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Fedora 14 review

by Gareth Halfacree

Gareth Halfacree takes a look at the final release of Fedora 14, and sees if the Red Hat-based distro has what it takes to conquer the desktop market…

This article is due to appear in issue 94 of Linux User & Developer magazine.Fedora 14 review Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

Pros: Powerful encryption, SELinux, and firewalling capabilities make this a great choice for the security conscious
Cons: Several areas, including software installation, are still a bit too user-unfriendly to make it an option for non-technical households

Looking at some other Linux magazines available out there, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ubuntu was the only option for Linux on the desktop.  The Fedora Project looks to dispel that myth with its latest release, Fedora 14 – but can it deliver on its promise of a version of Linux for everyone?

There’s no denying that Fedora is a powerful Linux distribution: forming the basis of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it’s responsible for one of the most popular enterprise-grade distributions around.  However, it has traditionally lagged behind other distributions in one important area: the desktop.

Fedora 14 review
Fedora 14’s GNOME-based desktop is fresh and uncluttered

Fedora 14 looks to change all that: as we saw with our look at the beta release last month, the community behind the project has worked hard to produce a powerful and yet user-friendly distribution for desktop and laptop use, and it really shows.

The Live CD, the version most people will use to try out and install the operating system, works like a charm.  Quick to boot on our test system, the GNOME-based desktop – which is also available in a KDE spin – came equipped with everything an average desktop user needs, with one strange exception: there’s no office suite or word processor included by default.

It’s a minor gripe, but a confusing one: a word processor is one of the more common applications used on a desktop machine, and excluding it will leave some users in the dark.  Other packages, such as Firefox, are often slightly outdated versions – and while not shipping beta packages makes sense, it can mean users are left unable to take advantage of the latest features in their favourite packages.

Continue to verdict


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Fedora 14 beta review
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    • er

      really slow software and update installing

    • Hunkah

      I love Fedora.

      Fedora 14 is fast reliable and ahead of the others in the latest technology.

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    • zygmunt

      Yet another ephemeral release with similar recurring unresolved problems to the last version. Getting a bit thin on default installed software. Takes a bit of work to make it useful for a short time. It’s becoming not worth the effort when other distros work out of the box!

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    • mike

      i think fedora people should put up lots of beta versions and take advise from testers before releasing it the public. honestly, after spending more than and hour trying to make it work, i ended up breaking it. personally, it never felt like a finished product.

      it gives one a very bad test, knowing that the previous version{s} had the same issue. it is not a bad operating system though, but one that requires user getting their fingers dirty

    • musty

      There are 2 things to say:
      1 – Ubuntu is more cosmetic and works out of the box for simple things, but suck when you want to go further.
      2 – Fedora requires 2 or 3 hours of tweaks but it’s a pure joy in the linux spirit and nothing can stop it (if you are developer then its heaven at your feet)

    • Mariusz

      I very much agree with what ‘musty’ said above.

      For several years I have been trying several of these ‘works out of the box’ distros, I have been using and living with them on daily basis, and always eventually have been returning to Fedora — and feeling relief at that.

      I agree that some additional ‘tweaking’ is often needed but after doing this several times in the past I don’t find that to be hard anymore, especially regarding adding some programs. With Fedora I feel I have a stable system whose stability and reliability does not deteriorate with time as I observed happens with some other distros, a distro with a solid development and support base — and that, I learned, is *very* important, and with one of the best and best-informed forums (compare this to tons of trash on Ubuntu forums written by illiterate for illiterate).

      I wish the people at the helm of the Fedora project are more sensitive to the issue of overall aesthetics of the desktop, by encouraging and seeking participation of people with *real* design skill and competence. Still, I find, I can live with the default themes.

    • I have starting see more and more moves made by Canonical that i do not agree with and it has pushed me to look at other distributions. I selected Fedora as my main OS since the release of Fedora 14. I have to say I have been very happy with it.

      One thing that really catches my eye about Fedora is that they do some much work upstream that benefits other Linux distros. My only complaint is the speed of Yum vs apt-get and the options of software in the default repos.

      Keep up the great work Linuxuser!

    • badger

      I gave up with Ubuntu when I started having problems with setting up the static IP.
      Eric, yum is muuuch better than apt-get, specially with presto plugin, saving a lot of bandwith. I couldn’t find even one advantage of apt-get.

      Fedora is the best distro so far !

    • Kereith Foster

      The main reason I go for Fedora has always been its security. I am still finding my way with linux in general.

      The only draw back I find with this distro, which has already been covered, is the lack of ‘Open Office’ by default.

      I hope this is something fedora will address in the future.

      I have had no problems at with installation or installing 3rd party software or attaching hardware, such as camera’s etc.

      On the whole I am impressed with it and will be using for the foreseeable future.

    • JohnGalt

      Yum is a lot slower than apt-get and even the 3rd party yum repos are missing key software such as gns3. The bad part about running fedora is that you have to manually install a lot of software. The only good thing that I can see from running this hobby OS is that it gets you used to the quirks that you’ll have to deal with if you plan on supporting RHEL at work.

    • Matthew

      No, OOo? Last time I checked there was… But not in the live environment. You have to install with the DVD medium to get OOo.

      Fedora was the third thing that I tried when I began to have a curiosity about Linux in my last year of High School last year. Maybe I can try Fedora 14 before Fedora 15 comes out.

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