Monday, October 15, 2012

Interesting features coming to Fedora 18

After a number of delays in its early stages, the upcoming Fedora release should be available somewhere around December. After the very (in my opinion and experience, that is) amazing and successful Beefy Miracle, Fedora 18 has a tough challenge ahead, specially if it wants to top its predecessor.

I was curious to see what's in store for Spherical Cow (yes, I know, awesome codename) and I must admit I am surprised at the number of interesting things that will hopefully make it to our computers some time at the end of this year. The things I am listing here are a very short list of personal highlights, please see the full list HERE.

  • Changes in default firewall: Seems like firewalld will at last become the default solution come Fedora 18. This was a bit confusing in the past because it was suggested that this change would have been complete by Fedora 17. Nevertheless, a welcome update that should add flexibility and ease of use in an important area.
  • GNOME 3.6 & KDE SC 4.9: Rebase to the latest from both desktop managers. As a side bonus, XFCE 4.10 is also included.
  • MATE Desktop: Now, this is an interesting one... The flagship GNOME Shell distribution bringing MATE (GNOME 2.x fork) with it? I won't read much into it, but I am glad to see Fedora being so flexible and supportive of its user community requests. Kudos!
  • Anaconda revisited: Yes, the Fedora official installer wizard will get a UI revamp. This was much needed and tipped for a Beefy Miracle release by some. I guess it was not ready then, but seems to be now. Bring it on!
  • Update to RPM 4.10: Now, this is one of those critical ones that users will not necessarily notice, but should bring improved performance and stability with it, specially around the software management area. YUM is already quite faster than it used to be, but any improvement is certainly welcome.
  • Active Directory: "Fedora should be able to be used on an Active Directory domain (or other kerberos realms, such as IPA) out of the box. It should be easy to configure domain logins on a Fedora machine, and then it should be intuitive and uneventful to login with those credentials." A must in the corporate realm.
  • Secure Boot: This is an interesting feature that should make Fedora 18 fully compatible with Windows 8 machines.

There are obviously many more cool features coming with Spherical Cow, including further progress in systemd migration, updating Liberation fonts to version 2.0 and many more. I recently posted that Fedora 17 KDE is currently my favorite KDE (and GNOME) distro and will certainly be looking for this upcoming release as a nice Christmas present.

Aside from specifics, I must say I like the approach Fedora is taking lately. Back in Fedora 15 and 16 releases, I was a bit disappointed to see most new features and updates concentrate around administrator and developer areas of interest. It felt like Fedora was a specialist distro only. I am happy to see Fedora expanding and concentrating on standard user areas of interest as well.


  1. fedora kde is indeed the most lean and stable release in a while

  2. I switched to Fedora since version 16, after a background of Ubuntu/Mint usage. I didn't like Ubuntu's approach to the desktop with Unity and Mint's very conservative take, while functional, was getting boring. Gnome 3 seamed strange, yet exciting. I read that Fedora had the most vanilla GNOME experience and a RPM base which I wanted to try.
    Currently using Fedora 17, I must say I'm very pleased with Beefy Miracle and the general direction of Fedora and GNOME. Fedora is no longer just the specialist distro,they do seem to be more user-orientated now, it has a pristine GNOME, the most bleeding edge binary-based distro and yet very stable and suitable for regular use. Shame just for the short support cycle, as I am somewhat lazy to reinstall.