Fedora Workstation: More than the sum of its parts

So I came across this very positive review of Fedora Workstation on linux.com, although it was billed as a review of GNOME 3.16. Which is of course correct, in the sense that the desktop we are going to ship on Fedora Workstation 22 is GNOME 3.16. But I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight that when you look at Fedora Workstation it is a complete and integrated operating system. As I mentioned in a blog post about Fedora Workstation last April the core idea for Fedora Workstation is to stop treating the operating system as a bag of parts and instead look at it as a whole, because if we are to drain the swamp here we need to solve the major issues that people face with their desktop regardless of if that issue is in the kernel, the graphics drivers, glibc or elsewhere in your system. We can not just look at the small subset of packages that provides the chrome for your user interface in isolation.

This is why we are working on reliable firmware upgrades for your UEFI motherboard by participating in the UEFI working group and adding functionality in GNOME Software to handle doing firmware updates.

This is why we recently joined Khronos to make sure the standards for doing 3D on Linux are good and open source friendly.

This is why we been working so hard on improving coverage of Appdata metadata coverage, well beyond the confines of ‘GNOME’ software.

This is why we have Richard Hughes and Owen Taylor working on how we can improve battery life when running
Fedora or RHEL on laptops.

This is why we created dnf to replace yum, to get a fast and efficient package update system.

This is why we are working on an Adwaita theme for Qt

And this is why we are pushing hard forward with a lot of other efforts like Wayland, libinput, Fleet Commander, Boxes and more.

So when you look at the user experience you get on Fedora Workstation, remember that it is not just a question of which version of GNOME we are shipping, but it is the fact that we are working hard on putting together a tightly vertically integrated and tested system from the kernel up to core desktop applications.

Anyone who has been using Fedora for a long while knows that this change was a major change in philosophy and approach for the project, as Fedora up to the 21 release of the 3 new products was very much defined by the opposite, being all about the lego blocks, which contributed to the image of Fedora being a bleeding edge system where you should be prepared to do a lot of bleeding and where you probably wanted to keep your toolbox with you at all times in case something broke. So I have to say that I am mightily impressed by how the Fedora community has taken to this major change where we now are instead focusing our efforts on our 3 core products and are putting a lot of effort into creating stuff that is polished and reliable, and which aims to be leading edge instead of bleeding edge.

So with all this in mind I was a little disappointed when the reviewer writing the article in question ended his review by saying he was now waiting for GNOME 3.16 to appear in Ubuntu GNOME, because there is no guarantees that he would get the same overall user experience in Ubuntu GNOME that we have developed for Fedora Workstation, which is the user experience his review reflects.

Anyway, I thought this could be a good opportunity to actually ask the wider community a question, especially if you are using GNOME on another distribution than Fedora, what are we still missing at this point for you to consider making a switch to Fedora Workstation? I know that for some of you the answer might be as simple as ‘worn in shoes fits the best’, but anything you might have beyond that would be great to hear.
I can’t promise that we will be able to implement every suggestion you add to this blog post, but I do promise that we will review and consider every suggestion you provide and try to see how it can fit into development plans going forward.

158 comments ↓

#1 Marcio on 04.24.15 at 04:28

yaourt (package managere for AUR arch linux user repository) like tool for fedora copr would be great. Maybe a plugin to dnf that can search in all coprs like an unified normal repository.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Yaourt

#2 Frédéric Parrenin on 04.24.15 at 09:02

I am personnally tired of installing linux distributions. The process has been simplified over time, but it is still partly unpredictable and there are too often issues of hw support.
I would like to have fedora (or RHEL) pre-installed for some hardware, with all the useful codecs and proprietary softwares.
Think at how easy it is to buy and run a chromebook.
That should be as easy with standard linux distributions.

Also, the gnome3 desktop needs good email, calendaring and contacts clients. Evolution feels completely oudated in the current desktop and is buggy.

#3 Per Bothner on 04.25.15 at 06:45

Some wishes/annoyance off the top of my head:

Sound volume control is confusing. Sometimes an application (or a web-page) will play sound – and the master volume control can’t control it. The keyboard volume shortcuts should control *all* sounds.

Sometimes suspend or hibernate doesn’t work. It would be helpful to get a clear notification as to why not (like the new KDE will have). In my case the problem appears to be an mounting and then unmounting a USB drive (one partition which is encrypted).

Tabs are application specific, but really should be integrated into the window manger. The tab bar should be combined with the main window title. Google Chrome has an option to combine them, but it’s an ad hoc kluge.

I hope the Gnome tweak tool is gone in Fedora 22. It really should be integrated with the general Settings tool.

It’s weird that you can’t right-click (or left-click) in the in the top panel. That is how people expect to be able to add/subtract/modify it.

#4 Megh on 04.25.15 at 08:42

Certain problems like hardware incompatibility if solved will provide a rock solid experience. For example in my Lenovo Ideapad z510 (i5) putting the laptop to sleep and then rewaking it will never wake up the display ( both when using the poewr button or closing the lid). On another installation the printer doesnot work. If such annoyances are fixed, Fedora would provide the rock solid experience I need

#5 Rasputin on 04.26.15 at 04:50

Fedora-Design should concern itself with developing a custom, fit-for-a-workstation theme for GNOME 3 instead of (or in addition to) creating wallpapers.

Adwaita is a bastardization of a tablet and a desktop that looks like it has been designed for people who have trouble hitting interface elements with a cursor because they can’t use touchpad nor mouse real good. Have a (soft-, as in flipping the screen on a convertable)button that switches between two distinct modes of interaction with the programs .

#6 Rasputin on 04.26.15 at 05:10

s/Adwaita/GNOME 3/

#7 Sleepy on 04.26.15 at 06:43

The Workstation still needs a Kernel, an init system, an installer, has a splash screen, and so on. So even if you have the most awesome desktop ever, the other stuff can kill your product.

General QA/bug handling: every time I tried Fedora, I was affected by a bunch of bugs that just didn’t affect me on Debian/Ubuntu. Most were related to infrastructure stuff (distro upgrades, netconsole, daemons, installer) instead of the desktop. Some of them were caused by the fact that systemd was just a growing child at that time. Some of them prevented me from doing my daily job (I need netconsole for my daily job; if it freezes the Fedora machine while booting because it has problems interacting with my disk encryption password prompt, I’ll quickly switch to another distro without even thinking: I just can’t wait for the bug to be fixed). What’s more annoying is that all bugs that affected me even already had bug reports on your redhat BZ instance. But knowing that other people also have your problem doesn’t solve it.

More on the bug thing: the simple fact that you are super early adopters of new upstream projects makes you buggy by nature. It’s nice that you have a new shiny $whatever, but you know it will take you 3 releases to make it work properly. And by that time, there will be a new shiny $other_thing annoying me in different ways.

I’m scared by the amount of “stable” package updates you have. There’s NO way those things were QA’d.

Doesn’t Just Work(tm): having to install a separate repository for mp3, chromium, flash, etc is a little offensive in 2015. I know vey well how to do this, but I just don’t need to do it on the other distros…

Not Fedora-specific, but related to Gnome, which you care about: every upgrade kills my extensions. This is just ridiculous! I hated when I booted my machine in the morning just to find out I had to deal with the unusable default Gnome interface. Not a good way to start Monday. Cinnamon fixed this for me. Please fix this. Please make API/ABI commitments on Gnome and GTK!

That said, it’s been a while since I tried Fedora for the last time, so if you write a blog post about how awesome these things are today I’ll certainly try it agian. I often retry Gnome, but that’s just because the other desktop environments suck in different ways: you guys are lucky to have bad competition here.

#8 Cory Hilliard on 04.26.15 at 09:48

I’ll comment again, because I thought of a few other things…

During the install process, when it comes to choosing/formatting/partitioning. That whole GUI experience is horribly confusing! Like honestly, it is probably the worst tool and most fearful tool to use, when using it. I’m never sure if I’m going to delete an important partition. This seriously needs to give the user more control and show a graphic or “click a partition” option. Giving the user more control has NEVER been a bad thing. I find that part of the process to be very “Windows-like” and it makes me feel like it’s an option that has been taken away from me since the upgrade. It feels like installer process thinks it knows more than I do. When messing around with partitions it is important to see what’s going on. If I make a mistake, then yes, I’ll be responsible for that mistake, but if details are hidden from me, and the installer wipes out my partition, I will be so pissed!

About the rolling release topic, everyone keeps saying that it’s unstable. Well so is the 6 month release cycle. If you had a 3 step testing bed, then everything is considered equal. I’ve always ALWAYS found bugs in a new release that have crashed my computer, made my windows go blank, lock ups… testing is what makes bugs come to light. I’m not saying rolling release is the end-all-be-all and we should switch tomorrow, I’m just saying don’t throw it off the table because it’s different. It could work. But then so could tick-tock… 6 months just seems too fast and a year seems too long. Obviously with this many complaints, the current system isn’t perfect.

I’ll never understand the argument of Gnome 3. “We’ve removed everything we find distracting, but we want to put it all back so people don’t hate us”. First, the argument that they can assume that I am distracted while I’m working pisses me off to no end. I can easily have a PDF window open, reading an assignment, three different web sites open comparing what I’m reading and googling better definitions, an IDE or two, for comparison sake, Meld, and a few other tools to compare my code and valgrind and git in two terminals, while streaming an online music station with VLC. I can NEVER get used to the way Gnome 3 lays out windows. I spend most of my time Alt-tabbing to the wrong window and getting frustrated. I never get any work done. I like my mouse. I like how when I move the mouse to the task bar, I can click the desired window I want to open, without scrolling through a bunch that I don’t in Gnome 3. Every time a new version of Gnome comes out, I try it again, and I’m only further frustrated by it. I love the look, it looks pretty (Except that I don’t have options I love and am used to). As long as there are other options, I’m going to use them. Sorry Gnome, but you just don’t do it for me. It’s not you…. OK yes… yes, it is you.

#9 Hedayat Vatankhah on 04.26.15 at 10:47

While I’m a long term Fedora user, I’d like to add a comment too! An important thing I expect with Fedora is to be more conservative with updates which *reduce* functionality; which is something you usually don’t expect/want from an update. A good example which comes to my mind is transition from bluez4 to bluez 5. bluez 5 lacked a number of features and so suddenly I found that I can’t do some bluetooth related tasks in my new Fedora which I were able to do in previous releases (I don’t remember the details now, but I remember that I was no longer able to setup DUN or PAN network connection anymore. Also there were some changes which needed some changes in PuleAudio, but that was not done yet while the new Fedora was released). What I can say that bluez5 was not *ready* to be included in Fedora as a replacement for bluez4. If it was going to be included, it should be included as a preview package which could be installed besides or instead of bluez4 *if user wishes*. Such updates are OK in rawhide, but not in an stable release.

While I love Fedora, but each new release is a hate/love scenario: there are a number of pain in previous release which is solved in the new release (and unfortunately, they don’t get solved in the previous release), but the new release comes with new pains due to some new updates. So, I update to next Fedora release to get shiny new features foo and bar, but I suddenly discover that features X and Y are missing (which will be re-added again in some next Fedora release).

I understand that it is normal for a software to introduce new bugs when it is developed, so it is expected that you’ll see bugs in areas which didn’t happen before. But subtle feature reductions (e.g. due to a major re-writes) are NOT suitable for a stable release. Bluez is just an example, I’ve been hit by this many times, and some features were never been added until become irrelevant; like *proper* support for installing software from Fedora installation media, which were gone since Fedora 5 (or 4) because of move to Yum (which, AFAIK, was supported by apt-get/synaptic even then) (it was once fixed far later in PackageKit for one or more releases, but become broken again soon after until now and become almost irrelevant since there is no official “Fedora installation media” anymore except Fedora Server)! Another example was lack of ‘dial-up’ support in NetworkManager since Fedora switched to it and removed its own networking setup GUI. At the time, Ubuntu had a NM plug-in with dial-up support, but it was never seen in Fedora. I used KPPP then, which had lots of KDE dependencies and even it sometimes didn’t work properly without some hacks manual changes in the filesystem. The plugin was not in upstream NM and Fedora, probably because it was not *OK* (not ‘done right’), but it was enough for many users to find Ubuntu much more user-friendly for connecting to internet using dial-up (and it never appeared in Fedora till now!).

These two might seem negligible, but I’ve seen many to consider move away from Fedora because of such *small* annoyances. The ‘done right’ attitude is good for the long term, but if users need some features *now*, providing a bad, working solution is better than providing nothing until it is done right. Linux/Hurd situation is another example of it.

This is why while Fedora does lots of great things with long term impact, many of them are appreciated when they appear in *other* distros. Fedora should not blame those distros or users because of this; it is its own fault. Many users are not patient enough to feel the pain until something is fixed in the right way, so they use another distro and wait there for the usable product which provides all they need. Yes, it might seem *selfish*, but this is fair enough for selfish developers who care about their software more than the users and expect them to wait until they are contend with their implementation.

#10 Leslie Satenstein on 04.26.15 at 11:03

I have a great many ideas for improvements, but they need someone to take a breath of fresh air and understand what it is I am explaining.
Sound
Version 5 alsa and pulseaudio worked just fine on the Fedora21 release date. Sometime in mid February, version 6 came along. That version killed the functioning of the front headphone jack. Oh, there is the rear jack that works…
But in a library, in a room with multiple desktop computers, we are not going to pull the desktops from the wall. We cant have a row of computers, each with an extension cord to the rear speaker jack.

Next topic follows.

#11 Leslie Satenstein on 04.26.15 at 11:55

Simplify Anaconda by deferring group installation to post boot.

If we consider that the DVD or network installation user may choose many groups, and to avoid having to wait hours while anaconda is doing the installation of chosen groups, the system is not available. Some Fedora users have very fast internet connections, others have slow speeds. Anaconda updates may take a half a day and crash before completed. I defer the group installation by doing the following:

I created a script with an installation list of the available groups. a very small example will follow below. I do the very least within anaconda, so that on a reboot, I may begin using my system while in the background, I run my installation script.

My full script is about 70 lines. Herein are a few of them. $bn represents the name of a log file

……
####################################################################
# Available groups:
####################################################################
getagroup “3D Printing” >> $bn 2>&1
getagroup “Administration Tools” >> $bn 2>&1
#getagroup “Audio Production” >> $bn 2>&1
getagroup “Authoring and Publishing” >> $bn 2>&1
getagroup “Books and Guides” >> $bn 2>&1
getagroup “C Development Tools and Libraries” >> $bn 2>&1
…….
For a free copy of the script, contact me. It works for Fedora21 and Fedora22 (all betas)

With that script, I have gained 4 hours of not having an available Fedora system. If I had slower speed internet, that gain would be doubled. And if anaconda crashed, all is lost and we have to undo what was done and restart. Anaconda crashing is a problem.

#12 Leslie Satenstein on 04.26.15 at 12:13

Anaconda ideas
Currently anaconda tells me that all it’s logs are on the ram /tmp.
Anaconda, only needs the /tmp files until the disk partitions are created. Thereafter, the entirety of the /tmp can be copied to /home or /root of the targeted system.
After reboot, via live CD or other, those logs will be available.
Currently I create a mount to one of the anaconda created partitions and I copy those logs therein. After reboot, I selectively send them to bugzilla.

Disk scanning (Remember Fedora20 delay)?
Do this scan in two ways. Get rid of it or…
A first span to identify the disks on the system.
When I am in the spoke hub, use that view to perform the free space by disk span. You can even put out a spinner, showing that the scan is in process. I can wait there, or if

Get rid of that scan. I already know where I want Fedora to be installed, who needs to have other than my one target scanned?

Fix the timezone problem. I am in N/America Eastern time zone, yet I am presented with a timezone for the mid-west. I have to reselect the time zone.

RH Bugzilla is a PITA to most users. To me it’s not user friendly. Bugzilla needs a better SEO. Why not a simple forum like this one with which to raise simple bugs? If it is a diehard Fedora user like me, I will also repost to RH Bugzilla.
(I currently do that via fedoraforum.org). If you want to be proactive on bug registrations, have someone create a section on the fedoraforum.org (no advertising allowed on this forum), and create a bug report section. Fixed bugs could be identified.

Finally, have you ever looked at the average age of Fedora users. Most (85%) are retirees or age 55+. Yes, we guys who have brains but draw a pension. Use us to test both Fedora and RH. We are essentially a free resource for Fedora. (Free to us, free to you)

#13 Leslie Satenstein on 04.26.15 at 12:26

Nautilus ALL screen.

This screen is the Gnome presentation screen with radio buttons. I have 3 computers all with the same level of Gnome.
I have 8 users for the three computers. Each computer’s ALL page has 10 radio buttons.

Can we keep the radio button functionality, but in place of the that button which conveys no information, we replace it with the first few letters representing the top left icon that would be on the screen if that radio button was selected. This improvement would allow me to avoid a search to find out the name of a program whose icon I recall but whose spelling I don’t recall.

Ideally, extend that idea to perhaps list programs by activity.

Also, if I rest my cursor on an icon on a selected page, it would be nice to have a brief explanation about the program being represented.

#14 Leslie Satenstein on 04.26.15 at 12:32

Bring back the MOTD for the greeting (logon screen).
I reported a few entries back, that I have 3 computers shared amongst 8 users.
I would like to see the return of the MOTD (the motd file is in /etc.
Thus, I could tell the users, that I plan to do updates / backujps at a certain time on that computer, or to post a reminder message — dentist day today– etc.

#15 Leslie Satenstein on 04.26.15 at 12:39

Which forum presentation do you like best.
This is a comparison for appearance and functionality

https://forums.opensuse.org/forum.php

vs
http://forums.fedora-fr.org/index.php (Fedora French)
http://www.forums.fedoraforum.org/? (Fedora USA)

SUSE’s is best in my view. Lets see what can be done to the latter two to improve them. At peaks, fedoraforum.org has 5000 concurrent users.

Easiest to use, you tell us?

#16 ernst on 04.26.15 at 16:51

I love Fedora. I really do. I don’t care much for Gnome, because it dumbs down options and controls tot the point of having to install non-default stuff to make a button to powerdown a workstation visible, but hey, I can go KDE or XFCE or to any number of alternatives.
I do have one gripe with the Fedora workstation: the STRIKETHROUGH people decided to leave ALL ports in the firewall above an arbitrary number wide open. So, a normal desktop user checking if a firewall is running, is under the assumption that everything is ok, while it is obviously not.
The explanation given is that new GNOME shiny media stuff breaks if there is a closed firewall. Now no network is trusted, certainly not the average home network, so for XXXXXX sake, please let the workstation group reconsider this firewall “feature”.

#17 Aniruddha on 04.26.15 at 17:09

It depends on your target audience. Because of the current narrow definition of the target audience it is expected that Fedora workstation is only interesting for for a small niche.

I like Fedora very much and I think it’s one of the best Linux distro’s. That being sad I do think it falls short for most end users. Which is unfortunate because with some tweaks it could be one of the best distro’s.

Most of the programs regular users need, for example: Skype, steam, flash, mp3 support, dvd support, dropbox, Chome/Chromium should be available via software center. This is where distributions such as Ubuntu and Debian shine, they offer one integrated experience. Moreover Ubuntu is better supported by external vendors such as gog.

Furthermore I can imagine the lack of and LTS version of Fedora might be an issue. Not everyone wants to upgrade every 6-12 months.

#18 Cornel Panceac on 04.26.15 at 20:12

Here are a few things that are bothering me now, in Fedora (21/22):
– having NFS mounted /home/$USER directories, systemd sometimes NEVER shutsdown the computer! That id, if you go one month in vacation and comeback, systemd is still shutting down
– duplex printing is NOT working with Gnome shell integrated apps. I need to use xpdf for this
– DARK GREY GDM IS UGLY FOR GODS SAKE! Please let us customize it
– GNOME 3, as great are the ideas behind it, still feels like is work in progress and not ready for production. Still, i must admit right now i would prefer to use Gnome Shell instead of Mate but: Gnome Shell is no longer working on my Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 video card with nouveau (maybe it’s because it has only 64 MB of video RAM. I still remember the glorious days when best network server have 64 MB of RAM …)
– LibreOffice still has the annoying bug when a perfectly good PowerPoint file is not opened pretending it is password protected. Apparently there is a patch for this for some time but nobody cares that much about integrating it.
– coming back to printing, sometimes printing does not work at all, producing just some error code instead of the expected print output
– I may be some strange creature here, but i’d like to have Silverlight supprt (yes that nasty plugin from Microsoft) in my browsers
– I would like to have Gnome Shell tell me when i can unplug my removable devices. Lately (maybe in F22) i’ve noticed it started to announce when the device is NOT ready to be unplugged
– There is a thing called Keyring. This has for a long time this habbit of losing contact with the planet and starting to require some password i never know in order to do something with it that i do not understand. Can this be fixed at some point?
– Can we isolate the main security risks and resource eaters (like Firefox, Chrome) in their own containers so that a nasty plugin (flash,…) will not take down the system?
– Can we have a decent interface wit our mobile phones?
– And yes, requiring two reboots to update the system is way out of line. As said in various places, we should instead default to not reboot, and, as we identify the components that need the reboot (kernel, maybe), we should RECOMMEND reboot only for those. If the problem is the Shell, we should only require a logout (maybe switch to a safe DE mode instead? like openbox?)
In the unfortunate event we still need a reboot, we should enter upgrade mode before rebooting, do the upgrade and only later reboot the machine (only once) complete the upgrade if necessary and continue booting into normal mode.
– It would be great if switching into and out of multiple monitors mode will not crash the shell. (This is rarely happening these days, though)
– An d also, having a GUI for fedup, that does not reboot the machine before this is needed, would also be greatl appreciated
– And video support for Yahoo messenger (yes, there are users still using it)
– Last but not least, Pulseaudio behaviour in managing sound sources/controls.outputs seems to became increasingly erratic these days. Think USB headphones, or HDMI output. You never know where the sound will go or if the volume controls (hardware, software) will work.
Of course there are more, but we can’t expect to have everything fixed :)
And still, looking back at previous Fedora releases, we are moving in the right direction :)
Thank you and keep up the good work.

#19 liam on 04.27.15 at 03:10

Productivity enhancements like osx’ automator or Alfred. Things that actually make work easier.

#20 Robert Šmol on 04.27.15 at 08:28

I would love to have better integration with web pages or chrome applications (show them as apps).

I also quite a log hear clicking Activities button creates too much of “fancy” stuff. I personally do not mind it.

The backgrounds are still the same.

Everything else just rocks.

#21 Max on 04.27.15 at 10:49

By default:

-Simple dock extension
-Automatically update gnome extensions installed from extensions.gnome.org
-Show candidate installation packages when one library is missing while compiling an application

Easier ways to:
-Update software like pinta/geary when new versions are released
-Install ‘ugly/propieatary’ codecs, drivers and firmware
(broadcom wireless, nvidia video acceleration firmware …)
-Install popular software (brackets/skype/dropbox/…)
(something like fedy but from the software app itself)

Gnome:
-Tweak tool integrated with settings (+1 Vote)
-Create app folders from ‘show applications’ itself (like iOS folders)
-Google drive integration with nautilus and ‘online accounts’ (GVFS)

#22 Chris on 04.27.15 at 16:19

These are the biggest reasons why I use Linux Mint over Fedora:

– Mint seems to strike a good balance of not requiring “upheaval-updates” (based on Ubuntu LTS), and almost never puts my system into an unusable state
– Updating the user facing programs (Cinnamon, Nemo, etc…) is non-intrusive and frequent so we can use the latest features/fixes
– Cinnamon doesn’t cause lag in certain program menus (I only see this lag with GNOME, but not Cinnamon, OpenBox, KDE, Mate, Gnome2, etc…)
– The Mint updater is very helpful in identifying which updates go deep, and which are pretty isolated/safe

For me, a lot of it comes down to GNOME. I really like it, except for the fact that getting updates/fixes is so much harder (breaks system, no one responding to bugs, or whatever). But since it’s tied deeply to Fedora, and Fedora is dramatically changing at a rapid pace, it’s hard to justify the time/mental bandwidth required for me to keep the system up to date. I need to spend my limited bandwidth on being productive, and spending a whole day or two every few months, fixing my system because some updates broke something, is just not acceptable for me.

I’m encouraged by the thought/direction with Fedora-Workstation! The tick-tock release could be a good balance. Having an annual upgrade would be fine, while other updates could be installed with confidence that you aren’t going to nuke your system.

Thanks!

#23 Robert Smol on 04.27.15 at 19:14

Hi,

actually there is one thing I really miss on Fedora, and it is HW support. I always picked Intel Hardware (e.g. ASUS UX31A) device, yet there is always some quirks about it (non working brightness, SD-cards, touchpad, non booting HW on some kernels.. you name it).

I would really love, if there were some reference machines (like the Google Pixel), or even the overpriced Lenovo X machines which would be tested and guaranteed to have super cool experience.

#24 Jeff on 04.28.15 at 03:45

Please spend more time and efforts to make dnf+yum+gnomesoftware interaction bulletproof, there has to be absolutely no way of corrupting the cache, getting into a deadlock or waiting 5 minutes for the thing to respond with an error or timeout. No matter if I used dnf and yum to apply updates or install packages less than a minute ago, the GUI should work without fail.

Make installing .rpm files from the GUI fast and reliable, as it stands most of the time it will refuse to work while it will work fine if you use dnf/yum to install the rpm file.

I still do not feel comfortable recommending people to use that GUI because I’ve had such deadlock-style situations happen to me too many times (even in recent times), or situations where I know there should be updates and it’s not showing them (or it’s showing updates that were already applied), or, well, the fact 30-50% of the time the GUI fails while the commandline works for the same operation. I unfortunately can’t single out one specific issue here (unless I was paid to do fulltime investigative QA on this), it’s a collection of problems that are intertwined and sometimes happen, sometimes not.

Ponies-on-rainbows: a “power user” GUI alternative to the command-line (searching sucks) and gnome-software (incomplete, app-centric instead of package-centric). Basically, I want Synaptic (the GUI that has traditionally been available on Debian/Ubuntu). And for that power user’s gui, improve the UX for updates by providing full details that can be viewed quickly rather than one at a time. Allow selectively applying updates. Etc.

Seriously, those are my only remaining and longstanding gripes. The GUI package management experience has been Fedora’s weakpoint for years and I’m hoping it gets fixed before I can recommend it as “solid” for my semi-geeky friends.

#25 Isaac on 04.28.15 at 15:14

I keep wanting to like Fedora but end up back at opensuse Gnome every time I try it. Installing third party drivers and codecs is just so much easier in opensuse with one click installs from their wiki or from OBS. Same goes for certain third party applications without rpm installers like Steam. I also REALLY hate how Fedora has multiple ways to install updates and they all seem to behave differently, and after a fresh install most of them don’t even work at all. Gnome Software and Gnome Updater don’t seem to do anything at all on a fresh Fedora install until you’ve run a manual yum update from the terminal. F21 also crashed every few minutes on a fresh install due to nouveu drivers which made completing an update (which would hopefully have fixed it) very difficult. Gnome Software is nice and user friendly, but it’s WAY too limited in what’s available. You guys need to stop kidding yourself in thinking that Gnome Software has everything a user needs. Easy access to third party software, drivers, and codecs has to be a part of the plan and not some afterthought left to the community to sort out.

#26 Anonymous on 04.28.15 at 19:01

It would be nice if you could customize what is displayed in Nautilus to the degree that you can in Ubuntu. Under Fedora, Nautilus is serviceable, but that’s it. I would like to be able to customize it into something I actually want to use, like it is under Ubuntu.

#27 Reid on 04.29.15 at 12:19

I recently returned to Fedora Workstation after a 10 plus year absence and have been generally pleased with its performance, up to date packages, and support of upstream projects and technologies. Things were not perfect however, and I’m glad to see so many in the project committed to a better user experience.

So on to a few comments/observations. +1 to the anonymous comment regarding Nautilus. Thank goodness for the Cinnamon team and the Nemo file manager, but it was not obvious how to replace Nautilus throughout the whole desktop and required much google searching.

My most commonly used apps are Firefox, Chrome (w/Flash), Steam, Terminal, nano, nemo (Files), XChat-Gnome, Handbrake, Transmission, Audacity, Shotwell, LibreOffice (Writer), gtk-recordMyDesktop, and SMPlayer.

I really felt like I had to run Fedy and experiment a lot with Gnome extensions and the Tweak Tool to get an experience I was comfortable with. However this was my first time in Gnome 3.x after spending many years on 2.x and being back on Windows 7 for a couple years as my main desktop.

Installing proprietary Nvidia drivers (ugh, I know) was painful. Google searches return multiple guides for various Fedora versions and it was hard to tell if something from F18 or F19 was still applicable on F21.

Getting Samba up and running was harder than expected until I figured out SELinux was tripping me up. The added security Fedora affords by enabling it is reassuring, but in the end I gave up and disabled it for my home network.

The above issues could have been helped with better documentation. The Fedora Guides (System Administration, Installation, etc.) are nice, but pale in comparison to the Arch wiki.

Many thanks to the Fedora team and contributors. Keep up the good work!

#28 Kalle on 04.29.15 at 19:05

Fedora is great! Keep up the good work! Some ideas for improvements…
* Transparent encryption of home folders (so that’s not necessary to enter an additional password on startup)
* More stability (rolling release model isn’t an option – better to improve installer, fedup and gnome-software)
* Gnome3-integrated auto-mounting of network drives (like Gigolo)
* Make Gnome extensions system version-aware
* Unified access to all preferences, integration of tweak tool
* Dedicated (viewer independent) media importer application (photos and videos in different (customizable by profile) folders)
* Replace Evolution by small, Gnome3-integrated apps:
– Contacts and Calendar with CardDAV and CalDAV support / GOA integration
– Geary with encryption, folders and filters
* Epiphany as default browser

#29 Cory Hilliard on 05.03.15 at 12:15

Maybe if someone could take a list of all these issues that we’re experiencing and do like a Fedora Magazine “vote on issues” we would like to see fixed first. I know developer bandwidth is limited and you need people to make bugs/issues go away… but maybe it will allow you to have a visual graph or something that shows where people are most unsatisfied. Having a good plan or vision never hurt any project.

#30 uraeus on 05.04.15 at 18:19

Well I think it is hard to do in practice due to not all tasks being equal in complexity and effort. I mean there could be one task that if voted on would end up as number 10, but since its a 1/2 day effort to implement we should still do it first. And there might be other tasks that ends up as number 1, but which might be impossible to take 2 years. So my preferred way for dealing with this kind of feedback is to try to collate it and then try to use our judgment as the Fedora Workstation Working Group to address them as best as we can given the constraints put upon us.