Adventures with a new Fedora

When I first encountered KDE Plasma 5, the word on the street was that it wasn’t really ready. Having tried out other things, I read the latest word on it and found that one of the big issues for me, missing features from Plasma 4, had now been ported. Plasma was now at version 5.6. Maybe it was time to give the latest KDE a go. So I dismissed Mint 17.3 in favour of Fedora 23. And I got a nasty shock.

I usually like Fedora. It’s usually less buggy than Ubuntu and if Red Hat started putting out long term service Fedoras, I’d never look back. But the implementation of Plasma 5 on Fedora 23 left a lot to be desired. The fonts on everything were sized badly in the theme, leaving the labels clipped and mangled by the window and panel graphics. Apper was broken – it couldn’t seem to find the repositories so there was no graphical option for finding software. I can run DNF through the terminal, sure, but trawling through search results presented as blocks of monospaced text is frankly painful. I tried replacing Apper with Muon and that didn’t seem to be able to actually find programs either. Obviously something in DNF’s interaction with the GUIs was broken. Worse still, whatever I was doing with DNF, it wasn’t automatically suggesting or downloading dependencies. This meant that when I installed Libre Office, it did not play well at all with KDE.

You can’t win them all. It looked like Fedora 23 hadn’t implemented Plasma 5 well, so I thought that maybe I should try it with the desktop it was designed for. Gnome 3 could be an adventure.

It turned out that the DNF GUI issue wasn’t confined to KDE. I could live with that. What I couldn’t live with was the fact that Fedora 23 was as prone to sleep comas as Ubuntu and that Gnome 3 is a million miles away from the way I like to work. With virtually zero built in features, extensions have to be downloaded via Firefox just to get it to do basic things one expects from a desktop environment. And what the hell kind of Linux user downloads programs via a browser? Furthermore, the way Gnome works means that it takes me two to three clicks to do things that on virtually any other DE would take me one. I am genuinely baffled by the people who sing Gnome’s praises.

The whole thing was a train wreck, but I was now fed up of flitting between operating systems. So I decided that I wouldn’t get comfortable. I only had to get to June 2016 before I could move on to the next long term service Ubuntu (I like to wait two months from release for initial bug fixes). Maybe I’d try Plasma 5 again. Failing that, XFCE does everything that I want a desktop to do.

In the end, however, I flipped.

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~ by Scary Rob on 7 June, 2016.

One Response to “Adventures with a new Fedora”

  1. Packagekit is broken on Fedora which is why neither Apper or Gnome software work. The only working gui package manager is Yumex-dnf but even it is a bit buggy.

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