Fedora 15, like every other distribution, starts with a new kernel version. The latest version, 2.6.38, brings more stability, hardware support, and speed. It includes the wondrous “200 line patch” that increases system responsiveness under heavy loads. Most distributions that have recently released a new version will more than likely have the same kernel version, which is good for the user.
The most notable change, out of the entire list, will be very visible to users. GNOME 3 is the default desktop environment for the Fedora 15 Linux distribution, which brings all the new polish and “ease-of-use” to your Linux desktop. My own testing has shown that it is very stable and clean, so I am definitely considering adopting it as my new desktop environment.
GNOME 3’s main component is GNOME Shell, which is the entire interface that you’ll interact with. All of the programs are hidden away in the “Activities” button in the top-left corner. From the “Windows” section you can scroll through the nicely arranged list of programs, either in its entirety or in each category, as listed on the right side.
All of the default GNOME applications, such as Nautilus, gedit, and much more have all been updated along with GNOME 3 to take advantage of its new technologies and the new GTK 3 toolkit. They also fit tightly with the default theme in GNOME, as one should expect. In fact, application management has a new twist with GNOME 3. Virtual desktops are endless and are created and removed automatically so that there is only always one empty virtual desktop ready for you. Controversially, the developers of GNOME also removed the minimize and maximize buttons, though there are already tools that can change those settings.
Notification icons in the top-right corner are also newly designed, following the monochromatic idea of recent icon sets. Additionally, the drop-down menus of each icon follows the new theme in GNOME 3, with nice effects and On/Off buttons. You can learn more about GNOME 3 from this article.
Fedora 15 contains a handful of other important new features. Finally included is the systemd as the system and session manager, which should also increase stability and speed. A new network device naming scheme has been implemented to avoid confusion by giving network devices a permanent name that will not randomly change after a reboot. Firefox 4 has also been included, and works very well in GNOME 3.
Overall, Fedora 15 is a great release of the popular Linux distribution. It contains so many new features that it is more than worthy of an update or a fresh install in case you don’t have Fedora on your system yet. Your computer will thank you, and you’ll stop hitting your computer every time it screws up.
Since Fedora 15 has been released, will you be trying it out? Are you trying Fedora in general or just because it is one of the most prominent distributions which uses GNOME 3? Let us know in the comments.