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Fedora is a advanced Linux-based "community-created" operating system developed and controlled by the American computer giant IBM's subsidiary RedHat. It is easy to install, easy to use and it comes with a wide variety of simple free software programs for most every-day computing tasks.

written by 林慧 (Wai Lin). published 2020-09-16last edited 2020-09-16

We tested the Fedora 33 Workstation Edition pre-release for the purpose of this review.


Fedora is available as a variety of "spins" at torrents.fedoraproject.org. Fedora can also be acquired from getfedora.org using the much slower HTTPS file transfer protocol.

The "Workstation" edition is the main version. It comes with a GNOME 3.37.90 desktop and a solid variety of very simple fairly easy to use, but not very advanced, mobile-app-like GNOME applications.

Windows users can use a free tool called "Rufus", available from rufus.ie, to make a bootable Live-installation using any cheap USB stick with 2 GiB or larger capacity.

Booting the Fedora 33 Workstation ISO from a USB stick produces a fully usable GNOME desktop environment and a window with two very large buttons: Try Fedora and Install to Hard Drive.

The Install to Hard Drive option (which can be found in the menu if you chose "Try Fedora") starts a very simple installation process. It starts by asking what language you prefer. It will propose the language spoken in the country you are in if the machine is connected to the Internet (it is based on a usually accurate GeoIP lookup). The next screen presents three choices:

  • Keyboard
  • Time and Date
  • Installation Destination

The keyboard preference will default to the language you selected, so you will not need to touch that unless you prefer a keyboard layout that does not match your preferred application language. Date and time will be set to your timezone if you are connected to the Internet, you will only need to change that if you are not. That leaves Installation Destination.

Novice users can click Installation Destination and try to verify that the selected hard drive, typically pre-selected with the "right" one if there is only one in the machine, and simply click Done. There is a Encrypt my data option there which is not selected by default. Everyone, novice or not, really should click that and wisely choose a longer pass-phrase. Just don't make it too long, you're out of luck if you forget it later on.

Advanced users may want to click Custom and change the Fedora-proposed defaults. There is one rather huge problem with the proposed defaults in Fedora 33 which wasn't there in earlier versions: The "Automatic" storage configuration will not make any swap device. This major blunder on IBM/RedHat's part means that you will not be able to hybrid suspend or suspend to disk using the defaults. Suspending to RAM alone is possible without a swap device but it is a foolish alternative to hybrid suspend (suspend to both RAM and disk) since you're utterly screwed if a laptops battery runs out or AC power is cut on a desktop while the machine is suspended to RAM alone.

Fedora 33 installation 003.jpg
The Fedora 33 installer ready to proceed with the installation.

You can simply click a fine blue Begin Installation once you are happy with your keyboard, time/date and installation destination settings. That starts a fairly quick and fully automatic installation procedure with a nice progress bar. Fedora won't ask any questions during this process. Earlier Fedora versions would asks you to create a user-name, Fedora 33 won't do that until the first time you boot into it. How long it takes depends on how fast your machine is, how fast the SSD or HDD you are installing to is and the USB device you placed the installation ISO on.