Fedora 15 Released, GNOME 3 Looks Good

by Ostatic Staff - May. 25, 2011

If you've been on the Internet at all today you probably already know that Fedora 15 was released as scheduled. We'll all be treated to numerous reviews in the coming weeks and most will probably be quite interested in hearing of those personal experiences with GNOME 3. Fedora 15 brings lots of goodies, but most just want to hear of GNOME 3. I'm usually a KDE person, but I too just had to test GNOME 3.

It looks good. I like it. Fedora did use a customized version of the upstream default GNOME 3 wallpaper, but it's pretty with the "birds in the tree" embellishment in the lower corner. The GNOME 3 desktop is different from what most folks are accustomed to using, but in my quick tests I don't think it'd take a lot of work to get used to using it.

You start by clicking Activities. Well, in a "normal" desktop you have to start by clicking the menu button usually. Instead of a menu popping up you get either a list of your open windows or a list of applications. If you're looking for an app, then you'll have to click "Applications" but with the kick-off menus seen in KDE quite a lot these days, you'll do lots of clicking to find anything. I'm not big on clicking around. GNOME 3 has a search box in case you can't seem to locate your application in the hodgepodge of listed applications. You can also filter out and display the list of applications under the category you're seeking - so it's not a complete "lost and confused" situation. You could also add your favorites to the launcher on the left by right-clicking the application in question.

The lack of minimize button takes a second to get used to. You can double click to expand to fullscreen or back. To minimize just right-click and choose minimize. To find your minimized windows, click Activities and there they are. Click on the one you're looking for.

During the developmental cycle folks complained about the lack of multi-display support, but I didn't find the support lacking really. But I don't expect too much. Just display and let me move my mouse or windows over to the second one. By default my secondary monitor was setup to show at the right of my main display - but it was easily movable in the System Settings. I didn't have any trouble with resolution, wallpaper rendering, windows management, or anything. Bearing in mind I don't expect much, I didn't have any trouble except the inability to set a different wallpaper in the secondary screen. I tested using the default Nouveau drivers for my NVIDIA card.

Speaking of Nouveau drivers, I seemed to have at least a minimum of effects. Things faded in and out and rolled in and out. Other things were transparent at the appropriate times. Performance seemed pretty good. I just can't find a whole lot to complain about. I think Fedora folks did a good job. I might be a bit harder to please if I spent days working in it, but you'll have to wait for GNOME and Fedora users to chime in for an in-depth critical analysis.

But I guess it would be inconsiderate not to mention all the other goodies too. This release brings things like a Dynamic Firewall. This has been getting a lot of play in recent days because of the convenience of making changes without having to restart. More on that here.

Fedora switched to LibreOffice this release and systemd is now default. Consistent Device Naming Scheme was one change that a lot of folks bemoaned, but it's supposed to make naming more consistent through hardware additions and reboots. A new Robotics Suite has gotten some attention as well. There's a real good explanation of that here. Btrfs support might be welcomed by some.

There's a full list of New Features here.

So, all in all, Fedora 15 looks like a whole lot of good work. Thank goodness for them too. With all the uncertainty in some projects lately, it's nice that Debian and Fedora are sure bets.

Download your copy here.