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Fedora 11 Overview

As always, Fedora continues to develop ( and integrate the latest free and open source software ( The following sections provide a brief overview of major changes from the last release of Fedora. For more details about other features that are included in Fedora 11, refer to their individual wiki pages that detail feature goals and progress:

Throughout the release cycle, there are interviews with the developers behind key features giving out the inside story:

The following are major features for Fedora 11:

  • Automatic Fonts & Mime Installer - Allows programs on the desktop to automatically install applications, fonts, multimedia capabilities, and clipart.
  • Fingerprint Readers - Better experience for systems with fingerprint readers, including support through the graphical Authentication Configuration tool and gnome-about-me.
  • Intel, ATI, and Nvidia kernel modesetting - Fedora 10 provided the first steps by a major distribution in using the kernel modesetting (KMS) feature to speed up graphical boot. Fedora 11 has increased the video card coverage of the KMS feature, with more to come.
  • Virt Console - Fedora 11 provides more accurate mouse pointer positioning and higher screen resolutions for virtual machine consoles, along with other improvements such as simpler use of USB devices.
  • MinGW Cross-compiler - Build and test full-featured Microsoft Windows programs, from the comfort of a Fedora system, without needing to use that "other OS."
  • Volume Control - The multimedia experience of Fedora users is improved by an easily understandable and much more flexible volume control.

Some other features in this release include:

  • Python 2.6 - This new version in Fedora is a precursor to Python 3000 (3.0), including many compatibility measures to help developers get their code prepared for the next generation of Python.
  • NetBeans 6.5 - NetBeans IDE 6.5 is a significant update of NetBeans IDE 6.1 that includes improved JavaScript, AJAX, Ruby, and database support.
  • GCC 4.4 - The GCC compiler suite has been updated to the latest version, featuring better error detection for the latest in safety and execution.
  • Eclipse profiling tools - Add the power of various native profiling tools into the Eclipse IDE and integrate with the rest of the development environment.
  • Desktop Environments - Updates to GNOME 2.26 and KDE 4.2.1 bring the latest innovations and functionality to desktop users. Xfce and Sugar have also been updated.
  • Anaconda Storage - New storage code for the Anaconda installer improves the ability to handle new types of storage. The rewrite does not change the user interface.
  • Minimal Platform - New installer features make it much easier to create very small installations for embedded applications, such as for a server or desktop appliance.
  • Control groups - Allows system administrator to partition the system resources into different sub groups, and dedicate these sub groups resources to different applications' need.
  • DeviceKit - A simple, modular system service to manage devices and designed to partially replace HAL. Users gain a graphical disk management application that integrates nicely into the desktop.
  • DNS Security - DNSSEC (DNS SECurity) is a mechanism that can prove integrity and authenticity of DNS data.
  • ext4 filesystem - ext4 is the new default file system for Fedora 11 (replacing ext3) allowing for larger file system support and better performance by providing real-time fragmentation prevention and smarter data allocations.
  • sVirt MAC - sVirt integrates SELinux with the Fedora virtualization stack to allow Mandatory Access Control (MAC) security be applied to guest virtual machines
  • Power Management - Fedora 11 includes new power monitoring utilities and a new system daemon that automatically adjusts power settings to reflect the current system use. There is also a facility to review the system and make suggestions on improving power consumption.
  • iBus input method - iBus has been rewritten in C, and provides a simple, clean default system for changing the way international users input information into a Fedora system.