The latest and greatest avatar of Fedora, codenamed Leonidas has been a pleasure to use. Both upgrading an existing installation and a reinstall worked pretty well. Installation time is also reduced a lot. But there are some bugs in Anaconda installer still.
What works out of the box
- Intel KMS, rock solid Xorg 1.6, Improved boot time, shutdown time, and general performance, Presto (DeltaRPM) mainstream repositories, NetworkManager 0.7.1,… the list of features are impressive.
- Kernel Mode Setting and UXA acceleration for Intel video driver works perfectly. And that makes compiz usable on my laptop – it doesn’t lockup the system as it did in Fedora 10. User switching also used to lockup the system in F10 update, but works perfectly in F11.
- Switching over the input method from SCIM to IBus is painless – not even noticeable by a common user. Install ibus, ibus-libs, ibus-gtk and ibus-m17n (for Indic input methods).
- System wide network connections can be edited, new connections can be added using NetworkManager.
- RPM package management tool, YUM and PackageKit are much faster.
What doesn’t work out of the box (or need manual tweaking and HOWTO)
- Synaptics touchpad driver is updated to 1.1.0 along with Xorg 1.6, which disables tapping (tap the touchpad to click) by default. I must state that I find it counter-intuitive to disable such a basic functionality by default. Most naive users just think that it is broken. Tapping can be enabled using the mouse properties or modifying the xorg.conf file or adding a .fdi file in /etc/had/fdi/policy/. The problem with the latter approaches : No xorg.conf file is needed by default, and I dislike adding xorg.conf file just-to-enable-tapping. Secondly, there’s no HAL fdi file present/used in Fedora 11 by default, .fdi files are XML format files, and there’s no easy documentation on how to created such a file for the purpose. I managed to do it with “System->Preferences->Hardware->Mouse“, but this setting is user specific – so, no tapping in GDM. Update: Copy the file /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/10-synaptics.fdi to /etc/hal/fdi/policy/ and edit it to have <merge key=”input.x11_options.TapButton1″ type=”string”>1</merge>. This will enable tap-to-click system wide.
- Those who have modified the PAM files and used PreUpgrade or chosen to Upgrade the existing installation may find that Gnome Screensaver doesn’t lock the screen even though it is told to do so. Move the .rpmnew files in the /etc/pam.d/ files to corresponding original files – Gnome Screensaver should behave well.
- Folders are opened in new windows by default in GNOME. By the time you open a file inside 5 levels of directories, desktop is full of windows, and you have to close them individually! This have been the default behaviour of Nautilus for a long time, and the first thing I do after every installation is to change that by choosing “Edit->Preferences->Behaviour(tab)” and check “Always open in browser windows” in Nautilus file manager. Every other distribution I have seen has chosen this as default mode.
- The “System->Preferences” menu in GNOME is a now single long list. To revert this to earlier grouped menu, install the package “preferences-menus“.
- Blueman is not yet included in Fedora repositories. Juan is working hard to get this done. Meanwhile he has kindly sent me the RPM for Fedora 11 and it is working great.
- GNote, the replacement for Tomboy note-taking application doesn’t autostart very well. Yet to find a resolution. [Update : Work around is to add GNote to GNOME panel. Thanks, Rahul!]
Despite some minor issues, Fedora 11, Leonidas, just rocks. Definitely the most stable, feature rich and innovative release by far.