So after a week of use here is my review compared to Fedora 15.
In summary, there are not many user visible changes from Fedora 15.
- My new T520 ThinkPad is well supported. Including the 8GB RAM, wireless, extended keys and touchpad scrolling
- Fedora 16 will create GPT partitions if installed onto a whole disk, to support disks larger than 2TB. Earlier in the Fedora 16 cycle I noticed that my Lenovo BIOS would not recognise these partitions and just hang at boot. It's impressive that the Fedora installer now recognises Lenovo systems and will not use GPT for them (one can force with the "nogpt" kernel option too). Note with GRUB2 and GPT being new low level additions to Fedora, they can cause a few issues if you have a non standard setup
- Firefox 7 is included (even though firefox 8 was released on the same day as Fedora 16 :))
- Middle mouse button emulation is enabled. Previously Gnome 3 had disabled it
- `ls` displays .txt and .log files in red, which is distracting and inconsistent as these files often don't have extensions
- There is a delay after you typo a command, I presume where it goes looking for matching uninstalled commands. But there is never any packages suggested?
- zenity --notification is no longer effective. There is a good alternative here for custom Gnome3 notifications
- There is still no permanent indication that there are messages in the hidden notification panel
- gparted is still not included on the live image
- sshd was disabled by default as I installed from the live image. This should be made consistent with what's done when installed from a normal boot image. Note also that the ssh firewall settings are broken which requires one to disable and renable the ssh port in system-config-firewall for correct firewall rules to be applied
- Still no applets to add to the Gnome 3 panel, like CPU usage etc.
- Keyboard shortcuts are confusing to change. One must click directly on the text representing the current combination. You should just need to click on the row. Also the Ctrl key isn't registered when setting shortcuts
- There is no way to select a "terminal app" used for the "start terminal" shortcut. You can use a custom shortcut instead or use gconftool-2 --type=string --set '/desktop/gnome/applications/terminal/exec' 'gnome-terminal'
- gnome-terminal prompts about "running processes" when I close it (since F14). This really should have an option in the GUI to disable, as I often have processes with no state running like viewing man pages or an ssh session etc., so I have to disable that with: gconftool-2 --set -t bool /apps/gnome-terminal/global/confirm_window_close false
- Firefox still starts up offline if the network is down, so I can't access http://localhost/ for example. The setting in about:config to enable this feature is network.manage-offline-status
- Wireless is slow to connect after a resume. This is due to IPv6 being enabled now by NetworkManager. To disable that go to network settings → wireless → options → IPv6 Settings → Ignore. This will be addressed in networkmanager-0.9.4 apparently
- There is visible tearing with video, for example with mplayer playing an MPEG2 VOB file at only 10% CPU. Here is a patch to enable triple-buffered pageflips which may help
- The new systemd and gnome-shell components are a bit memory hungry but use half what they did in F15:
# ps_mem.py | tail -n10 Private + Shared = RAM used Program 8.8 MiB + 547.0 KiB = 9.3 MiB Xorg 9.8 MiB + 331.0 KiB = 10.2 MiB systemd 96.9 MiB + 3.3 MiB = 100.2 MiB gnome-shell
- Auto LCD back-light dimming is just crazy. Dimmed far too much after resume, and seems to dim randomly otherwise. I completely disabled dimming for now
- Gnome 3 still hasn't enough config options, nor integration with system-config-* tools.
I suggested some gnome-shell configurability improvements
for Fedora 17, but unfortunately, that was rejected.
There are some extensions that one can install to aid configurablity.
gnome-tweak-tool covers a lot, and one can see others
using the command yum search gnome-shell-extension.
A particular one I use on Fedora 15 is gnome-shell-extension-alternate-tab
to give sane/traditional alt-tab behaviour. I.E. switch between windows not applications.
(yes I know about alt-<key above tab>). Unfortunately this extension is
broken on Fedora 16 at present.
There is a kind of a fallback though where you can bind alt-tab to "Switch windows directly". That actually works quite well as long as you're doing alt-tab once to switch to the previouw window. Cycling through many windows triggers a bug where the highlight box around the windows is often drawn in the wrong position which is very confusing. I mainly use the exposé view in that case anyway.