Linux distribution review: Fedora 16

Fedora 16 came out a few days ago and as is my want, I decided to backup all my working files and do a fresh install. I am still not convinced that upgrading from one release to the next works properly-I have always had problems with upgrades and anyway, it’s good to have a nice fresh install.

Installation

I used the F16 xfce spin as I like the xfce4 desktop environment. The install is very straight forward and probably one of the easiest out there- answer a few questions and off it goes-takes about 30 minutes.

First impressions

Nice new ‘jules verne’ wallpaper and everything worked at it should. All my hardware was detected without problems (dell precision 380) and after a few updates and a restart I had most of my major apps up and running inside an hour. Some people say they have issues with new Fedora releases, all I can say is that the Xfce spin never lets me down. Ram use is ok at about 300mb after logging in, the system is responsive and stable.

Fedora 16 in use

I have been using F16 for about two weeks now and have had no real problems apart from a serious bug in the liblrdf libs that are needed for Ardour DAW (it crashed at start up so was unusable). That was sorted out in a few days by the great bunch at the redhat bugzilla site.

I have found F16 easy to use, my printer (canon ip1800) installed without a hitch and sound (intel) works perfectly, as it must for digital audio recording work with Ardour, Zynaddsubfx etc. Libreoffice loads very quickly and none of the software I use has caused any problems at all (apart from ardour).

Conclusions

Fedora 16 xfce is a solid home/office distro and feels more stable and responsive than F15- it also boots fast, the login screen appears in no time at all. At the moment I can’t fault it-if all you need is a good desktop system  with access to all the software you might want-then you can’t go far wrong with F16. If you don’t use any fancy software in the windows world, then why bother messing around with windows 7/8- F16 will do everything you need.

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