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Fedora adds 3D printing support

Maria Korolov | Sept. 10, 2013
Latest version of open source desktop boast several key improvements, but many usability issues remain.

Fedora 19 now also includes support for Federated VoIP, which makes it easier to deploy federated voice networks based on the SIP and XMPP standards.

Probably the sexiest new feature, however, is the 3D printing support. Fedora 19 comes with tools for generating and sending code to 3D printers and software for creating 3D models including OpenSCAD, Skeinforge, SFACT, Printrun, and RepetierHost.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a 3D printer on hand to test this feature.

Not so great for end users
The strong adherence to open source principles makes Fedora a good fit for enterprises concerned about licensing issues, but is a significant disadvantage for regular users.

For us, the biggest and most immediate problem was with wireless networking, which we also saw with Fedora 18. We never were able to get wireless to work on the Acer laptop.

Similarly, there is no out-of-the-box support for playing music and videos. It took us about an hour to find and install the required media packages. We had no such problems with the Ubuntu and Mint distributions of Linux.

In some cases, however, when we tried to open a media file, Fedora correctly noticed the lack of support, and directed us to download the appropriate plugin, after which the media played correctly.

The desktop machine had dual monitors, and Fedora was able to recognize them and use them correctly.

Fedora also comes with the less-than-user-friendly Gnome desktop environment, which not only makes the desktop look different from Windows and Apple, but also different from the more popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

For example, windows are missing the `minimize and maximize' buttons. It's a minor issue, but can quickly get very annoying.

To fix it, users have to download the Gnome Tweak Tool. This tool not only lets you get the `minimize and maximize' buttons back but make other changes to the desktop, such as disabling dynamic workspaces.

The start bar is on the left side of the screen, as with other Linux distributions, and activated by clicking an "Activities" button on the top left.

By default, this bar includes a launch icon for the Firefox browser, the Evolution email client, the Empathy chat client, the Rhythmbox music player, the Shotwell photo manager, LibreOffice Writer, and buttons for files and documents.

At the bottom of the menu bar there's a link to see all the applications. Pre-installed productivity software includes the LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet application, the LibreOffice Impress presentation application, the Hamster Time Tracker and the Gnote Note-taking app.

Fedora doesn't seem to have a pre-installed cloud backup system, like Ubuntu does with Ubuntu One. We expected it to come with ownCloud support, which is a cloud storage platform like DropBox, except self-hosted.


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