Fedora 12 Beta – First Impressions

A lot of blog posts about Fedora 12 recently. It’s been a while since I last tried Fedora, so I thought I’d try it out and post some of my thoughts.


  • Sweet KMS enabled boot screen – very nice
  • Yum is fast enough to be usable (but maybe that’s because of my quad core now?)
  • Custom icons for Documents/Downloads/Music/Videos etc
  • Installer re-assigned ownership attributes for old home directory. Very handy.
  • Clearlooks is the default theme (not Nodoka)
  • Control Center (Preferences) menu is no longer grouped by categories


  • Notifications (what is that horrible massive black square on my screen)
  • Package manager UI (often just too confusing, too animated, or too awkward)
  • Bluetooth keyboard didn’t work in the final setup screens (setting up username etc…)
  • Every other folder in Nautilus tells me I can share it using Personal File Sharing (well, at least $HOME and $HOME/Downloads – why would I want to share $HOME and why do I have to see this notice all the time?)
  • Doesn’t remember my preferred language (en_GB)

All in all, looking good apart from the few niggles I’m sure will be fixed before release. If anyone knows whether there is a meta-package to install enough packages to allow GNOME development (e.g. including gcc, intltool, libtool, gtk-doc, etc), that would be awesome.

Update: I just found sudo yum install @gnome-devel @development-tools via the Jhbuild page. It’s a start, but doesn’t include everything needed to build GTK+ for example. Shame the package manager UI doesn’t make this more obvious.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to file bugs just yet, because these are just my first impressions, and I’m not yet a Fedora user!

17 thoughts on “Fedora 12 Beta – First Impressions”

  1. “Doesn’t remember my preferred language (en_GB) ”

    This one has already been filed and fixed (yes, a bug report that got responded to! Amazing, huh): https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=530452

    Fedora doesn’t really use metapackages, it prefers to use package groups. You can run ‘yum grouplist’ to see installed and available groups. I believe ‘yum groupinstall “GNOME Software Development”‘ should do the trick.

    Thanks for testing. It really would be nice if you’d file bugs, though. For instance, on the bluetooth keyboard issue; use of bluetooth keyboard issues isn’t terribly widespread, so we may lose that one, though I’d love to see it fixed. I can’t reproduce it and file a bug myself since, well, I don’t have a bluetooth keyboard…

  2. As for basic development, ‘yum groupinstall development-tools’ will do. I don’t think there is a meta package for GNOME development.

    >> Besides, a Fedora using colleague of mine has
    >> previously filed bugs and not one of them has
    >> been responded to.
    This sounds quite rude. I can tell you that Fedora generally has very short response times and most of the time, problems actually get fixed in a reasonable time. Compare that to Ubuntu for example… :/

  3. For which folders does nautilus tell you about file sharing, exactly ? As far as I can see, it is exactly 2 locations: ~/Public and ~/Downloads. Which seems reasonable.

  4. * Notifications (what is that horrible massive black square on my screen)

    uh? you’ll have to take a screenshot 🙂

    * Package manager UI (often just too confusing, too animated, or too awkward)

    this is true. also, searching is usually very awkward. it’s not Debian’s Synaptic in terms of bad UI, but it comes as a pretty close second.

    * Every other folder in Nautilus tells me I can share it using Personal File Sharing

    again, odd. it only offers to share $HOME/Public for me

    * Doesn’t remember my preferred language (en_GB)

    true, I was hit by a bug like this as well, when I did the F11 ➔ Rawhide upgrade and had to install the en_GB locale manually.

    all in all, I can’t complain about F12. it surely is driving Linux development way better than Ubuntu does (sorry Ubuntu folks, this is just the truth).

  5. Nautilus seems to want me to share $HOME, which is most annoying (and wrong). I’m not sure why I would even want to share my downloads directory either, and I definitely don’t want to be told about it every time I open the folder…

  6. @adam: oh, I’ve never seen the default — I usually change the theme to a dark Clearlooks variant as soon as I install, because I really dislike bright themes.

  7. I pretty much hate notifications anyway, I’d much prefer to turn them off and not have the annoying messages popup anyway.

  8. thos: I believe you could achieve that effect by whacking notification-daemon on the head. you’d have to gimp it up to some extent, though, because if you try and remove the package it kills most of the system. find out where it gets started and break it, or just nerf the executable or something.

    I can’t reproduce the sharing issue, as with ebassi, only Public offers to be shared for me. Download does tell me that I can save files transferred over Bluetooth into it. seems a bit of an odd message, I’m not quite sure what it is it’s trying to tell me exactly. that the files would be automatically accepted?

    i don’t get any similar notifications for my home directory itself or any other subdirectories of it, though.

  9. Well, on further investigation it seems that several of my XDG dirs have been set to $HOME, including XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR, most probably because I don’t have these directories. Deleting the entries from ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs removes the notice, for now…

  10. Hey, thanks for the helpful criticism. That’s exactly what we need. Regarding bugs, as you know there are more bug reports than hours in the day so if there is something you feel is important it probably is to us too so feel free to ask us on IRC. Goes for your colleague too. 🙂
    Thanks, Jon.

  11. I fixed the share bar bug (ping me for packages, you actually found a real bug), but would love for you to file a bug for your Bluetooth keyboard problem. I guess it’s a better state of affairs that people expect Bluetooth gear to work now 🙂

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