Fedora 13 Way more then hype Part 2 – General Usability

Fedora has changed alot over the years and during the time in which I have been using Linux, Fedora 13 is no exception to this. There are some very cool new things in Fedora and some even under the hood which you might not think about. Those however that affect the way in which you use Fedora are what I call Usability features. It is no secret that I am rather partial to Fedora and continue to use and occupationally review it.

In case you have not read my last post or do not wish to read it here are the specs for the system and VM i used to review this.

My hardware:

Virtual Machine Specs

  • 22gb Hard drive image
  • 1024mb of ram
  • only allowed 1 Core to be used for this VM (4 available from my CPU)
  • Host OS Windows 7 Pro 64bit
  • VM Software Virtual Box 3.1.8
  • 12mb of video memory
  • mouted ISO image as CD drive
  • Virtual machine CPU extensions turned on

Plymouth

As many of you undoubtedly know this is the new graphical loader that replaced Red Hat”s RHGB back in Fedora 9 I believe ( maybe 8 was the last one to use RHGB), this allows for animated graphical splash screens to be displayed while the system boots as well as offering a plug-in interface for developers to tie in other features to Plymouth.

Fedora 13 added support for more graphics cards allowing more people to take advantage of this new technology. Not a whole lot different then previous Fedora versions here but worth mentioning.

New Documentation Menu
Fedora 13 Introduces a new Documentation sub-menu to the Gnome panel, this allows users to more easily gain access to important information such as the Release notes or security guide. Below you can see the main menu and then a screen-shot of the underlying documentation menu.

Documentation Main Menu

Documentation Sub-menu

Backup Utilities
As any user knows backing up your system is an essential part of ensuring your data remains safe, Fedora 13 has taken steps to include a peace of software that will make this task painless.

When i first load a new version of Fedora one of the first things i do is find a good backup program to aid in automated backups of my home folder. Fedora 13 includes by default a program called Deja Dup. This program upon loading looks very simple and quite stripped of features, however as I found out looks are deceiving.

What this App lacks in visual appeal it makes up for in pure awesomeness. For the first time since its release Deja is one of the only (decent) apps to support backing up to an Amazon S3 cloud FREE. Let me repeat that “FREE” access to backup to a Amazon S3 cloud.

Why is it so important you might ask?

Amazon S3 is a way to have cloud storage that extends as you need it instead of charging you for a set limit on space. The down side here is that they do not have an Amazon program to download and use to manage your files. This is where a lot of third party developers come in and charge for solutions that will allow you to use your S3 cloud for backup storage. Deja might be light weight but it is a fully robust S3 backup client as well as a general backup tool. This program being free is a huge plus to me as I have yet to find a comparable program on Linux or Windows that comes close to this one.

That being Said it can backup through tradittional means such as a network location or even to a compressed file you can then copy to a CD or DVD. While its ability to connect to S3 is one of the features I use frequently I am by no means implying you need an S3 account to get use of this program.

Judging from the projects website it looks as though this was originally an Ubuntu project and must have been ported to Fedora. I am so glad that who ever ported it did, I strongly recommend you give it some attention and see how it works.

Deja Dup Project Site

Deja Dup Opening Screen

Deja Dup Preferences

Deja Dup Backup Summary

Automatic Printer Installation
Fedora 13 contains an improved Printer wizard that for most printers will detect and automatically configure the printer for you. My printer apparently was not one of these printers that was automatically detectable, however it still did not take much for me to get it setup as I am used to the older wizard.

The wizard detected my network printer and even let me expand the network tree to see the printer, however it did not allow me to click on the printer to set it up so I was forced to do a manual printer setup. I should note my printer works fine after manually setting it up.

Other Thoughts
Aside from the things i have mentioned in this post there is not a whole lot different that the average user will notice. There is of course a great deal that was done under the hood to make things more secure and what not but for the most part this will feel like a much more Ascetically pleasing OS (due to the new theme) and feel a bit faster as many optimizations have been made.

If I missed any bug Noticeable features (something the average user would notice not a dev) then please feel free to bring that up in a comment below.

As always it is important to note that the views here are not endorsed by Red Hat, Fedora or any other party involved with the development of programs and or components in Fedora 13. if you do not agree with my views that is of course fine just keep the above disclaimer in mind before approaching Fedora or Red Hat

Posted from GScribble.

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Sorry for those who cheers for Fedora 13. I must say that it was finally just another disappointment. When you have standard printer (Canon jet ink) and you can”t print with that USB-printer it”s really a blunder made by Fedora team. I mean i can use that printer easily with Ubuntu, Mint, Mandriva, PCLOS but … not with Fedora. It finds surely that printer and installs all the drivers but when you try to print anything it will do nothing.

So tell me Fedora people – why for heavens sake in year 2010 there is still a Linux-distro, even hyped (“user friendly Fedora 12″), and it can”t even work on with simple very common Canon printer?

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