(: February 25, 2018)
This is a continuation of our list of Best Linux Distributions 2018. Here we’re looking at Fedora 27.
Fedora 27 – Introduction
Red Hat is known for it cutting edge distributions that most of the business world hail and hence employ for their servers. Fedora is one of their product available free for download an usage.
It’s a distribution that is widely regarded as a testing ground for coming applications of changes before they are officially rolled out. A good example is that Wayland and systemd were first tested on Fedora before the facilities were made available. There are three flavors of Fedora that is the Workstation, Server, and Atomic Host editions. There are other spins that the community has forked out the parent OS and you can always check them out.
The server edition of Fedora 27 will be out this January while the desktop version is already available. Fedora 27 boasts of a fresh new look in the garments of GNOME 3.26 which comes with the new features GNOME’s settings panel. Other new things on its plate include the ability of signing of LibreOffice docs with OpenPGP keys as well as better search results from the GNOME Activities screen. Let us poke around and find out how this distribution performs.
Fedora 27 – Installation
Anaconda system installer gets us up and running in the installation process while it asks the familiar questions to set up your environment. The installer supports multi-device volumes such as LVM and Btrfs, and other standard file system partitions such as ext4 or ext3.
The login screen comes with GNOME (running on Wayland), GNOME Classic and GNOME on Xorg options for you to choose. It seems Wayland is still being developed or the applications have some problem integrating with it because it presented a slightly lower performance compared to GNOME on Xorg. It gets worse when used in a virtual environment. On the other side of the coin, GNOME on Xorg Fedora experience was way better.
The response on desktop and laptop is faster compared to Wayland’s and completely killed it on VirtualBox. The performance on VirtualBox was much faster and much responsive and at least sowed some ray of hope for the distribution. What seemed shocking to me was when Fedora warned of a reboot when I clicked the update tab. I have no idea why it is so but it is in the reputation of Linux distributions not to ask for a reboot before updates are committed.
Fedora 27 – Applications
The Workstation edition provides us with the following default applications:
- Firefox web browser
- Evolution e-mail client
GNOME comes with:
- Shotwell photo manager
- Image viewer app
- Document viewer
- Map application
- Archive manager
- Calendar application
- Simple image viewer.
- There is a system monitor in place to view how the system is performing while running.
Fedora 27 – Multimedia
Full multimedia codecs do not come out of the box. Even though you can play a few files here and there like MP3, you will need to find other codecs from RPMFusion to be able to play video files. Otherwise, there is Rhythmbox audio player and the Totem video player installed already. You can find other media players like VLC from RPMFusion and Red Hat repositories.
Fedora 27 – Software management
The GNOME software application is the interface that Fedora 27 uses as its primary software manager. The new software manager has three tabs and provides all of the tools to install, update and uninstall packages. The tool is user-friendly and easy to use.
Fedora 27 – Hardware Support
Fedora presents no problems integrating with hardware. The OS was able to detect the hardware and load proper modules for their functionality. Perfect network connectivity, good sound modules as well as the rest of the drivers. The virtual environment was no less. Its ability to support the virtual properties was impressive though the speed was slightly low on this platform.
Fedora 27 – Cons
Most of the properties in Fedora worked well out of the box but of course, some few hitches were not missed. One is the already mentioned reboot issue after updates have been installed. This needs to be changed seriously. The sluggishness of Wayland is another conspicuous issue that needs to be worked on as well. Otherwise, Fedora 27 desktop edition is a user-friendly and stable release.
I guess so much has been touched on already and you will make your decision based on the experience above. The desktop edition is a good release. The aesthetics are better, GNOME new features are impressive and the availability of packages is not n issue at all. Just get your hand on the new distribution, explore what it has to offer. As Wayland continues to get better, there is still a small issue though. Things will be better with time for sure. Otherwise, give feedback once you have your experience on.