Fedora 12 polishes Linux for netbooks
RHEL power management
Review The Fedora Project has released the first beta of Fedora 12, the next major revision of the Fedora Linux line, and though it's still a work in progress, there are already some standout features, including a much improved power management system and support for the Moblin project, Intel's effort to make Linux work better on netbooks and mobile devices.
Fedora has never been shy when it comes to adopting new features. Fedora 11, for example, was one of the first major distros to adopt the ext4 files system. But with Fedora 12 the focus is much more on feature refinement and improving the stability and functionality of some features introduced in Fedora 11.
Perhaps the most practical of the new features is the reportedly improved power management system. Taking some bits from Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 5, Fedora 12 will offer a new and easy way to switch between various predefined and extendible ktune-based power settings.
The underlying power management tools, namely ktune, have been pulled from RHEL 5 and merged with Fedora 11's "tuned" system daemon and, according to the project's developers, will make Fedora 12 "use less power...while not affecting user experience."
The look and feel of Fedora 12, with the first beta
For the beta release, we stuck with a virtual machine install, so we can't verify Fedora 12's power saving potential, but once the final release rolls around, we're looking forward to putting Fedora 12's ktune to the test.
Also new in the beta release of Fedora 12 is improved support for Moblin Core, to improve performance and deliver a better graphical interface for Linux on netbooks, mobile platforms and embedded devices. Moblin Core itself is built on the GNOME Mobile platform, which is the core desktop environment that sits of top of Fedora.
The benefit for netbooks and other small screen devices is the improved user interface. Naturally, Fedora GUI environments aren't optimized for the small screens of netbooks and mobile devices, but the new Moblin spin addresses those issues and makes the Fedora on a netbook experience much nicer. Also part of Moblin is support for most of the common graphics and WiFi chipsets found in today's netbooks, though as always, Broadcom WiFi chipsets remain an issue.
Next page: New GNOME
Why do *buntu fanbois troll on Fedora news items?
I won't be upgrading to F12 (running F11 on my Dell lappy here in Germany, F9 on my desktop back in Blighty, and I've been using odd-numbered releases since F7), but I do see F13 in my near future.
I must say, I am impressed by the boot time for F11. Nice as it is to see the boot sequence scroll up my screen, I do appreciate the swiftness and the modernity of the splash screen.
> "the latest version of Xorg that now defaults to, for those of you with a dual monitor setup, spanning the desktop between monitors, rather than cloning between them. Quite frankly, that's the way it should have been from the beginning, but as they say, better late than never."
So be it, but if "dual monitor" is a notebook or netbook with a projector plugged in to the VGA port, then this is very definitely a retrograde step! (Perfection would be auto-detecting whether what's on the VGA port is a projector or a monitor, but I don't know if that's even possible).
I just hope that finding one's way back into clone mode is easier than it is with Windows XP.
You don't need to install every Fedora release. Each release has a supported life cycle of 13 months (in other words, until shortly after the next-release-but-one comes out - so if you install Fedora X, you can choose to completely skip Fedora X+1 and update to Fedora X+2 soon after it comes out, if you like).
You don't need to do a clean installation to upgrade to a new Fedora release. You can do an upgrade install from the installation disc, or use preupgrade. You can even upgrade using yum, although that's not officially supported. See http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Upgrading for more details.
Most drivers that do not ship as part of Fedora itself for legal or policy reasons are available from RPM Fusion, http://www.rpmfusion.org/ . There's no need to recompile the kernel or 'muck about' with any command prompts or scripts to install any of the drivers available there.