(Last Updated On: February 3, 2019)

Hi there wonderful people, this article goes head first into comparing the new releases of Fedora 29 and Ubuntu 18.10. It is organized in such a manner that each Operating system is analyzed independently beginning with Fedora 29. Let us roll.

Related: Best Linux Desktop Distributions to try in 2019

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”
Arnold H. Glasow

Introduction to Fedora 29

Red Hat is known for it cutting edge distributions that most of the business world hail and hence employ for their servers. Fedora is one of their product available free for download an usage.

It is a distribution that is widely regarded as a testing ground for coming applications of changes before they are officially rolled out. A good example is that Wayland and systemd were first tested on Fedora before the facilities were made available.

There are three flavors of Fedora that is the Workstation, Server and Atomic Host editions. There are other spins that the community has forked out of the parent OS and you can always check them out. Fedora 29 boasts of a fresh new look in the garments of GNOME 3.30 which comes with the new features of GNOME’s settings panel.

Other new things in its plate include the ability of signing of LibreOffice docs with OpenPGP keys as well as better search results from the GNOME Activities screen. Let us poke around and find out how this distribution performs.

Installation of Fedora 29

Anaconda system installer gets us up and running in the installation process while it asks the familiar questions to set up your environment. The installer supports multi-device volumes such as LVM and Btrfs, and other standard file system partitions such as ext4 or ext3. The login screen comes with GNOME (running on Wayland), GNOME Classic and GNOME on Xorg options for you to choose.

On the other side of the coin, GNOME on Xorg Fedora experience was way better. The response on desktop and laptop is faster compared to Wayland’s and completely killed it on VirtualBox. The performance on virtualbox was much faster and much responsive and at least showed some ray of hope for the distribution.

See our installation guide: How to install Fedora 29 on Physical Server / VirtualBox & Vagrant

Fedora 29 Applications

The Workstation edition provides us with the following default applications:

  • Firefox web browser
  • Evolution e-mail client
  • LibreOffice.

GNOME comes with Shotwell photo manager, an image viewer app, document viewer, a map application, archive manager and a calendar application and simple image viewer. There is a system monitor in place to view how the system is performing while running.

Also see: How to install LAMP Stack on Fedora 29 / Fedora 28

Multimedia

Full multimedia codecs do not come out of the box. Even though you can play a few files here and there like MP3, you will need to find other codecs from RPMFusion to be bale to ply video files. Otherwise, there is Rhythmbox audio player and the Totem video player installed already. You can find other media players like VLC from RPMFusion and Red Hat repositories.

Software management

The GNOME software application is the interface that Fedora 29 uses as its primary software manger. The new software manager has three tabs and provides all of the tool to install, update and uninstall packages. The tool is user friendly and easy to use.

Hardware

Fedora presents no problems integrating with hardware. The OS was able to detect the hardware and load proper modules for their functionality. Perfect network connectivity, good sound modules as well as the rest of the drivers. The virtual environment was no less. Its ability to support the virtual properties was impresive though the speed was slightly low in this platform.

Cons

Most of the properties in Fedora worked well out of the box but of course, some few hitches were not missed. One is the already mentioned reboot issue after updates have been installed. This needs to be changed seriously.

The sluggishness of Wayland is another conspicuous issue that needs to be worked on as well. Otherwise, Fedora 29 desktop edition is a user-friendly and stable release.

Conclusions 

I guess so much has been touched on already and you will make your decision based on the experience above. The desktop edition is a good release. The aesthetics are fantastically better, GNOME new features are impressive and the availability of packages is not an issue at all. Just get your hand on the new distribution, explore what it has to offer.

As Wayland continues to get better, there is still a small issue though. Things will be better with time for sure. Otherwise, give feedback once you have your experience on.

Having looked at Fedora 29 at various dimensions, let us now shift our focus and take a look at Ubuntu 18.10

Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish

Ubuntu18.10 with the code name of Cosmic Cuttlefish was released in October 2018. It comes with new features that were supposedly not completed by the time Bionic Beaver was released. Cosmic Cuttlefish comes with GNOME 3.30 and better default icon theme known as the Yaru Community theme. When compared to the default icon theme of Bionic Beaver, one cannot miss to observe that it looks way better and more stunning. Such a beautiful icon theme it comes with there

Installation

The installation process of Ubuntu is very simple and elegant. The installer will take you through the installation process without any trouble as long as the questions and settings are done correctly. What is interesting about Ubiquity graphical installer is its fastness, its ability to accommodate a wide variety of file systems such as JFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, LVM, XFS,and Btrfs.

You will meet two sessions that are made available during installation including one that is labeled Ubuntu and another one labeled Ubuntu on Xorg. It is worth noting that Wayland has been gaining much ground now and the step that Ubuntu has taken to make its users choose between the two is a clear indication that it has truly gained a lot of ground. The one labeled just Ubuntu runs GNOME on Wayland while the others can be deduced runs Gnome on classic Xorg server display. Both of them work pretty well so you have the liberty to settle on one.

Hardware

When it comes to Ubuntu 18.10 and its compatibility with hardware, it is worth noting that it runs pretty well on both Virtual environments and on a computer such as a laptop. There is no need to worry, especially if you would like to run it virtually. You will access all of the features in the OS.

What is more is that Ubuntu 18.10 will ship with default support for finger-print scanner. This means that if your laptop has a fingerprint scanner, you are ready to go.

Applications

Now here comes the section that most people would wish to read and confirm. The new spin of Ubuntu 18.10 comes with a collection of default applications to get you hitting the road without much fuss. For the ones who are engaged with writing documents, LibreOffice comes by default and you can a well prefer to install other office applications such as WPS if you so wish. Moreover, Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client are also at your disposal. In addition, a photo manager known as Shotwell is present together with Transmission bittorrent application for getting torrent sites files.

Multimedia applications have not been left behind so no problem will be encountered if you have music or videos to watch. The totem video player comes in to sort you out as well as Rhythmbox to spice up your mp3 music listening experience. Other applications include the network Manager, file manager (Nautilus), calendar and systemd initialization software as well as version 4.18 of the Linux kernel.

Conclusion

As it can be seen, there is much that has changed in the new Version 18.10. It will be left to the users to decide if the major changes are advantageous or a letdown. The integration of Wayland, GNOME and the Snaps software are just a few of the big jumps Ubuntu has indulged.

Also read: Zorin OS Review