We just released the Fedora 17 image in our VMware Tools section. Fedora is a mature and highly polished Linux distribution. It is available in different “spins”, flavors with different desktops.
For this VMware image we chose the default version, the Gnome 3 desktop. That is the one that replaced the start menu with its new desktop metaphor and workflow invention called Gnome Shell. The spirit of this invention is sort of back to the roots, which seems to be in this case DOS. This whole journey could be labeled “the revenge of the command line” or similar.
Is the Gnome Shell a retro grenade?
While there are alternatives that probably match the average user’s needs better, we went for Gnome this time, because it is still the most often downloaded Fedora flavor.
The world is paradoxical.
Another interesting choice would be LXDE, sort of the swift and lightweight cousin of Gnome with the classic hierarchical start menu combined with a simple desktop.
For the future we are planning to offer VMware images with LXDE also. Xfce is another possible option. And then there is Linux Mint with its various attempts to escape the shell. We are going to keep an eye on that distribution. In other words, we are going to offer also Linux Mint downloads in the near future.