I'm obviously new, hope you don't mind me chipping in.
It's interesting because once you've got a distro installed and working how you like it the only really major point of difference, in most cases, is the package manager. WMs are the same, apps are the same, structure is close enough as to not matter.
And yet they all feel
so different. They have different personalities and it's very hard to convey that verbally.
I have reservations about it being a bit too easy for what I currently want, but I've discussed those at length
Installation was easy and super
fast, I suspect it just copies an image to disk because it was actually worryingly fast. One gripe was that the option to install (when in a live environment) was tucked away in the gnome menu rather than being prominent somewhere. I actually had to google to check I hadn't downloaded just
a live disc.
A nice touch during the install is that it asks which OS to make the default in Grub. I don't think Ubuntu does this (the option may be there if you dig for it, I'm not sure) and I suspect it's really ofputting to a lot of new users. If they're coming from windows then of course they're going to want to boot windows most of the time, and they're going to have to google how to do that (and it's not a trivial thing to do) after their first boot. I suspect that's hugely offputting to a lot of new users, it's at best thoughtless and at worst arrogant. That's indicative of a sort of consideration which permeates Fedora.
In use, it's just very very easy and quite light feeling. It doesn't feel loaded down with unnecessary shit but everything an average user needs is either there or within easy reach.
Installing Nvidia drivers wasn't quite as simple as in Ubuntu/Mint, but it was just a couple of shell commands so that's easy enough. Codecs and stuff I installed through an app called autoten
, which I recommend.
Gnome Shell is lovely and well implemented. I've had no problems with it after changing the word 'Activities' to 'hello' on the launcher thing. 'Activities' is far too strident, I don't want my computer shouting at me, I want it welcoming me politely. Like a butler.
Yum is lovely too. At least as lovely as apt (if slower), Installing things like KDE is easy via the yum groupinstall thing, though not as tidy as dummy deb packages seem to be - groupremoving KDE left holes in Gnome where there were shared packages, which seems like a dumbass choice. Adding extra repos is easier than dealing with PPAs. I still don't understand PPAs. Overall I find yum friendlier than apt. And typing 'yum' is always funny.
Fedora feels very nicely put together. There's an aesthetic consistency and things just fit together nicely. I can't really comment on hardware support as everything 'just works' in all recent distros I've tried (aside from my onboard emulated IDE which doesn't work on any of them).
To my mind, Fedora is a far better candidate for a distro to recommend to new users than the usual suspects (Ubuntu, Mint (can't comment on SUSE or Mand-whateverit'scallednow)). I always had to do far more fiddling and googling to get things set up on Ubuntus than I have on Fedora. So yes, it's supplanted Mint for me as what I recommend to friends who want to try out this Linux thing they've heard so much about.
Ok, that's more of a badly-written review than it is a sales pitch. Sorry about that.
The sales Pitch:
Fedora: It's like Ubuntu only a little bit harder to install drivers and codecs but with less **** installed and buttons in the right places. And blue instead of orange.