I downloaded and tested Fedora in live (USB stick) mode. I’ll give a brief review, but first, I want to go through a little background.
I worked with a tech savvy guy in roughly 2000. He was a hobbyist when it came to computers, and his job was as a sports editor, handling such things as writing and editing news, taking photos (great photographer!) and laying out sports pages at a small daily newspaper. He was the first person I heard mention “Linux” and “Red Hat.” He would engage me in discussions about wanting to get a custom built computer and install a flavor of Linux, specifically Red Hat. I had a young child at the time, worked insane hours and I was quite happy with the Apple computer on my work desk as I was gearing up to purchase an iMac with the Gen 1-2 design (the colorful shell framing a 14 inch CRT monitor with all the vitals built in). I didn’t see the need for Linux at the time and assumed he was into some hacker stuff that I didn’t care much about.
So now here I am. I love to distro hop. At this point in my journey, I have settled in on a few that are my fall back options and I’ve found a few I’d never care to use again.
With this information, I started looking into Red Hat and decided that based on everything I was reading that I was more of a Fedora type of person. Now I had some trepidation, knowing Red Hat’s reputation as a workhorse distro with a stripped down vibe (which is not my preference), but it appeared Fedora was offering more. Plus once I understood what the whole point of Linux was, I was less intimidated, but I still have a marginal fear of Red Hat (thank you former sports editor!). So off I went.
Fedora has a GNOME DE and it’s pleasing to look at and to work with. It came with a fair number of utilities and software titles that would be useful for me (Libre Office, for instance) and it felt somewhat familiar, as I have a good bit of time working inside of GNOME. Without getting under the hood on the DE TOO much, as this is about Fedora, not GNOME, management of the dock (or launcher… or whatever you want to call it) has always frustrated me in GNOME. Tools (well, Tweaks, to be more official and Dash-to-Dock or Cosmic Dock, etc.) have to be utilized. Sometimes they are quirky. One of my only major criticisms of GNOME… I simply wish it had a good dock with management tools integrated into the system and the system settings offered controls like placement, like size, like transparency, hide-and-show, and more.
I found dock management in Fedora even more frustrating than anything else I’ve used in a GNOME DE. Granted, I remained in live disk mode and was not able to customize as I would otherwise. The dock hides all the time until you click the top left corner of the screen and then it appears. I found the whole idea pretty silly… again I acknowledge the mode I was in probably exacerbated this handicap.
Otherwise, I found Fedora delightful. It did what I wanted it to do, and it (anecdotally at least) “felt” fast and capable. But after a few hours of moderate use, I came to the conclusion that FOR ME, it didn’t offer anything I don’t get from Pop! OS, or Ubuntu (in either the Budgie or GNOME DEs) or even Zorin. I make no bones about the fact that I like a system that has a functional DE, as I prefer to work that way rather than in the command line (though I can do that, too, when needed). I think Fedora is a good distro and I will probably do a full install soon and give it more than a two-hour alpha test. But it hasn’t yet changed my mind on what works best for me. YMMV. Just some rough thoughts about Fedora. BTW, I do hear it is coming along nicely in its current incarnation vs. previous ones. And I did find it familiar-ish to work with, so (pardon the pun) hats off to the Fedora team for embracing what users want to see.