Feeds

Fedora 12 - it's a horse, not a camel

Design by committee makes good

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More VMs, less RAM

Virtualization in Fedora has also been vastly improved with what's known as kernel shared memory. If you run a number of virtual machines at a time, there's a considerable amount of overlap in the memory pages. Kernel shared memory consolidates common memory pages into a single page, thus cutting down on the amount of RAM each machine needs from the host.

For example, if you're running 10 virtual machines and allocating 1GB RAM to each, you'd need 10GB of RAM. But the kernel shared memory tools in Fedora 12 combine the memory used by each virtual machine, drastically reducing your overall RAM usage. That means more virtual machines can run on your existing hardware without you needing to add more RAM.

Fedora 12's virtualization tools also offer hot swapping for virtual network interfaces and a new network-booting infrastructure.

And keep in mind that Fedora is something of a testing ground for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so look for at least some of the improved virtualization tools to end up in RHEL 6.

Fedora 12 also includes the new Theora 1.1, a much-improved version of the open video codec that features video quality on par with proprietary solutions such as H.264. Theora 1.1 is a combined effort of the Xiph.Org Foundation and Mozilla and Fedora developers.

With Firefox 3.5 already supporting Theora 1.1, Fedora 12 users now have unified video support both on and off the web.

Thus far, Theora isn't widely used on the web, but with HTML5 gaining support and browsers such as Firefox offering baked-in Theora support, an open video solution is starting to look like a viable possibility.

Fedora 12 includes the latest version of Xorg, which now defaults to spanning the desktop between displays in a dual-monitor setup rather than cloning them. Quite frankly, that's the way it should have been from the beginning, but better late than never.

Another nice under-the-hood change in Fedora 12 is the new LZMA compression format for RPM. All of the software packages in Fedora have been switched from Gzip to the more efficient XZ (LZMA) compression method. The payoff for users is smaller, faster downloads.

PackageKit, Fedora's software discovery tool that lets you quickly and easily install the application you need to open a file, now includes a browser plugin. That means that if you download a PDF file, but don't have a PDF viewer installed, PackageKit will notice the download in your browser and offer to install the software you need.

Also worth noting is the inclusion of some new open Broadcom firmware, which means that users with Broadcom WiFi chips will be able to connect without the hassle of finding and turning on hacked Windows drivers. Not every Broadcom WiFi chip is supported though; see the Fedora wiki for details.

On the desktop, Fedora 12 offers the latest versions of GNOME and KDE, complete with all the usual updates to the standard GNOME and KDE applications. On the GNOME side that means the new Empathy IM client and the slightly revamped, somewhat more polished theme we mentioned in our review of the Fedora 12 beta release.

You can download Fedora 12 here. The installer is available as a complete DVD image or as Live CD images for specific desktop environments. There are also various spins available, including the previously mentioned Moblin spin for netbooks.

Thanks to speed boosts and better power management, Fedora 12 is a welcome upgrade - and the Fedora Moblin Spin is especially recommended if you're looking for a solid netbook system. We're also looking forward to seeing where the Fedora community decides to go with Fedora 13, which will, in all likelihood, form the foundations of RHEL 6. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.