Fedora continues to honor the CD size limit with its ISO images, which is a choice I appreciate. Images of such size obviously take shorter to download, plus users have a number of alternatives to burn them into. On top of that, sticking to CD size forces distro builders to limit the amount of default software included, something I favor myself because I know what I want in my installation, don’t necessarily need every piece of open source software under the sun.
After the usual Fedora Plymouth splash screen, which remains unchanged after several releases, we get to the respective GDM and KDM login screens, both of which are fitted with Fedora 17 default wallpaper. GNOME seems to have the edge here, presenting a more modern looking login screen that incorporates animations, shows the list of users available in the system and feels more intuitive and easy to use overall.
The default desktops look alright. Fedora artists continue to deliver, in this case taking a less obvious interpretation of the distro code name than they had previously, which is welcome. “Beefy Miracle” is a funny nickname, but any obvious interpretation of it would go horribly wrong as a default desktop theme, so artists looked somewhere else and threw in some fireworks, as shown below in KDE and then GNOME flavors:
Aside from those wallpapers, though, and the KDM and KDE splash themes, Fedora looks are pretty much stock in both DEs. Luckily for us users, there are tons of great things in this release to talk about, other than looks.
The first thing I found in both cases, maybe not that all surprising on release day, was a bit of a shaky vibe to them. Both felt a bit unstable, lagging and freezing temporarily several times. All problems went away after downloading system updates, though, and when the smoke cleared, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall stability, performance and the superb hardware recognition in Fedora 17. Everything in my computer was correctly configured automatically, no need for extra drivers or any manual configuration, and that includes Wireless, sound and webcam.
Fedora developers have indeed done a superb job at putting together this release. It is powerful, full of features and edgy software, plus it maintains the rate of improvement that started a couple releases ago. SELinux is less intrusive than ever and it can hardly be noticed in terms of performance, but it feels good to know it is there. Talking security, Fedora 17 incorporates a new Firewall setup, which allows for changes to be applied on the fly. Sweet, gotta love the extra security, specially when it is easy to work with.
All of these improvements and more are there in Fedora 17, which makes for a very robust and worth trying distro. In a sense, I think Fedora had to up their game, specially after witnessing the huge step forward Precise Pengolin has represented for Ubuntu. The way I see it, Beefy Miracle represents a similar step in the right direction, even if I still see room for polishing rough edges.
THE GNOME SIDE
Even if KDE is getting lots of love by Fedora developers, GNOME is probably their baby, so we should expect a great (if not the best) implementation of both GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell. Fedora 17 does not disappoint, and with the help of all the latest improvements in GNOME 3.4, it excels at what it does. Long gone are the days where GNOME Shell was lacking flexibility or was hardly customizable. After just three releases since GNOME3 went live, the potential in the design architecture of GNOME Shell has not only brought tons of extensions and themes, but also made it easy for forks like Cinnamon to exist and evolve very quickly.
The screenshot above is my default desktop, which hopefully shows how beautiful GNOME Shell can get with just a couple touches here and there. In this case, the Faenza Icon Theme gets along well with the Elementary shell theme, both accompanied by a nice wallpaper. If you hate those chaotic desktops with a million icons on them, GNOME Shell can help, I love how clean it looks, it truly helps to focus on the task at hand.
Read Full Review at Source Web Site: cristalinux.blogspot.ca