If you are a big GNOME fan — like me — then there is one distribution you must try — Fedora. The Linux-based operating system — the same that Linus Torvalds uses — is a great way to have a vanilla GNOME experience. Desktop environment aside, it is also both stable and fairly cutting-edge, offering modern packages and kernels.
Today, Fedora 24 reaches public Alpha — you can download it now. While using an Alpha operating system on your main computer is probably not a great idea, there is one specific thing that makes such an early version very attractive — GNOME 3.20. While the ISO does not contain the final version of 3.20, you can update to final immediately after installation by using either Software or DNF in terminal. Huzzah!
“The Alpha release contains all the features of Fedora 24’s editions in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 24 is expected in June”, says Remy DeCausemaker, Fedora Community Action and Impact Lead, Red Hat.
DeCausemaker explains, “we have decided not to make Wayland, the next generation graphic stack, the default in Fedora 24 Workstation. However, Wayland remains available as an option, and the Workstation team would greatly appreciate your help in testing. Our goal is one full release where the non-default Wayland option works seamlessly, or reasonably close thereto. At that point we will make Wayland the default with X11 as the fallback option”.
If you want to give Fedora 24 Alpha a spin, you can download an ISO below. I highly recommend choosing “Workstation” which uses GNOME, but you can also try other desktop environment “Spins” by clicking on the appropriate link. This includes KDE, Cinnamon, Xfce, Mate, and LXDE.
Again, using this on your main computer, or production machine, is not recommended. You may want to try a virtual machine install instead. If you do encounter any bugs, be sure to report them — this will help to make the beta, and ultimately the final version, better.