This month’s Linux Format Magazine includes Fedora 10. I upgraded to Fedora 10 a few months ago via a yum upgrade. I started by looking at Xfce as I’ve been using Xfce non-stop ever since starting “I’m Not Mad” in November. Xfce is much lighter than Gnome and I’m able to use Blender more effectively. Fedora 10 comes with Xfce 4.4.3. Overall, nothing major has changed on the surface although I know they’ve been doing a lot of work under the hood.
So there’s my Xfce desktop. One thing I like about Xfce (and KDE 3.x did this too) is that I can have a different background per screen. With Gnome, at least as of Fedora 9, can’t do this and so I am stuck with an image stretched across the screens or tiled awkwardly. I have added some buttons to the Xfce bottom panel to launch programs that I always use. I don’t know if this will ever change, but it annoys me that Xfce can’t use the Seahorse keyring to store my passwords instead of asking me for each and every program. Now I’ll log into Gnome and see if anything major has changed.
The first thing I notice about Gnome is that the startup sound appears to have changed. The second thing I notice is that Gnome loads up A LOT faster than it used to. Finally, my problem with Compiz starting up every time I start Gome appears to be settled as well. One thing I never noticed before is that the default Font for Gnome is a lot larger than in Xfce. So here’s the Gnome desktop:
I’ve added a lot of launchers and extra things in the top panel. Overall Gnome 2.24 isn’t too different from the version used in Fedora 9, Gnome 2.22. Most Gnome programs have been refreshed, but other than a few cosmetic changes – most of the changes ocurred behind the scenes. Let’s move on to KDE.
Startup takes longer than either Gnome or Xfce. Frankly I’m not impressed. One of the things that drove me away from KDE back in the 3.5 series is that it was very unstable. The same thing happened in KDE 4.2 in Fedora 10. Kontact kept crashing every time I tried to do anything with email. Kwallet crashed, so I had to manually enter my passwords into Kopete. Here’s how I have my desktop set up:
Overall, KDE is unusable for me in this condition. But I thought I’d see if Amarok has been updated to version 2. It had indeed been updated to Amarok 2. So I wanted to see how much I would like it. It took a few minutes to scan my music collection. On the one hand, I think it looks a bit uglier than it used to. But on the other hand, I think it feels less cluttered.
At first I was left thinking – is this it? There used to be so much more information in Amarok 1.4! That’s the reason why I liked Amarok so much! Then I realized I had to load soem widgets. Here’s how it looked after the playlist was complete.
and here are the widgets when a song is playing:
Overall, Amarok 2 is good. It’s not quite as good as Amarok 1.4. There’s just a tiny bit of polish left. But it’s getting there. Now, one AWESOME thing they’ve added into Amarok is the Biased Playlist. You can do crazy things like tell it to fill a random playlist with songs that are Track 2 and then set the percentage of how strict it is. One interesting thing could be to set a certain song length and then give it an 80% bias.
So, what else is going on with Fedora 10? They’ve moved on to Open Office.org 3; it’s a bit faster to load. Overall, Fedora 10 is a very stable release. I haven’t had any problems whatsoever with it. They’ve done a very good job at integrating the various components that go into a distro. I never had any problems with PulseAudio when it was introduced back in Fedora 8, but – for what it’s worth – I still am not having any problems with it whatsoever. I can do everything I need to do on a daily basis in Fedora 10 and I don’t have any problems. A few years ago I got my Fedora desktop just the way I like it and, for the most part, I’ve just continued using it that way. My major tweaking days seem to be over for now and Fedora works the way I want it to. I find that it “just works” and also gives me cutting edge software. Seems to be the best of both worlds. The only caveat is that you should probably wait a few months after a new release if you want to make sure the software’s a bit more stable. I recommend Fedora 10 for anyone who wants an easy, stable, and cutting-edge distro.
After writing this review I went in to read LXF’s review to see if I missed anything. The only other things they mentioned were that PackageKit and the Printer Adding dialog were much improved. I think PackageKit is a bit faster and a few tweaks make it a better experience vs Fedora 9, but it’s not THAT much of an improvement. LXF gave Fedora 10/10 and I think I’d probably give it a 9/10. So check it out – if you’ve been burned by unstable Fedora releases before, you’ll be pleasently surprised with Fedora 10. And now, I’m going back to Xfce….