Fedora 13 Review

| Published Date
06 - Aug - 2010
| Last Updated
06 - Aug - 2010
Fedora 13

    Fedora 13 Price in India

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Our Verdict

Fedora 13: Detailed Review

Fedora is one of the most well known and used distributions, and has maintained that mantle for long. It comes from the line of an even better known distribution Red Hat Linux (new Red Hat Enterprise Linux). While Red Hat is now a distribution targeted towards enterprises, and comes with official support at a price. Fedora is a constantly evolving bleeding edge distribution which integrates some of the latest applications when it is released. It forms the base for the more stability oriented Red Hat. It is the source for many of the newest updates which eventually reach other distros.

We downloaded and tested Fedora 13 64-bit DVD-edition, to get the full breadth of software available for the distribution. Fedora uses the Anaconda installer system which provides a powerful, and configurable installation experience, but makes the choices simple and easy to understand. A new user might be overwhelmed by the number of options available but the explanatory text allows one to make informed decisions. This is quite visible when one comes to the partitioning step. This is where many new Linux users can get lost, confused and possibly scared due to either the lack of options or their abundance. Especially as the implications of picking the wrong option can be quite dire. Fedora covers most of the scenarios that a new user might face, and allows users to take over the entire hard disk, replace the currently installed Linux partitions, shrink current partitions to make space, use free space, or create a custom layout. Whichever option you choose you have the option of reviewing and modifying the layout later on. You also have the option to encrypt you system if you are security conscious. By default Fedora creates separate /boot, root and /home ext4 partitions and uses LVM (Logical Volume Management) which will make for a more extensible hard disk configuration. The installer warns you once more before modifying your hard disk layout, so you still have an opportunity to back out.

The DVD version comes with a large selection of popular software, and both KDE (4.4) and Gnome (2.30) are included. However Gnome is the default desktop environment and you need to manually customize your software selection and select KDE if you want to install it. The software installation process lets you select from a list of configurations for your installation. Depending on your intended purpose you can select from “Graphical Desktop”, “Software Development”, “Web Server”, or “Minimal”. You can also select from the repositories to install with your new system. You can also choose to customize the software installed, or do it later on. The software selection customization interface is also quite simplified, oversimplified perhaps. The selection sets are very broad, and don’t allow for too much customization. You can choose to install broad categories of applications such as “Authoring and Publishing” software or “Engineering and Scientific” software, and the installer will automatically select applications from that category to install, you can them select additional optional packages or remove the packages selected by default.

Unfortunately, Fedora does not automatically install the DVD as a repository, so if you need to install any software later on, you need to download them – even if they are present on the DVD. It is possible to add back the DVD as a software repository, however the process if not clearly illustrated. Furthermore, after this step, clicking Next will simply start the installation process without warning, so if you need to change any settings, you need to go back right now. The installation itself doesn’t take too much time, we had default “Graphical Desktop” system up and running in under 20 minutes.

Since we picked the default graphical desktop, we were greeted with a Gnome desktop which looked pretty much standard. Fedora developers push changes and updates to the applications themselves instead of maintaining a separate version for their distro, so you can expect most applications to be unmodified and look like their authentic selves.

Overall the desktops looks very neat, and the icons and theme are refreshing. Fedora 13 ships with the open source Nauveau driver for NVIDIA cards, so if you have one of those, it will be supported out of the box.

Unlike many other distributions which include F-Spot for photo management in Gnome, Fedora has gone for the lesser known Shotwell. Shotwell is a decent photo management applications and a watered down version is also available or Windows for those who want to try it out. It supports all the features you’d expect, importing photos from digital cameras, basic editing (crop, resize, red-eye remove, etc), and can upload your photos to Picasa, Flickr, Facebook etc. Shotwell uses tags, and “Events” to organize photos and has an intuitive workflow for new users.

Fedora 13 has few new features over Fedora 12; considering that it has a 6-month release cycle this is not too unexpected, while 12 to 13 may seem like a big jump; consider this, when Windows Vista came out in November of 2006, Fedora was called Fedora Core, and it was on version 6, and two versions have come out since Windows 7. Even so, Fedora’s UI has not changed much since then. This might come as a blessing for some, and an annoyance for others.

Fedora is, and is meant to a  bleeding edge distro, yet manages to be very stable. While it may have a simple and easy install process and interface, it doesn’t offer too much to the Linux newbie. It feels less like an integrated distribution and more like a generic Linux installation, which it might well be; there are few customizations which are unique to Fedora, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For those who have worked on Linux for a while, Fedora is a nice way to come back to the basics, but those who are still new to the world of Linux might find themselves fighting with basic operations such as adding repositories – which come easily to other distributions. On the other hand its performs remarkably well.  If you do opt for Fedora be prepared to spend some time on the CLI.





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Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
The Fedora 13 DVD installerYou can choose to scan your media for errors
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Fedora 13 uses a nice three-layered progressbar while bootingWelcome to the Fedora 13 setup!
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Selecting a language to use for setupNow for the keyboard language selection
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Fedora 13 suppors soem complicated storage configurationsSince we used a VM, the hard drive was raw without any structure at all. The  Fedora 13 setup can work with that
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Assigning a domain name. The default is fine.The timezone selection is graphical, and easy to use. Just select Kolkata for IST
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Setting a root password. This is necessary even if for a home systemExcuse our bad habits!  Fedora 13 warns us for using a weak password
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
A wide number of options for sharing the space available on the hard disk are availableYou can take a peek at how  Fedora 13's setup has configured your hard disk, and change it if you want.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Now the Fedora 13 setup goes about writing our changes to disk. Creating the LVM firstNow creating volumes in the LVM.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
The boot loader configuration is simple but powerful enough for most purposes.The software selection options are well categorized. You get simple package selections.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
You can of course configure your software selections in more detailThe software packages are well laid out and categorized.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Selecting individual applications in categories is also possible.Now the installation starts. No warnings.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
The installation process shows all steps with information about the currently installing package.The installation is done.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
 After the reboot, you can configure your installation.Let's just get this out of the way.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
You can create your user account now, this is in addition to the root account.Bad habits never cease!
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You can choose to have your date and time automatically synched with time servers.Or you can set it manually.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
You can send your hardware profile to Fedora devs so they know which platforms are popular.Our first login!
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
The Fedora desktop. Beautiful. 
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Updates are already available, and simple to install.Fedora 13 uses the standard Gnome menus. Here are the many configuration tools.
Fedora 13 screenshotFedora 13 screenshot
Some system administration toolsThe Fedora package manager is quite simple to use, but does not come with the DVD configured as a software source

Latest Forum discussions on Fedora 13

  • Fedora 13

    Fedora is one of the most well known and used distributions, and has maintained that mantle for long. It comes from the line of an even better known distribution Red Hat Linux (new Red Hat Enterprise Linux). While Red Hat is now a distribution targeted towards enterprises, and comes with official support at a price. Fedora is a...

    1. Fedora 13 problem

      I was trying to install Fedora 13 provided in July DVD on a virtual machine. But when I tried to open the INSTALL TO HARD DRIVE It didnt open..... please help.

      1. Krishnandu.sarkar13/07/2010
        What it shows?? I mean when you enter the option blank screen comes and stays or it just stays in the menu or something other??
      2. Vineetrok13/07/2010
        it shows wait cursor for a while and displays a tab in taskbar saying"starting install to hard drive...." or sumthing and then things come back to normal.....
      3. Krishnandu.sarkar13/07/2010
        What do you mean by things come back to normal?? If things comes back to normal what is the problem?? BTW you stated that you are trying to install in Virtual PC. So what's the configuration of your PC and how much RAM you allocated to Virtual PC. Asking this coz if you have Dual Core PC then Virtual PC will use only 1 core and most OS'es now...
      Show More
    2. Plugins for movie player in fedora 13

      [SIZE=2]I have Fedora 13 installed on my laptop. Whenever I try to play any movie file, through Movie Player, it gives me the following error. Movie Player requirs additional plugins to decode this file The following plugins are required: * MPEG-1 Layer 3(MP3) decoder * XVID MPEG-4 decode Do you want to search for these now? Once I click...

      1. Trilip_gohain25/07/2010
        [B][COLOR=Navy][SIZE=2][SIZE=3]1) I enabled access to the free and nonfree repository by downloading the rpm from the below ...
      2. Abhijangda25/07/2010
        u can even do yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly this will install codecs to totem movie player(or fedora 13).
      3. Hellknight25/07/2010
        Follow the instructions on [url=http://www.fedoraguide.info]Fedora13 - Fedora Guide[/url] . There you'll get all the information regarding Fedora 13..
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    3. Fedora 13 linux "goddard"

      The Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project today officially released the [B]Fedora 13 Linux distribution, codenamed "Goddard,"[/B] with improvements aimed at both new and experienced Linux users. The new Fedora 13 release comes six months after Fedora 12's debut and continues to enhance the Linux operating system experience for its users. Fedora ...

      1. Liverpool_fan26/05/2010
        Will try it for sure. Hope it finally detects my resolution correctly. :/
      2. Celldweller159126/05/2010
        :D its in my download schedule !
      3. Abhijangda26/05/2010
        Fedora 12 is good!! hope Fedora 13 will be better than Fedora 12 :)
      Show More
    4. How to install fedora 13 from digit dvd

      I have a DVD from digit in which fedora live .iso file is there.. i opened that file using Daemon Tools.. bt again there are several .iso file.. have somebody tried installing fedora from that cd?? Can anyone assist me regarding its installation?

      1. Abhijangda04/06/2011
        just copy that .iso file into your computer, install a software like Nero, Ashampoo Burning Studio etc. so that you can write that .iso file to a CD/DVD. Boot from that CD/DVD and then install from it. Also, why not download and install Fedora 15 (LoveLock). Fedora 13 is old.
      2. Pulkitpopli200404/06/2011
        ^^ it was of around 3.5GB.. so before download i thot lets first have a taste of fedora.. otherwise i wud prefer ubuntu.. and the .ISO file present in DVD itself contain some .iso files.. if i wud burn a cd then that will also contain iso files which will again create a problem i think..
      3. Krishnandu.sarkar04/06/2011
        Ya, that 3.5GB one is the DVD. You can also download F15 Live CD. I recommend to use torrent : [url]http://torrent.fedoraproject.org/torrents/Fedora-15-i686-Live-Desktop.torrent[/url] Otherwise you can download also using HTTP :...
      Show More