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fedora beefy miracleFedora 17 was released a little over a week ago, and as the Fedora project leader put it, there are an unusually large amount of new features in this release. There’s a great mix of new stuff for everyone, from developers to everyday web-browsing users. You can get this hot new release, code named “Beefy Miracle”, by going to the download page.

Please note that if you go to the homepage, you’ll see that Fedora is now recommending the 64-bit version over the 32-bit version for all users.  But 32-bit is still available for those who want or need it.

What’s So Beefy?

What makes this release such a “Beefy Miracle”? Well it’s quite “beefy” in that it packs a lot of new features, updated software, and general improvements across the board. I have to admit there are a lot of changes that are behind-the-scenes and aren’t visually apparent to most regular users, but a good amount of people who use Fedora aren’t regular users. In any case, it’s a win-win situation for anyone who is remotely interested in Fedora.

Under-the-Hood Changes

A large portion of the changes in Fedora 17 are backbone changes or updates as well as improved developer tools. Fedora 17 ships with the Linux kernel version of 3.3.4, but this will regularly get updated to the latest and greatest throughout the release’s lifespan. Users of the OpenStack software (which is a major tool that can be used to create public and private clouds) will rejoice that it has been updated to the latest version codenamed “Essex”.

Fedora 17 also introduces support for JBoss Application Server 7, a tool used as a Java application service. The Fedora Project has also taken the first steps toward a “unified file system” where multiple similar folders (such as /usr/bin and /usr/sbin) are merged into one folder, which simply aims to make the file system more sane.

Desktop Changes

fedora beefy miracle

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Fedora 17 has upgraded to Gnome 3.4 Enjoy Some Desktop Improvements With Gnome 3.4 [Linux] Enjoy Some Desktop Improvements With Gnome 3.4 [Linux] As it is now April, what I like to call the "Linux spring release season" has finally begun! This is the time frame, usually during April and May, where most of the popular distributions have... Read More , which offers many bug fixes, an improved application search experience, smooth scrolling, and application menus (which are accessible by clicking on the application name in the top left of the shell). The updated Gnome desktop environment also offers a refreshed Epiphany browser Try Out GNOME's Upcoming Browser Right Now [Linux] Try Out GNOME's Upcoming Browser Right Now [Linux] If you've ever been a little more curious, you may have noticed that the GNOME desktop environment has its own browser. No, it's not Firefox, which is the replacement of the said browser by the... Read More , now simply called “Web”. This is great for anyone who simply wants a browser that works without using extensions and the like. It doesn’t come preinstalled in Fedora, but it’s a few clicks away by installing the epiphany package. KDE has also been upgraded to the latest 4.8 version.

fedora beefy miracle

GIMP has also been updated to the new version 2.8 GIMP 2.8 Released, Adds Single-Window View [Updates] GIMP 2.8 Released, Adds Single-Window View [Updates] Read More , where the most prominent feature is the new single-window mode.

2+ Desktops, 1 Computer?

Last but not least, Fedora 17 adds support for automatic multiseat. Although this feature wasn’t quite as publicized, I found this to be one of the most interesting things about this release (even though I probably won’t be able to use it myself).

Automatic multiseat is a term that simply describes this – currently with any Linux distribution you can have as many users as you’d like logged into a console (locally and remotely). Each user can do whatever they please at the exact same time as everyone else who’s logged in. Now apply that scenario to full graphical desktop environments. Automatic multiseat allows multiple graphical sessions to exist on the same system so long as the additional hardware is plugged in (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.).

This now means that multiple people can log into their desktops without any issues while only working on one physical system. As today’s system specs are more than capable of handling this, you can save time, electricity, heat, space, and money by having multiple people work with one system.

If you’re still somewhat confused, check out this video for a more hands-on explanation or this link on how to set it up.

Conclusion

In the end, is it worth it to upgrade to the Beefy Miracle? Absolutely! Is it worth it to try it out if you’re not a Fedora user? As long as you’re not an absolute beginner, yes! This release packs plenty of nice improvements, and it runs quite stable and fast. So fast in fact, someone’s been able to reduce Fedora 17’s boot time to just 2.5 seconds!

What’s your opinion of Fedora? What do you like or dislike about it (whether from a technical point or an ideological point)? Do you like the direction Fedora as a distribution is going? Let us know in the comments!

  1. V. Narayanan
    August 3, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Hi
    A lovely review.

    For everybody's information, I am a Fedora Fanatic since the release of Fedora 15. I enjoy using Gnome Environment. I have recommended fedora to all those whom I think are real users of PCs & Laptops.

    Certain improvements is needed in Fedora:
    a) Revisor - it is not working well as it worked in Fedora 15 or 16
    b) Too many kernel upgrades spoiling applications. However by using yum remove and then yum install, you can have the apps working for you after kernel upgrade
    c) Fedora 17 becomes slow after installing many applications, this was not there when I used Fedora 15 or 16.

    The plus points untouched by this review are:
    a) Security wise Fedora 17 is miraculous.
    b) Etoken work well in Fedora 17 than in any other Linux Distributions (I tested some 30)
    c) Security Lab Features are far superior and better to Back Track Linux Version 5 R1. However R2 scores better than Fedora
    d) Gaming & Networking has made easy and simpler in Fedora 17.
    e) Increased hardware connectivity & compatibility - superb printer support

    Fedora 17 is the Linux for all who wants better computing experience
    Yours
    VN

    • Danny Stieben
      August 14, 2012 at 7:00 am

      Thanks for your feedback! :)

  2. Aryan
    July 27, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Can someone tell me the difference between Fedora 17 and BackTrack 5....? I heard some people say BT5 is much better. But in what sense when compared to F17?

    • Danny Stieben
      July 30, 2012 at 1:35 am

      F17 and BT5 are completely separate projects with separate goals. BT5 is security-oriented and comes with a lot of security tools, while F17 is an all-around distribution (think Ubuntu or Debian). There is a spin of Fedora, however, which specialized in security tools.

  3. Stani
    July 22, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Fedora's update names are voted on, Beefy Miracle is the funnest one in a while. Would like to see Compiz-Fusion written for 17. Seems really solid, I usually only do even-numbered updates, but I like 17 so far.

  4. Carl Farrington
    June 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

    OK so I tried Fedora 17 (the Live CD anyway), and Gnome 3 is still a no go for me :-(
    I can't even edit the ethernet connection settings unless there is a live network connection. I go to the network menu on the top toolbar, and the "options" are greyed out, because there is no physical link. I can't use the middle button of my Thinkpad's trackpoint as a vertical scroll enabler. Within 5 minutes of booting I can see this massive limitation, so what's the point in trying to ignore that and go further? It would be stupid to not expect more limitations. It doesn't seem to have progressed much since when I last tried it - the first Fedora release to have Gnome 3.. whatever version it was called, I can't remember.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 25, 2012 at 5:19 am

      Maybe you would have a little better luck trying a different desktop environment, like Xfce or LXDE (if KDE isn't your cup of tea). All of them are available on both Ubuntu and Fedora, so it's a question of which base system you prefer more.

  5. Carl Farrington
    June 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I'm getting so sick of Ubuntu now (after ~5 years of using it), that I think I might give Fedora & Gnome 3 another shot.

    I am sick of losing windows/applications. Window management in Ubuntu is simply rubbish now.
    I have been using Precise since alpha.
    Application windows, and sometimes child windows, will just disappear - they are here somewhere, but I can't find them. It's like they're minimised and both the alt-tab switcher and everything else I try can't find them. I check the other workspaces. Sometimes they reappear.
    About 1 in 8 times, the laptop (Thinkpad X301) simply gives a mouse cursor on a black screen after waking from suspend. This has been going on for at least six to eight months. There's a bug filed, to which I have added myself, but it seems not to be of interest to anybody.

  6. Yogesh Verma
    June 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    after updating fedora
    and installing sound driver
    its showing bugs

    • Danny Stieben
      June 23, 2012 at 4:19 am

      What kind of bugs? You can always follow the instructions ABRT provides to file the bug and see if the devs can submit a fix.

  7. Shehan Nirmal
    June 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I love Fedora and it's Gnome 3 desktop... but unfortunately, my VGA does not support Gnome 3... hope to upgrade the VGA and try Gnome 3...

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Even now? As Gnome Shell runs in VirtualBox without requiring 3D drivers to be installed, maybe you'll have more luck this time!

  8. Hélder Pereira
    June 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Just installed the 32-bit version yesterday on my laptop. This Fedora release is quite beefy indeed. Boot time is quite fast, compared with the Windows 7 and Mint 10 I had in this laptop. The new improvements of Gnome 3.4 make it a more smooth experience, I'm liking the new Documents application.
    While I wouldn't recommend Fedora to a complete stranger to Linux, anyone with a few months of experience with Ubuntu/Mint - which are indeed the entry level of Linux - should be comfortable with it. The most boring stuff is adding the codecs Fedora refuses to distribute, but Fedora Utils is all you need for that.
    So, what do you get with Fedora? For those not keen on rolling distros, the most bleeding edge binary based distribution that still manages to be quite stable.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Pretty much! :)

      You said you install your codecs with something called Fedora Utils? Could you say more about that? I usually install mine manually via the RPMFusion repos.

      • Hélder Pereira
        June 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm

        Check it on http://fedorautils.sourceforge.net/
        It a simple script that set up repos like RPM fusion and fetches what you want. Not just codecs, also some tweaks and additional software like the Skype repo, adding colours to terminal, installing MS fonts, setting SELinux to non-paranoid mode, Oracle Java, etc.
        First times I used Fedora I configured manualy RPMfusion and ATrpms, but this is really a time (and PITA) saver.

  9. Greg
    June 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I like Fedora 17, especially for the default wall paper, the fireworks.
    I don't use ALL the programs on it, but it's easy enough to use for a Linux lover, but not a pro at

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Fedora has a pretty good balance of ease of use and power. It's definitely more aimed towards power users, but average users should be OK with using Fedora.

  10. ArtemZ
    June 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I hate so much how Gnome 3 looks like, it feels like a giant step back. Why Fedora doesn't comes with Unity?

    • simeon
      June 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Gnome 3 has come a long way since it first released. In my experience, it's the best user interface on Desktop operating systems. Better than Windows and Mac OSX. I've used the top 3 major OSes and I find that any Linux with Gnome 3 is superb. Fedora rocks! I'm using Xubuntu with Gnome 3

      • Danny Stieben
        June 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm

        It's definitely a more interesting way to use a desktop computer, in my opinion. Less boring than a Start menu. :)

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Unity has a lot of dependencies that Fedora isn't quite hurrying to support. Plus since it's Canonical's brainchild, Fedora isn't going to use it as its default, ever. I believe even Red Hat says Gnome needs to be the default as it's Red Hat's main desktop environment.

      • Lazza
        July 1, 2012 at 11:55 am

        "since it’s Canonical’s brainchild, Fedora isn’t going to use it as its default"
        If that was the reason, it would be a lot child-ish. Network Manager was made by Red Hat and Ubuntu adopted it because it was good, not adopting a piece of software because it's made by another company is nonsense in the FLOSS world.
        By this I don't mean Fedora should use Unity by default, but the reason you gave sounds very strange to me. Every DE is good in some aspect, one has just to choose the one he prefers. :)

        • Danny Stieben
          July 3, 2012 at 7:33 am

          I understand what you're saying, and I do think Fedora should at least include it as an option. But for whatever reason there's a problem (packaging I believe, but don't quote me on that) which is preventing that from happening.

          On the "what's the default" front, it'll always be Gnome because Red Hat puts a lot of development effort into it. They usually give the Fedora community specific instructions on how to display Gnome. Just like how the icon set is largely unmodified, Red Hat even said for the Fedora 15 release that they have to stay (or primarily use) the default Gnome 3 striped wallpaper.

  11. Chris Hoffman
    June 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I love Fedora, but "Beefy Miracle" is perhaps the craziest release name I've ever seen on any Linux distro. I don't think that helps them be taken seriously -- at least Ubuntu's animal-themed release names are more tongue-in-cheek.

    I get that "Beefy Miracle" is based on some inside joke, but naming a major release distribution after an inside joke -- well, seems like a bad idea to me.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      I had the same idea at first, but I've lived with it. They don't seem to care as much. It'd be a different story if that were the release name for Red Hat and not Fedora. ;)

      Oh, and it seems Fedora 18 will be called Spherical Cow. Another strange name?

      • Chris Hoffman
        June 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        That almost sounds like they're spoofing Ubuntu's animal-themed release names!

        I guess there's a logical progression from beefy miracle to spherical cow -- what's next, Cubic Calf?

        • Danny Stieben
          June 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

          Nope, no spoofing going on.

          Read this to understand the progression of the release names and how they're determined: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/History_of_Fedora_release_names

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 19, 2012 at 12:01 am

          Heh, that was a joke, given that it sounds so silly.

  12. Kyem Ghosh
    June 10, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Fedora had some issues with the sound driver. Hope its gone. Downloading it!

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Hopefully! Fedora's never had any issues that were Fedora-specific, plus there's always some hope when a new kernel is included. Best of luck!

  13. Jon Smith
    June 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    What makes fedora more attractive compared to Mint/Ubuntu or Arch?

    • Nick Bruce
      June 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Mint/Ubuntu are very much intended for new users to Linux. While a power user can certainly go in and tweak to his heart's content, it gives a new user a nice and easy start with open source and Linux.

      Arch gives the user the power of the universe to tweak and twist and turn the distribution into anything the user wants. Not to mention, its rolling release so you are almost always up-to-date.

      Fedora's strengths come in with it's bleeding-edge software, so when its released, there is usually nothing newer than what is included, and it is fairly easy to setup. Also, many users prefer RPM to DEB and apt-get.

      Lastly, Fedora is interesting because of the features that it has in itself. From the already mentioned RPM to being one of the first distributions to start using packagekit a few years ago, Fedora is often at the forefront of software.

      That being said, advanced user with free time, love Arch because of its power. Advanced users with a bit less free time (but still enjoy lack of stability in favor of current software) tend to love Fedora.

      • Jackson Chung
        June 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

        Awesome comment, Nick! I awarded you 150 extra points for it.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Nick pretty much covered your question. :)

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