For a good reason, Fedora is a well-known name among Linux users. As a community-driven distribution, Fedora is known for its cutting-edge technology and commitment to open-source principles.
In addition, it has gained a reputation for being a stable, reliable, and versatile operating system suitable for a wide range of uses, from personal computing to enterprise-level applications.
Its user-friendly interface, extensive software repositories, and active community support make it an excellent choice for beginners and experienced Linux users.
But, of course, there is always room for improvement, and risiOS is banking on that. First, however, before we go any further, we need to answer an important question.
What is risiOS?
risiOS is a relatively new Linux distribution with only a few releases behind it. Proclaiming itself as “A Seattle based OS you can trust” and based on Fedora, risiOS has set itself the not-so-easy task of expanding on what Fedora provides with the addition of user-friendly tools. And to a large extent, it has achieved it.
But let’s draw a parallel of how risiOS relates to Fedora. In that case, the closest comparison is that the distro is chasing what Ubuntu achieved by building on Debian – adding tools that make the user’s job easier. Of course, the scale and scope of the work are incomparable, but as we said, the project is still in its infancy.
risiOS releases follow the Fedora numbering system. So, for example, the current risiOS 37, boldly codenamed “The Beautiful,” is predictably based on Fedora 37. Probably, this tendency will continue in the future.
Desktop Environment: Let It Be Red!
Like the flagship version of Fedora Workstation, risiOS uses GNOME as its desktop environment. However, the user’s first visual experience with the desktop may be a challenge for those with a strong sensitivity to bright colors because the developers chose bright red. This is one of the aspects where we can argue whether it is the best choice. In any case, Fedora’s soft blue hues are indeed more pleasant to our eyes. But enough about that.
Returning to the GNOME desktop, we want to share something that made an excellent impression on us. Unlike many other distributions, which rely on cluttering it with all kinds of extensions, making its use a complex rebus, the approach used here is exemplary and acceptable.
You get the same vanilla GNOME experience as in Fedora. The developers have left it up to you to decide whether you need additional extensions without presenting you with a fait accompli.
The most exciting part that makes the difference between risiOS and Fedora is the built-in applications that substantially simplify configuring the distribution with the required software and view.
risiWelcome is a must-have application for every Linux distribution that claims to be easy to use, even for Linux newcomers.
It guides the user through configuring the distribution and installing all essential applications required for daily computing, removing the need for advanced command line skills using the DNF command. Instead, the entire app installation process is laid out in user-friendly GUI wizards, so you can get the apps you want with a few mouse clicks in no time.
risiTweaks is another app that grabbed our attention and won our applause. Is everything too red for you? No worries. Just choose the accent color you want and apply it.
Of course, this is only a small portion of what risiTweaks is capable of. You can use it to customize the appearance and behavior of the desktop environment, add and remove GNOME extensions, and even quickly and easily install one of the five browsers, with Brave, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi all available.
Web Apps are yet another fantastic feature of risiOS. In short, web apps are web-based applications that can be accessed and used through a web browser and offer functionality similar to traditional desktop applications. In addition, web apps allow you to use software from other platforms on your Linux desktop.
And risiOS has made sure that everything is just a few clicks away. You can access a wide range of web apps conveniently organized thematically by category. Just choose what you need, hit the button, and enjoy your new web app in no time. How much easier can it be than that?
The approach to software selection in risiOS differs from that of Fedora. For example, the web browser that comes with the default installation is not Firefox but rather Chromium. Moreover, the popular office suite LibreOffice has been replaced by ONLYOFFICE.
A good impression is that the distribution is not bloated with software, and even on the contrary – the apps are reduced to a bare minimum, with only the most essential included in the default installation.
When you open the terminal, however, you are in for a surprise, as the well-known to most Linux users Bash shell is replaced here in favor of а modified version of ZSH with features such as syntax highlighting, auto suggestions, and more.
Regarding software repositories, quite expectedly, risiOS uses those of Fedora, adding to them its COPR repository. Of course, you can quickly and easily add the Flathub repository using the GUI to expand the available software installation options.
Building on Fedora’s time-proven foundation, risiOS is a promising distribution that has won our affection. Considering its young age, risiOS is doing great with winning the sympathies of Linux users looking for a stable, reliable, and, above all, easy-to-use and manage Linux distribution.
Of course, it is still far from the heights reached by Linux Mint, which we believe is the best desktop distrо. However, as we previously stated, all indications are that risiOS is on the right track.
Would we recommend it to a new Linux user? Definitely! At the same time, we’re also confident that distrо hoppers will enjoy it.
If you want to learn more about risiOS, visit the project website.