Fedora 36 has just been released, and I couldn’t resist trying it right away. I had already started using Fedora 35 daily (though I have several Linux distributions installed), and I’ve been enjoying it so far.
Before upgrading my Fedora 35 installations, I decided to install Fedora 36 on a virtual machine with VirtualBox.
These are a few screenshots of the installation procedure.
As usual, you’re greeted by a dialog for installing or trying Fedora, and I went for the latter.
The installation procedure is available from the dock:
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the Fedora installer: compared to other installers like Ubuntu and EndeavourOS or Manjaro, I find the Fedora installer much more confusing. Maybe it’s just that I’m not used to such an installer, but I never had problems with Calamares in EndeavourOS or Manjaro, not even the very first time I tried Calamares.
For example, once a subsection is selected, the button “Done” is at the upper left corner, why I would expect buttons at the bottom (right).
I appreciate that you can select the NTP server time synchronization (at my University, I cannot use external NTP servers, and in fact, the default one is not working: I have to use the one provided by my University).
Unfortunately, this setting does not seem to be persisted in the installed system. UPDATE 12/May: Actually it is persisted: I thought I’d find it in the file /etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf but instead it is in /etc/chrony.conf. Well done!
Since I’m installing the system on a VM hard disk for the partitioning, I chose the “Automatic” configuration. On a real computer, I’d go for manual partitioning. Even in this task, the Fedora installer is a bit confusing. Maybe the “Advanced Custom (Blivet GUI)” is more accessible than the default “Custom” GUI, or, at least, it’s much similar to what I’m accustomed to.
Finally, we’re ready to start the installation.
Even on a virtual machine, the installation does not take that long.
Once rebooted (actually, in the virtual machine, the first reboot did not succeed, and I had to force the shutdown of the VM), you’re greeted by a Welcome program. This program allows you to configure a few things, including enabling 3rd party repositories and online accounts and specifying your user account.
Then, there is the Gnome welcome tour, which I’ll skip here.
Here is the information about the installed system. As you can see, Fedora ships with the brand new Gnome 42 and with Wayland by default:
Fedora uses offline updates, so once notified of updates, you have to restart the system, and the updates will be installed on the next boot:
The installation is not bloated with too much software. Gnome 42 new theme looks fine, with folder icons in blue (instead of the old-fashioned light brown). Fedora also ships with the new Gnome Text Editor. Differently from the old Gedit, the new text editor finally allows you to increase/decrease the font size with Ctrl and +/-, respectively. I cannot believe Gedit did not provide such a mechanism. I used to install Kate in Gnome because I was not too fond of Gedit for that missing feature.
Instead, Fedora does not install the new Gnome terminal (gnome-console) by default. I installed that with DNF, and I wouldn’t say I liked it that much: with Ctrl +/-, you can zoom the terminal’s font, but the terminal does not resize accordingly. For that reason, I prefer to stay with the good old Gnome terminal (gnome-terminal).
First of all, although I tried this installation in a VM, Fedora 36 seems pretty responsive and efficient. I might even say that the guest Fedora 36 VM looked faster than my host (Ubuntu 22.04). Maybe that was just an impression 😉
Since I chose the Automatic partitioning, Fedora created two BTRFS subvolumes (one for / and one for /home) with compression, and a separate ext4 /boot partition:
UUID=... / btrfs subvol=root,compress=zstd:1 0 0
UUID=... /boot ext4 defaults 1 2
UUID=... /boot/efi vfat umask=0077,shortname=winnt 0 2
UUID=... /home btrfs subvol=home,compress=zstd:1 0 0
It also uses swap on zram:
total used free
Mem: 8122460 1172972 5853308
Swap: 8122364 0 8122364
NAME TYPE SIZE USED PRIO
/dev/zram0 partition 7.7G 0B 100
I soon installed the extension “AppIndicator, KStatusNotifierItem and legacy Tray icons support to the Shell” by Ubuntu (https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/615/appindicator-support/) and it works in Gnome 42.
However, after installing Dropbox, while the icon shows on the system tray, clicking on that Dropbox icon (left or right-click or double-click) does not make the context menu appear, making that unusable. I seem to understand that it is a known problem, and maybe they are already working on that. For the time being, if you need the Dropbox context menu for settings like “selective sync,” you’re out of luck. However, you can use the dropbox command-line program for the settings. In that case, I first ignore all the folders and then remove the exclusion for the folders I want to have in sync.
For example, I only want “Screenshot” and “sync” from my Dropbox on my local computer, and I run:
dropbox exclude add Dropbox/*
dropbox exclude remove Dropbox/sync Dropbox/Screenshot
On a side note, I find the Dropbox support for Linux a kind of an insult…
I look forward to upgrading my existing Fedora 35 installations on my computers, and maybe I’ll get back with more impressions on Fedora 36 on real hardware.
For the moment, it looks promising 🙂