Fedora has been one of the most popular Linux distributions around. The Red Hat-owned project is known for its inclusion of the latest and the best applications this platform has to offer. Moreover, the distro serves as a great example to the FOSS community by always sticking to its principle of being completely open-source inside out.
Thanks to its mission to provide the bleeding edge in open-source software, Fedora has a relatively short release cycle. You'll find a new version of the distribution coming up every 6 months and that too packed with the latest and greatest software. And also, there is brand-new artwork that is one of the finest Linux has to offer. This release offers all that and much more to its users.
Fedora 18, which was released a few days ago, brings all the latest features Linux can offer to the mainstream desktop crowd. It comes with the newest software, tones of bug fixes, new artwork, and many improvements. If you're curious to know what they are, here's a list of some of the most exciting goodies that come with this release:
1. UEFI Support
When Windows decided to lockout Linux fans from installing their favorite distribution on a Windows 8 PC, many users were infuriated. Fortunately, though, many developers found a workaround to this problem. Fedora 18 is the first one to implement that solution. Fedora 18, unlike Ubuntu, uses bootloaders that have been signed by Microsoft certificates. This allows you to install Fedora 18 on a Windows 8 PC without any hassles.
2. Latest Kernel
Fedora 18 comes with the latest Linux kernel version, which is 3.6. The kernel comes with various Btrfs improvements and overall performance enhancements.
3. MATE Desktop
If you don't like the mobile-oriented GNOME 3.6 interface, you can now install the MATE desktop from the repositories. Suited for those who prefer the old-school GNOME 2.x style desktop, MATE is the perfect blend of stability and ease of use.
4. A rewritten installer
The previous UI for installations on Fedora has remained the same for the past six to seven years. In dire need of a complete overhaul, the Anaconda installer has undergone a major revamp in terms of appearance as well as performance. Looking significantly modern and more easy to use, Anaconda now performs operations more quickly and users will see a major performance boost. Also, some tedious steps that were present in the previous versions of the installer have been removed making the process faster and smoother.
5. GNOME 3.6
Fedora 18 includes the GNOME desktop by default. Updated to the latest version, that is 3.6, this one includes some cool improvements like new lockscreen and updated application menus. Also, you'll find that Online Accounts now integrates with SkyDrive and Microsoft Exchange thus making the desktop completely cloud-ready.
6. Samba 4
If you are a system administrator, you'll love this upgrade. Fedora 18 comes with the latest version of Samba, a FOSS implementation of SMB/CIFS protocol that provides file and print services for Microsoft Windows clients.
7. New Way Of Updating
Fedora 18 now installs some updates that may be troublesome on the next reboot. Whenever you update your computer, Fedora will ask you to reboot it so that all the updates can be safely installed. Of course, this won't happen every time but will show up when the upgrade affects the whole system. Though not an important feature, it will ensure that an upgrade won't break your installation so easily.
8. Latest Applications
As with every new release, many applications have been updated to their latest versions. Apart from an updated GNOME desktop, KDE has also been updated to version 4.9. For developers, Ruby on Rails is upgraded to version 3.2, Python to 3.3, and Perl to 5.16. Another popular desktop environment, that is Xfce, has been upgraded to version 4.10. 0. The release comes with some major changes to the core of the desktop along with numerous bug fixes and improvements. Core applications have also been updated, few of them include RPM and fontconfig among many others.
9. Introduction of Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is an open-source cloud-computing software platform that lets you create AWS-compatible cloud resources. This will be of great help to system admins who are looking to create their own cloud service.