TLWIR 54: Fedora 18 – A Solid Distro with a Few Quirks

by Rex Djere on March 2, 2013


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On January 15, 2013, Fedora 18 was released, after a few delays.  I’ve had F18 running on my Toshiba laptop for about a month-and-a-half now. In TLWIR 54, I’ll give you some of my impressions of the latest and greatest Fedora operating system.

 Fedora 18 Versus Fedora 17

Fedora 18 is not radically different than Fedora 17. It pretty much looks the same, and acts the same, as F17 did. I have seen and read all of the bad reviews of Fedora 18, and I do not think that they are justified, at least not based on my experiences with the new OS. However, there are a few annoying quirks that I have noticed:

  • no logout button on single-user systems.
  • a couple of apps didn’t work quite correctly out of the box: Dropbox did not have a Fedora 18 version when F18 was released, so I had to do some configuration to get the Fedora 17 version of Dropbox to work. This has since been fixed. Firefox Nightly did not update itself properly, so I had to write my own bash shell script to update it.

No Logout Button on Single-User Systems

If your computer system has more than one user, Fedora 18 will give you the option to log out via a logout button. However, if you are the only user on your system, you won’t see a logout button, as shown in Figure 1 below.


Figure 1: No Logout Button on Single-User Systems

Thankfully, there is a simple solution: logging out using a console command. To get a mini-console, you simultaneously hit the Alt+F2 keys. This will bring up a mini console in about the middle of your screen. In the mini-console, type “gnome-session-quit”, and hit ENTER. A system popup will come up and inform you that you will be logged out automatically in 60 seconds. You can hit the “Log Out” button to be logged out immediately.

Another option is to go into your Fedora system settings, and restore the logout button in Gnome. I opted to not try this option to force myself to get familiar with the console/command line way of doing it.

The final option would be to add a dummy user to the system, a user that you never intend on actually using. However, if you choose this option, I recommend that you give the dummy user an extremely strong password so that it does not become an attack vector used to access your system.

Firefox Nightly Cannot Update Automatically

On my system, Firefox Nightly informs me when a newer version of Firefox Nightly is available. However, when I tell Nightly to perform the update automatically, it fails every time. This is probably not a Fedora 18 problem, but it is still annoying. My solution: I wrote my own bash shell script to perform the update. I run the script once a day, and I have had no problems with the script at all. It IS annoying getting the Firefox Nightly pop-up, saying that Nightly needs to be updated, but I have learned to deal with it. I also sent a message to the good folks over at Mozilla to inform them of the problem.


Other than these two problems noted above, Fedora 18 has been just as good for me as Fedora 17 was. The upgrade from Fedora 17 to 18 was flawless, and I have had no major problems running F18 in the past six weeks. I have been just as productive as ever, and I conclude the Fedora 18 is a solid product.

Thank you for reading The Linux Week in Review 54!

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