The number 13 is usually associated with bad luck. Friday the 13th (both the date and the movie). Many buildings don't have a thirteenth floor. Fedora just released it's number 13 and one might wonder if the number was good or bad for the release. I am happy to report that the number 13, for Fedora, is most certainly a lucky one. Fedora 13 is one of the finest Fedora releases to date.
My first exposure to Fedora was Fedora Core 1. That was a huge deal because it was the first time Red Hat Linux had split into enterprise and user grade operating systems. This was a remarkable move and one that has made Red Hat the undisputed king of enterprise level Linux. Why? With Fedora Red Hat has a community testing ground that helps to make sure their enterprise system is solid. All of the bugs that Fedora users report wind up getting fixed in Red Hat. And this is why, as Fedora matures, it is a robust, reliable, and secure as it is.
But are you ready for Fedora? In this article I am going to highlight some of the features that might sway you over to the one of the elder statesmen of the Linux guard.
Instead of going through the litany of updated packages and features. What I thought I would do, this time around, is discuss some of those features that makes Fedora 13 a good match for the end user. Any Linux user who is accustomed to the operating system could hop onto Fedora 13 and be happily plugging away. But what about the new user? What about that user migrating over from another operating system? What features would be a welcome change from the standard Linux distribution? Let's take a look.
One of the issues that has plauged Linux for a long time was printer setup. Let's take my particular printer for example. I have a Samsung ML1710 that usually required the manual installation of the Splix drivers. This printer is on a network so it always made it more challenging. Fedora 13 bypasses that challenge and now has one of the easiest printer setups you will ever see. Not only is printer detection automatic (even over a network), driver installation is automatic as well. With a few simple clicks my network printer was installed and printing. I did have to enter the root user password to make all of this happen, but any user can type a password...nothing special about that.
Remember those days of opening up applications like Rhythmbox only to find it didn't play your MP3 files - and then having to figure out how to get it to do so? If you are like me you do not recall them fondly. Things have changed quite a bit. Now PackageKit has been integrated practically (if not literally) everywhere so when an application has a need to install something it will be automatically detected and installed. So when you try to play an unrecognized format in your media player, PackageKit will come to the rescue.
New backup tool
There is a new backup tool included in Fedora 13 called Deja Dup (I have no idea where that name came from). This tool is ridiculously easy to use. Once set up the tool has two buttons: Restore and Backup. That's it. Users can now backup their desktops (as they should be) like seasoned pros.
Now, out of the box, Fedora supports your iPhone and iPod Touch. No additional software necessary. Just plug that hardware in and it will instantly be recognized and you can manage your music and your photos (sorry, no app support).
Over all impression
I could continue on forever and a day about how Fedora 13 brings a world of improvement to the Fedora/Linux experience. But the best thing I can say is that Ubuntu better watch out or Fedora might well usurp it as the king of Linux for new users. And since Fedora is already one of the most popular distributions with experienced users...you get the picture.
If you have never tried Fedora do so now. If you jumped ship on Fedora some where around Fedora 9, I'd say it's about time you jumped back on the ship and enjoyed an incredible experience.
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