Featured Comments: Week of 2013 January 13

This past week, there was one post that got a handful of comments, so I will repost most of those.

Review: Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" GNOME

Reader Brandon clarified, "If you are talking about the google talk video browser plugin, I just tested installing that on my f18 install and the install went fine (haven't tested the plugin itself though). To install it I did: sudo yum --nogpgcheck localinstall google-talkplugin_current_x86_64.rpm".
Commenter crabdog had this to share: "I had a quick look at Fed18 but the lack of codecs, the incredibly boring default appearance and 'clumsy' package management turned me away from it pretty quickly. I went on to try the latest Netrunner and that one took me by surprise. It's gorgeous to look at and is very smooth to use (although the RAM usage is high, like most KDE). I even replaced my trusty AriOs install with it, mainly because I like those extra desktop effects and customization options that come with KDE."
Reader F1L0 added, "Some screenshot of Fedora 18 KDE here: http://linuxscreenshot.netsons.org/fedora-18-kde/".
Commenter ken halloran had this to say: "Fedora 18. I hated it. Gnome 3. Yuk. So buggy, I ran to get the Raid.I'd give more details, but I'd need intense therapy to recover. Bad. Just Bad."

Thanks to all those who commented on that post. This coming week, I'm hoping to have another review out. And as always, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Review: Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" GNOME

Although I have reviewed a number of Fedora remixes, I haven't reviewed proper Fedora since the very first review/comparison test I posted on this blog over 3 years ago. There are, however, a few reasons for me to be trying this out today.

GNOME 3/Shell Activities
Fedora is typically more for Linux users with intermediate levels of experience and comfort with Linux, as well as for developers and administrators who want to see what is coming in RHEL/CentOS. That said, it can sometimes make a good consumer-grade desktop distribution as well, as long as it is done right; that's why there are so many remixes of it out there. But that doesn't explain why this review exists. I am trying Fedora today because I have not checked out GNOME 3/Shell in a while. I am also trying it because the Anaconda installer is supposed to have been thoroughly revamped. But mostly, I am trying it out because as a physics student, the codename tickled me enough to give it another look. (For those who don't know, a popular joke about physics problems takes such modeling to its logical extreme by applying it to a cow milking: "Imagine that this cow is spherical and radiates milk isotropically...".)

I tried the live session through a live USB system made with MultiSystem. As the revamped installer is a new feature, I tried the installation as well through a 64-bit Linux Mint 13 LTS "Maya" Xfce live USB system made with MultiSystem as well. Follow the jump to see what it's like.


Featured Comments: Week of 2013 January 6

This past week, there was one post that got two comments, so I will repost both of those.

Preview: Elementary OS 2 "Luna" Beta 1

Reader CruelAngel said, "I belive you can move windows Alt+grab style but instead of Alt you need to press Super. Don't ask me why. (Maybe they wanted to use Super for something too. XD) Also the volume control notifyOSD is from Ubuntu. Their notify OSD has this feature since always."
Commenter crabdog had this to say: "Elementary is shaping up really nicely. I just hope that the release version isn't already obsolete/outdated by the time it arrives."

Thanks to those who commented on that post. Right now, IAP has started (and I will have a post at the end of it reflecting on it, but that won't be for another couple of weeks), so I am more free to post things here. That means that this coming week, there will be another review. Anyway, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Preview: Elementary OS 2 "Luna" Beta 1

Almost 2 years ago, a bit after its official release, I reviewed Elementary OS 0.1 "Jupiter". There I said that there was a ton of hype surrounding its release, and that I had bought into the hype a little bit. Since then, there has been hype of a few more orders of magnitude surrounding version 2 "Luna", given the higher expectations and greater promises. Even so, there hasn't been an official release yet, so I am reviewing the first official pre-release version possible. I'll probably review the official release when that comes out as well.

Main Screen
Elementary OS was born out of the Elementary project, which started as simply a theming project for GNOME 2 and GTK+ applications. It spawned more sophisticated projects like Nautilus Elementary, and then eventually turned into an OS project. The first version was essentially a lighter, faster, optimized, and prettier-looking but otherwise standard Ubuntu-based GNOME 2 distribution. This second version promises much more. For one, many of the GNOME applications and even the GNOME desktop environment itself have been banished in favor of Elementary-developed applications. For another, many further optimizations and design decisions have been made to make it stand out from the pack.

I tried Elementary OS using a live USB made with MultiSystem. Follow the jump to see what it's like, how it has improved, and whether it is worth the hype. For the record, it didn't work correctly the first time that I tried it, so what follows is the result of the second attempt. Also, be aware that in this review more than in others, the focus will be on the desktop environment and not as much on whether specific applications did or did not work.