Introduction: The Fedora Project has been running since 2003 after Red Hat Linux was discontinued. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux being Red Hatâ€™s official distribution, the Fedora project has since 2003 catered to the needs of the average desktop user looking to run a stable and free operating system which did everything he wanted and more. Distrowatch rates Fedora as the second most popular Linux based operating system after Ubuntu. Personally, I have always preferred Fedora Linux or Open Suse over Ubuntu Linux. I ran into all sorts of issues with Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04 with a lot of my laptop hardware not working and being undetected. Open Suse 11.2 ran really well and was extremely stable. I however was looking forward to Fedora 13. The version reviewed here is a 32 bit version of Fedora 13. Disclaimer: I am not a very experienced or advanced Linux user. I try different distributions and play around with them for a while before I upgrade to a newer version or newer distribution of Linux purely to learn Linux. People looking for a detailed and technical review here will be disappointed. However do please feel free to add anything or correct my mistakes in this review! Hardware Requirements: Processor and memory requirements for x86 Architectures The following CPU specifications are stated in terms of Intel processors. Other processors, such as those from AMD, Cyrix, and VIA that are compatible with and equivalent to the following Intel processors, may also be used with Fedora. Fedora 13 requires an Intel Pentium Pro or better processor, and is optimized for i686 and later processors. o Recommended for text-mode: 200 MHz Pentium Pro or better o Recommended for graphical: 400 MHz Pentium Pro or better o Minimum RAM for text-mode: 256 MiB o Minimum RAM for graphical: 384 MiB o Recommended RAM for graphical: 512 MiB Processor and memory requirements for x86_64 architectures o Minimum RAM for text-mode: 256 MiB o Minimum RAM for graphical: 384 MiB o Recommended RAM for graphical: 512 MiB Hard disk space requirements for all architectures The complete packages can occupy over 9 GB of disk space. Final size is entirely determined by the installing spin and the packages selected during installation. Additional disk space is required during installation to support the installation environment. This additional disk space corresponds to the size of /Fedora/base/stage2.img (on Installation Disc 1) plus the size of the files in /var/lib/rpm on the installed system. In practical terms, additional space requirements may range from as little as 90 MiB for a minimal installation to as much as an additional 175 MiB for a larger installation. Additional space is also required for any user data, and at least 5% free space should be maintained for proper system operation. FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE VISIT: Release Notes Whatâ€™s new in Goddard? Fedora 13 Linux was released on 25th of May 2010. It is code named Goddard. Here are a few of the new features which come with this release of Fedora: ï‚§ Automatic printer driver installation ï‚§ Automatic language pack installation ï‚§ Redesigned user account tool ï‚§ Color management to calibrate monitors and scanners ï‚§ Experimental 3D support for NVIDIA video cards ï‚§ A new way to install Fedora over the Internet ï‚§ SSSD authentication for users ï‚§ Updates to NFS ï‚§ Inclusion of Zarafa Open Source edition ï‚§ System rollback for the Btrfs file system ï‚§ Better SystemTap probes ï‚§ Support for the entire Java EE 6 spec in Netbeans 6.8 ï‚§ KDE PulseAudio Integration ï‚§ New Command Line interface for Network Manager ï‚§ GNOME color manager and GNOME 2.30 ï‚§ Nautilus enhancements ï‚§ Deja Dup backup tool ï‚§ Rhythmbox support for iPod Touch and iPhone music ï‚§ Pino social media client included ï‚§ Shotwell replaces Gthumb and F-Spot for photos ï‚§ Simple Scan For a full list of features, please visit: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/13/FeatureList Automatic Printer Driver Installation: If you plug in a supported USB printer, Fedora 13 will automatically install the driver for it. This makes life easier for anyone looking to get their printer up and running pronto! For a lazy guy like me this is a welcome feature and saves me time which would otherwise be spent tinkering with boring stuff in the terminal. I connected my Canon MP 145 MFD and got it up and running in no time. Pino Social Media Client: Pino is a social media client which connects to Twitter. This is included by default in the Fedora 13 desktop. However Gwibber connects to a lot more social media services when compared to Pino. However since I only use Twitter, Pino is good enough for me. GNOME Color Manager: Fedora 13 includes the GNOME Color Manager. It can install, manage and generate color profiles for the Fedora 13 system. I think it is a nice feature to play around with. Shotwell: Shotwell is included by default and is a basic photo management software which is powerful and capable enough for most users. It can import photos, organize events, use tags, publish photos to Facebook/Picasa/Flickr, reduce red-eye, and rotate/mirror/crop photos. Power users can always use The GIMP. Free Nouveau Driver for Nvidia Based Video Cards: This feature enables support for Nvidia video cards and allows 3d effects like Compiz to work without downloading and installing the official Nvidia drivers. However it doesnâ€™t support all resolutions. The only resolution supported by my laptopâ€™s 14.1 inch screen was 1280x1024 instead of the default 1366x768. I will show you how to install the default Nvidia drivers to get the most out of your video card. Working with Goddard: The installation was done in a jiffy and is probably as simple and very similar to Ubuntuâ€™s Installation. A detailed and step by step installation procedure along with screen shots has been shown here : Fedora 13 Review | Desktop Linux Reviews Fedora 13 comes with GRUB bootloader version 0.97 The boot splash screen is a simple black screen with a white and blue loading bar at the bottom of the screen. The login screen has the official Fedora 13 wallpaper in the background and the usual login options which let you select between GNOME or KDE as well as the Universal Access Preferences. The GNOME desktop is uncluttered and features all the usual desktop contents. The KDE features a lot more splash and dash and looks more attractive when compared to the GNOME desktop. You can configure the desktop environments with widgets and other cosmetic enhancements. Managing software and updates: The Add/remove software tool isnâ€™t as polished as the YAST software management tool in Open Suse or the Ubuntu software center but it has a better and more friendly interface if compared to the above two. Adding or removing any software is easy, just check or uncheck the box beside the software you want to add or remove and then click the Apply button to complete the procedure. Updating software is also easy, just select the packages you want to be downloaded and installed and select install to complete installation. The Nautilus and Dolphin file managers in GNOME and KDE environments can also open Windows partitions and you can open most files such as office based files (word, excel, power-point), audio and video files, PDF files, jpeg files, etc. EASYLIFE: A lot of times some of the most essential installations require a lot of time and running through heaps of commands and changes that need to be made in the terminal and more often than not one ends up with malfunctioning software or drivers. Easy life is probably the best way to get rid of all the installation headaches. The best possible example would be installing Nvidiaâ€™s latest drivers after getting rid of Fedoraâ€™s default Nouveau drivers. The old fashioned method involves making changes in the grub.conf file and blacklisting Nouveau and then downloading and installing the drivers. With Easy life its a single click installation of you drivers and softwares. Download and install it from easyLife | Fedora software management tool Easylife will help you do the following things: â€¢ Sets "sudo" command up for your regular user; â€¢ Configures RPMFusion repository for extra and non-free software; â€¢ Installs Flash Player plugin; â€¢ Installs all kinds of Codecs (h264,divx,xvid,mp3 etc); â€¢ Installs nvidia drivers; â€¢ Installs Skype; â€¢ Installs Sun Java and Sun Java Plugin for Firefox; â€¢ Integrates Sun Java with system-switch-java; â€¢ Installs Google apps (Picasa, Desktop) Just select the packages you need to install and select ok to complete the installation! Easylife in GNOME Easylife in KDE Nvidia Control Panel Connecting my phone with the Bluetooth Manager Joy!! Wifi works out of the box! The Network Manager Multimedia tools : A lot of codecs and and plugins for audio and video playback arenâ€™t provided by default. To install them along with familiar Windows based software such as Vlc player, follow these steps: Select System Tools> Terminal Once the Terminal launches, type â€œ su â€“ â€œ (DONâ€™T PUT THESE â€œQUOTEâ€ SIGNS!) Type your password and press ENTER Just copy paste the following lines given below into the terminal #> rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-rawhide.noarch.rpm #> yum install vlc #> yum install mozilla-vlc (optionnal) Enter â€œYâ€ to download and complete installation of the VLC player. Similarly, enter these commands afterwards and Enter â€œYâ€ to download and complete installation #> yum install mplayer #> yum install xine #> yum install alsamixergui Now necessary codecs and familiar media players, Fedora Linux can play any audio or video file you can throw at it! Black Hawk Down HD playing in VLC player My favourite TV Show in Mplayer Internet: Fedora Linux comes with Firefox as its default web browser, however Google Chrome can easily be installed too. With Adobe Flash player and its plugins installed, You Tube videos can be easily played as well as flash based web content easily used too. Pino is a social media client which can connect to Twitter and there are various IM clients too which are included by default in Fedora 13. Firefox and Google Chrome Office and Productivity Tools: Open office 3.2 is provided by default and PDF readers such as Document viewer can handle PDF viewing functions. There are other office based tools and productivity applications installed by default in Fedora 13. Image Editing in The GIMP Final Verdict: I rather like Fedora 13 because it was pretty stable and I found it to be faster than Ubuntu. All my laptop hardware including my Wifi and webcam were supported by default and there were no crashes and bugs or random system freezes which I experienced with Ubuntu 10.04. Fedora 13 is suitable for beginners, intermediate users as well as experienced users. I prefer it over Ubuntu. It is worth installing as a primary operating system or upgrading. Do try it out. As an operating system, Fedora 13 Linux, â€œGoodardâ€, is rock solid and stable and moreover its free. What more can anyone ask for?