booting fedora from usb first steps

Booting Fedora Workstation 36 from USB first steps

This blog post shows you the first things to check out after booting Fedora Workstation 36 from USB. The most important thing to keep in mind is that when Fedora runs off of an USB stick, everything you do is temporary. The purpose of previewing the Fedora operating system is simply to check it out and play around similar to test driving a car before you buy it.

The difference between a live boot and actual install

Speed. Speed is the only difference between an actual install because running the operating system from the USB stick is many times slower. Ideally your computer has an SSD drive and if so, Fedora will just fly.
As already mentioned, anything you set or change will not be there when you shut the computer down. This is a good thing because it gives you a chance to break the operating system several times and install only once you are comfortable with how it works.

Have you seed the Blender test render speed I got with Fedora?

Using Linux is not much different from using Windows

Most operating systems come with a panel which is usually at the bottom. Fedora, by default, hides the panel and we must press the windows key to temporarily show it. This is not ideal and once Fedora gets installed, a Gnome extension called “Dash to Panel” will override the default and make the panel sticky.

Every Linux user I know changes the default Gnome panel behavior and doesn’t stop there. Besides the Dash to Panel extension, there are many other useful extensions which brings us to the first topic. The Gnome desktop is very configurable and you can set up your computer pretty much any way you like.

We are getting ahead of ourselves so let’s stick to the first live Fedora preview boot. With the system booted up you see an ugly wallpaper which, for now, try to ignore. It’s easy to change but not necessary because we are interest in the operating system. Do keep in mind that once you change to wallpaper to something nicer, the whole user experience gets a lift. Strange but true.

By default, Fedora installs a minimal set of software. To see what is included press the windows key (located between ctrl and alt) to bring up the panel. Then click on the 9 dots which will show all of the software that comes with a default Fedora install.

booting fedora from usb first steps
My Fedora software screen shown when I press the WIN key

To leave the software selection window press the escape key. While previewing Fedora, you need to memorize the windows key method so that you can bring up the panel anytime you want to load a software program. If you plan on doing a long preview then you can right-click a software icon and chose the “pin to” option to add it to the panel. This is optional but usually done once installed.

Don’t install new software while live booting

Fedora is very powerful and it is easily possible to install new software even while live booting the USB preview. Important programs like the Photoshop alternative Gimp are not installed by default and this is a good thing because in order to have a computer that responds fast, we want little to no bloat.

On my systems, a typical Windows install takes roughly four times the space Fedora does and needs at least twice the memory to just run an empty desktop. Please note that those are my values and your experience may differ.

System Monitor

When I test-drive a new Linux distribution, I usually load up the system monitor. It shows all I need to know in order to determine the efficiency of the operating system. Here is a look at the Gnome system monitor running on my Dell Precision 3440 desktop publishing machine.

fedora gnome system monitor
Fedora Gnome System Monitor

Once you load the Gnome system monitor application, you see three tabs. The resources tab shows the CPU usage, Memory usage and Network data. With Gimp and Firefox open, my Fedora Workstation uses 3.5 GB of RAM and the CPU usage is less than 10%. I am especially pleased when I see that the CPU usage stays low while watching YouTube videos. All in all, I use Fedora because it is super efficient.

Distro hopping?

If you are already using Linux and know your way around then you can install htop which will give you additional details that should help you determine if it is time to switch to Fedora. The command to do so is: sudo dnf install htop
Wait a bit and when you are prompted to answer y/N chose y for YES.
neofetch and other utilities can also be installed this way but if you are just previewing then it is kind of pointless to install anything at this point.

Fedora is an up-to-date operating system which comes with the Gnome desktop. There is also a KDE version which has similar apps but here at Fedorum we have settled on the Gnome desktop which will get a lot of attention once our YouTube videos are published.

Preview Fedora Workstation as much as you like. When ever you have time to do some more testing please do so. Load up the included Firefox browser and google for additional information and when you are ready, find the Install Fedora icon and move over to Linux. Here at Fedorum Fedora runs on all computers including our newest laptop which is an ASUS Zephyrus G15 runs Fedora Workstation 36 amazingly well.

The cooler temperatures and better performance always makes me feel awkward when I have to boot into Windows. Once you use Fedora for a few months you too might be amazed how you could ever have used Windows. Windows, in comparison to Linux, does very little. Accessing and mounting remote server directories is tedious under Windows. As a web designer I would not want to use Windows at all.
Besides that there is also the telemetry issue as Windows is known for collecting tons data.

If you like to keep your data private and want the extra security which Fedora offers then switching to Linux is the next step.

I will write much more on the topic of installing Fedora and how/why to follow best practices soon.

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