Getting older, not necessarily wiser!
This is a quick post on my recent experiences installing/attempting to install Fedora 36. I have been hes8itant to post this, as it will probably sound somewhat negative.
Lots of people love Fedora 36! I see it all over the place on line. More power to those who use and like this Linux distribution. However my overall experience with Fedora, in a lot of ways, has been less than stellar. As with any review, you should take my observations and opinions with a healthy does of skepticism. And when it really comes down to it, you should run your own evaluation.
Note I am not going to discuss the Fedora pedigree. This is strictly about my experience.
Initially I tried to install Fedora Server. Mainly because I like starting with a minimal installation and that did not look like a possibility for Fedora Work Station.
Initially I tried adding the ISO to my Ventoy Drive (Ventoy is a tool for running one of multiple ISO images from a single drive). Interestingly Fedora Server keep giving a GRUB memory error. Since I don’t use Fedora, I give it the benefit of the doubt. Download a new ISO just in case.
So maybe a Ventoy problem? Even though Debian, Arch, and Ubuntu server all installed without issue from Ventoy. But to cover all basis I burn the ISO to a USB drive. In fact I burn two different ISO’s to two different USB drives. In this case the the install starts, but errors out as soon as the installer starts formatting drives. This occurred in both cases. This has been a complete strike out for Fedora server.
Moving on to Fedora Work Station, it actually installed from Ventoy! Strange, wonder what is different between workstation and server.
The Work Station installer appears highly polished. However there are a few areas, especially around disk formatting, where I think they could add some explanation. This is mainly if you are dual booting, and have another OS present. I guess the assumption is if you are dual booting, you know what you are doing.
I have to say, once installed Fedora 36 desktop is very nice. It is a custom Gnome setup that works out of the box.
I found the desktop more responsive than Ubuntu desktop, and less responsive than a similar Arch desktop. However this may be due to the configuration used. Like Ubuntu, Gnome comes setup out of the box. When I do a Gnome install on Arch it is bare bones.
So my complaint with Fedora Work Station is not that they use Gnome by default, it is that you have to install Gnome by default. A second complaint, is that I found it impossible to switch to KDE. And a third complaint, it appears that you can only switch to specifically configured desktops.
I reviewed several articles on how to switch the desktop, and I was able to load all the KDE dependencies. However none of the methods actually allowed me to switch desktops. Even though KDE was installed, it never showed up as available.
The test drive is done and Fedora is going back in the drawer. Gnome on Work Station ran good. However pretty much everything else was a problem.
My recommendation, if you want a distribution with a pre-built Gnome desktop that runs better than Ubuntu, Fedora 36 Work Station is great. For anything else, Fedora 36 is not so great.
Thinking about it, Fedora 36 would probably u be a decent laptop install. I have an old touch screen laptop I might give it a try with at some point. But for desktops, no, not for me.
Once I get a few other projects put to bed, I may spin up a virtual machine at some point and revisit Fedora to try and determine what went wrong with my various exercises.