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Fedora 19 preview

April 23, 2013
By

An alpha version of Fedora 19 has been released, so it’s a good time to take a sneak peek at what Fedora 19 will have to offer users. As always you should note that alpha releases like Fedora 19 should be considered for testing purposes and fun only. You should not rely on it as your daily desktop distro.

Fedora 19 Alpha Warning

Fedora 19 Alpha Warning

The version I used for this sneak peek used the GNOME 3.8 desktop environment. The download file weighed in at about 1.05 GB.

What’s New in Fedora 19

Here’s a sample of what’s new in this release:

GNOME 3.8
KDE 4.10
MATE Desktop 1.6

Developer’s Assistant is great for those new to development or even new to Linux, this tool helps you to get started on a code project with templates, samples, and toolchains for the languages of your choice. Bonus: It lets you publish directly to GitHub.

OpenShift Origin makes it easy for you to build your own Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) infrastructure, allowing you to enable others to easily develop and deploy software.

3D modelling and printing are enabled through a variety of tools, including OpenSCAD, Skeinforge, SFACT, Printrun, and RepetierHost.

node.js is a popular Javascript-based platform for those building scalable network applications or real-time apps across distributed devices. Also included is the npm package manager, providing access to over 20,000 programs and libraries available under free and open source licenses.

Ruby 2.0.0, just released in February, comes to Fedora while maintaining source-level backwards compatibility with your Ruby 1.9.3 software. Also included: a custom Ruby loader for easy switching of interpreters.

Scratch, a graphical, educational programming environment lets you (and even better, the kids you introduce it to) create interactive stories, games, animation, music, and art.

Syslinux optional boot tool integration brings you optional, simplified booting of Fedora. We have added support for using syslinux instead of GRUB via kickstart and plan to add a hidden option in Anaconda installer as well. syslinux is especially ideal for images used in cloud environments and virt appliances where the advanced features of GRUB is not needed.

systemd Resource Control lets you modify your service settings without a reboot by dynamically querying and modifying resource control parameters at runtime. This is one of many systemd enhancements in Fedora 19.

Checkpoint & Restore provides the ability to checkpoint and restore a process and is useful for cases such as process failure, or moving a process to another machine for maintenance or load balancing.

Virt storage migration lets you move a virtual machine *and* in-use storage without requiring shared storage between the hosts–a significant improvement upon previous capabilities.

OpenLMI is a common infrastructure for the management of Linux systems that makes remote management of machines much simpler.

High Availability Container Resources extend the corosync/pacemaker HA stack beyond management of virtual guests to containers inside the guests themselves. Define and add containers in your virtual guests through discovery.

Whew, there’s quite a bit in Fedora 19, especially if you are a developer. Please note that you can also see a full list of Fedora 19′s accepted new features. The final release may be different, obviously. But that list will give you a good idea of some of what to expect from Fedora 19.

Fedora 19 Install

Fedora 19 is a live distro, so you don’t need to install it to have a peek at it.

My install went fine, I didn’t have any problems. It wasn’t the fastest distro install I’ve ever done but let’s remember that Fedora 19 is still in alpha, so I didn’t expect it to be fast.

Fedora 19 Try or Install

Fedora 19 Try or Install

Fedora 19 Install Destination

Fedora 19 Install Destination

Fedora 19 Install Summary

Fedora 19 Install Summary

Fedora 19 Installing

Fedora 19 Installing

Fedora 19 Grub

Fedora 19 Grub

Fedora 19 Desktop

Fedora 19 Desktop

Fedora 19 Show Applications

Fedora 19 Show Applications

Fedora 19 Applications

Here’s a sample of the applications included in this release.

Games
AisleRiot Solitaire

Graphics
Shotwell
Cheese

Internet
Firefox
Empathy

Multimedia
Rhythmbox
Videos

Office
LibreOffice
Simple Scan
Evolution

Fedora 19 Add or Remove Software

Fedora 19 Add or Remove Software

Fedora 19 Software Update

Fedora 19 Software Update

Fedora 19 Settings

Fedora 19 Settings

Final Thoughts About Fedora 19

I’m fairly pleased with my experience using Fedora 19, despite it being an alpha release. I had no problems with the install, and the system seemed very stable.

I think Fedora 19 is off to a pretty good start. Distrohoppers might want to check it out in VirtualBox or by booting off a DVD.

My biggest complaint about Fedora 19 has nothing to do with it being alpha. Using this prerelease version reminded me how much I dislike GNOME 3. I really can’t stand using it for any length of time, and I don’t know what the GNOME developers were thinking when they made it in the first place. Ugh.

Fortunately there are other spins available, including the ones I listed above (MATE 1.6, KDE, etc.). If I were going to use Fedora 19 as my main distro, I’d definitely opt for one of the other spins as I find GNOME 3 to be a truly awful experience to use.

What’s your take on Fedora 19? Will you check it out? Tell me in the comments. For distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.

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4 Responses to Fedora 19 preview

  1. Ti-Paul on April 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    When reviewing, you should read the release note…
    On this Fedora alpha release, they specifically mention that the kernel used is slower because extra debug information is enable in order to do a better job a analyzing bug reports…

    I’m no Fedora user. I’m on Arch (CinnArch-Gnome to be exact). ;)

  2. Brian Masinick on April 24, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    Your comment about Fedora not being particularly fast tends to be true. I find that the combination of the kernel options, the Secure Linux (SELinux) setup, the number of daemon processes used, etc. all contribute to a system which, while feature complete and an excellent software development environment, is really good for things like security testing and software development and debugging, but not the optimal setup for routine, every day Email reading, forum research, and those kinds of things.

    If you need a great development environment, a really secure setup, or you want to test out future Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) features, then this is a terrific platform. If, however, you want a stable every day system or a light, fast system, then you can do better elsewhere, such as Debian, antiX, for speed and stability, MEPIS for simple and stable, or Mint for a routine, easy to use system.

    • David Dreggors on April 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      I simply have not seen an issue with Fedora being slow. Maybe in comparison with tiny lightweight distros/desktops sure, but not when compared to a full desktop/media targeted distro like Ubuntu, Mandriva, Suse, etc… In fact I found Ubuntu way more unstable and even slower at times. Can’t speak for the newer Mageia (Mandriva fork), never used it.

      I always buy those (disposable?) $300 laptop specials at Walmart as my work machine. I run Fedora 17 & 18 on two of them right now and have no issue. I love Gnome 3 and it is not slow trust me. I ran Fedora 16 on previous laptops as well.

      I am not saying that anyone is wrong here, just that my experience with the last 4 laptops and the last 3 versions of Fedora has not been what you have mentioned here. I found/find Fedora to be a great Desktop distro.

      But hey, if you want really fast… Go FreeBSD ;-)

      • Scott on April 24, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        My experience is similar. I have installed Fedora 15, 16, and 17 on Walmart laptops and now have a custom-built desktop with Fedora 18 installed. Speed was not an issue on the laptops with any version of Fedora, and there are fewer stability issues on these machines when Fedora is used instead of Ubuntu derivatives.

        The speed issues people have seem mostly related to use of current distributions running on old or under-powered hardware. This just does not occur on current machines custom-built for Linux. Go figure.



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