I disliked it.

    I almost never see my desktop background. I don't use icons to start programs and don't have many icons on the desktop. I have a few programs running and they are arranged in a way that suits my work. If I want to start a new program I use the text menu system.

    Gnome 3 is based entirely around having icons to start programs. It may save 'digging down' to the desktop, but it follows that way of working, one that I have disliked since Win95.

    It also insists on having the panel at the top. New monitors are 'wide screen', typically 1920 x 1080. This gives plenty of width to spread windows over, but insufficient height for serious work. Gnome 3 reduces the height, without the option.

    So while I initially disliked Gnome 3, I grew to hate it quite quickly.

    Fortunately there is a choice of XFCE and LXDE. These can be pushed to the side, can autohide and have a proper menu system, as well as being able to have program launching from the bar for most useful programs.

    Now I can have full height usable. With KWord I can put all the menus and bars on the sides. I wish I could do that with OOo.

    1. AdamWill


      "This gives plenty of width to spread windows over, but insufficient height for serious work."

      consider portrait orientation. not because of GNOME's panel or anything, just because - if you don't watch movies or play games - it's just better. I run two 22" displays side-by-side in portrait orientation (1080x1920) and it's great, way better than running them landscape. Most Stuff, especially web Stuff, does not scale to 1920 width very well (or at all - many websites just wind up as 800 pixel islands with 550 pixels of dead space to each side), but can fill up 1920 pixels *vertically* just fine.

  12. Herby

    Damn the cashews....

    Full KDE ahead.

  13. kneedragon


    I don't see what the fuss is. I didn't like what I was hearing about unity, so I had a quick look on google for how to switch it off. Simple - one setting on boot, once. Fixed. Then I didn't like what I was hearing about them switching that off, so I went and got gnome3. It came from the Canonical repositories, it installed without a single hitch or question, and it picked up all the settings I already had - including having my buttons where Bill Gates and Henry Ford put them. The only clue it's there is an extra splash screen during boot, which is only there for a second anyway.

    I'm not a tech guru - I'm not even what you'd call a power user. It's not that hard, really.

    1. AdamWill

      it was/is

      in Ubuntu 11.04 it's substantially harder, because 11.04's default GNOME environment is not GNOME 3 but GNOME 2; they decided they wouldn't be able to get Unity-on-GNOME 3 running smoothly for the 11.04 release so 11.04 is actually Unity-on-GNOME 2. Installing GNOME 3 on 11.04 is somewhat tricky as it means replacing or duplicating a whole ton of official GNOME 2 packages.

      Ubuntu 11.10 is Unity-on-GNOME 3, so switching to GNOME Shell instead is pretty trivial, it's really just a change to the session configuration.

  14. goats in pajamas

    Train wrecks et al

    Gnome 3 and Unity are train wrecks. No other way to put it.

    You might have kearned to use Gnome 3 - good for you - from a design point of view - it's a train wreck.

    KDE 4.x is mostly fine. Works perfectly though it looks a bit rough round the edges (fonts and aliasing etc).

    If you want a decent Gnome 2.3/Fedora respin then I can recommend Fusion Linux 14.1. It's very well put together. First distro in a long while that I've run as it looks from first install - no need for a decent icon set and decent Windows decorations.

    Mint is pretty good too. Though goodness knows what they're all playing at with the SLab menu - an utter monstrosity. Counter-intuitive, ugly and unnecessarily large.

    Though, even that pales into insignificance when compared to Mandriva's new menu from Rosa Labs - their menu takes up the entire screen - even on 1600x900. Somebody needs to explain to these people that a menu that takes up the entire screen is a piece of crap. Wasted space, over large icons - a design monstrosity.

    Been using Linux for 9 years.

    If it carries on with the current crop of design ideas I'm not sure I'll see another 9.

    1. Zolko Silver badge

      try Mepis Linux 11

      Based on Debian Squeeze (6, stable) with some nice additions like proprietary kernel modules, it comes with KDE 4.5 and just works.

  15. Chris Hawkins

    Forget the Hype - Debian 6 with Gnome 2

    Sitting here happily on Debian 6 with Gnome 2 building a web site!

    I don't need anything more!

    Having been happy with Ubuntu for 6 years - down-systemed to the above config after the arrival of the Unity disaster....

    Like Linus, I will not be assimilated.....

    So good!!! :)

  16. ArthurKinnell

    always debian based for me

    apt-get that is all I have to say

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