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 thoughts on “Fedora Workstation: More than the sum of its parts

  1. I’ve used every Fedora release from 1 to 20 , by the way, though I am really tired of the upgrade cycle.

    The reviewer is probably hoping for the work to move to Ubuntu because they have LTS releases. I’ve used Fedora for ages but am now moving away from it because of the instability; support for any given version goes away just about at the point where it has been bug-fixed enough to be usable, and if it gets to the point where I like it the team goes off in some new direction. That’s why, if a reviewer really likes Fedora 22’s version of Gnome he/she can’t wait for Ubuntu to pick it up, because they’ll keep it working and the fear is that Fedora will change it again in 23.

    • Thanks Joe — that’s a good comment. Improving that kind of release-to-release experience stability is actually one of the things we’re thinking about a lot, and an area we’re focusing on for improvement. This is part of the idea of changing from having new names and branding / look-and-feel for each release towards having more stable-across-releases Cloud / Workstation / Server branding and look and feel — and while that example is at the marketing level, I think you’ll see it more and more at a technical level as well.

      • I’ve been a Fedora biggot since the Core version 1. With each month, I’ve seen improvements and an increased richness in functionality.

        Gnome 3 was a culture shock to many devotees. It provided a new paradigm, learning to work with search engines, limited to zero menus, and a diet regarding complex functionality.

        The anaconda teething problems were not something that we enjoyed, but we sympathized with the developers, the QA people and system architects who saw an easier way for an end user to do things. Anaconda still needs some loving care and improvements..

        Benefit for users peaked with Fedora21. Benefits for developers has not stopped. With Wayland, the richness became a richmess. Items (some options) were stripped from Gnome that should not have been eliminated. Speed of operation under Wayland has not improved much from the execution speed of pre-Wayland Gnome 3.

        What keeps me with Fedora are the Gnome tweaks. They add so much useful value to Gnome under Fedora. It would be folly to not integrate some of those tweaks under a standard Gnome offering.

        As always, I find Fedora to be learn and fast.

        I wish there was a section at the Non RH Fedora Forums where we could post our washlists and our wishlists. I understand that much of Fedora’s direction originates with RedHat needs, and from word of mouth from we troops in the field. As a trooper, I take extra effort to post bugs reports to bugzilla. I perceive that for the most part, these postings are ignored. I have been going back two years to bring forward some reported bugs, and to close others that were solved via a new Fedora semi-annual release.

        Please take a week or two off from developing new Fedora features to close or respond to old bugzilla reports. It seems that old reports don’t die, they just become too old to investigate. Thus, they are closed because the “Need info” box demand was received two years after the original posting.

        Want more bug reports? Then post to the report that the bug analysis and repair is accepted and is being worked on. Post a follow up date. I know, most fixes are done by non paid Linux lovers, but it is useful to know that that bug report is on the top of the todo pile.

        Even with my rare disappointments, regarding bugfixes, if I have to give Fedora 22 a report card, it would merit an A-.

    • From the comment, it seems you haven’t try Fedora 21 Workstation yet which is much stable than the last release you tested. Unsurprisingly it needs room of improvement no different than Ubuntu non-LTS release it is often compared.

  2. Hi
    Nice write up. Things that I could think of

    1 A kind of GUI appb which offers the user the type of gnome experience he needs something like traditional (gnome 2) /Mac kind of exp / vanilla gnome exp and few others. Based on the selection gnome should have the right extensions installed
    2 More tools and utilities like gns3 and others packaged

    • Well what we are discussing is to create some kind of ‘top 10 extensions’ package or similar, to ensure the most popular extensions get updated alongside the desktop itself. Not sure if we would try to do the kind of ‘behaviour profiles’ you seem to suggest, but hopefully the ‘top 10’ package if we end up being able to put it together should address parts of it.

      I don’t know gns3, but I will take a look, thanks for the suggestion.

      • There is a lot of half thought out extensions that are superceded by newer designs.

        The following two are ones that must become standard within Gnome. They are standard for me.
        a) Task. What a fantastic extension.
        b) weather (by Jens), I prefer it to Nrof’s version.

        The current ones defaulted with Gnome-tweak-tool.
        Add hibernate for power off management.

  3. I stopped using Fedora after 20 because of the pitch that it is a developers workstation and things like having dev applications auto-installed. It created the impression that Fedora is just not meant for me anymore and likely won’t be focusing on media, gaming or general experience for the desktop user. After the switch to Arch I would need to see a big move away from “workstation” to consider going back.

    • Hi Robert, ok I think there must have been some misunderstanding happening here as there was never a plan to have dev applications autoinstalled, in fact I think we clearly stated multiple times that we want to bundle less not more applications and that our opinion was that it was because we had such a crappy software installer in the past that people needed/wanted stuff pre-installed. With the new Software application we feel that all applications, be that developer or not are a lot easier to find and install after the basic install.

      • I see, it may just have been the video review of F21 I saw then. They said it was a new install but maybe they had added a few things before recording it. Perhaps the whole thing is just poor communication. It just seems that Fedora make a choice to go after workstations and leave the desktop behind after F20, which is perhaps why the person in your example above is waiting for Ubuntu Gnome to get 3.16 to use it. It’s just the feeling that Fedora is no longer being pitched to us.

        • This definitely is a misunderstanding of what Fedora Workstation is about. We like to think of it as aiming for “Great for everyone, perfect for developers.” Fedora Workstation is not in any way leaving “regular users” behind. I’m one of them too, and I wouldn’t work on it if I thought otherwise.

          • Then, as people have been saying since it was published, we need to fix the PRD, which says:

            Target Audience


            Programming Environment: web languages and tools, open source databases, IDE, Compilers, debug tools, performance monitoring

            Desktop apps should be sufficient to make this system the user’s only computer

            All of this says “it’s for developers”. Where’s the bit about making it easy and fun to watch video and listen to music, and to create art and to manage a small business’s finances…?

  4. A rolling distro

    I do not want to do a massive upgrade every 6 months (that will probably brake something), but have the latest and keep update all the time.
    And this is not only as a developer: as a final user, this is specially important if you like games and do not want to wait another 6 moths to try a new release of your favourite one

    • The underlying software in the Linux universe changes quickly. Because of this, a rolling distro basically means that instead of an upgrade you can plan for every six months, you get a constant stream of possibly surprising updates all of the time. If you want to live on the edge like this, though, you can get a rolling distribution in Fedora’s Rawhide release. I run it on my desktop and love it for access to the latest of everything — but not my travel laptop, because for that, I don’t need the surprises.

      • The underlying software in the Linux universe changes quickly and waiting six months just to get update. I use rawhide on virt-manager but it is highly unstable (most of time). fedora rolling release where there are only stable updates whereas rawhide has mostly all kinds of update. I think fedora need to think idea of rolling release since arch and tumbleweed are very popular and having fedora rolling release helps to develop community. I understand some reasons why fedora doesn’t want to do this. But if we think deeply, where did all arch users come from. Look at arch community and they have a biggest Linux community. Bigger community means easier to catch bugs. I am a happy fedora user and I appreciate all hard work .

        • Point of information.
          How are you measuring the size of the Arch community?

      • Hi Matthew,
        Can you put into a future todo list, a tool to accompany fedup?
        Let me tell you what and why,
        On my computer system I install two Fedora installations. I update one, and if the things I need on it work to my satisfaction, I update the other copy. That is the what I do.

        Now, the second Fedora is my sandbox version. Perhaps bi-monthly, I like to delete that version, and perform a fresh installation. I would like to use as a software selection, the items I installed on the main Fedora.
        It would be nice to have that cloning tool. Cloning in the sense of creating the picklist of applications I want to select for the rebuild of a Fedora from a Fedora.
        Perhaps some different kind of kickstart file would be great.

        Thats my “would be nice to have”. And as a developer, it makes for double “be nice to have” option.

    • This is also part of our plans, but we don’t really want to go the rolling direction because it never brings stability.
      What we want to do is to break the distro into the system part, which will be upgraded atomically and will keep the nature of releases, and app part which will have a nature of rolling releases when apps are released when they’re ready.
      But it’s a complex thing that requires effort on several fronts, so it’s more long term, but some outcomes may already be in F23 or F24.
      So in the future, you might have to wait for new features in lower parts of the system, but you should not have to wait for a new release of your favorite game for 6 months.

      • I’m going to find it very…interesting..where the line is betweem the underlying system and application space is going to be drawn. Especially for things built on top of python modules.


      • You might find that a rolling release is better than you think. In my experience, Arch Linux and Fedora have similar (low) levels of bugginess. Arch Linux has the advantage of always-up-to-date software and much-easier-to-build packages, but Fedora has the advantage of not occasionally breaking your entire system because you forgot to read the upgrade warnings. And I would guess that Arch Linux has fewer developers, but they have a lot less work to do since they don’t need to backport fixes.

        If Arch Linux could make their upgrades seamless, I’d switch to back.

        And I just want to say, as a developer, I want the system libraries to be updated more often. I keep reading about fun new things in GNOME (like Builder and the calendar application) and I can’t even compile them! Oh, and the thing that made me switch to Arch Linux initially was a newer kernel (newer alsa drivers) — suddenly my laptop’s audio worked correctly. As a normal user, I don’t see why I would want system libraries or the kernel to be static unless I expected them to get worse in the future (which I don’t).

        • I should clarify before this gets taken the wrong way: Arch Linux’s danger isn’t that the upgraded software is broken, but that the upgrade process itself is broken. The package manager can’t do some things automatically, and every few months the developers just print out a message telling you to do something manually rather than doing it automatically. I think Fedora could easily solve this (and these kinds of breaking changes are the type that you could save up for a few months if you wanted to avoid doing complicated upgrades too often).

          • This manual intereventions in Arch Linux was very rare in the past 3 years.
            Arch Linux evolved very well in the past 6 years.
            In my opinion rolling release not have to be necessarily instable distro.
            Fedora rawhide is for development not to production use.
            I use Arch Linux at work and i my home without sensible problems.

          • I have used Arch for long periods of time as well as Fedora – occasionally spiced as Manjaro and Korora.
            I think there is a problem with profiling rolling release distributions as bleeding edge software; but it is perfectly possible to have a smoother roll. The way I see it, the original rolling release distribution was Debian Testing. Unstable would soften the edges and allow the software to go into Testing without making to much of a mess.

  5. Because Gnome is hardly the only software (or collection thereof) I run on my system. In fact, apart from gnome-shell, gnome-terminal and evince, I find myself running fewer and fewer Gnome apps. But back to Fedora, its package repository is much smaller than that of other distributions. And that’s a major hurdle. I’m not willing to lose all those other software “just” for better Gnome integration. Also, no one I know is using Fedora, whereas I can discuss distro tips with plenty of people about Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo or Arch.

    After the first few botched releases of Gnome 3, I’m still running Gnome and still showing it to friends, trying to spread goodwill. I proudly wear my Gnome and Guadec tshirts. But Fedora just isn’t for me.

    • Fair enough Remi, but hopefully we will still be able to get you to switch at a later point in time once more of our plans for improving the software selection available falls into place :)

    • Rémi – I agree that Fedora’s package repositories are much smaller than those of Debian. With the introduction of “personal repositories” and COPR, I find I can get 99% of the software I want.

      Out of interest, could you please list some examples of what you want but is not in Fedora?

      • Can I somehow check if all my programs, that I have installed on my Ubuntu system, are in the Fedora repositorie? Something like uploading a list of installed DEBs and then doing an automatic check would be nice.

        • Okki,
          point of information
          of those applications you list.. do you use the add-on ppa packaging provided by the application authors? Or do you use the official packages in the Ubuntu repositories?
          Because if you are relying on ppas for these things, then those same authors could spin up copr spaces for fedora packages as well..without going through the higher bar of package review and inclusion in the official repos.

          Looking closely it looks to me like mixxx is the only one of those projects that is actually in the official repositories for Ubuntu. Primarily because its also available in debian.And even then the mixxx authors prefer users use the ppa.

          lollipop is offered as both a ppa repo AND and as a fedora copr repository.

          Perhaps the other application authors ibn your list just aren’t aware of the copr space for fedora? Perhaps you might want to ping those authors and let them know about the availability of the copr space as a fedora equivalent to the ppa concept?

          Looking forward a little bit more….there problem space of author generated application packages…is exactly where containerized application ideas are trying to make easier. Instead of application authors like the mixxx authors needing to package specifically for one OS or another… Containerized apps _might_ make it possible for application authors to avoid that duplication of effort and provide a containerize solution.

          Maybe… but there is going to have to be some agreement on common and vendor neutral container frameworks. A container framework intimately tied to one vendor, is not going to solve the problem. Not naming names….but there are some concepts out there right now which are just non-starters because of a lack of vendor neutrality in how app updates are going to be processed.

          Moving forward application authors are going to have to demand vendor netural app container solutions. I’m not naming any names, but I am wary of some of the concepts being worked on right now because they aren’t vendor in practise. If application authors just decide the support the most … snazzy… container tech being hyped by a single OS Vendor, a Vendor they like,..just on faith…they are going to find that their new snazzy apps won’t work on other OSes because the snazzy concept doesn’t have vendor neutral service backend.

          But in the meantime.. point application authors currently relying on ppas for Ubuntu to copr for Fedora.

          • This is the trouble, though: 3rd-party developers only care about Ubuntu, because they have the most users. So there already are truckloads more useful PPAs than there are COPRs. It’s easier to just use Ubuntu, rather than emailing a load of software developers asking them to care about Fedora.

      • May I comment to your request?

        My home has 3 Fedora computers for 9 family members. I act as sysadmin, for them. The wife, kids, grandkids come, login to the available one and use them.
        But if I intend to run yum or dnf on one of them, I want to have the MOTD application returned. That application allowed one to put the Message of the Day onto the logon screen. Messages like “Grandad wants to have exclusive access to this system at 7pm” are what I want to post.

        It was part of Fedora Core. Bring it back.

        My workaround is use a yellow sticky post-it note. But eventually it leaves a residue on the screen, or the note falls on the floor, or fails to be reposted when a person has completed his time on that computer.

  6. I actually use Fedora, however if you want it to continue to be relevant, I unfortunately need a good mail client. I currently use Evolution, however it needs a lot more love than it is getting.

    The other GTK+ clients are missing GPG support and other key features, so they’re unfortunately not good replacements yet.


    • Evolution would definitely benefit from more developers getting involved with the project, we have Milan Chra working on it from RH and I don’t think we will be able to increase our level of investment there, but hopefully if more people feel like you there will be a bigger community developing around the project.

      • Well I use Thunderbird now, but I used to work with Evolution (and I like it!) , but it was some time ago. Generally I like the way of how the Gnome intefrated software looks and works and I always thought Evolution is a part of it, but now? It just doesn’t fit to the Gnome desktop. (Maybe give it a small taste from a Geary look and feel?)

      • I also use Evolution, and yeah, it works fine, but the UI does feel a little dated in some ways. I’d quite like to see them move away from the Outlook-style modal mail/calendar/etc shell, and instead present the modes as separate (if well integrated) applications (even if they’re the same behind the scenes).

        • I agree with you. Evolution should separate from calendar as an application.

  7. I like where Fedora Workstation is going.

    I still think it needs a few defaults which may delight users. Its probably not ready for Fedora 22, but for next release it would be good to have some device integration such as via nuntius: https://github.com/holylobster/nuntius-linux

    Such connectivity could IMOhelp polish Fedora Workstation as a product that is above its competition.

    • Agreed, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our handling our various periphials and who to improve our general level of connectivity with your other devices. Thanks for the feedback.

  8. I am currently using fedora 21. I am waiting for fedora 22 with new gnome 3.16. The main problem with fedora is that
    1. Gnome and Fedora should release every year ( look how many version fedora have compared to window have). This way we donot have to update our machine frequently.
    2. Fedora should officially support binary packages. I am not sure how much testing goes with rpmfusion. I know there is no way to support binary packages, but they have to work with company so that fedora community can beneft from it.
    3. Fedora need a rolling release. see then they have all the hype of arch and opensuse tumblewee.
    4. work closely with drivers.
    5. documentation is big part. if you look for fedora documentation, there is nothing. we have to look man pages or arch linux documentation. This is a must done. Look at arch linux documentation and tell what you cannot find. This documentation can be branched and use for rhel after rhel release.

    I have only good thing to say for fedora. It is my distribution of choice.

    • Note that we have a month of overlap between releases, so if you want a one-year cycle, you can easily get it by skipping every other release.

      • Hi Matthew,
        Some humor
        Re 6 month releases of Fedora.

        If you have a leased car. When the lease is up, if the dealer offers you a brand new car for the same cost, would you insist of keeping the old car? It may be desirable to keep the old car, but you would be missing out.

        So it is with Fedora releases. We like the old, we like the new, and within three weeks or so, we have transitioned to the new. We keep the old version around for the software we remember we had, but did not as yet re-install into the new version.
        Its people functionality, versus new release functionality

    • All good feedback and all things we are looking at, of course for all of them, but especially on the documentation from it would be great to get more help from our community. So make sure to write a howto etc., each time you need to do something on Fedora you need to figure out.

      • I agree with you. For example, I could not easily find commands/details of gnome-boxes

    • 5) That’s a bit surprising for me – I alwas thought the documentation is the Fedora’s strength ☺I always found what I need.

    • “Gnome and Fedora should release every year ( look how many version fedora have compared to window have). This way we donot have to update our machine frequently.”

      Funny… that’s the exact opposite complaint as the person who wants Fedora to be a rolling release. It’s hard to please everybody… :)

      • I would love to see documentation presented within Fedora as it is done with the Dev application. Install Dev, if you have not, select a programming language, and look at what you are able to browse.

        We certainly could use an equivalent for general Fedora use.

    • 1) Every Fedora release (except 19 and 20) is supported for ~13 months. You can always skip one release and upgrade it every year.

  9. I’ve used Fedora fews time but I always switch back Ubuntu because many things I need for a workstation, daily desktop is hard to install on Fedora. Fedora don’t ship with many media codec, vlc, steam, etc.. for daily user. Someone will say I can install it with RPMFustion, I knew but I saw RPMFustion didn’t update fast enough with Fedora new release. I want test Fedora 22 but can’t install RPMFustion now. How can I use it for daily work with out some media app? Fedora 21 didn’t work well with Steam game on my machine, GNOME make some crash if I do a lot ofs Alt-Tab. One big thing is GNOME need many extension and not support for legacy icon. Ubuntu with Unity has support well for it ( I love the way Unity work with legacy icon, and appmenu, save a lot of pixel on screen).

    • What is the hardware specification? I daily use a Steam game like Cities Skyline and Euro Truck Simulator 2 on an updated Fedora 21 running on rpmfusion nvidia driver.
      About RPM Fusion status, the team are in process on migrating to git based repository which takes time. Granted the team should update the main page reporting the progress to the users running on either both rawhide and Fedora 22 beta.

    • I has same problem with Fedora 22. You cannot use RPMFusion since they don’t have repo for fedora 22. Only option is to use rpmfusion rawhide repo.
      you can test fedora 22 on virt-manager. I think beta release is coming this Wednesday. More testing is good. unfortunately, there is always problem with codecs in fedora.

      • Just as a reminder Fedora 22 is a Beta. It is the motor onto which you would add other software.
        Look at Korora, Chapeau, or Yandex Remixes of Fedora21.
        These same Remixes will be out with a Fedora22 version within days of the official Fedora release.

        I use Chapeau and Yandex, I have not tried Korora, though I am told it is very good.

    • +1 on the frustration of no RPMFusion for F22 yet, it ought to be little overhead to branch of both repositories at the same time, fixing things as F22 progresses, compared to doing all after the release.

  10. I use F22 and Gnome 3.16, and I would like to see UTC time zone in the clock. Or any other arbitrary timezone for that matter, but especially UTC/GMT. As a person who works with other people around the world, I have a need to coordinate my time in UTC with other people. In the past as a sysadmin for a large fleet of systems, those systems all ran on UTC so everything marched to the beat of same drum. So the point here is that UTC is an important topic for many people, but not supported in Gnome. As you know, Gnome uses a 3rd party library to map geographic locations to Timezone, and somehow the interaction of Gnome and that library exclude using arbitrary timezones. Reading about Fedora workstation being an integrated solution, I’m sad because Fedora itself allows for arbitrary timezones, and in my terminal environment I can set the TZ= value to what I need, but cannot do that in Gnome. I’d like to see Gnome keep the geolocation based system, but gain the ability to have arbitrary time zones instead of geographic location. This would be especially useful to people using Gnome for enterprise type use patterns, folks who actually setup a graphical Server, or who sysadmin a fleet of servers. Thanks for reading this far!

  11. I use Fedora Rawhide for development, but for daily usage I’m on arch. It’s the minimalism and lack of branding around arch which attracts me. I just see myself more as a “GNOME user”, than an arch user. :)

  12. I really would like to see a fast microblogging client like choqok for GNOME with pumpio, gnusocial and twitter support. The existence of choqok is currently the main reason for me to use KDE.

  13. I would say that the only thing I miss is the painless set up of nouveau prime/ nvidia optimus technology which I had with Ubuntu. I got the chance of getting a ppa and having a simple command to install and set up prime with nvidia and intel drivers which is a pain in fedora and even if you do it the next kernel update will brake it and you have to restart it again… Samr happens on my desktop. Every kernel update breaks propriatory graphics driver installs which wasn’t the case with ubuntu before.

    Still fedora 21 is my current choice of OS on my laptop. It’s quite stable considered how many problems I had with ubuntu before. And pretty much the only linux which with hibernation works properly.

    • We are working on improved Optimus handling, will not make it for Fedora Workstation 22, but hopefully we have it all sorted for Fedora Workstation 23.

  14. I’ve been using Fedora since Core 2 / 3 days, with a brief interlude on Ubuntu, but I really would like to see Fedora adopt a more defined and less intrusive update cycle; a Tick-tock cycle… if you will.

    Fedora should keep the 6-month turn-around time, but even (tock) releases should introduce major changes while odd (tick) releases should focus on continued stabilization and support of the past tock release.

    I believe this would keep everyone happy. Those that want to stay bleeding edge would either do rawhide rolling release or continue updating each release, and those that wanted a 1 year update cycle could easily choose how to enter the fray: guinea pig tock (even) releases or more supportive tick (odd) releases.

      • Hi Matthew
        I use Chapeau Remix. Last month, Vince produced a 21.2 release. Why did he do that? Well, anaconda was broken, and would appear to hang if there was one or more external USB drives. I have 5 internal and 2 external drives. Anaconda still needs 3-4 minutes of scanning for free space in order to start.

        By the way, I have ideas for improvements to Anaconda. But the hassle to find the right url and password for presenting these ideas just destroys my desire to contribute.

    • I started my Linux experience on Fedora and would have loved Tick/Tock style releases like this.

      I’m now more familiar and comfortable in Linux and moved to Arch which I love. Not saying Fedora should be rolling release, don’t feel that fits for your projects goals.

      But the Tick/Tock real would offer a nice stable (1 year) type release for people that want it without out missing out on big features if every 6 month release was a Tick.

  15. Ubuntu’s non-U.S. status allows it to offer users much simpler access to Flash and the other proprietary goodies most mainstream users consider a core part of any computing experience. Not all are installed by default, but some are, and the rest are installable via one meta-package (and during the development cycle, as well). That’s just a fact of life. I suspect that, in large part, is what’s behind that reviewer’s wish to see 3.16 from Ubuntu.

    Unless something dramatic happens, though, Ubuntu Gnome will always be a release cycle behind. Ubuntu’s non-LTS releases show up in the month just before a new Gnome release. They’re always playing catchup.

    • I used to have fedora, these days I have ubuntu on one of my computers. I would not mind going back.

      I would like to bring more people on Linux but the major issue is still being able to print. It was an issue in 2000 and still is. My Brother printer print in a weird way on Linux but does great under Windows. For most, a deal breaker is printing.

  16. RH policies wrt potential legal troubles are what are holding back fedora IMHO. With ubuntu for example a lot of hw just works, on fedora, for example, you don’t have the ‘unofficially’ released broadcom firmware so, say, a some year old pretty common HP laptop won’t have a working WiFi, not to mention media codecs and the hassle of installing amd/nvidia proprietary drivers (or steam). This is really a pity, since overall it’s probably the best distribution around, but ubuntu is still the best choice for people sick of windows troubles.

    • Yeah, I am trying currently to deal with some of these legal issues to see if we can reduce the burden a bit

      • I suppose that one way is to do with Yandex or some foreign Fedora Remix group, and that is to contract them to do a Fedora version a la Ubuntu. You pay them to host Fedora, but on their own they include the Remix.

        If not them, SourceForge is a good alternative. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  17. I do mainly software development, and the machines are single user. The initial single biggest annoyance of Fedora is during installation having to configure the root account, *and* my personal account. Having to keep track of two different passwords is a *lot* more work, especially as these are single user systems. The Debian/Ubuntu approach of a disabled for login root account, and sudo is really nice. I don’t have to worry about the many different ways someone could login as root (eg ssh, samba, who knows what else) since it is impossible to login as root no matter what.

    The security settings (selinux) caused no end of grief when doing development (this is several years back). The settings are great for production systems, but during development things are by their nature insecure, and random bits of the OS preventing you from doing things without useful diagnostics, or especially some idea of what to type to loosen up various bits and pieces, just makes for a miserable experience as you google for how to turn it all off.

    The final piece was the miserable software packaging. Considerably less software was packaged, it was randomly scattered all over the web, bits were incompatible with other bits, some was abandoned etc. Ubuntu (via Debian) just had so much more packaged, it almost always worked/integrated correctly. Ubuntu’s ppas then back fill any other missing packages.

    The general vibe I get from Fedora is an unstable work in progress that you have to reinstall every 6 months, while Debian is a very stable production if somewhat long in the tooth and requires an update every few years, and Ubuntu provides Debian with more recent packages and an update every 6 months that works fine for me.

    You can’t beat Debian on the freedom principles or stability, nor should you try. You could beat Ubuntu by emphasising the free software and freedom principles Canonical don’t really believe in, but ultimately it must “just work”. I’m never convinced that it would.

    A side note is that I use 3 large monitors. Gnome 3 has been a huge unusable pain with that, Unity is almost as dreadful, but Xubuntu/XFCE works wonderfully. I can’t tell how well Fedora Workstation functions if you despise how unusable Gnome 3 shell is and want to use an alternative.

    • There is no requirement to set a root password during install. If you don’t, then make sure your user account is administrator and you can just use sudo.

      I can’t think of a time that selinux has interfered with development, but if it does, it’s very easy to disable it either temporarily or permanently.

      • The wording on the installer’s labels kind of implies you need to go through both the ‘root password’ and ‘create a user’ steps while waiting for packages to be installed.

        I think this is meant to say that _if you want to fill them out_ the time to do it is during package installation, or…. ? Anyway I found it confusing during install as well.

    • Have you tried this…

      sudo passwd root
      enter password
      enter password

      Password was updated.

  18. I’m using Fedora 21 and arch on my laptop. I think I’ll keep use f21 also after the release of F22. What i’ld really like to see is a *optional* *solid as a rock* update system that will get me from fn to fn+1 with just a click. This should be optional so i could at any time switch on new release or stay with the old one. I don’t remember how many times i’ve rated my songs on rhytmnbox and lost them on new installation. Also various settings are important to be keeped.

    • Oh, and tigh integration with android, making easy to synch phone and desktop would be a must (and honestly i don’t see a single reason why linux DE haven’t focused on this yet…)

    • Is is seriously the case that there isn’t a simple reliable updater between releases? On Ubuntu there is both a command line client as well as a graphical one, the backend behind them is the same, and they just work. They run from within your existing version (ie no rebooting till the end).

      • Yes, this is one of two reasons I can’t recommend Fedora to Linux-newbies: I can’t expect them to keep Fedora up to date by remembering to run a terminal command every 6 months. Why isn’t there a big friendly button in Software that says “Upgrade!”?

        The other reason is the lack of support for proprietary formats. I can’t pretend that Fedora “just works” if the first thing they have to do is install some extra software they don’t fully understand from some random shonky-looking website called RPMFusion. (“What’s RPM?”; “What does Fusion mean?”)

        • Are you aware that there is a crontab integration for yum and dnf? And an implementation with at..
          There is also yumex, and yumex-dnf (coming soon)

    • Have you not heard of “fedup” yet? That’s the official upgrading application and it works really well.

      The other part is that you should always put /home on its own partition. Then you can re-install the OS without losing your account settings and files.

  19. Legal troubles are always pain. however, may be some fedora developers can setup repo. repo that is well tested and have upto date packages. Then we can send all fedora users to add repo with codecs issue.

  20. I would like to see more default apps which obey Gnome HIG (Transmission, I’m looking at you). Also, integration of Firefox and Thunderbird (themes) should be done by default.

    Better default wallpapers, easier adding of COPRs and easier installing of not-so-free software from RPMFusion would also be nice.

  21. Codec installation remains a major headache, and the lack of a *Good* graphics editor is highly annoying. Maybe invest some time in the Gimp project?

  22. In my opinion, rather then asking the question here on a blog post that is primarily read by highly technical Linux users. The type of people who would want rolling releases that most Linux users would balk at. You should ask the question to locations that are more varied.

    A great place would be reddit.com/r/sysadmin . There are many Linux admins on there that don’t use Linux on the desktop at all. Perhaps, also reddit.com/r/programming, where many of the developers use a Mac. reddit.com/r/linux if you want to gauge the broader Linux community as a whole.

  23. I recently switched from Ubuntu to Fedora due to a number of factors. However, there are a number of problems that prevents me from recommending it to the rest of my peers at my organization.

    * SELinux typically makes using the desktop seem very problematic if the individual doesn’t understand how it works. What I would expect is SELinux disabled by default or use something less intrusive like AppArmour.
    * Installing non-open source software and drivers are much easier in Ubuntu. Ubuntu driver manager makes installing nvidia drivers quite pleasant. Steam and flash is a Ubuntu Software install away.
    * The lack of an “LTS” release is a concern. I have a .NET developer at my work that is interested in installing Linux and having Windows in a VM due to weird security issues at my work place. If he needs to upgrade every one and a half years for support, it would be very off putting for him.

    It isn’t all gloomy. Just today, I had a talk with one of my coworkers. Below is the Lync conversation we had. I thought it may put a smile on your face.

    *****, Jeff [1:42 PM]:
    hey buddy, how did you join your Linux VM/PC to the domain? i’ve done it before but i can’t seem to get it working now…

    *****, Adil [2:17 PM]:
    I never got my Desktop Linux VM connected to the domain. I got it for the servers though.
    My script that I wrote for Linux (RHEL 6) on the server has all the steps needed. Unfortunately, it is for the Red Hat distro’s and not Debian
    If you are interested, you should check out Fedora 21. It makes connecting to a domain SUPER easy

    *******, Jeff [2:20 PM]:
    hm okay will do!

    ********, Adil [2:20 PM]:
    This is all you have to do from the command line
    realm join ad.example.com
    Then there is a GUI way as well
    Granted, I haven’t done it myself, but I plan on doing it in the future

    ********, Jeff [2:21 PM]:
    wow yeah that’s really simple, it’s a pain in the ass on ubuntu!

    • I don’t understand these selinux comments. What are you doing that would cause it to interfere with you? I’ve never had any of the users I support have an issue with it. I’ve run into occasional issues when doing some non-standard stuff on servers, but never on the desktop. And in the last few years I’ve never had to disable it, even on those servers.

  24. * An official repository containing non-free, but commonly-used software – i.e. RPMFusion.
    * An LTS “edition” – with perhaps 2 years between updates.

  25. I’m using Fedora 21. This may be nit-picking but I don’t like the wasted space at the top of most apps. Take Firefox for example. If you have the Menu option displayed there is a lot of empty space at the top. (you don’t need it on to see the wasted space it is just a point of reference) At the top is name of the website and an “X” to close it. Below that is the menu line. Below that are the tabs and normal stuff below that.

    I would like it if the menu, name, and X were all on the same line. On a laptop with a small screen the header stuff takes up over an inch. I don’t think you need the name but that is just me. Maybe all this is some setting I have never found, that would be awesome. If not maybe it could be added.

    On Unity the name is displayed but then disappears when moused over to reveal the menu. On Windows 8 the menu and X are on the same line with no title/name displayed.

    Not a show stopper for me, just an annoyance. Thanks for your hard work.

  26. I used fedora quite long time. I think fedora leaders had been quite lazy in catching up with changes over time. There was a time Fedora could easily beat those ugly distributions. Now the gap of understanding is so huge that you kind of lost the trend. I really appreciate the hard work you are doing. You guys have to be more listening to the people. Keep lots of options for people to communicate, easy bug reporting and bit of creativity and user friendliness so that people have the fun and doesn’t leave the distribution just because of one or two bugs because they think it is pretty close to complete and is working to meet their expectations. I wonder how you could lag behind so much. Is it something from Redhat’s indifference or not it is in your best interest. Anyway best of luck.

  27. I’ve been using Fedora since release 1 and I must say that 21 is the best release ever! Thanks guys!

    Gnome Software needs a better progress bar or something that shows what it is doing. Now I don’t know if it is just stuck or something. But as a power user and casual developer I stick to the terminal and yum/dnf.

    I am not intrigued by any “apps”. Please don’t go down that horrible route (like Android). Just look at the Gnome Extensions. A lot of them are not working and seems unmaintained.

    Some kind of solution is needed for people wanting to use codecs and binary drivers. Maybe a link to rpmfusion.

  28. Unlike most of the commenters I tipped my toe into fedora starting from the 21st version. And I was really pleasantly amazed, running Gnome on Ubuntu is pretty unpleasant bug ridden experience, if you want something fresher than a year old gnome release, you have to add staging ppa-s, that remain broken throughout half the release, while Fedora is stable with latest Gnome starting Alpha stage (I’ve never seen an OS alpha THIS stable), but the downside that still keeps me from picking Fedora as “the one and only”, or as android users say “daily driver” is proprietary software support. I am trying to get away from proprietary blobs as far as I can, but reality is harsh: I still need Skype, flash (although less and less, but I still have to keep this bugger “just in case”), NVidia proprietary drivers (Nouveau guys, you are amazing, but the proprietary blob is still way ahead, thanks to NVidia’s douchebaggery) and bumblebee switcher. If only there was a side repo, “restricted extras” sort of thing, that people could attach and install everything they needed from yum/dnf (correctly configured and packaged skype SELinux profile, anyone? Oracle Java installer, maybe?)

    • We are working on improving our Optimus support, we do not plan on using Bumblebee though as we think it is the wrong solution, but David Airlie and the team has been working on a good mechanism for this and we are currently working on how to expose it in the user interface.

    • Regarding the proprietary blobs, I have been using negativo17’s repositories for several of them: flash, skype, steam. There are a few more like nvidia drivers which you also mentioned.

      I’m quite satisfied with the quality of these repos. Each comes with clear installation instructions.

  29. I’ve moved all my private machines to fedora (21 and 22a atm) and at work I try to convert everybody who isn’t forced to stay on CentOS, so there is nothing ‘missing’ for me, but there are some points I think the Fedora/GNOME experience could be better. Some of them may be relatively easy to implement but effective improvements in my educated guess.

    1. I don’t know anybody who is long time GNOME 3 user and didn’t use GNOME Tweak Tool. So I would like to see Tweak Tool installed by default and even linked in the GNOME Settings. There are things inside the Tweak Tool that even ‘normal users’ want to change, even if some of the options may be targeted for advanced users.

    2. Extensions should be discoverable inside Tweak Tool or Software. We can’t teach users to not install software by searching on the internet (because it’s insecure) excerpt for GNOME extensions.

    3. HiDPI screens are ‘finally’ supported in GNOME but they aren’t detected on install or first boot. We already ask a few questions if a new user logs in, and GNOME settings knows the screens size (27″ in my case) and native resolution (4K in my case), so why not ask something like ‘Hey looks like you have a HiDPI screen, do you want to adapt the UI size to fit your screen?’

    4. Backups: I’m missing a backup solution for ‘the normal user’, this could be implement with a simple UI and some lines of shell script like the Mint guys did it. Any backup is better then no backup and a one button solution ‘Save my home folder to this USB stick!’ could save a lot of user’s data.

    4.5. The best solution would be to integrate something like snapper. Fedora could have something like SUSE did where snapper creates hourly snapshots (on btrfs or lvm) and additional ones if the system configuration is changed or the system is updated. For GNOME this could lead to another feature in GNOME Files with a ‘Show previous versions of this file/folder’ UI to search for accidentally deleted or overwritten files. (Of course this snapshots have to be copied to another media to prevent data loss on dying disks like described in 4.)

    Other than that I like the general direction in which Fedora and GNOME are moving.

  30. Switched to F22 from 17 years in Debian hoping to get a better GNOME experience, and this is exactly what I found. A very solid user facing experience. While I miss the command line universe of Debian, I need very little of it on my laptop, compared to having a polished UI/usability.

    Something lacking on GNOME, that I would love to see some boost by Fedora on, is proper device scaling for HiDPI displays. My X1 carbon 3rd gen has a shiny 1440p resolution on a 14″ screen resulting in 209 DPI. setting device scaling to 2 causes everything to be waaaay too huge, so I’m using device scale set to 1, and then bumping font DPI, which is suboptimal as then graphical details tend to be a bit too small, but that’s working better than the alternative at least. I think Apple gets this right with being able to choose between a number of scaling settings.

  31. I’m using arch happily now and the one major difference (besides the rolling release) for me is the speed of the package manager.

    Try installing a few packages via GNOME-Software on Arch vs. Fedora. Arch will handle this tasks in seconds even with bigger packages (got gimp in 10 secs) while Fedora may take minutes.

    This is the one and only thing holding me back to use Fedora not only for GNOME development.

  32. Here’s my list of things (totally ignoring whose responsibility it is, or if it’s possible):
    – Tight Android/iOS integration. Basically we should be taking what KDE Connect does and integrating it into GNOME and making it better. I should be able to respond to WhatsApp notifications on my phone without leaving my desktop for example.
    – An actually decent email app? Something like Geary. Evolution isn’t “new GNOME” and it’s overkill for most users. Even something like Google’s Inbox would be pretty neat. This is a glaring hole in the desktop.
    – SELinux – OMG at least get some UX on that god awful dialog!
    – Proprietary applications in Software. Many people just want to install Spotify or Steam without faffing around.
    – Media codecs available without RPMFusion – there has to be some legal workaround here surely?!
    – Paid applications in Software. I should be able to sell my software direct to Workstation users for a fixed price, or pay what you want, or have donations or Flattr
    – Working with Wine to support the most often requested Windows applications (e.g. iTunes and Photoshop) or even better, have some serious discussions with Adobe
    – Perhaps the same with the Darling project? I know a bunch of devs who use Tower religiously, if Darling drastically improved it removes barriers to entry (obviously Darling is very immature at the moment and this is a huge wishlist item)
    – A nice UI for Fedup upgrades between releases
    – No root account by default, single sudo-enabled admin user instead

    Basically an OS is only as good as the applications available for it, we should be doing everything we can to allow developers to target Fedora as a platform. If we can do this with the sandboxed app work that’s currently ongoing this could be amazing.

    • I agree with a lot of your points and improving the selection of software available in Software is a personal goal of mine.

  33. “Just” make Fedora work without problems. ;)
    I haven’t reinstalled my Ubuntu on my old travel notebook since 2009, just updates and it works. The same with my one year old new work notebook.

    My hardware works out of the box. (Printer (HP WLAN+USB), Wacom tablet, Sound, WLAN, 3D driver…) The only thing not working is sound via HDMI.

    Why should I switch to Fedora?

    Now I’m thinking about getting a Surface Pro as replacement for my old travel Notebook. Does Fedora work out of the box on it?

    • Sound via HDMI works in Fedora :) I am using it frequently at home with my TV :) You need to move the sound stream in the Pulse Audio settings though.

      As for Surface Pro support I have no idea, hopefully someone else can chime in on that :)

      • > You need to move the sound stream in the Pulse Audio settings though.

        This is better then on my Ubuntu, but you should still open a bugreport , because that is not “Just works”. This are the small thinks that needs to be fixed.

        The best OS is that one, that I don’t care about.

  34. I have been using Fedora since the beginning of Fedora. I switched full time to using Fedora (from windows) around Fedora 12, because the Gnome 2 desktop finally reached a point where I could use it comfortably. (It was finally pretty too) Ever since Gnome 3 was adopted, it seems to continually disappoint me. I switched to Cinnamon and all my woes turned into wows. However, Gnome 3 is still doing things that are going against what I find to be user friendly options/choices. The new titlebars are now un-themeable if you’re using anything other than Gnome 3. So your environment looks all frigged up. I liked gitg before it switched to the new look, now I don’t like using it at all. I want to complain, but I know I’ll just be seen as another anti-G3 zealot, so I won’t bother. I’ll just say, yeah, maybe I’m getting old… Maybe I’m set in my ways, but I like the traditional look and feel of Cinnamon and I just don’t like Gnome 3. I’ve said this a million times, Gnome 3 is a perfect tablet interface, but for the desktop I like what Cinnamon is doing soooo much better.

    I am getting a little tired of the 6 month release cycle as well. I really enjoyed the year long release that happened last time. I was able to just keep updating for a full year. It was really nice.

    I love the philosophy and group and everything else about Fedora. I am not sure if anyone else feels this way, but I’ve tried Debian distros (Ubuntu, Mint, whatever) and I find the command line in Debian ugly and unpolished… where as Red Hat distros, I find them comfortable and familiar. Which makes no sense, because it’s a command line.

    Other than these few things, I love Fedora, I love the community, I love all the hard work being put forth. I guess if I could request anything, it would be that Cinnamon gets a little more love from Fedora and that it is recognized as a real DE option.

  35. I know there is a lot of discussion about a long-term stable Fedora, but apart LTS version of Fedora (CentOS is NOT a LTS version of Fedora for me) I really with there is some kind of stability. Not only for every upgrade I have to fear that some things won’t work, but even with updates I have to worry about my applications and my system, for instance recently, the kernel update broke my hibernation. I do not know that happens because from what I have seen Fedora does a really good Q&A job.

    • Yeah, there is discussions ongoing about the Fedora release cadence, but in terms of CentOS being a possible LTS version of Fedora, well we are changing our policy in RHEL and will be updating the desktop in RHEL on a bi-annual basis, so those updates will of course also hit CentOS and thus make CentOS more up-to-date yet not as fast moving as Fedora.

  36. 1. It occurs to me that the general aura surrounding Fedora is that it is a fast-paced, rapidly changing, technically innovative piece of work that assumes its typical user has a level of experience and knowledge comparable to the run-of-the-mill sysadmin. It’s much the same vibe that surrounds RHEL. (The online docs, for example, in both products are very clearly aimed at technical users.)

    2. If Fedora wants to attract people who have never used Linux — and perhaps it should not — read the the “New to Ubuntu” section at the Ubuntu Forums to appreciate the perspective of those newbie users. Also, the Linux Mint forums.

    3. An installer intended for newbies needs to never mention the word “partition”. Many (most?) people considering migrating to Linux have never installed an OS. It’s a big scary deal for them. Anaconda is a good installer for people who understand those things, but any effort to attract newbies would require some additions to it.

  37. One of the biggest problems with Fedora is Gnome.

    Sure, I also loathe the choice of systemd and journald, but Gnome 3+ is where most of the decision making was taken out of the users’ hands and decreed from above.

    If I wanted the ‘one true way to work’, I’d be using OS X.

    We shouldn’t need tweak tool or 15 extensions to get a decent functional desktop.

    Why is lazy mouse focus not the default? Why is it not in ‘settings’ instead of tweak tools? When will we lose it completely?

    Why do hotkeys continually change?

    Why did Ctl-Alt-T for a terminal window get removed by default? I mean, really, are you trying to make it as hard as possible for anyone to open a terminal window? Do we need to hide the command line so people don’t realize they’re not on Windows?

    Why is there no logout button if there’s only one user on the system? Really? I have to go into dconf to fix this? You really think this is some huge optimization – removing one menu item? How many thousands of hours of peoples’ time have you collectively wasted with them trying to figure out how to log out? Just search on “log out gnome 3” — PUT IT BACK!

    Who doesn’t re-enable at least the minimize button?

    What’s with the incredibly slow window animation? It looks cool – once. However, as I work through the day, why do I want to waste time waiting for the animations? I shouldn’t have to install ‘Impatience’ to work efficiently.

    We shouldn’t have to reboot to apply updates. That’s something I hate about Windows, now I’m either stuck doing it on Fedora or going to the command line.

    Hell, going way back, why did we emulate the god-awful Windows registry by moving everything into gconf, dconf, etc? I sure do miss the ability to see ALL of an app’s settings in a simple config file – and easily move them to another system. I guess that wasn’t Windows-y enough though.

    Why does the password entry screen now black out the desktop? I want to see my damn desktop!

    Why does the monitor config fight with Nvidia to keep re-enabling my laptop monitor when the screen locks?

    Why does the password entry screen randomly time out? Sometimes it only flashes up for a few seconds, sometimes 20, but I am frequently caught in the middle of typing my password!

    Why is Gnome’s operating philosophy to try to emulate Windows and/or OS X and move farther and farther away from the traditional Unix desktop? Do they think people use Linux because they secretly hope it will become a free Windows/OS X or because they like the Unix way of doing things?

    I have to suspect Gnome is so focused on ‘being cool’ they completely forget about their original (now dwindling) user base.

    I will say that, in general, I like the Gnome Shell interface. I was never a detractor of the fundamental design. It’s all the usability details that are horribly screwed up and the fact that the absolute dependency on Tweak Tool helps make it feel like Gnome 3 is still an Alpha and nobody’s too concerned with finishing it.

    There is so much focus on the ‘next cool thing’ and apparently about zero on bug fixing or real day-to-day usability enhancements.

    • Ok, a lot of items you brought up here and I am not sure I be able to fully cover all of them, but I will make a try here.

      So in regards to specific settings and things being in GNOME Tweak tool or not etc. One challenge we have seen with the extreme customizibility of the linux desktop is that it tend to create a lot of cases where an application gets designed with certain ideas in mind for how the UI works and interacts with the rest of the system, only to have those assumptions fall down or be directly detrimental due to the user having choosen different settings for their desktop.

      So the idea was that by enforcing a very clean and undoubtable default we would make getting a coherent user experience easier as application developers would have a clear target. That we due to realizing that there where a lot of existing users who making the change to that default model would be really painful for the extension system was put in place to allow these users to tweak the user interface to their liking. So in order to make it clear that this is power user functionality and not undermine the goal of letting application developers have a predictable environment to target it got put into Tweak tool instead of putting it in the normal settings. But be aware that Tweak tool is not the unwanted stepchild here, it is an official part of what we provide, yet we want the border between power user functionality that in some cases could have unfortunate side effects and the settings that all users need is clearly marked.

      As for dconf versus text files, this is one of the many tradeoffs that was made through the years. The goal of the change was not to be more windows like, but it was that to reliable be able to handle setting changes on the fly, with maybe multiple applications trying to set the same setting the text file model tend to fall down in practice. So yes, the price is some extra complexity in terms of parsing the configuration data, but in the end we felt the value of being able to offer features we think most users expect these days in terms of how settings works and takes effect made the tradeoff worth it.

      Not sure what the password entry stuff is, that sounds like a bug. And if we have integration issues with the binary NVidia driver please file a fedora bug and we will try to have a look.

      As for focusing on being cool. Well certainly it is better to be cool than uncool, but I can tell you that at least of the people here at Red Hat working on the desktop we spend a lot of our time on bugfixes to ensure that both Fedora users and RHEL customers have a stable and reliable experience. We are also actively using the retrace.fedoraproject.org system to prioritize what issues to look at first.

      • I have to say that there is missing, for non RH employees, an architecture document for Gnome. This document would explain the interface objectives, the design motif, and even the codification of error and information messages.

        All Linux distributions, except probably IBM’s own, cannot provide an error and message document(guide) which explains where a given error message was created, and what the user or analyst should do to resolve the error. I have only a good appreciation with GNU utils, where I have seen a description of error codes and their meanings and what to do about it.

        Fedora development to me always appears that there is a development culture of panic to complete. I am grateful for QA which does an admirable job of insuring the minimal number of bugs, and the refusal to accept marginally functional results.

  38. I have been using Fedora since FC1 days, with a bit of Ubuntu/OpenSUSE/Debian in the middle. F21 Workstation (GNOME) and Server are my current daily drivers, and I value the recently proposed direction of F21~24…particularly around themes of innovation, community/transparency, and standards. Therefore, from my perspective, the Fedora user experience is superior and the distribution is heading in a preferable direction.

    Nevertheless, the best way I can think to answer your question is in terms of what is slowing me switching some of my family members: (a) display issues associated with graphics drivers for gaming/Steam, multi-monitor, and fonts; (b) the need for a more accessible, wider range of software and/or some packages better maintained; (c) documentation that is more current, consolidated, and friendly for basic end-users.

    It will be interesting to see how Wayland shakes out in the next release (hopeful for multi-monitor and font improvements), and structural changes to the AMD graphics drivers (unified driver) will likely improve the gaming situation. Perhaps F21 is a good primer for some pundits to consider other important aspects of a distribution, however, F22~24 will actually transition a number of user cases?

  39. As someone who has used (and enjoyed) Fedora/Gnome in the past as mostly just a user (not currently in dev), but does not use it now (Ubuntu/Mint) except as a virtual alternative on a Windows machine I’ll add (or simply reiterate);
    1: Installation: The installer was, simply, bad..it’s now better. I’m assuming it will get better still. A more distinct set of simple/granular paths would be nice.
    2: Drivers: Yes, if I’m using Fedora I should be able to round up whatever I need. Yes, I know there isn’t much you can do about all the nonsense the hardware people do requiring specific drivers/etc. It will never be perfect. Never. However…a list (somewhere) of what is available and where to get it would be nice to have…updated regularly. Ubuntu/Mint/etc do more than that. You should be able to do a little better even with the restrictions.
    3: Packages/Apps: You release regularly. No issue there. Your repos are small (but functional). For the things you can’t provide the “other” repos have trouble keeping things up to date and/or accessible. Catch-22, but most people want what they can’t have. Gnome Ubuntu supplements its shortcomings with Ubuntu’s/Debian’s cavernous repos. Not sure what to say other than just to make sure what you can supply should be the best/most up to date as can be managed.
    4: Experience: It’s a cutting edge distro. No argument there. Gnome is still a little polarizing. No argument there either. Even still the user experience should paramount. If it is getting stripped down to bare essentials..then those essentials better be great, work 100% of the time, and be useful. Getting out of my way is nice…not being in my way because it is missing, not functional, or just simply bad is not. Example: Remember way, way back…the system power off button which got hidden because “people don’t shut down their machines any more..” or some such nonsense and all the eye-gouging that caused? Sometimes just reigning things in a little to make it work out of the box is best. If that means adding an extension or two to adjust Gnome so the user doesn’t…then that’s what you do.
    5: Package management: Command line is still the best. Gnome package manager..not so much. Debian has Synaptic and it works…very, very well. I liked the text based package manager version you “had”…so did a lot of other people. Even if it was old and crusty it still worked. If the new one was up to snuff it would not be an issue. It’s not and therefore it is. That’s on you…
    You inquired…this is my opinion and likely nothing you haven’t heard before. Fedore is great and its free. It could be a little better/polished and still remain just as free.

  40. Coming from Arch (with GNOME), here are my concerns about moving to Fedora:

    NON-FREE SOFTWARE: You should provide it. Seriously. I hate being the one saying this (I love FOSS) but end users need to play MP3, DVDs, usual media codecs, flash, etc. out-of-the-box.

    People also need software like Steam, Dropbox, Spotify, etc available easily to feel confortable with a switch.

    There are problems with non-free drivers also, making it hard for the end user to install it and (sometimes) making expensive hardware unusable.

    You should maintain a “non-free software” repo, and make it opt-in when installing the system.

    USER REPOS: There should be something as simple and straightforward as AUR to install software packaged by users. Even if it isn’t available on GNOME Software, it could be very useful.

    GNOME IMPROVEMENTS: We need a simpler way to create App folders, an extensible control center (like elementary OS one) and a light theme by default (as discussed by Jim Hall on many of his blog posts).

    • I created application folders with help of software and moved some application. however Gnome does not show all applications installed or should i say, does not allow to move unwanted applications to move to an application folder.

  41. Fedora is awesome, you guys are doing a great job. The product separation was great. I want App containers, which are going to be the ideal tool for packaging stuff for fedora without problems. Just upgraded to F22 and looks awesome. Keep up the good work!

  42. I am surprised noone said it until now: Better font rendering, at the same level as Ubuntu. I understand that the field is riddled with patent issues, but at least patched packages with good font rendering should be available in rpmfusion (No, freetype-freeworld is not good enough)

  43. I have been using Fedora since this past summer. I plan to update to F22 after the official release and the respective proverbial dust settles.

    I also install Linux systems for other people. I do not use Fedora for those people.

    There is a huge chasm between the technical and non technical user. Just huge. So huge that my 12+ years of Linux experience is that most technical users are unable to grasp the chasm.

    Non technical users just want to point and click. They like boring, which is another way of saying super stable. They avoid bleeding edge. Windows XP exasperated this expectation with a 12 year life cycle.

    Fedora has an exhausting 6 month life cycle. Technically about 13 months, which is still too fast for non technical users.

    In a distrowatch.com interview, Matthew Miller wrote, “…unlike most readers of this site, the vast majority of the consumer public has never really wanted general-purpose computers. They want the things a computer lets them do: create documents and edit photographs, communicate for work and home, and so on — and they put up with the horrible, confusing pain of a computer to get them. Simplified user environments like that provided by ChromeOS — or Android or iOS — promise the benefits without the pain, and it’s no wonder that they’re taking off (now that the devices are powerful enough under the hood, connectivity is ubiquitous, and the utility-computing backends no longer just a nice idea).”

    Fedora does not focus on the non technical user. While I have been using Mint for the people I help, I have looked into using CentOS. Very long life cycle and boring, but CentOS fails too. For example, no easily viewable update notifier applet like Mint and CentOS 6 (Fedora lacks this too), or a large lack of non enterprise apps in EPEL that require an uncomfortable dependency on third party repos.

    Non technical users never will use the command line and Linux developers need to embrace that reality. I long have believed Linux developers should spend one full day each week with the command line being off limits so they understand how non technical users think. That includes using dconf editor. Almost everything needs to be doable from the desktop GUI.

    Rolling releases are hard to support. Rolling releases tend to be unstable and introduce too many software updates for non technical users, which also means more breakage than non technical users will tolerate. The latest incarnation of Linux Mint Debian Edition seems to be compromise of sorts with using Debian Stable as a base but continually updating various userland apps.

    Fedora has nothing like this.

    Fedora could be a candidate for non technical users but like all Linux distros, is influenced heavily by geek thinking. (I classify myself a geek.) There should be advocates for the non technical users in the Fedora development and usability teams. (Yes, I would revel in such a role.) Yet for Fedora to succeed in the non technical realm, some kind of long term focus is necessary. A six month life cycle is not long term support. Moreso, that support must be transparent to non technical users.

    The Fedora documentation web site is heavily focused on technical users. Non technical users do not use the web to find computer help. If they attempt to resolve problems at all outside a friendly neighborhood geek, they expect to find all help to be located on the computer. They expect to find point and click instructions, not command line instructions.

    Fedora has the potential repo capacity to appease non technical users. Yet long term support does not seem to match the current Fedora project goals of being a leading supplier of computer technology. Perhaps all that is really needed is porting Fedora repos to CentOS to ensure a high availability of non enterprise apps to avoid third party repo dependencies.

    One hindrance with focusing on non technical users is the policy not to offer non-free apps, specifically multimedia apps. The Debian folks address this hurdle with a separate repo.

    A root challenge with any Linux based system is the fact that software throughout the entire ecosystem changes rapidly. Simply too much change for non technical users to grasp or handle. Yet the Google folks seem to be doing okay with ChromeOS updates and keeping customer systems updated without the typical confusion and breakage seen in most Linux systems. Granted, ChromeOS has far fewer software components to support. Perhaps Fedora could provide something similar.

    Smart phone vendors also seem to have resolved continual updates without frequent breakage.

    That said, my experience with Fedora is quality assurance has been very high with respect to updates. There just is no point and click way for non technical users to update Fedora.

    Fedora could offer something like CentOS but focused on non enterprise and non technical users. I believe such users would accept a 5 year life cycle rather than the 10 year cycle of CentOS, but nothing less than 3. An approach similar to LMDE 2 would cater well to non technical users: the base system moves slowly during the support period and apps are updated more frequently. Just a reminder that most non technical users use only a handle of apps. Thus they will not be inundated with a slew of daily updates.

    I have tried to adapt to the GNOME 3 design. I have not done so. I use MATE. GNOME Classic is not really GNOME Classic. MATE is GNOME Classic and that is what I use with the people I help. I can offer that non technical users who have known nothing but Windows XP do not adapt either. They get confused over the simple fact that there is no “Start” button, even with MATE. This is the chasm I am discussing. To them, GNOME is a proverbial deer in the headlights reaction.

    I do not see anything in the Red Hat family targeting non technical users. That observation to me means Fedora is not a leading supplier of computer technology, but is instead a leading supplier of computer technology for geeks. I do not write that with malice, I am just trying to offer distinctions.

    Perhaps Fedora is not a reasonable choice for non technical users and those users never will be a target audience. I sure would like to see that change.

  44. First, many thanks to all hard-working developers/volunteers who make Fedora a really nice distro.

    As a long time Linux/FOSS user, but a recently (less than 2 years) switcher from Ubuntu, here are IMHO a few points to consider in trying to attract/retain users in Fedora land:

    1. Average first impression: While GNOME is becoming really appealing/polished overall, Fedora fonts rendering is still a problem, especially with apps like Firefox. I know there may be legal issues involved here (if I’m correct, it seems that some fonts rendering engine are under patent protection?), but I’m not so sure that it explains all. Maybe the choice of the default font (Cantarell) is part of the problem (which may also be the case with Adwaita icons set, but that’s another story). Anyway, when you compare with Ubuntu (and newcomers like Elementary OS), Fedora looks not so great at first sight, but has lot of potential (thanks to GNOME) to have a really gorgeous look.

    2. Upgrade process and stability: I’m happy to read that this is being addressed as a priority. Loosing functionalities or support for extensions, repositories, etc., across upgrades is the best way to have regular (i.e. nonmasochist) users stay/go away from Fedora. Also, while the fedup tool is better than nothing for upgrading to a newer version, a more straightforward/friendly GUI tool would be welcomed of less technical users.

    3. Access to non-free package: Of course, I don’t want Fedora to become evil, but like many users, I sometimes have to play mp3s, watch Flash movies, because we live in the real word here FOSS formats are unfortunately not always available under other formats. I know this is a bold suggestion, but I think that, while keeping non-free packages excluded from the out-of-the box Fedora experience, there should be a more easy/straightforward way to let users have access to the required packages, when they need them. Letting them trying to find a more or less well maintained script to install RPM Fusion and the wanted packages is not helping to attract/retain users here. Since Fedora is still not recommended by FSF, because apparently, there are “exception for certain kinds of non-free firmware”, am I right to think that there is room for a bit of pragmatism here?

    My 2 cents!

  45. i think fedora 21 was the best fedora distro ever! you know every fedora release has minimum one big problem like sound, graphics, networkmanager till 4 weeks after release…. but 21 is maybe a new start. i use fedora from 1 till now that i use 22 beta on my thinkpads: at least in comparison with the last 5 fedora release i must tell you that: 1- gnome on fedora is not as fast as opensuse. i dont want to write you how was my tests but it is slow for example on a thinkpad t440p i5 intel 4600 and nvidia with ssd and 16gb ram cl9….
    2 – power management is worse than fedora 20 or 19… i have tested it on every condition!! tuned somehow is usefull but i need first energy saving on normal machine just after installation…
    3 – what you add to gnome 3 is useful but gnome 3 is not better than gnome 2 imo also on 2015. that is my experience.

  46. There is always a difference between the way a contributor evaluates a product and the way an ordinary user does. Its understandable that people find Fedora a little demanding on the sysadmin side of things because of frequency of breakages and getting protected tools — but I’d rather stick it out with Fedora than jump boats. Let’s face it, its the daredevil approach of the likes of the Fedora development team that opens doors to continuous expansion in the open-source ecosystem.

    I find that experiencing and reporting bugs haven’t been overly counterproductive to the extent of being vocal about it. Perhaps after a few tests on resilience people might come to see Fedora for what it is — an amazing product that just keeps getting better. A product that actually makes the users get better.

    Its odd that Linux-people expect Fedora contributors to go against their core principles. Why do Linux-people tend to choose ease over “software righteousness” these days? I would choose ease over complication, but not at the expense of peace and sound conscience. Proprietary products are restrictive, enslaving and detrimental to creativity. If all that mattered was being able to get proprietary codecs/drivers easily, we won’t have GNU/Linux in the first place. The difficulties didn’t originate with Fedora. So please if codec is an issue, go get it yourself and stop this childish whining. As for other valid issues, may I propose that the users get involved instead of running? That approach turned out to be more fun and rewarding for me.

    And for the record, I migrated from Ubuntu. There is nothing I used in Ubuntu that I’m missing in Fedora. NOTHING! … well, except the brown colour theme and local repository headaches. I’ve seen fedora from version #12 (I think), through to F22 (branched off from rawhide). I am managing to resist jumping back into rawhide (F23). So, I find it strange that people complain about instability, when all I’ve experienced is a steady “stable” flow of fun! I don’t bother with proprietary (blobs). NVidia is pain anyways — I’ve been transitioning to ATi (AMD). I also got tired of tweaking interfaces long ago. Gnome-tweak-tool isn’t as fun as gsettings :-) I’m typing this on an Optimus machine. I would like to experience the real Optimus support firsthand, then hear others talk about the success when I’m getting bored with it. There is a product for everyone. Fedora just fits for me.

  47. I switched from years on mint and GNOME Ubuntu to using f21. Hardware support on f21 and GNOME integration is much better than my experience on GNOME Ubuntu.
    These comments is the first I’ve heard of COPR so maybe you should advertise that more

    Some areas I’d like to see improvement (echoing some comments before)

    Font rendering is bad (especially in the browser). Took a while to get a fonts.conf file I was happy with.

    I’d like better support for notifications in non-GNOME apps (pidgin, thunderbird, chrome, virtualbox). Empathy/Evolution/firefox/boxes are alright but I prefer the alternatives. Just sad I lose features when switching to them.

    Extension installation via cli/tweak tool and updates should be better. They also would hopefully be easier to write. I have a couple I’d like to make but haven’t found good documentation/walkthroughs for non-developers.

    Better support for machines without super keys. Using keyboards with only ctrl and alt keys means I can’t use some shortcuts without remapping. Maybe provide a set of target laptops that have good hardware support and are recommended for fedora going forward.

    Better HiDPI support.
    An easier way to make and find time changing backgrounds.

    Thanks for the great desktop! Looking forward to future releases.

    • > Maybe provide a set of target laptops that have good hardware support and are recommended for fedora going forward.

      This is a really good idea. It took me some time to find a laptop, that works good with Linux. (Dell Precision m2800) A list of laptops, that are supported by Fedora would really help.

      If you would take the Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft as a target. It has ha lot of hardware, that is problematic with Linux:
      – HiDPI display
      – 10 point touch display
      – pressure sensitive pen
      – tablet/notebook mode
      – docking station
      – digital compass
      – ambient light sensor
      – accelerometer
      – gyroscope
      – magnetometer
      – UEFI

  48. I use Linuxmint and fedora. Difficulty in using fedora is limited to installing codecs, graphic drivers etc which i knew the reasons for not inclusion in fedora.
    But atleast there should be a mechanism to show users guide how to do those and failing, how to revert.

  49. I am using Debian, because of it’s politics. The social contract [0] is of great importance for me. I like, that it is a vollunteer driven project with no company standing behind it. I like the values of the Debian Project and especially liked what Zack [1] was doing in his three terms as project leader. I embrace what Fedora and Redhat are doing for GNOME and systemd. Thanks for that work! I will stay with Debian, since I am using it for 14 years now, earlier using other distros. I think it is important to have such diversity between those distributions. I fear the “app stores” and love package repositories. I want everybody to be able to use a free operating system on free hardware. Thanks for paying Rob Clark for his work on the freedreno project.

    [1] https://upsilon.cc/~zack/

  50. A few missing things that are driving me nuts fiddling with F22 beta on a Retina MacBook Pro (2012 15″ and 2015 13″) and a Dell XPS 13 (2013 model):

    * Proprietary wifi drivers — a laptop without working wifi is not good for the user. I’m working around it on the Mac with a USB dongle for the moment, but it’s not pretty.
    * Auto-installation of media codecs. People like video.
    * Convenient installation of Flash, or else make sure the above-noted MP3/MP4/AVC/AAC/H.264 codecs on the system work with audio and video elements in Firefox. (Firefox supports some system codecs on Android and Windows at least.)
    * A way to force Hi-DPI on or off if it’s been incorrectly detected. On native installations on my MacBook Pro everything’s fine, but under VMWare Fusion at 2560×1600 or 2880×1800 it defaults to 1x scaling and I have to go to the command line to get it scaling correctly — even Tweak Tool’s checkbox only lets me set the GTK scaling and doesn’t fix the GNOME Shell!
    * Hi-DPI scaled compatibility mode for legacy apps based on GTK2 or other old toolkits: try Gimp or Inkscape at 2x scaling, you’re gonna have a bad time — fonts are often scaled but icons and some widget sizes are not! On OSX and Windows, legacy apps are scaled up and look blurry, but work as expected.
    * Medium-DPI solution for 1080p laptops that default to 150% scaling on Windows (like the Dell XPS 13). Since GTK+’s hi-DPI setup only supports integral scaling factors, this may be tricky to do well. As an end-user hack I use Tweak Tool to set the font scaling to 1.5 and live with having a lot of icons and some widgets display too small; another possibility is to use xrandr to force the resolution up to 2560×1440, force 2x scaling, and let the panel scale the output down, but this makes things blurrier than native 1.5x scaling would.
    * Hi-DPI rendering in GNOME Help, Evolution reading panel, etc. These at least display correctly but are blurry because WebKitGTK renders at low resolution.
    * Stable base platform for third-party software (sometimes we want or need Steam/Skype/Dropbox/whatever).
    * Progress bar is missing in Software’s updater — the first time running an update in this takes tens of minutes for me and sits on a spinner with no indication of how far along it is; it’s really not a good experience.
    * Partners making hardware with preinstalled Fedora.

    Note that the version of Firefox bundled with the F22 beta does correctly detect Hi-DPI mode which makes me very happy — we’re approaching “just works”. :D But it’s got some bugs still; some popup menus are incorrectly placed on screen.

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