Fedora is a leading edge, free and open source operating system that continues to deliver innovative features to many users, with a new release about every six months. We bring to you the latest and greatest release of Fedora ever, Fedora 13! Join us and share the joy of Free software and the community with friends and family. We have several major new features with special focus on desktops, netbooks, virtualization and system administration.
What's New in Fedora 13?
For desktop users
A universe of new features for end users:
* Streamlined Installer. The user interface of Anaconda, the Fedora installer, has changed to handle storage devices and partitioning in an easy and streamlined manner, with helpful hints in the right places. Thanks to Chris Lumens and others on the Anaconda team, and Máirín Duffy, Fedora Design team lead, for her user interface review.
* Automatic print driver installation. We're using RPM and PackageKit for automatic installation of printer drivers, so when you plug in a printer, Fedora will automatically offer to install drivers for it if needed. Thanks to Tim Waugh and Richard Hughes.
* New desktop applications and enhancements. The Shotwell photo manager, Deja-dup backup software, Pino Identi.ca/Twitter client, and Simple Scan scanning utility are all delivered by default to provide an enhanced desktop experience out of the box. Palimpsest, the desktop utility for handling storage devices, can now manage LVM and RAID disks easily. As with the past several releases, Fedora 13 includes enhanced webcam support. Hans de Goede from Red Hat has specially focussed on better support for dual mode camera's for this release.
* NetworkManager improvements include better Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, and new command line abilities. NetworkManager was introduced in Fedora 7 and has become the de facto network configuration solution for distributions everywhere. NetworkManager is now a one-stop shop for all of your networking needs in Fedora, be it dial-up, broadband, wifi, or even Bluetooth. In Fedora 13 NetworkManager adds mobile broadband enhancements to show signal strength; support for old-style dial-up networking (DUN) over Bluetooth; and command line support via nmcli in addition to the improved graphical user interface. Thanks to Dan Williams of Red Hat for his extensive work on these features upstream and within Fedora.
* Color management. Do you like your printouts to look the same as they do on screen - or your scanner output to look the same as what you just scanned? Color Management allows you to better set and control your colors for displays, printers, and scanners, through the gnome-color-manager package. Thanks to Richard Hughes from Red Hat for his involvement upstream and in Fedora.
* Enhanced iPod functionality. Newer Apple iPod, iPod Touch and iPhone models are supported by some of your favorite photo management software and music library applications such as Rhythmbox. The devices are automatically attached using the libimobiledevice library, so you can work with your content more easily.
* Enhanced streaming and buffering support in Totem. Totem's Movie Player and web browser plugins are now better at handling large streaming media, such as HD movies and Podcasts, thanks to the new disk-buffering support in GStreamer.
* 3D support for ATI cards (R600 and R700) via Radeon driver. In Fedora 13, 3D support for many ATI cards has moved out of experimental status and is enabled by default. 2D support for the latest generation (R800) is integrated as well in this release. Thanks to Red Hat's Dave Airlie and many others for involvement upstream and in Fedora.
* Experimental 3D graphics support extended to free Nouveau driver for NVidia cards. This release also adds experimental 3D support to a wide range of NVidia cards, adding them to the list of liberated video capabilities. Install the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package to try out the work in progress. Thanks to Red Hat's Ben Skeggs for involvement upstream and in Fedora.
* KDE improvements. KDE in Fedora continues to provide tight integration with the latest technologies in Fedora. In this release, we have improved integration with PulseAudio via Phonon and the volume control KMix, which controls per-application volumes and moves application sounds between hardware devices, as well as with the latest PolicyKit authorization framework. We have also integrated new major versions, based on the KDE Development Platform 4, of the KOffice office suite, the K3b CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning application and, for developers, the KDevelop IDE, which provide better integration with the KDE 4 Plasma Desktop and no longer require the KDE 3 compatibility libraries. Thanks to the work of a growing community of KDE contributors in Fedora.
* DisplayPort support improvements. Fedora 12 added initial support for the new DisplayPort display connector for Intel graphics chips. Support for Nvidia and ATI systems has now been added in this release. Thanks to Red Hat's Xorg team.
* Experimental user management interface. The user account tool has been completely redesigned, and the accountsdialog and accountsservice test packages are available to make it easy to configure personal information, make a personal profile picture or icon, generate a strong passphrase, and set up login options for your Fedora system. Try out the work in progress. Thanks to Matthias Clasen from Red Hat's Desktop team and others.
For developers there are all sorts of additional goodies:
* SystemTap static probes. SystemTap now has expanded capabilities to monitor higher-level language runtimes like Java, Python, and Tcl, and also user space applications, starting with PostgreSQL. In the future, Fedora will add support for even more user space applications, greatly increasing the scope and power of monitoring for application developers. Thanks to Mark Wielaard from Red Hat.
* Easier Python debugging. We've added new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) in Fedora to get more complete information when debugging with gdb, making Fedora an exceptional platform for powerful, rapid application development. Thanks to David Malcolm from Red Hat.
* Parallel-installable Python 3 stack. The parallel-installable Python 3 stack will help programmers write and test code for use in both Python 2.6 and Python 3 environments, so you can future-proof your applications now using Fedora. Thanks to David Malcolm from Red Hat.
* NetBeans Java EE 6 support. The NetBeans 6.8 integrated development environment is the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 specification. Thanks to Victor G. Vasilyev from Sun/Oracle for his maintenance and support of NetBeans in collaboration with Fedora.
* IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition, Java IDE. Along with Eclipse and NetBeans already provided by Fedora, IDEA is a popular Java-based development environment newly introduced in this release. It comes with an intuitive GUI, integration with Ant and Maven, extensive language support, version control systems and test tools integration and compatibility with Eclipse projects. Thanks to Lubomir Rintel and Michal Ingeli, Fedora community volunteers, for packaging and integration of this feature.
For system administrators
And don't think we forgot the system administrators:
* boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO). BFO allows users to download a single, tiny image (could fit on a floppy) and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images. Thanks to Mike McGrath, Fedora Infrastructure lead.
* Zarafa Open Source edition Groupware. Zarafa Open Source edition is a complete, 100% free and open source groupware suite that can be used as a drop-in Microsoft Exchange replacement for Web-based mail, calendaring, collaboration, and tasks. Features include IMAP/POP and iCal/CalDAV capabilities, native mobile phone support, the ability to integrate with existing Linux mail servers, a full set of programming interfaces, and a comfortable look and feel using modern Ajax technologies. Thanks to Robert Scheck, Fedora community volunteer, for packaging and integration of this feature.
* Btrfs snapshots integration. Btrfs is capable of creating lightweight, copy-on-write filesystem snapshots that can be mounted (and booted into) selectively. Automated snapshots allow system owners to easily revert to a filesystem from the previous day, or from before a yum update using the yum-plugin-fs-snapshot plugin. Btrfs is still an experimental filesystem in this release and requires a "btrfs" installation option to enable support for it. (This option is only available for non-live images.) Upcoming releases will integrate the snapshot functionality into the desktop while working on stabilization of the filesystem in parallel. Thanks to Josef Bacik, Btrfs filesystem developer at Red Hat, for filesystem work and the new yum plugin and Chris Ball from OLPC team for leading this effort.
* LVM Snapshots merging support. Recent LVM (and device-mapper) snapshot advances included in Fedora 13 allow system owners to merge an LVM snapshot back into the origin. In the process you can rollback the origin LV to the state it was in before the system upgrade. As noted earlier, the yum-snapshot-fs-plugin can work with both Btrfs and LVM volumes exposing this functionality and making it easier to use. This feature was developed and merged upstream by Red Hat's storage team.
* Virtualization enhancements. Fedora continues its leadership in virtualization technologies with improvements to KVM such as Stable PCI Addresses and Virt Shared Network Interface technologies. Having stable PCI addresses will enable virtual guests to retain PCI addresses' space on a host machine. The shared network interface technology enables virtual machines to use the same physical network interface cards (NICs) as the host operating system. Fedora 13 also enhances performance of virtualization via VHostNet acceleration of KVM networking, Virtx2apic for enhanced guest performance on large multi-processor systems, and Virtio-Serial for simple IO between the guest and host user spaces. Thanks to the Red Hat virtualization team for their ongoing contributions.
* System Security Services Daemon (SSSD). SSSD provides expanded features for logging into managed domains, including caching for offline authentication. Now users on laptops can still login when disconnected from the company's managed network. The authentication configuration tool in Fedora has already been updated to support SSSD, and to be even more attractive and functional. Thanks to Stephen Gallagher from Red Hat for new capabilities, and Tomas Mraz and Mairin Duffy of Red Hat for the redesign.
* Pioneering NFS features. Fedora offers the latest version 4 of the NFS protocol for better performance, and, in conjunction with recent kernel modifications, includes IPv6 support for NFS as well. Thanks to Steve Dickson from Red Hat.
* Dogtag Certificate System Dogtag is an enterprise-class open source Certificate Authority (CA) supporting all aspects of certificate lifecycle management including key archival, OCSP and smart card management. Brought into the fold as part of the Red Hat acquisition of Netscape technologies, this certificate server is fully free and open source and now included in Fedora. Thanks to the PKI team at Red Hat.