SymphonyOS Review, Debian's Desktop, and Fedora 21 Alpha

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 23, 2014

Today in Linux news, Debian has reportedly changed their default desktop again, this time back to GNOME. Fedora 21 Alpha made to release and Phoronix posted their first impressions. Jessie Smith reviews SymphonyOS 14.1 and Scott Nesbitt discusses scanning tools. And finally today, Softpedia covers new Plasma 5 update and Qt 5.4 will be the first to feature Wayland support.

Last night we mentioned some of the upcoming packages for Debian 8 saying that Xfce will remain the default desktop. But today, reported that GNOME may end up being default after all. Apparently, according to, the final decision wasn't as final as believed. Apparently, the discussion continued and GNOME development appears to be ahead of Xfce or Mate (also in the running). And, of course, GNOME is all geared up for systemd, so don't be surprised to see GNOME the default instead of Xfce.

As reported earlier, Fedora 21 Alpha was approved for release today and it was announced right on time. Dennis Gilmore said, "We need your help to make Fedora 21 the best release yet, so please take some time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure things are working." The announcement outlines some of the new features of Fedora 21 Alpha including KDE 4.14, GNOME 3.14, and Mate 1.8. Mr. Phoronix, Michael Larabel, took the alpha for a spin today and said, "It's great. Fedora 21 is turning out fairly nicely and with my early morning tests thus far the Fedora 21 Alpha release is stable and running quite nicely."'s Jessie Smith said he was looking for something different and unusual to review so, of course, SymphonyOS was the one. SymphonyOS 14.1 was released last month, six months after 14.0. "SymphonyOS is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and the project's unique desktop environment runs with the help of the F Virtual Window Manager (FVWM)." After putting it through its paces, Smith said, "Putting aside little bugs, I still found myself scratching my head at some of the design decisions which have gone into Symphony. I suspect Symphony's developers are trying to make their desktop interface familiar to users of mobile devices, but desktop computing becomes quite cumbersome when only one window can be accessed at a time."

In other news:

* Wayland and Qt 5.4
* Second Bugfix Release for KDE Plasma 5 Arrives
* 3 tools that make scanning on the Linux desktop quick and easy
* Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 384
* Should Linux Users Care About Official Netflix Support on Ubuntu?