Welcome back distro hoppers! The first two community challenges — elementary OS and openSUSE Tumblewood — were polar opposites for me. One conveyed an admittedly false first impression of being restrictive and simplistic, but gradually morphed into a reliable, warm embrace that facilitated productivity. The other had me drowning in choice and customization, but ultimately proved slightly too complicated for this fledgling Linux user. Both were incredible learning experiences, and it’s been fantastic having you along for the ride. By popular demand, we’re moving into March by exploring another community-powered distro with a corporate shadow (in Red Hat), and one that people have passionately encouraged me to try: Fedora Workstation.
Fedora Challenge Content Hub (Always Updated):
I prefer wading into new Linux desktop waters completely blind and without a life jacket. That’s because I love that sensation of discovery, the “newness” that often comes with using a distro for the first time. I don’t research it; I simply dive in. This means I can’t give you an authoritative opinion on why to use Fedora. But people who use Fedora can. Here’s what my community has to say:
I have two main reasons:
1. It is the perfect balance of a solid base with up-to-date user packages
2. It is on the leading edge of brand new technologies for Linux
— Ben Bromley (@benuski) March 4, 2019
It’s the distribution that pushes the boundaries of what is possible on Linux by being the collaboration space for upstream developers to build, test, and refine ambitious ideas.
— Christian Hergert (@hergertme) March 4, 2019
I’d like to give you a big long list, but honestly it just works day in day out
— Glenn (@bad_idea_dude) March 4, 2019
To me, @fedora walks that tension of providing an up-to-date release with all the latest technologies that Linux can offer, while still providing a stable, well-maintained and widely compatible (hardware & software) base that doesn’t shift below your feet.
— InfinitelyGalactic (@ingalactic) March 4, 2019
The basic premise of the Fedora challenge is simple: ditch Windows, macOS or your current Linux OS of choice and use Fedora for about a month. It’s just enough time to start learning its nuances, its unique package manager, and get into a groove where it starts to feel familiar instead of foreign.
The purpose is exposing yourself to something new, and perhaps gaining an appreciation for an OS you may not have chosen otherwise. Along the way people may find their “forever distro” or be inspired to make the switch to Linux full time.
With elementary OS we challenged each other to refrain from customizing or tweaking; to not install any external repositories. Even to avoid the command line if possible. With openSUSE Tumbleweed we threw out the rule book, chose any of the available desktop environments and went way off the leash.
We’re going back to basics with Fedora but leaving plenty of wiggle room. As a group we’ll be using Fedora Workstation which includes the Gnome Desktop Environment (and apparently a very pure iteration of it). Beyond that, feel free to install extensions, customize your workspace and your desktop, dig into the CLI, find out what FlatPak is all about and make yourself at home.
The Road To Fedora 30
With Fedora releasing in April, this time around we’re doing a 2-month challenge. In April we’ll transition from Fedora 29 to Fedora 30 in order to evaluate whatever freshness waits for us in the newest version. Something I’m particularly excited about is the addition of the Pantheon desktop environment (that’s the one designed for elementary OS).
Since we’ll be on this road together, I’ll strive to post regular content that captures my ongoing impressions during the Fedora Challenge. I’ll be publishing here, on my own site and discussing it on the Choose Linux podcast.
Each new article will include a mini-hub where you can find each post in the series, so keep checking back!
Doing this together means a two-way conversation to discuss the successes, discoveries, questions and potential stumbling blocks we encounter along the way.
To better facilitate that I created this Telegram group which has blossomed into 300 adventurous distro hoppers! There we can support each other, learn some new tricks, make some new friends, toss out questions or answers and just generally kick some ass.
As with the openSUSE Challenge, the Fedora Discord channel has agreed to create a bridge to our Telegram group. That means your messages will be visible to Fedora veterans who can assist with any problems and hopefully dispense their knowledge to us rookies!
Get Fedora Workstation
Fedora Workstation is available here for free. If you want to give it a trial run first without making any changes to your PC, download the Live Image ISO. You can also check out a detailed installation guide here.
Mandatory: Have Fun!
As always, I hope you enjoy the journey, join the community and share your own discoveries via Twitter and our Telegram group!
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