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Fedora 17 preview

April 17, 2012
By

The final Fedora 17 beta has just been released. Fedora is Live CD distro, so you can boot it up on a CD or in a virtual machine to check it out before doing an install. I went with the default version that uses GNOME 3 for this Sneak Peek.

What’s New
Here’s a brief look at some of what’s new in this release.

GNOME 3.4
Gnome-boxes
GIMP 2.8
Linux kernel 3.3
Bug fixes
OpenStack 2012.1

GNOME 3.4 adds search capabilities in the activities overview. It also adds improved themes, as well as improvements in Documents and Contacts apps.

Fedora17 Beta Desktop

The Fedora 17 beta GNOME 3.4 desktop.

GNOME-boxes lets you view, use, or access local or remote virtual machines, among other things. I looked around, but I could not find gnome-boxes in any of the application menus.

I pulled it up in the Add/Remove Software tool and found it wasn’t installed by default. I’m not sure why since it is listed as part of the official release notes. Odd. After install it, it did not seem to appear anywhere in the application menus. So I rebooted and it then it appeared in the Internet category.

Anyway, be aware that you might have to install it if you want to use it in Fedora 17. Perhaps it will be put in as part of the default install for the final release of Fedora 17. We’ll see about that when it happens.

Boxes

Gnome-boxes is designed to make virtual machines easy for desktop users.

GIMP 2.8 adds single window mode, layer groups and on-canvas editing. Oddly, it wasn’t installed by default either. It wasn’t listed in the Graphics application menu. I pulled it up in Add/Remove Software and then added it manually.

GIMP 2.8

Single window mode makes using the GIMP delightful.

You can get a summary of changes in the 3.3 Linux kernel here.

Final Thoughts
From a desktop perspective, Fedora 17 looks good so far. It’s not a revolutionary release, but there seem to be a few good desktop improvements that users will appreciate. The GNOME 3.4 update will be appreciated by Fedora users. I’ve slowly warmed to GNOME 3 after despising it initially. It’s still not my first choice, but it’s something I can live with if I had no other choices.

Add/Remove Software in Fedora 17 Beta

I had to add Boxes manually in the Add/Remove Software tool.

Gnome-boxes is a pleasant alternative to VirtualBox. It seems to be geared toward making virtual machines easy and comfortable for average desktop users. As a distro hopper, I think that’s a great thing. I just wish it was added by default so users could more easily discover it.

Fedora 17 Beta Applications List

A list of applications in Fedora 17 beta.

GIMP 2.8 is great if you prefer single window mode. I never liked having multiple windows all over the place. Your mileage may vary, however. If you want to use single window mode, just go to the Windows menu and click the Single Window Mode checkbox.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final release of Fedora 17.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments. For distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.

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10 Responses to Fedora 17 preview

  1. [...] You can find more details about new apps and features in Fedora 17, as well as some more screenshots, at Eye On Linux. [...]

  2. Adam Williamson on April 18, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Boxes was dropped from the default Beta package set because its inclusion triggered a serious bug:
    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=802475
    This will be smoothed out for Final.

  3. Jim Lynch on April 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Hi Bob, I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. Sorry. Can’t give you an informed opinion. We’ll see after the final release though, I might do a quick look here or a full review on DLR.

  4. Bob Dowling on April 18, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    I know this will sound like a broken record but I still can’t get used to GNOME 3.  What’s the KDE experience in Fedora 17?

  5. Sivaram Kannan on April 18, 2012 at 6:19 AM

     
    Pae option is under System->Processor

    • John on April 18, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Thanks Sivaram
      Enabling PAE did the trick. Now F17 beta is usable and does not freeze.
      John
       

  6. Sivaram Kannan on April 18, 2012 at 6:18 AM

     
    One setting that is specific to Fedora/Redhat is the Pae option in the system setting of Virtualbox – since that is the default kernel and VB does not enable it by default. HTH.
    ./Siva.

  7. Markus McLaughlin on April 18, 2012 at 4:11 AM

    You have to adjust the settings in VirtualBox or it will NOT work!

    Markus McLaughlin
    (@MarkusMcLaughln)
    Hudson, MA, USA 

  8. Jim Lynch on April 18, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Sorry to hear that, John. Maybe up the RAM and/or video in the VM’s settings? That can sometimes help.

  9. john on April 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Installed the beta into a VM using VirtualBox on Fedora 16 host. Did this twice and both times the screen froze. So far it doesn’t look good.



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