Having just declared my admiration of Ubuntu 10.04's slick new look, too soon has my in-built need to find something better kicked-in. Not that there's anything wrong with Ubuntu 10.04, but I've always been a Fedora fan, and with version 13 due for release on 25 May, I had to give the latest beta a try. And I reckon it's great.
Having installed the Gnome live CD to my hard disk, all my usual apps have installed well. Fedora's default theme though, despite some attractive wallpapers, is looking rather out of date in my opinion. Having enjoyed Ubuntu's latest look, I went in search of a way of improving Fedora's look, and installing Gnome Shell (a preview of the new user interface due in Gnome 3.0 later this year) seems to have done the trick.
Gnome Shell is still under development and therefore incomplete, but from my initial tests, it is already very usable and stable. If you want to learn more about what it does, I suggest you follow the official tour here. Otherwise, below is a quick guide to getting it working in Fedora 13:
1. Open the Add/Remove Programs package manager, and install the following package:
2. Once installed (it only takes a few seconds to download), open the Desktop Effects settings, in which you will notice a new option for Gnome Shell. Enable this now:
3. That's it. Simple eh?
Below are a couple of screenshots of the new desktop in action. Of course, getting this working depends on your system having a compatible graphics card and drivers, but I believe if you are already able to run Compiz, then Gnome Shell should work too. My test laptop has in-built Intel graphics and works fine.
So I think I'll stick with Fedora & Gnome Shell for the time being (farewell Ubuntu!), and very much look forward to Fedora 14 later this year, which should hopefully include Gnome 3.0 and Gnome Shell by default.
Thanks for reading.