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.
Here’s a brief look at some of what’s new in this release.
Linux kernel 3.3
GNOME 3.4 adds search capabilities in the activities overview. It also adds improved themes, as well as improvements in Documents and Contacts apps.
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.
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.
You can get a summary of changes in the 3.3 Linux kernel here.
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.
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.
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.