Fedora 17 Now Available for Download

On Tuesday Red Hat announced that Fedora 17, the latest version of its free open source operating system distribution, is available to download and use. The new release includes free and open source software for users to share including GIMP 2.8, Inkscape, Scribus and more. It also uses GNOME 3.4 which adds new search capabilities, improved themes, and enhancements to the Documents and Contacts application.

"I am extremely proud of the Fedora 17 release. The addition of projects such as oVirt and JBoss Application Server 7, enhancements in OpenStack, and continued support for fresh releases of desktop environments demonstrate the Fedora Project’s commitment to deliver rich features and capabilities," said Robyn Bergeron, Fedora Project Leader. "This, combined with our leading-edge innovations at the operating-system level, truly makes Fedora 17 a comprehensive and robust operating system for all types of users."

Fedora 17 updates OpenStack to 2012.1 (Essex) -- this is an included collection of services that can be used to set up and run cloud compute and storage infrastructure. There's also oVirt, an open virtualization platform which provides a "feature-rich virtualization management system with robust capabilities for both hosts and guests." Fedora 17's Cluster stack includes numerous and significant updates for both high availability and load balancing applications.

On the developer front, Fedora 17 provides JBoss Application Server 7 which is a fast, lightweight Java EE-based application server optimized for developing and launching Java EE applications. Java 7 (and OpenJDK7) is the default Java runtime and Java build toolset, and a pre-release of Juno -- a release of the Eclipse SDK with is expected later this year -- has been tossed into the new Fedora as well.

"The Fedora Project aims to release a new version of its free operating system approximately every six months," Red Hat said on Tuesday. "This rapid development cycle encourages collaboration and the inclusion of the latest, most cutting-edge open source features available. Fedora is built by community members from across the globe, and the Fedora Project’s transparent and open collaboration process has attracted thousands of registered contributors. The total of unique IPs across Fedora releases since tracking was initiated at Fedora 7 is now approaching 38 million connections."

For more information on Fedora 17 and to download the distribution or to join this community effort, head over to www.fedoraproject.org. Download options include a 645 MB, ISO format image for Intel-compatible PCs (64-bit).

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  • Dr_M0rph3us
    It also uses GNOME 3.4 (...) Fedora 17 (is) a comprehensive and robust operating system for all types of users.

    I'm sorry, what?

    Since the introduction of GNOME 3, the Linux desktop experience using this desktop platform has become extremely frustrating in any kind of production-oriented environment. Same goes with Ubuntu's Unity interface.

    Working with multiple complex production-oriented applications under the modern wave of bling-ridden desktop management environments is a royal pain - it's no that I can't adapt from the taskbar-oriented mind-set, I have tried different variations of the new-and-shiny interfaces attempting to adapt to the new style, but it's simply counter-productive.

    The values of a modern desktop environment should be based first on usability & efficiency, and then on aesthetics.

    Every real-world task takes longer to do on GNOME 3 than it would be done on 2.x. I understand that the designers try to make the Linux desktop more appealing for casual users, but why doing so by alienating the experienced user base out of frustration. Power users such as myself will undoubtedly migrate to other distros, such as those using Cinnamon, or LTS-based distros such as RHEL, SLES, Scientific Linux, and so on.

    A few examples of bone-headed decisions plaguing the GNOME 3 interface design: no minimize / maximize buttons (no one needs to minimize a window, right?), no shut down button (you need to be always online, connected, posting on facepalm, chirping on twitter...), having to access the menu from the top left corner, and accessing the applications categories from the right side of the overlay, and then zig-zag back in the center (who needs efficiency?)

    Yes, there are extensions available, yes, there are tweaks that can be done to enable more customization of the work environment, but that is not the point - these features should be available "out of the box" and much more attention should be focused on usability patterns, and task efficiency. My computer is not a smartphone, and it's not a toy - it's a productivity workstation, I do work on it - and until the GNOME development folk will get their head out of their collective rears, I won't use any distro that ships it. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives available, and I'm quite happy with the RHEL-based Scientific Linux... for now.

    In conclusion, Fedora 17 is not a "robust operating system for all types of users.", while it employs a ridiculously bad designed desktop environment, seriously lacking in terms of usability, efficiency and customization.