Today we are going to look at Fedora 36 to see what has changed, what is still the same, and perhaps some features we would like in the future. Running a rolling release, you expect the latest features from the systems that are included. In the case of the “just works” distributions, Fedora 36 is keeping up with Arch Linux in many areas. In terms of rolling release kernels, Fedora is on the coat tails of Arch. This time interestingly enough Fedora has implemented a version of Gnome that is closer to stock Gnome 42. Giving you one very consistent user experience. Fedora has come a long way in the last couple of years. From just functional, to a very comfortable place to be.
First we will look at Fedora 36 implementation of Gnome 42. Next we will go over application uniformity. We will then take a bit of a tour to see the application suite. Next we will talk about system resources consumed by Fedora. Finally, we will cover our wish list of future features. So if you like rolling on the edge, you like new software with superior Python support, then buckle up and enjoy the review!
The desktop environment is the first thing we see when using a “just works” distribution like Fedora. Therefore, we will cover it in detail. Gnome is pretty much the go-to DE for a good reason. It is well-developed with a nice suite of applications to complement it. Meaning you will get a nice polished a usable DE from the start in most cases. Let’s see how Fedora 36 did.
We can see the stock light themed background has a nice glassy aesthetic that rivals the new Windows theme with a nice blue huge focal point. We can easily change the look with nothing but stock settings available in the settings panel. All you need to do is go to the appearance section and make your selection like this.
You can see with a simple toggle of a switch in settings, and you get a seamless theme change. Not a brand-new feature but it is augmented by backgrounds that adapt to each mode.
Fedora has really hit it out of the park with all of its Gnome applications. For comparison, the Gnome experience on other distributions like Ubuntu and their latest implementation of Gnome is not as seamless. They simply use many generations of Gnome applications and DE settings. This is due to the differences in release philosophies in each distribution. Fedora releases are sometimes later than expected, yet they are the progress level that you expect.
Notice the applications are all of similar look and feel. When looking at the different Gnome implementations, we notice the application’s vary from release date and look and feel in the Ubuntu Gnome implementation. Gnome implementation between these two well-known distributions can differ so much, as they serve their communities well.
As you would expect from RHEL who run Fedora, you get a full suite of productivity applications right out of the box. From Gnome Boxes to Libreoffice, even your standard calculator. One thing about Fedora, as far back as I have had knowledge of, they always include a Live USB writer. Now that is a way to promote the ease of sharing Fedora is so much more. So let’s take a look at what Fedora brings to the party.
We can see mostly all the applications that come with Fedora. One or two have been added for testing. Like Proton VPN is one of the easiest VPNs to install on many package managers. It is great to see the support without having to use an alternative. We love to install applications from source, but the package manager is key for newbies to Linux in order to navigate and learn the applications that are available. Why not we install something else?
Now you can see it is effortless to look up something like Gedit. We can install it with a click of a button.
Look at that, the version of Gedit available is Gnome 42. That is the consistency you want in applications across an ecosystem like Gnome. That way they are shaped the same and theme the same.
The Gnome desktop is not known for being a lite environment to run. Yet, the spin running on Fedora is less than 1 GB of RAM when idle. Now that is a testament to wonderful engineering on the Gnome team for optimizing their upstream product but also the way that Fedora has implemented it. In other words we are experiencing one of the best Fedora releases that we have witnessed.
So, congratulations Fedora team for not bloating it all up. As a daily driver, using Fedora is like a breath of fresh air when it comes to non-bloated “just works” (ready to use out of the box) distributions.
Fedora has done some heavy lifting with this release. We can honestly say that Fedora 36 came out right when it needed to make the release work so well. There are always improvements that one can wish for, thus providing our engineer friends some insight as to what might make their next release that much better. Now let’s get a little picky to find such things.
We love Libreoffice around here. Many of my blogs have been written on Libreoffice but notice that they take up many applications on their own. Why not change to something like OnlyOffice, where you get all of that in one click of a mouse and not in an over abundant way like you see here.
You can see here that we have two applications that run different types of media. Seems simple to use. But has not added one application like MPV that can handle both media types with ease. Even something like VLC can do this, it is just a little more to take in. From this writer’s prospective, as Fedora was one of my first distribution hops, this is one solid release.
This is a very opinionated idea, but why not have a help center that has a tour function inside it? It is simply a thought…
Last but not least, why do we need help with updates? We can apply them and restart when we are ready. Most distributions do this without us worrying about it. A message saying the update will be applied after the next boot would be just perfect. To be clear, these are all application related ideas, the DE, the under the hood experience is all what we expected it to be. So, we had to be very picky to find any suggestions. If you think there is anything we missed, please leave us some comments to let us know. Thanks for reading!