Well it’s often been said that “it never rains but it pours” and that seems very true about distro releases in the last two weeks. Fedora 13 has just been released. Fedora 13 follows hot on the heels of Ubuntu Linux 10.04. So how does it match up? Is it worth using? Read on to find out.
What’s New In This Release
Desktop users have some interesting new features to enjoy. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:
Automatic print driver install
Automatic language packs install
Package kit integration
Free and open source nouveau driver for NVidia video cards
Shotwell replaces Gthumb and F-Spot for photos
Pino social media client included
Deja Dup backup tool
GNOME color manager
Rhythmbox support for iPod Touch and iPhone music
Abiword removed from default live image
I’ll cover the removal of Abiword in the problems section; suffice to say I wasn’t pleased with the near complete lack of bundled office software in this release.
Automatic Printer Driver Installation
If you plug in a supported USB printer, Fedora will automatically install the appropriate driver for it. This feature should make life easier for Fedora desktop users. I hate messing around with printer drivers, so anything that makes it easier and faster is welcome indeed.
Pino Social Media Client
I’m happy to see that Pino is now included in the Fedora 13 desktop, but it’s too limited. Gwibber connects to more social media services than Pino. Pino appears to be limited to Twitter and Identi.ca. I’m not sure why the Fedora developers went with Pino instead of Gwibber. Let me know in the comments if you know anything about why they made that decision. I’m not knocking Pino; it’s okay for what it is. But why not go with something that connects to more services?
Package Kit Integration
I’m not a big user of Brasero but if you are, you’ll be pleased to find out that Brasero can now automatically install codecs needed to burn audio CDs. File-roller can also now automatically install the necessary items to handle archive formats.
GNOME Color Manager
If you need accuracy in color then you’re going to love the fact that Fedora 13 includes the GNOME Color Manager. You can install, manage and generate color profiles for your Fedora 13 system. I have no particular use for this but it will be quite useful for artists and others who require it.
As if it’s not bad enough that GIMP is being displaced by F-Spot in a lot of distros, now F-Spot itself is being displaced by Shotwell in Fedora 13. Shocking! Just kidding.
Frankly, this doesn’t matter to me a bit since I don’t have much use for either of them. GIMP is available via the Add/Remove Software tool so that’s the first thing I’d download for image editing, rather than bothering with Shotwell or F-Spot.
Shotwell works well enough though for a basic photo manager. You can import photos, organize events, use tags, publish photos to Facebook/Picasa/Flickr, reduce red-eye, and rotate/mirror/crop photos. It will probably meet the photo management needs of most desktop users.
Free Nouveau Driver for NVidia
This release builds on Fedora 12’s experimental support for ATI cards. This time around Fedora is supporting 3D via the free, open source nouveau driver for Nvidia cards.
Hardware Requirements & Installation