Updated: July 24, 2013
I will begin this review with a song by the Thompson Twins. Doctor, doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning. You will figure out why and how very soon. Well, as it turns out, there's a new Fedora release, called Schroedinger's Cat. This is a good reason to write a review, no.
My experience with version 18 was less than stellar. Frankly, it was quite horrible, and for me, after a relatively solid and interesting spring release, the autumn edition was a big flop and a total disappointment. Hopefully, this new edition can sort things out. Anyhow, let's see what gives. KDE, of course.
Fedora booted fine from a USB stick, and then it reached the login screen. Normally, you would expect live distros to simply boot automatically into the session, without prompting the user to provide their credentials. I have encountered this problem in the past, and normally, I resolved it by logging in as the root user.
This time, though, it did not quite work. I tried every conceivable permutation of liveuser and root, with and without password, trying to login into the desktop session and do a proper review. Alas, I was stuck in the login stage. I even redownloaded the ISO image and tried the second time, without any success. Fedora 19 would just not let me play.
Since I cannot tell you anything I've done in the official release, let's briefly recall what I've done during the beta testing, as I was asked to take an early version for a spin and see if I could find any outstanding problems. Please note that none of the items mentioned here release to the official version, but it might be an interesting read for some of you. Anyhow, on every login into the live session, ABRT reports:
initial-setup package parser.py:715:readKickstart:KickstartError: on line 0.
When you try to submit, it complains about wrong settings for Bugzilla. Next on the menu, the network wizard would report the old and bogus 'failed' message even before any Wireless connection is established, like we have seen in a whole range of other KDE desktops. However, it's been fixed in some, like Netrunner Enigma, for example.
If you're logged in as root, as I was, trying to start the installation by run the system menu entry did nothing. I had to open the command line and run /usr/bin/live. The installer remains quite as bad as it was in Spherical Cow. But the biggest issue was the fact the system would crash after five minutes of use, every single time. Full kernel panic.
Instead, here's a small batch of images of me driving Seat Leon FR. That should kind of make you happy at least, if not the real reason you've come here, which is to see whether Fedora can deliver.
Well, this is not a review really. And yet it is. Because if the distro fails so early, the rest of the experience cannot be that good. I wish I could have been able to continue the testing and see what gives, but it seems it cannot be.
So there you go. I can't tell you much about Fedora 19 Schroedinger's Cat, expect that it would not let me login, plus that there have been several less and more critical issues in the beta stage, which could have been fixed. As to the question, whether the cat is alive or dead, well this little demo surely provides a clear answer to that. For me, sadly, this Fedora 19 is a no go. Bye bye.