Fedora 24 is here. Go ahead – dive in

The complete package?

Cloud and Server

In addition to the desktop Workstation release, Fedora also comes in Cloud and Server editions, which pack in all the software updates of Workstation, plus all of Fedora's work on server side tools, like Fedora Atomic Host. A very minimal container designed to run Docker apps, Fedora Atomic Host 24 sees a new "developer mode," which automatically starts both Fedora's GUI management tool, Cockpit and a tmux session – giving developers the best of both worlds right out of the box.

This release of Fedora Cloud also features OpenShift Origin, Fedora's packaging of Google's Kubernetes container cluster manager.

The Server edition of Fedora sees fewer changes in this release, though there is FreeIPA 4.3, an integrated security management system. The Server edition has also been significantly streamlined, with a smaller installation footprint.

Fedora is very closely tied to GNOME – many of the core GNOME developers work at Red Hat – but there are several alternative desktop Spins available if GNOME 3.x is not for you, including Fedora MATE. Fedora's MATE Spin makes a nice lightweight alternative to GNOME, though if you've used MATE with Mint or Ubuntu you may find Fedora's version a little different.

Most of the Mint X-apps are not included by default, though some, such as the Eye of MATE image viewer, are. The result is that Fedora MATE feels a little less slick than some other distros, though it is arguably even more lightweight.

Fedora is not a rolling release distribution, but you'd be hard pressed to find a more up-to-date distro that's not rolling. The RC release, which is what this review is based on, features Linux Kernel 4.5.7, and an update to the just-released 4.6.2 will likely be along shortly. The Fedora repos are similarly up to date with LibreOffice 5.1.4, all the GNOME 3.20 apps, and Firefox 47. Once upon a time, Debian and Ubuntu far outstripped Fedora when it came to available software, but that's less true now.

Debian still offers a more total package – though not by much – but I can't remember the last time I went looking for software and couldn't get it installed in Fedora.

Thanks largely in part to GNOME 3.20, Fedora 24 is well worth the upgrade for existing users. If you haven't checked in on Fedora lately, this release makes a good place to jump in. ®

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