With Fedora 36, ​​there could be a new gold standard for Linux distributions

Jack Wallen kicks the tires on Fedora 36 and comes out seriously impressed. Find out why he thinks the latest iteration of Fedora Desktop could be the new benchmark.

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Over the years, I’ve proclaimed that different Linux distributions are the de facto standard for new users. This title was placed on the shoulders of Ubuntu Linux, Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Zorin OS and Deepin. But with the Fedora 36 beta, I’m beginning to believe there’s a major change about to happen that could easily place the title of “best distro for new users” on Fedora’s head. an operating system that was once relegated to users with considerable Linux experience.

That’s right, the distro that was once labeled as “cutting edge” and “for power users only” has evolved into something quite special and quite fantastic. In fact, Fedora has become such a remarkably easy-to-use (and reliable) Linux distro that I’m ready to crown it as the new benchmark for Linux distros.

It really is so good.

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Now I realize that I have some explaining to do with this choice. After all, Fedora uses the GNOME desktop by default (Figure A), which many would say isn’t the best desktop environment for new users. However, I believe the opposite. But I understand and appreciate your doubt. GNOME is quite different from the standard desktop metaphor. There’s no taskbar at the bottom, no menu on the desktop… in fact, it’s all quite different from what people are used to.

But is it really?

Figure A

The default GNOME desktop as it appears on Fedora 36 beta.
The default GNOME desktop as it appears on Fedora 36 beta.

After all, the vast majority of users now work with multiple operating systems and easily switch from Windows to Android, Windows to iOS, macOS to iOS, and even macOS to Android. And these mobile interfaces have nothing to do with their desktop counterparts. Also, how different are macOS and Android from GNOME? It could be argued that Android and iOS share more in common with GNOME than with interfaces for Windows or macOS. For that reason alone, I’d say GNOME isn’t such a big change for the average user.

That said, let’s take a look at the Fedora 36 beta release and find out why I think this release is a milestone.

It’s all about simplicity

Know that what I am about to say comes from a place of sincerity and a lot of exploration. I believe that Linux (in general) has become the simplest operating system out there. Gone are the days of having to use the terminal. You will no longer find a lack of applications or hardware support. Rarely are you going to have to struggle to get anything to work on Linux.

With a few exceptions (like Gentoo and Arch), Linux has become a singularly simple operating system that anyone, regardless of experience, can use. And Fedora 36 personifies that.

Upon installation (which is also incredibly easy), users have almost everything they need to be productive. You will find the following pre-installed apps:

  • Firefox web browser–99.0.1
  • Office suite LibreOffice–7.3
  • Rhythmbox music player–3.4.4
  • Cheese–41.1 Photo Booth and Webcam Software

You will also find default GNOME applications, weather, maps, videos, photos, text editor, disk usage, calendar and connections (for remote desktop connections). And for those for whom the default app list isn’t enough, there’s always GNOME software to install just about any app you need. And for those with more Linux skills than the average user, Fedora 36 beta includes updates such as Linux Kernel 5.17, GCC 12, GNU C Library 2.35, LLVM 14, OpenSSL 3.0, Autoconf 2.71, Ruby 3.1, Rubygem Cucumber 7.1.0, Ruby on Rails 7.0, Golang 1.18, OpenJDK 17, libffi 3.4, OpenLDAP 2.6.1, Ansible 5, Django 4.0, PHP 8.1, PostgreSQL 14, Podman 4.0, MLT 7.4 and Stratis 3.0.0. So clearly Fedora 36 is aimed at almost all levels of users, from casual surfer to developers.

But what struck me about Fedora 36 is how simple it is. The Fedora and GNOME development teams have gone to great lengths to make their latest releases as easy to use as possible. They succeeded. GNOME 42 added just enough to its previous version (which was already fantastic, with its horizontal workflow and impressive performance) and the Fedora team added just enough to make this distro something something special. Even sharing files on a local network has become an incredibly simple task. Here’s how:

  1. Open settings
  2. Go to Sharing
  3. Click the On/Off slider in the upper right corner to On.
  4. Click File Sharing
  5. In the resulting popup window (Figure B), click the slider to the On position

Figure B

Enabling file sharing is incredibly simple in Fedora 36.
Enabling file sharing is incredibly simple in Fedora 36.

You can (and should) also enable a password for sharing.

To experience how far Fedora has come as a desktop operating system, you really need to experience it firsthand. Usability, stability, performance, and design elements all come together in a perfect storm of simplicity and usability that I’ve never seen before in a developer release of Fedora.

Am I ready to call Fedora Linux the best Linux distribution for new users? I think so. He has really improved at this level. And while it may not have the cachet of popularity of Ubuntu or Linux Mint, Fedora is now ready to challenge any desktop operating system.

Download a copy of the beta (or wait for the official release) and discover how simple and elegant an operating system should be.

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