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Announcing Fedora 12



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I'm proud to announce the release of Fedora 12, the latest innovative
Linux distribution from the Fedora Project, a global, collaborative
partnership of free software community members sponsored by Red Hat.

If you can't wait to get the distribution, simply visit:
  http://get.fedoraproject.org

If you want a quick tour of highlights in this release, check out:
  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_12_one_page_release_notes

You can also find this announcement text at:
  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_12_Announcement

Or read on for loads of information about the new release and all the
leading edge technologies we've packed into it.  More links are
available at the end of this message, too.  Enjoy!

* * *

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 12! 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 12? ==

* Optimized performance - All software packages on 32-bit (x86_32)
  architecture have been compiled for i686 systems, with special
  optimization for the Intel Atom processors used in many netbooks,
  but without losing compatibility with the overwhelming majority of
  CPUs.

* 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
  excellent work in setting up the infrastructure to generate delta
  RPMs on the fly for all the updates.

* 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. Bluetooth PAN support offers a simple click through
  process to access the Internet from your mobile
  phone. NetworkManager can now configure always-on and static address
  connections directly from the desktop. PolicyKit integration has
  been added so configuration management can be done via central
  policy where needed. IPv6 support has also been improved.

* 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 very high quality comparable to
  H.264, 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, Theora videos now deliver much better quality primarily
  via enhancements in the encoder without any change in the format,
  making it available to all Theora users. Using Theora video and
  Vorbis audio formats, Firefox 3.5 and applications using the
  Gstreamer multimedia framework can deliver free media on the web out
  of the box even better than the previous release of Fedora. Theora
  is being rapidly adopted by several popular websites including
  Wikipedia, VideoPress and DailyMotion. Fedora Project is proud to
  support communities of free culture and open content as part of our
  mission. More details at
  http://hacks.mozilla.org/2009/09/theora-1-1-released/

* 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. The Fedora graphical startup sequence
  now works better on systems with multiple monitors. Also on multiple
  monitor systems, the desktop will now automatically be spread across
  all monitors by default, rather than having all monitors display the
  same output, including on NVIDIA chips (where multiple monitor
  spanning was not possible without manual configuration changes in
  Fedora 11). Systems with NVIDIA graphics chips also gain initial
  support for suspend and resume functionality via the default Nouveau
  driver. Initial support for the new DisplayPort display connector
  has been added for Intel graphics chips. Support for Nvidia and ATI
  systems is already under rapid development and will be included in
  the next release of Fedora. Thanks to the Red Hat Xorg team
  including Adam Jackson (X server), Kristian Høgsberg (Intel driver),
  Dave Airlie and Jerome Glisse (Radeon driver for AMD), and Ben
  Skeggs (Nouveau driver for NVIDIA).

* 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, and 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. Richard W.M. Jones from Red Hat's
  virtualization team has a list of extensive virtualization tools
  available and coming up for Fedora at
  http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/fedora-virt-commands/ 

* Automatic reporting of crashes and SELinux issues - Abrt, a tool to
  help non-power users report crashes to Bugzilla with a few mouse
  clicks, is now enabled by default. Abrt collects detailed
  information automatically and helps developers identify and resolve
  issues faster, improving the quality of individual upstream
  components and Fedora. The SELinux alert monitoring tool has also
  added the ability to report SELinux issues to Bugzilla quickly and
  easily with just a couple of clicks.

* New Dracut initrd generation tool - Up until Fedora 11, the boot
  system (initial ram disk or initrd) used to boot Fedora was
  monolithic, very distribution specific, and didn't provide much
  flexibility. This has been replaced with Dracut, an initial ram disk
  generation tool with an event-based framework designed to be
  distribution-independent. Dracut has been also adopted by OLPC which
  uses Fedora; OLPC modules for Dracut are available in the Fedora
  repository. Thanks to the Dracut team, including Harald Hoyer,
  Jeremy Katz, Dave Jones, and many others.

* PackageKit plugins - PackageKit now has a plugin which can install
  an appropriate package when a user tries to run a command from a
  missing package. Another new plugin allows installation of software
  packages from a web browser. Thanks to Red Hat's Richard Hughes and
  the PackageKit team.

* Bluetooth on-demand - Bluetooth services are automatically started
  when needed and stopped 30 seconds after last device use, reducing
  initial startup time and resource use when Bluetooth is not in
  active use. Thanks to Red Hat's Bastien Nocera.

* Moblin graphical interface for netbooks - In additional to special
  compiler optimization for netbooks in this release and the continued
  integration of Sugar interface, the Moblin graphical interface and
  applications are fully integrated thanks to Peter Robinson, a Fedora
  Project volunteer, and others. Collaboration between the Moblin
  project and Fedora was accelerated since Moblin itself is largely
  based on Fedora. To use it, just install the Moblin Desktop
  Environment package group using yum or the graphical software
  management tools, and choose Moblin from the login manager. A Moblin
  Fedora Remix (installable Live CD) for Fedora 12 will also be
  available.

* PulseAudio enhancements - Red Hat's Lennart Poettering and several
  others have made significant improvements to the PulseAudio
  system. Improved mixer logic makes volume control more fine-grained
  and reliable. Integration with the Rygel UPnP media server means you
  can stream audio directly from your system to any UPnP / DLNA
  client, such as a Playstation 3. Hotplug support has been made more
  intelligent, so if you configure a device as the default output for
  a stream, unplug that device -- causing the stream(s) to be moved to
  another output device -- and later reattach it, the stream is moved
  back to the preferred device. Finally, Bluetooth audio support means
  pairing with any Bluetooth audio device makes it available for use
  through PulseAudio.

* Lower process privileges - In order to mitigate the impact of
  security vulnerabilities, permissions have been hardened for many
  files and system directories. Also, process privileges have been
  lowered for a number of core components that require super user
  privileges. Red Hat's Steve Grubb has developed a new library,
  libcap-ng, and integrated it into many core system components to
  improve the security of Fedora.

* SELinux sandbox - It is now possible to confine applications' access
  to the system and run them in a secure sandbox that takes advantage
  of the sophisticated capabilities of SELinux. Dan Walsh, SELinux
  developer at Red Hat, explains the details at
  http://danwalsh.livejournal.com/31146.html 

* Open Broadcom firmware - The openfwwf open source Broadcom firmware
  is included by default. This means wireless networking will be
  available out of the box on some Broadcom chipsets. 

* Hybrid live images - The Live images provided in this release can be
  directly imaged onto a USB stick using dd (or any equivalent tool)
  to create bootable Live USB keys. The Fedora Live USB Creator for
  Windows and Fedora and the livecd-tools for Fedora are still
  recommended for data persistence, encryption and non-destructive
  writes. Thanks to Jeremy Katz. 

* Better webcam support - While Fedora 11 improved webcam support, in
  Fedora 12 you can expect even better video quality, especially for
  less expensive webcams. Red Hat's Hans de Goede, developer of the
  libv4l library, has more details on his continuous upstream webcam
  support enhancements at
  http://hansdegoede.livejournal.com/6989.html. 

* Polished Desktop - 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 cover more advanced users. There are many
  nice tweaks from the desktop team for a polished user
  experience. More details at
  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Desktop_Enhancements_in_Fedora_12 

* 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. Thanks to Owen Taylor from Red Hat and the GNOME Shell
  team. 

* 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, are 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. 

* Cool new stuff for sysadmins include added functionality for
  clustered Samba services (including active/active configurations)
  over GFS2; and the ability to boot a cluster of Fedora systems from
  a single, shared root file system. 

* Multi-Pointer X - The update to X.Org server 1.7 introduces the X
  Input Extension version 2.0 (XI2), with much work contributed by Red
  Hat's Peter Hutterer. This extension provides a new client API for
  handling input devices and also Multi-Pointer X (MPX)
  functionality. MPX functionality allows X to cope with many inputs
  of arbitrary types simultaneously, a prerequisite for (among others)
  multitouch-based desktops and multi-user interaction on a single
  screen. This is low-level work of which applications and desktop
  environments will incrementally take advantage in future
  releases. More details are available in the Release Notes and in the
  XI2 tag of Peter Hutterer's blog at
  http://who-t.blogspot.com/search/label/xi2 

A full feature list is available on the wiki at:
  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/12/FeatureList

OK, go get it. You know you can't wait.
  http://get.fedoraproject.org

Fedora 12 release notes and guides for several languages are available
at:
  http://docs.fedoraproject.org/

* * *

Even as we continue to provide updates with enhancements and bug fixes
to improve the Fedora 12 experience, our next release, Fedora 13, is
already being developed in parallel, and is open for active
development now. We have an early schedule for an April 2010 release,
with many new features slated.

Refer to:
  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/13/Schedule
and:
  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/13/FeatureList


- -- 
Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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