Feeds

Fedora 9 - an OS that even the Linux challenged can love

Plenty of muscle for hardcore nerds too

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

A Nod to Security

Also new in Fedora 9 is encrypted file-system support for much-improved security options like encrypted hot-pluggable devices, SWAP, and root partitions. Fedora 9's Anaconda installer will support encrypted partitions at install time, making it easy for the novice user to get a secure system up and running.

We had no trouble installing Fedora 9 from the Live USB stick that Fedora provided. Though the version we tested was a release candidate (RC1), we had no trouble resizing partitions, formatting disks and getting the GNOME-based spin installed and up and running.

Like other distros, Fedora ships in several different flavors (or "spins" as they're known in Fedora land) including a GNOME package and a KDE package as well.

The GNOME desktop spin ships with GNOME 2.22, which may not look any different from its predecessors, but it does add some nice new features like GVFS, which replaces the old GNOME-VFS system. GVFS offers a much more uniform interface so that Nautilus behaves the same regardless of whether you're browsing a connected Samba share, SSH connection or local disk.

Fedora 9 immediately recognized our wireless card and had no trouble adjusting to our Toshiba's display resolution. The usual GNOME apps were all present - Totem, Firefox 3b5, Pidgin IM, gEdit, GIMP, etc - though Fedora opts to use AbiWord and Gnumeric for the Live USB, since the OpenOffice.org suite would take up too much space.

A look at the GNOME theme and apps

Fedora 9 Gnome Desktop and applications

Fedora 9 also ships with a new theme featuring a new set of default icons and artwork, all of which were created by the Fedora community.

Although we didn't chose to reformat our hard drive, Fedora 9 features experimental support for ext4, the next generation Linux filesystem. The ext4 filesystem itself is still in the experimental stage and while some of the work will be available in Linux kernel 2.6.25, it isn't ready for prime time just yet. Still, if you're looking to explore ext4, Fedora 9 has you covered.

Shot of the default GNOME theme in Fedora 9

Default GNOME theme in Fedora 9

While the GNOME 2.22 spin of Fedora 9 brings a lot of nice evolutionary improvements, the KDE spin brings the exciting KDE 4 revolution to the Fedora desktop.

The new KDE look, dubbed Oxygen, is very slick, some might even say beautiful. Fedora is the first major distro to ship with KDE 4 enabled by default, but thankfully KDE 4 does support older applications that haven't yet been ported. Such apps won't be able to take advantage of the new features, but at least you can use them until new versions are released.

Fedora 9 also marks the first release under Paul Frields, Fedora project leader at Red Hat, who took over for longtime Fedora maintainer Max Spevack earlier this year. Fedora has also revamped its board slightly making the distro a more community-managed affair. The majority of the Fedora board is now made up of community elected members.

We spoke to Frields about the changes to the board and he said that the goal was to "create a more open governance model with greater transparency." The net result is that, more than ever, the community is the driving force behind Fedora 9.

Frields also talked about the future of Fedora, saying that the goal is to create "a paradigm where people who don't know anything about a computer's innards have the best shot at getting everything working." In other words, take the complexity out of the setup, something Fedora 9 does very well.

As for the future, Frields says that the Fedora community wants to reach out to people unhappy with their computer experience and "turn them on to a new way of information sharing, getting them to understand collaboration," and, in turn, the Linux experience.

There's more on Fedora 9 "aka Sulphur" here, and, as mentioned, it will be good to go on Tuesday.®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.