Let me give you an introduction to how I have tested this version and how much I am adoring this. It all started a few days after the beta version was released. I did try the alpha and did quite like the graphics, I ran it on live environment and thus my experience with the alpha version was short lived. Now the time from the alpha to the beta release I had problems of my own using fedora. I shifted from fedora 9 to 8 and then back to 9 and back and forth again. Yes I know its crazy but it actually happened. I was not quite satisfied with fedora 9. Thus when the beta was released I was eager to try it out.
From the moment the beta established itself onto the hard drive of my laptop(the good old Compaq Presario V3000) I have not turned to fedora 9 or 8. Its ironically been my ‘stable’ system. From the artwork to the new GNOME I am simply in love with the new version.
What is the article all about. Its about what you can expect from the new version knowing that there’s just four days for it to be released. So I’ll start talking about the most discussed artwork: the Solar and of course the ‘tabbed’ nautilus to the various other features.
The Solar artwork. I have no words to describe it. It is simply fabulous. Right from the start-up to the desktop experience it is simply wonderful. You can have a look at the youtube video to have a look for yourself.
Now things have slightly changed a bit from the one that’s on the video, it does look more refined. All these thanks to the new Graphical loader Plymouth. One does see an improvement in speed of booting and elegance. The best part is the transition from the loader to the login screen. You no longer see those flickers X starts up. Some of you might have problems with this as some video drivers are not yet supported. Plymouth goes on to a simple progress bar in such cases. Once logged in GNOME 2.24 kicks in if you have chosen the default live media or KDE 4.1.2 for the KDE-live media. This is one thing I like best in fedora, there is good support for both KDE and GNOME and gives in the most bleeding stuff.
Well as GNOME loaded I noticed the entire process was simply elegant and extremely refined. The wallpaper faded in and the panels seeped in gradually. Of course the wallpaper is brilliant and it does grow brighter and darker according to the time as it did in the previous releases but in a more elegant manner. The most awaited feature of tabbed browsing in nautilus was the first I had to check out. Though it is a nice improvement I did not quite find myself using it often. One interesting feature is the eject icon on removable media. Have a look at the screenshot below. Nodoka, the metacity theme has been modified a bit. I do quite like the fedora 8’s theme better. I’m not a fan of Nodoka for the metacity though the gtk theme is really good.
In my previous post about Fedora 10 Beta I mentioned of Echo Icon theme being the default theme. But sadly they have omitted it. A new applet has been intorduced: the time tracker. Its more of a countdown timer, pretty useful in certain situations. I also just notice the Netspeed applet, not very sure if it was avaliable earlier but am utilizing it a lot more now. Pidgin is removed and Empathy is introduced. I’m not a fan of any in particular but I do notice there is an option to make audio calls on empathy (though it does’nt seem to be working with mine.) It does also come with Open Office 3.0, missing in Ubuntu’s latest release, but you will have to use the DVD version or download it from the repository.
I did install KDE and use it for a while. I used the KDM login manager which was far better than the GNOME’s. KDE did look neat. The mail client in KDE is to be noted especially as it has some features which evolution does not. Though every ones talking much about KDE I found GNOME a shade better in terms of refinement and fonts. This version has improved a lot from that of the previous releases in terms of customization. Look at KDE 4.1.2 release announcement for further details.
That’s my customized desktop using Echo Icon theme modified a bit.
Things have change a lot from the time I wrote ‘Package Kit’. Package kit has improved a lot and it does feel better than the previous pirut and pup softwares. I don’t know if its me but I have seen a noticable speed increase in yum. Querying packages are quicker and downloading lists doesn’t happen that often. But I must warn you there were times downloading the package list took hours even though my connection speed was high.
Talking about internet reminds me about the Network Manager. I do definitely see a lot of improvements. Wireless connections no longer seem to be a problem for me. I did watch a video about connection sharing, but even with a ethernet connected I could not create a wireless network. But don’t worry, once Fedora is released there should be a lot of documentation in forums and blogs about this one. The network manager seemlessly connects ethernet card and wireless without any issues. One thing I have noticed is that the common bug for ipwl3945 dirver, i.e the Intel Wireless 3945 is been solved and no extra work has to be done to configure it.
Wine-1.1.7 can be installed in this release and makes installation of windows applications a cup cake. I have managed to install MS Office 2007 and Adobe CS2 with eaze. For all those still using windows applications do try the new wine release. For those not using Adobe Photoshop, Fedora has introduced the much spoken Gimp 2.6.
Audio is definetely better as improvements have been made to the pulseaudio. According to the fedora project website “ PulseAudio in Fedora 10 is now more responsive due to its new low-latency design, but also consumes less power.”
For developers Netbeans has been introduced into the repository, thus no more depending on Sun to provide us with rpms.
There are a lot more of applications in the repository now. One of the best news is that Dribble, Freshrpms and Livna have merged and have formed a new repository called the rpmfusion. So you get all the drivers and codes in one place now. Well I know thats apart from fedora 10, still, worth mentioning.
I have used Fedora 10 codenamed Cambridge for the last couple days and I have enjoyed every bit in spite of some shortcomings. But it was the beta and the pre-release, so they are justified. By the time of release and a few days to come it will definitely be better. So if you are contemplating of downloading fedora I suggest you might just. You will enjoy this release. My experience with Fedora 10, in a word is REFINED.