Fedora 18: Good News for The Linux World
New version of the distribution impressed with many improvements – revised installer does not quite ready yet
Delay occurred in the history of Fedora already many: Hardly a new release, which did not finally two or three weeks longer than originally estimated. As numerous as in Fedora 18, the schedule adjustment was but never with more than two months after the actual target launch date , there is now the latest issue of primarily Red Hat supported Linux distribution that is to be subjected to the following a closer examination.
As usual there are a plethora of options in Fedora, as with KDE, Xfce or LXDE desktop, or in the form of customized “spin” for special applications. The primary installation image is, and that is with the GNOME desktop, so far, the test focuses on it as a result also. It also has two variants: In addition to an extensive DVD ISO – on all desktops are included – there is also a dedicated live image.
“Live CD” in this context would incidentally now the wrong word. Like Ubuntu, Fedora also waived now on trying to accommodate your distribution on a single CD. Anyone wanting to use the live image, it must therefore either burn to a DVD or begin immediately from the USB stick. The most important consequence of this decision: The free office suite LibreOffice is now finally on the live image with this, here also can now also choose between several languages for installation.
Which path is taken always to install, quickly reveals itself, which has led to all the delays of Fedora 18: The Anaconda installer has been completely redesigned, and that is of course expired not quite as smoothly as the developers had hoped. The users can find out about this measure in any case very happy times in principle, because: The old installer was required to overhaul bitterly.
As with other distributions also runs here now virtually everything automatically: After entering the preferred language, the users get equal access to a selection screen where the most important parameters can be set. Fortunately, almost everything here is automatically configured, anyone who wants can still customize individual points. Absolutely have actually only the choice of a target installation, while setting keyboard, network, or date / time should be configured only when needed. In the specific implementation remembers all this way, some of the installer of openSUSE, which is also built around a summary screen.
As much as the transformation of the installer is to be welcomed in principle, little as it is possible to get past critical words for the implementation. Especially when it goes into detail, some acts are not entirely thought through. For example, the path to manual partitioning behind an unnecessarily confusing designed dialog (or a checkbox on this) is hidden.
What’s more, some even with all the delays are still not working properly: Who uses such a small hard drive (in a virtual machine), and when manually partitioning the classification proposed by Fedora follows that can sometimes crash while uploading the packets experience because the system partition was not chosen sufficiently large (as opposed to the swap space).
And if the criticism of the installer nor a superficial component may be added: The graphic design looks like a plenty unkind interpretation of GNOME UI design principles. Hardly a dialogue in which the distances agree, or the established voices let alone consistent with the other departments.
The near-yet-ever-as-next-generation file system paged btrfs in Fedora 18, although still not the default solution, but at least it can be selected easily – and if desired the same, together with the associated partitioning scheme. While uploading the data can still be given a root password – then it was already back with the actual installation, a reboot of the system is so.
Unfinished, Part 2
When you first boot then follow the usual Fedora extra configuration steps, some of which make sense – some less. What about this for a second time to synchronize the time is offered with an NTP server knows, probably not even Red Hat. That all this, given the new installer rather antique effect, should not be surprised – and quite a good reason: Originally just for Fedora 18 represent the “GNOME Initial Experience” take over this part and more modern legs. This is still not where they would like to have the developers, so in this respect it is to wait on Fedora 19th
In addition to a fresh install Fedora there as usual to update the opportunity with an existing system. For this purpose there is in the form of Fedup a new tool, but that is not without pitfalls: fedup can be evaluated solely upgrade from Fedora 17 to 18. Anyone using an older version must therefore go first with the older PreUpgrade on Fedora 17 and can only then switch to Fedora 18th In addition, the upgrade can be recommended only limited, at least at one of the test systems booted the system after the upgrade correctly. Otherwise applies: So easy – and reliable – like Ubuntu Fedora still does not save the changes to a new version.
Is the desktop in Fedora 18, the GNOME 3.6.2 and thus – as used to in earlier versions of the distribution – the latest edition of the software. Let’s see on its own Wallpaper, Fedora also waived on any modifications, so here there’s still gnome3 in pure form.
The – many – innovation GNOME 3.6 were elsewhere already appreciated in detail , accordingly they are here touched upon only briefly: There is a completely redesigned version of the file manager Nautilus, in which some features – such as the split mode – has been removed, it a wealth of new features have been added. Above all, a significantly improved search function, which will be activated immediately when typing. The notification area was designed once again, the screen lock is moved directly into the GNOME Shell and is based in appearance now at the login screen. Has promoted and massive Red – above all – for the importance of internationalization IBUS integration for alternative input sources.
With the exception of the – already mentioned – from recording of LibreOffice (188.8.131.52) in the live-install, Fedora 18 brings little new in terms of default software selection. Only GNOME Clocks, a sleek combination of world clock, timer and stopwatch, is added, otherwise really nothing changes. The Firefox browser as usual, now included in the version 17th And the perceived effect since ages criticism that some totally meaningless – because features of the GNOME Control Center duplicated – Tools are installed shall also be still.
Red Hat Power
Those who believe that the new features of Fedora ending with an update of the software selection, knows the community distribution poorly. After all, behind it is the most successful with Red Hat Linux software company puts a lot of resources into the development of the free software operating system. Thanks to the open-source philosophy benefit while all distributions, as the first, there are new features but usually with Fedora. And here is also Fedora 18 is no exception.
Sun Fedora now supports using new version of systemd and Packagekit called offline updates, so the important update packages during the restart instead of the current system. Who this Windows or Mac knows – and not stand potentially can – be at least set out the arguments for such an approach: the usual update the current system could lead to all sorts of problems, because the programs central libraries in operation virtually “under the feet pulled away “are – or even short-term use in two different versions. This could be solved cleanly only by the updates are performed outside of the current system. In this case in a special mode that is selected when you restart
The relevant updates are downloaded automatically in the background, this process is completed, “install updates and restart” offered an additional entry in the user menu. For the concrete implementation one to two words: The offline updates are made exclusively for system-critical components, ie about the kernel, or central libraries, everything else will continue to be placed in the current system to the latest version. In addition, it is also possible manually – such as yum – to merge the updates without rebooting.
UEFI Secure Boot
Much discussion in recent months about the UEFI secure boot specification and its impact on the world of Linux. After all, the “secure boot chain” is a real challenge for the heterogeneous open-source environment in which there is usually no central authority to sign, as it is in Microsoft Windows. Fedora has also been found in this area as being more proactive, according to the new version already includes a first support for this security feature, which is mandatory for all new computers with “Windows 8 client” logo (can be so far off, but in any case usually).
Even otherwise, the list of newly added features in Fedora 18 can fold: firewalld is now used as a house of firewall solution – and now can actually be managed with the graphical tool firewall-config. There is a central storage management solution, including the command line tool ssm (not that way about the package “ssm” but by “system-storage-manager” can be installed).
Who wants erheischen one little glimpse of the future may try DNF, which is to replace the package with yum in the future administration. This is a yum-fork with a focus on higher-speed and reduced memory consumption. Also promises you a simple-to-use APIs and better access to diverse programming. This fits that the RPM package system is used in a new version 4.10, which promises even more performance improvements.
The free Windows server alternative Samba is now included in version 4, also Fedora 18 can now be innately connected directly to an Active Directory domain. Is a current focus of many Linux distros currently the area of cloud computing, Fedora is no exception here – quite the opposite. So there is not just a new version of the Infrastructure-as-a-service solution OpenStack, as an alternative now is the promoted among others by Canonical Ubuntu manufacturer contain Eucalyptus (3.1). Also new is the application-as-a-service software OpenShift (Origin).
Special efforts currently invested in Red Hat’s virtualization area, no wonder it is still played a leading role in the development of KVM. This promises Fedora 18 now suspend / hibernate support for virtual machines and the ability to live snapshots. Some development languages were for Fedora 18 is brought up to date, including Perl 5.16, Python 3.3. and Rails 3.2.
There are some changes for the fond, in addition to the new Liberation fonts 2.0 and an updated Fontconfig makes itself felt above all that Autohinting is now enabled by default. As shown in the first reactions in forums and social networks, this issue splits (once again) the community. A portion is gratified another is opposed to the changes. Matter of taste, that is.
There are some updates around the boot system systemd, syslog replacement “Journal” Fedora uses but not yet. The contents of the / tmp directory is now stored as tmpfs in RAM instead of HDD / SSD, which is not least increase the lifetime of your media. Nevertheless remain under so many unnecessary write operation that would at the next boot anyway deleted again. And for command line professionals downright essential: The various terminal solutions now support 256 colors.
Remains a point that during the development of Fedora 18 is made some headlines – but not necessarily deserved. Yes – Fedora 18 now allows the installation of GNOME2 spin MATE and GNOME Shell Cinnamon Forks. No – this is not a big surprise, even signal for any change in the direction of the Red Hat distribution, as has been suggested in so many products. Both are now just one of many alternatives. These range for quite some time about KDE Xfce and LXDE desktop to the OLPC Sugar, the time-honored WindowMaker or Enlightenment.
Here there is nothing to see
The inclusion of the two desktop solutions is so far simply “business as usual”. So it may as well not surprising that even the elimination of Nautilus Nemo can be installed on Fedora 18th It is simply called “freedom of choice”, as practiced since the beginning of classical Linux distributions that are trying to offer the widest possible range of software solutions.
Fedora 18 leaves a somewhat mixed impression: on the one hand, the sheer number of new features really impressive. In recent issues of the software features no other Linux distribution can currently compete even close. On the other hand is obvious that – despite all the shifts – is not quite ready yet, especially the installer.
Who has that hurdle easily find a but compared to the previous version in many areas significantly improved system before. This not only as regards the wealth of new features for the desktop, but also in terms of the system infrastructure and the server area.
Apart from this, what Fedora actually always, anyone who is fresh in the Linux world, and has no prior knowledge is often better served by a different distribution, which decreases some annoying first steps automatically (for example, the installation of Flash or audio / video codecs). However, if you can live with that – or even interest in shows – from time to manually look up and to lend a hand, which is well served with Fedora – and right on top of Linux development.
Finally, a little preview of Fedora 19: This should compensate for the delays that is the current version again, and will be completed in just 4 months. Whether this actually succeeds, there will naturally be seen. Among the highlights of the upcoming release, the integration of GNOME 3.8 to be with his new “Legacy Mode” for a classic, GNOME2-like desktop layout. Should further here actually the Systemd Journal rsyslogd instead used.