Major improvements with Fedora 12 - gHacks Tech News

Major improvements with Fedora 12

In the wake of Ubuntu's 9.10 release, many distributions were forgotten. But one distribution, in particular, keeps getting better and better under the radar. That distribution? Fedora. Just this week Fedora 12 was released, brining some serious improvements not only to the cutting edge distribution, but to Linux in general.

Upon installation you might not immediately notice the improvements. They are there and eventually these improvements will impress you. So instead of you having to wade through the distribution to witness these improvements, I will highlight those that will have certain impact on the user...whether directly or indirectly.

Bluetooth Support

You might be wondering why I am starting with a feature that isn't used by everyone. The main reason is because this is the update that might excite users (at least mobile users) the most. With the latest release not only has bluetooth support matured, but tethering support has become almost foolproof! So now that laptop can tether to your cell via usb. But the improvements don't end there. One of the issues, prior to 12, that plagued Linux bluetooth users was battery drain. Now bluetooth services are run "on demand" so that thirty seconds after the last bluetooth device was used, the service is suspended.

Network manager improvements

Another large step forward is with the Network Manager. Although this is the best of the best Linux network management tools, it still had room for improvement. What has been improved is:

  • IpV6 support.
  • Better shared, static, and system-wide connection support.
  • Easy to configure bluetooth tethering

Out of the box tablet support

This will come to the surprise of anyone that has had to get tablet support working with Linux. Fedora 12 will work without having to muck around with xorg.conf! Tablet pressure sensitivity, handwriting recognition, and many more features will work, out of the box! This is big news for anyone who wants to use a tablet PC with Linux.

Updates improvements

For those of you who grow more and more frustrated with the constant barrage of updates with a Fedora distribution, you will be happy to know that Fedora has made some serious improvements. First RPM now uses XZ compression (instead of gzip), so packages are smaller. Also, the Presto plugin is now enabled by default. Presto uses RPM deltas which only use files that have changed. Between XZ and deltas file downloads are considerably smaller and updating is noticeably faster.

Bug reporting

One thing to keep in mind is that Fedora is a cutting edge distribution, so bug reporting should be a task most Fedora users follow through with. Fedora 12 makes this task very simple. When an application crashes data is automatically collected (without the user having to run back traces and such). With the help of the new Abrt tool, reporting bugs is about as simple as possible. The user doesn't even have to go to Bugzilla to report a bug!

Graphics

There have been a number of improvements for graphics with Fedora 12. One of the more important updates is the experimental drivers that give 3D support for graphics cards without the use of proprietary drivers.

Clustered Samba

Another exciting addition is the GFS2 Fedora 12 Samba allows you to  have multiple instances of smbd across different nodes of a cluster. With this you can export a gfs2 filesystem through one or more nodes in the cluster. Clustered Samba will provide high-availablity of the Samba service.

Final thoughts

This is just a taste of what Fedora 12 is brining to the Linux table. There is a veritable plethora of new features available with Fedora 12. For a complete list, take a look at this Wiki page for an all encompassing  look at the feature list.

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