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Fedora 12 -- A 'Must Upgrade' and 'Strongly Consider' Distro - page 2

Morphing Into Maturity, No Mono, Great Documentation

  • January 12, 2010
  • By Paul Ferrill

Improvements in the installation process are definitely noticeable starting with the options available. The Fedora download page shows options for various architectures including Intel 32- and 64-bit and Power PC. You can choose to download a "Live CD," or get the full deal via either BitTorrent or through a direct download. The installation notes include instructions on how to create a bootable USB drive from one of the iso images.

On the core OS front there is now support for EXT4 on boot partitions with new version of GRUB. New graphic card features bring 3D support (experimental) to AMD Radeon HD 2400 and later video boards and other features to NVIDIA hardware. There's also support for the latest DisplayPort hardware for Intel graphics chips.

For the User

Documentation for Fedora 12 is superb. The main documentation page provides links to both HTML and PDF versions of all available documentation. There's even a single-page HTML version for every document to make searching easier. The Fedora Project Wiki provides another valuable resource and includes links to all related sub-projects. Planet Fedora is a blog aggregator site with a huge number of Fedora-related blogs and links to related sites like Planet Freedesktop, Planet Gnome and more.

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Other nice touches include things like the volume control applet, which allows you to use the scroll wheel on your mouse to change your sound level. Virtualization support in the form of KVM and associated tools has been enhanced for better performance and management. For the security conscious, there have been improvements to the SELinux subsystem and a sandbox feature to isolate applications from accessing anything on the system without the approval of an administrator.

Tablet PC users will find great support in Fedora 12 through applications like Inkscape and Xournal. Cell writer provides handwriting recognition for entering text using pen input. The Gimp includes a brush dynamics tool to help regulate your stroke speed and force for freehand drawing.

In Summary

Fedora 12 is a great Linux distribution with an impeccable pedigree. While it might not be the best distribution to throw at a total newbie, it definitely provides one of the more technically solid and stable platforms around. It draws on the bigger Red Hat community for the latest improvements to the core operating system and support for key components like graphics cards and network hardware.

Upgrading to Fedora 12 for users of previous versions is a no-brainer. There's even a section in the installation guide to help you through the upgrade-in-place process. Fedora 12 should appeal to potential new users looking for a solid distribution with great community support and extensive hardware compatibility as well.


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