Fedora 12 Beta now available
Posted on: 10/21/2009 09:36 AM
Fedora 12 Beta has been released
Fedora is a leading edge, free and open source operating system that continues to deliver innovative features to many users, with a new release every six months. We have reached the Fedora 12 Beta, the last important development milestone of Fedora 12. Only critical bug fixes will be pushed as updates leading up to the general release of Fedora 12, scheduled to be released in mid-November. We invite you to join us and participate in making Fedora 12 a solid release by downloading, testing, and providing us your valuable feedback.Fedora 12 Beta now available
What's New in Fedora 12?
* Optimized performance - All software packages on 32-bit (x86_32) architecture have been compiled for i686 systems with special optimization for Intel Atom processors used in many netbooks but without losing compatibility with the overwhelming majority of CPUs. There is a list of the rare CPUs which will no longer be supported.
* Smaller and faster updates - In Fedora 11, the optional yum-presto plugin, developed by Fedora contributor Jonathan Dieter, reduced update size by transmitting only the changes in the updated packages. Now, the plugin is installed by default. Also, RPMs now use XZ rather than gzip for compression, providing smaller package sizes without the memory and CPU penalties associated with bzip2. This lets us fit more software into each Fedora image, and uses less space on mirrors, making their administrators' lives a little easier. Thanks to the Fedora infrastructure team for their work in generating delta RPMs.
* NetworkManager broadband and other enhancements - NetworkManager, originally developed by Red Hat's Dan Williams, was introduced in Fedora 7 and has become the de facto network configuration solution for distributions everywhere. Enhancements to NetworkManager make both system-wide connections and mobile broadband connections easier than ever.
* Next-generation (Ogg) Theora video - For several years, Theora, the open and free format not encumbered by known patents has provided a way for freedom-loving users to share video. Fedora 12 includes the new Theora 1.1, which achieves near-H.264 quality, meeting the expectations of demanding users with crisp, vibrant media in both streaming and downloadable form. Thanks to the work of the Xiph.Org Foundation's Christopher "Monty" Montgomery, sponsored by Red Hat, other Xiph developers, and the contribution of Mozilla.org, Firefox 3.5 can deliver free media on the web out of the box, using the Theora video and Vorbis audio formats even better than the previous release of Fedora.
* Graphics support improvements - Fedora 12 introduces experimental 3D support for AMD Radeon HD 2400 and later graphics cards. To try it out, install the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package. On many cards, this support should allow desktop effects to be used. Kernel mode setting (KMS) support, which was introduced on AMD hardware in Fedora 10 and extended to Intel hardware in Fedora 11, is now extended to NVIDIA hardware as well, meaning the great majority of systems now benefit from the smooth, fully-graphical startup sequence made possible by KMS.
* Virtualization improvements - Not content with all the improvements in Fedora 11, we've kicked virtualization based on KVM up another notch in Fedora 12. There are extensive improvements in performance, management, resource sharing, and still more security enhancements. A new library (libguestfs) and an interactive tool (guestfish) are now available for directly accessing and modifying virtual machine disk images.
* GNOME 2.28 - The latest version of the GNOME desktop includes the lighter Gnote replacement for Tomboy as the default note application, and Empathy replaces Pidgin as the default instant messenger. The new volume control application, first seen in Fedora 11, has been improved to restore some of the popular functionality from earlier releases without making the interface too complex.
* GNOME Shell preview - Fedora 12 includes an early version of GNOME Shell, which will become the default interface for GNOME 3.0 and beyond. To try it, install the gnome-shell package, and use the Desktop Effects configuration tool to enable it. It will only work correctly from the GNOME desktop environment, not others such as KDE or Xfce. This is a preview technology, and some video cards may not be supported.
* KDE 4.3 - The new KDE features an updated "Air" theme and fully configurable keyboard shortcuts in Plasma, improved performance and new desktop effects in the window manager, a new bug reporting tool, and a configuration tool for the LIRC infra-red remote control system.
* Cool new stuff for developers beginning with Eclipse Galileo, which includes more plugins than ever before. Perl 6 is now included, along with PHP 5.3. For Haskell developers, the Haskell Platform now provides a standardized set of libraries and tools. But one of the biggest changes for developers is that most of the nice new features of Fedora 12, from Bluetooth to WebCams is implemented through underlying libraries, and many of the improvements will be included simply by relinking your application. Also available in this release are SystemTap 1.0 for improved instrumenting and debugging of binaries, complete with Eclipse integration, and the newest NetBeans IDE for Java development.