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Revision as of 21:44, 9 October 2008 by Jmtaylor (talk | contribs) (Sugar Desktop Information Added)

Fedora Desktop

This section details changes that affect Fedora graphical desktop users.

Better Webcam support

Fedora 10 comes with much improved support for webcams.

Next to improvements to the UVC driver which was first introduced in Fedora 9 and supports any webcam with a vista compliant logo, Fedora 10 also features a brand new v4l2 version of gspca, an usb webcam driver framework with support for many different usb webcam bridges and sensors.

Userspace support for webcams has also been improved by adding libv4l and updating all webcam using applications to use libv4l, this makes these applications understand the often manufacturer specific and custom video formats emitted by many webcams, esp. by many of the webcams supported by gspca.

For a list of all webcams and applications with which Fedora-10's new webcam support has been tested see the BetterWebcamSupport feature page, for a list of all cams supported by the original version of gspca see the original gspca website. The v4l2 version of gspca in Fedora-10 supports all these webcams and more.

Plymouth Graphical Boot

The graphical boot up system used in previous Fedora versions called rhgb is being replaced with a new system called Plymouth. There are a few issues with Plymouth in the Beta:

  • Adding rhgb on the command line directs Plymouth to load the appropriate plugin for your hardware.
  • The graphical boot splash screen that comes with Plymouth requires kernel mode setting drivers to work best. There are not kernel modesetting drivers available for all hardware yet. To see the graphical splash before the drivers land, add vga=0x318 to the kernel grub command line. This uses vesafb, which does not necessarily give the native resolution for the flat panel, and may cause flickering or other weird interactions with X. Without kernel modesetting drivers or vga=0x318, Plymouth uses a text-based plugin that is plain but functional.
  • Currently, only Radeon R500 and higher users will get kernel modesetting by default. There is work in progress to provide modesetting for R100 and R200. Additionally, Intel kernel modesetting drivers are in development, but not turned on by default.
  • The kernel modesetting drivers are still in active development. If you end up with nothing but a black screen during boot up, or a screen with nothing but random noise on it, then adding "nomodeset" to the kernel boot prompt in grub disables modesetting.
  • Plymouth hides boot messages. To view boot messages, press the [Esc] key during boot, or view them in /var/log/boot.log after boot up. Alternatively, remove rhgb from the kernel command line and plymouth will display all boot messages. There is also a status icon on the login screen to view boot warnings.

Echo Icon Theme

Echo is an icon theme developed for Fedora by the volunteer art community. It inherits the isometric perspective from the classic Bluecurve theme while introducing a refreshing new look. It follows the theme specification. Current version covers essential icons from the desktop menus and applications. Future revisions will bring more broader coverage.

Currently, both GNOME and Xfce uses the Echo icon theme by default. KDE continues to use the Oxygen icon theme. The next release of Fedora will potentially introduce Echo by default for KDE as well for a consistent look and feel across different desktop environments.

Infrared remotes support

New to Fedora 10 is the gnome-lirc-properties package that allows you to configure LIRC for use with applications supporting the protocol.

LIRC is routinely used in multimedia applications to implement support for infrared remote controls, and using it in Rhythmbox and Totem should be as easy as plugging the remote receiver into your computer, and selecting [Auto-detect] in the "Infrared Remote Control" preferences. See the feature page for more information.

Bluetooth: BlueZ 4.0

The Bluetooth support stack, called BlueZ, has been updated to version 4.x in Fedora 10. Most changes in this version are useful for application developers, but users will notice the new, easier to use, wizard for setting up keyboards, mice, and other supported Bluetooth devices, as well as the ability to switch off the Bluetooth adapter on most brands of laptops through the preferences. This new version will also allow better support for audio devices in the future, through PulseAudio.

Note that the default Bluetooth kernel driver was also switched to btusb, which will cut down power consumption compared to its predecessor hci_usb


This release features GNOME 2.24.

Empathy Instant Messenger

Empathy instant messenger is the new default replacing Pidgin in this release. It has support for multiple protocols including IRC, XMPP(Jabber), Yahoo, MSN and others via plugins. It also supports video and voice in the XMPP protocol and support for other protocols is under active development. Empathy uses the telepathy framework that has a number of additional plugins:

  • telepathy-gabble - Jabber/XMPP lugin
  • telepathy-idle - IRC plugin
  • telepathy-butterfly - MSN plugin
  • telepathy-sofiasip - SIP plugin
  • telepathy-haze - Libpurple(Pidgin) library connection manager provides support for other protocols such as Yahoo

Pidgin continues to be available in the Fedora software repository and will be retained as the default for users upgrading from previous releases of Fedora.

GNOME Display Manager

The GNOME Display Manager (gdm) has been updated to the latest upstream code, which is a complete rewrite driven by Fedora developers. PolicyKit can be used to control shutdown and reboot. The configuration tool gdmsetup is missing currently, and set to be replaced. For configuration changes, refer

Codec installation helper

The GStreamer codec installation helper codeina was replaced by a PackageKit-based solution for Fedora 10. When Totem, Rhythmbox, or another GStreamer application requires a plugin for read a film or song, a PackageKit dialogue will show allowing the user to search for the necessary package in the configured repositories.

More details are available on the feature page.


This release features KDE 4.2.2. As the kdevelop packages is not part of KDE 4.1 and kdewebdev is only partially available (no Quanta) in KDE 4.1, the KDE 3.5.10 versions of those packages are shipped. A kdegames3 package containing the games not yet ported to KDE 4 is also available.

KDE 4.1 is the latest feature release of KDE 4. It features several new features and many usability improvements and bugfixes over KDE 4.0, the first KDE 4 release series, including a folder view desktop applet (plasmoid), improvements to Dolphin and Konqueror and many new and improved applications. KDE 4.1.2 is a bugfix release from the KDE 4.1 release series.

Fedora 10 does not include the legacy KDE 3 Desktop. It does include a compatibility KDE 3 Development Platform, which can be used to build and run KDE 3 applications within KDE 4 or any other desktop environment. Refer to the Backwards Compatibility section for more details about what is included.

Fedora 10 includes a snapshot of knetworkmanager which works with the prerelease of NetworkManager 0.7 in Fedora 10. As it was not considered ready for production use, the KDE Live images use nm-applet from NetworkManager-gnome instead (as in Fedora 8 and 9). The gnome-keyring-daemon facility saves passwords for these encryption technologies. knetworkmanager can, however, be installed from the repository.

As the native KWin window manager now optionally supports compositing and desktop effects, the KDE Live images no longer include Compiz/Beryl (since Fedora 9). The KWin compositing/effects mode is disabled by default, but can be enabled in systemsettings. Compiz (with KDE 4 integration) is available from the repository by installing the compiz-kde package.


  • Plasma is more mature and panel configuration has been extended. The new panel controller makes it easy to customize your panel providing direct visual feedback. The Plasma's Folderview applet provides a view of a directory and thus allows you to store files on desktop. It is replacement for well known icons on desktop.

Package and Application Changes

  • Fedora 10 ships kdepim 4.2.2 instead of 3.5.x.
  • libkipi, libkexiv2 and libkdcraw have been obsoleted by the KDE 4 versions in the kdegraphics package. Accordingly, kipi-plugins, digikam and kphotoalbum have been updated to KDE 4 versions.
  • kpackagekit, a KDE frontend to PackageKit, is now available. (It may be made available as an update for Fedora 9 at a later time.)

In addition, the following changes made since the Fedora 9 release, which have been backported to Fedora 9 updates, are also part of Fedora 10:

  • KDE has been upgraded from version 4.0.3 to 4.2.2.
  • qt and PyQt4 have been upgraded from 4.3 to 4.4.
  • kdewebdev, kdevelop, kdegames3 and the KDE 3 backwards-compatibility libraries have been upgraded from KDE 3.5.9 to 3.5.10.
  • QtWebKit is now part of the qt package. The standalone WebKit-qt package has been obsoleted.
  • The new package qgtkstyle contains a Qt 4 style using GTK+ for drawing, providing better integration of Qt 4 and KDE 4 applications into GNOME.
  • phonon, which was part of kdelibs in Fedora 9, is now a separate package. An optional GStreamer backend (phonon-backend-gstreamer) is now available, but the xine-lib backend, which is now packaged as phonon-backend-xine, is still the recommended default backend and is now required by the phonon package.
  • The kdegames3 package no longer provides development support for the KDE 3 version of libkdegames because nothing in Fedora outside of kdegames3 itself requires that library anymore.
  • The package okteta is now part of kdeutils.
  • The package dragonplayer is now part of kdemultimedia.
  • kaider has been renamed to Lokalize and is now part of kdesdk.
  • The package ksirk has been ported to KDE 4 and is now part of kdegames.
  • The package extragear-plasma has been renamed to kdeplasma-addons.

Sugar Desktop

The Sugar Desktop originated with the OLPC initiative. It allows for Fedora users and developers to do the following.

  • Build upon the collaborative environment.
  • Test out sugar on an existing Fedora system by selecting the Sugar environment from their display manager.
  • Developers interested in working on the Sugar interface or writing activities can have a development platform without needing an XO laptop.

Web Browsers

Enabling Flash Plugin

Fedora includes swfdec and gnash, which are free and open source implementations of Flash. We encourage you to try either of them before seeking out Adobe's proprietary Flash Player plug-in software. The Adobe Flash Player plug-in uses a legacy sound framework that does not work correctly without additional support. Run the following command to enable this support:

su -c "yum install libflashsupport"

If you are using Flash 10, you do not need libflashsupport anymore as the usage of ALSA has been fixed in this version.

Users of Fedora x86_64 must install the nspluginwrapper.i386 package to enable the 32-bit Adobe Flash Player plug-in in Firefox, and the libflashsupport.i386 package to enable sound from the plug-in.

  • Install the nspluginwrapper.i386, nspluginwrapper.x86_64, and libflashsupport.i386 packages:
su -c "yum install nspluginwrapper.{i386,x86_64} libflashsupport.i386"
  • Install flash-plugin as shown above after nspluginwrapper.i386 is installed.
  • Run mozilla-plugin-config to register the flash plugin:
su -c "mozilla-plugin-config -i -g -v"
  • Close all Firefox windows, and then relaunch Firefox.
  • Type about:plugins in the URL bar to ensure the plugin is loaded.

Disabling PC Speaker

PC speaker is enabled by default in Fedora. If you do not prefer this, there are two ways to circumvent the sounds:

  • Reduce its volume to a acceptable level or completely mute the PC speaker in alsamixer with the setting for PC Speak.
  • Disable the PC speaker system wide by running the following commands in a console.
su -
modprobe -r pcspkr
echo "install pcspkr :" >> /etc/modprobe.conf