Fedora... A mixed review

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.


If one likes Gnome, then one would like Fedora. I have ran Fedora, in the past, but not for long, since I really do not like Gnome.
As for fast, almost any distro install on an SSD is fast. Have fun with Fedora.

Yes you need to try distros for a long time… probably years.
Issues arise over time. Look at my recent graphics card issue. It has changed the way I think about the distros I use. It is not all about the DE, although that is important.

So do a multiboot and keep it for a while.


I’ve “recently” (6-9 months ago) been in the Fedora “camp” for maybe 2-4 weeks? I can’t remember exactly.

I installed it on BOTH my main Linux “rigs” an AMD desktop, and an AMD laptop (Thinkpad). In both cases, Ryzen CPU, DDR4 RAM, NVMe SSD. No performance issues whatsoever.

Some things irked me - like having to add a whole punch of extra repos just to do ANYTHING it seemed (e.g. RPMFusion, EPEL*, and having to figure out whether to use package X from Fedora, or RPMFusion - it’s confusing anyway - and I’m no novice). But I persevered. Can’t remember what the final straw was now… Fedora 35, then updated to 36…

But I’m “back” on Ubuntu 22.04 on the desktop, and 22.10 on the Thinkpad (and tossing up whether or not to install SteamOS [the Arch based one, not the old Debian one]).

I MUCH prefer Gnome to any other DE out there (except for MacOS :slight_smile: ) - and yeah, having to install tweaks and a whole bunch of other things just to get a functional dock? Still way easier in Ubuntu than Fedora! Some things in Gnome 4.x DRIVE ME CRAZY - like there’s no thumbnail/icon preview in file save or open! WTF? What were they thinking??? Apparently, finally, they’re doing something along those lines (thumbnail / icon preview in file dialog box) in Gnome 44 or whatever version, which means I’ll probably have to abandon LTS Ubuntu - hoping it’s in Ubuntu 23.04 at least…

Anyway - I’m comfy in most of the mainstream Linux distros, big fan and user of the terminal, but most of my bread and butter stuff (work) is on RPM / DNF based distros, mostly RHEL (even EOL stuff like REL4, 5 and 6), but also some Oracle Linux, and some CentOS… So I’m just as comfy editing /etc/apt/sources.list or .repo files in /etc/yum.repos.conf/ …

* Note - I’m comfy doing EPEL, as I often have to use that to get stuff install on RHEL, e.g. things like that hideous Hobbit/Xymon monitoring suite (why can’t people just use f’n Nagios?).

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Have you seen the amount of outout Gnome puts in
/var/log/messages ?

What is all that about? There is so much it makes it impossible to find a real issue inamongst all the rubbish talk.

That is entirely separate from what Gnome is like to work in. I like it too, but I use the menu option, not the icons.

Reading this thread caused me to reflect a bit on what I’m using. I find myself slipping back to either Mint Cinnamon or an implementation of KDE (Kubuntu or KDE Neon) most recently. I might try installing KDE in Mint, just to see what happens.

Exploring other distros is fun, especially with Gnome Boxes, but coming back to daily tasks is just like coming home from work (which I vaguely remember): I just want an old, comfortable pair of shoes to slip into, like Mint. I don’t have to worry what’s happening under the hood.

I’ve used many things over the past 20 years, but not all of it professionally.

Red Hat

I’m most comfortable on my laptop with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Gnome. Lately I’ve been using Pop!_OS, but not sure I will stick there. It’s nice using the latest kernel, but it doesn’t really gain me anything. Ubuntu seems to recognize all my hardware just fine.

For work I have to support Red Hat 5, 6, CentOS 6, 7, and Ubuntu 22.04 (because I slipped it in there when no one objected quickly).

I agree with @daniel.m.tripp . No problem working with EPEL. Ubuntu has more available in the default repos it seems.

Most of our production workloads are now containerized and running on EKS. The base image is usually Alpine, but some CentOS for a few problem children. It’s a Java shop. I prefer Python, but I haven’t been a developer for 25 years and that was COBOL.

Exactly… you need a playpen and a fallback

Ubuntu is a half way house between stable Debian and more uptodate things
The graphics card problem I have with Debian would not have occured with Ubuntu.
I agree on Gnome. It is a fine workplace. Have you seen all the entries it writes in /var/log/messages?. Is it really having all that trouble, or is it just too verbal?

And…drumroll…Mint works well as a distro overlayed by KDE Plasma! Works slick and quick.

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@nevj I see 100 gnome-shell log lines today in /var/log/syslog. Today being the last 5 minutes.

No messages on Pop!_OS. I go back and forth between CentOS/Ubuntu/Pop!_OS/etc and forget which one uses which.

Never really looked - Ubuntu uses /var/log/syslog (and yeah - on looking, it’s chock full of messages about gnome-shell).

Before I look in /var/log for stuff I usually run dmesg first… What really annoys me is that these days for whatever reason, you need to be super user to run dmesg (can’t remember if that was something I first noticed in Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04 - but probably not the case in 18.04 where plebs can run dmesg).

Anyway - I never see gnome stuff in “sudo dmesg -T” (it’s there but not excessively like in syslog).

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I never bonded with Mint, but I will not dispute that when I was using it, it worked pretty well without a lot of finicky issues. I can’t remember the last version I worked with, but I THINK it was roughly 17. I may have gotten a little past it, but it was 16-19 for sure. I see a lot has happened since then, and it may be time to give it another try. My only reason for the lack of bonding was the DE. It felt very Windows XP retro to me. And that’s not a good thing (because at that time I fled XP and moved to Mac OS). I have Mint 21 Cinnamon on a thumb drive. I may try it on my Asus with a Gen 4 i3. Seems like a logical thing to do, actually, as I am currently running Manjaro Budgie on it (if I recall correctly) and stability is pretty shaky. I haven’t booted it in weeks.


I have Void with KDE. That is quick too.

Did you remove the default dte?

Yeah, thats what I mean. When you have a real problem , you cant find it among all the junk logs.

First, I didn’t know that was possible. Second, do you think it matters or how might it affect operation? I haven’t noticed any glitches.

Not sure. I had a problem once in Debian when I installed KDE on top of Xfce. Some apps stopped working
But other people say they have done it with no issues.

So if you have no problem, leave it alone.

Yes you can remove or purge any dte. Just use apt-get purge on the package name. If you remove all dte’s, you drop back to a non-graphic screen, like recovery mode.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Personally, I prefer Ubuntu’s implementation of GNOME. I am partial to the launcher at the left side.


I used Mac OS X for too many years. The bottom works for me. But I totally get it. Left is my second choice.

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I have installed Mint 21 on my Gen 4 i3… I don’t love the interface, but I gotta say, the old dog runs. Like a champ. I will post a more solid review later, but it’s pretty developed OOB (out of the box). I made one major tweak by installing Cairo dock (don’t waste your time with Latte) and moving the panel to the top. More on all that later. All in all, the NEW Mint feels like the old one, but more grown up and less XP-ish. Very impressed thus far. Will post a more complete review after I’ve given it a real workout.