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Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that brings the latest in free and open source software to your desktop, laptop and server. Fedora is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. You can read more information about the Fedora Project on our Overview page.

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Fedora is free to use, modify, and distribute, and includes software that helps you work, play, organize, and socialize.


What's new in Fedora 12?

Fedora 12 (Constantine) is filled with improvements that make Linux better than ever for all types of users. Here are a few of the new things you can expect to see when you try out Fedora 12.

Desktop Users

Empathy in action
Fedora features Empathy, an instant messenger that supports chat, video, and audio. You can talk to your friends who are on AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, Jabber, Live (MSN), MySpace, and many other platforms.

You can even use Empathy to share your desktop with friends, so you can help each other learn and experience Fedora. By taking advantage of the latest improvements in webcam and video support embedded in Fedora 12, Empathy lets you experience the next generation of IM.

Support for Bluetooth audio devices lets you enjoy audio on your computer without the hassle of wires. That's right - you can stand right up and dance your heart out (or go get a cup of coffee) without losing a beat! Start a voice chat with friends online, or chill out with some tunes in Rhythmbox.

Fedora's also got great support for many of the devices you use every day. Whether you're looking to keep your calendar in sync or keep the music flowing throughout your day, Fedora's there for you. Connect your mobile MP3 player, PDA, or smartphone, and let Fedora 12 unite all your digital entertainment.

Look Ma, no wires! Bluetooth headset support in action
NetworkManager in action
NetworkManager helps you get online and stay online when you're on the go. With expanded support for mobile broadband, easy Bluetooth phone tethering, and integrated password management, NetworkManager makes surfing and communicating just a click away.

NetworkManager improvements in Fedora 12 also include:

  • IPv6 for next-generation networking
  • Better support for shared, static, and system-wide network connections
  • A redesigned interface that is simpler to use and understand
PackageKit finds software for you, whether you're looking for ways to deal with files from friends or just want to explore the over 15,000 packages that Fedora provides for free. You can install entire groups of related software with just a couple clicks, and PackageKit helps you keep your system secure and up to date through its subtle but effective alert system.

PackageKit is even more helpful in Fedora 12, including:

  • A refined interface that is more responsive and informative
  • Support for installing packages directly from the web browser
  • Supports GNOME and KDE
  • An available command-line plugin that finds software to support new commands when you run them
PackageKit in action
Comic drawing in Inkscape
Better than ever tablet support allows you to enjoy pressure-sensitive drawing out-of-the-box - no mucking with configuration files required!
  • Fedora 12's updated version of Inkscape includes the new pen presets tool which lets you choose from a selection of pens to draw with (including 'dip pen,' 'brush,' 'wiggly,' and 'marker') and also gives you the ability to create and save your own pen styles.
  • Gimp's brush dynamics tool allows you to control how the velocity and pressure of your tablet pen can effect the opacity, color, hardness, and size of brush strokes.
  • Cell writer handwriting recognition lets you input text without having to use a keyboard.
  • Xournal allows you to jot notes on, highlight, and sign PDF documents - no more print, sign, and re-scan. You can even take handwritten notes on digital notebook paper.
There's lots of little fixes as well:
  • Clearer, more navigable menu bars
  • A fresh desktop background theme
  • Icons that help you find your special content folders quickly
  • And much more

Office productivity made easy: no matter what you do -- email, web browsing, office applications, graphic design, robotics, electronic design automation, project management, personal databases, amateur radio, webcomics — you'll find it all here.

Note-taking in Xournal

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System Administrators


Fedora 12 gives you the future first. The technologies that make open source the platform of choice for savvy system administrators are all here. Fast, stable, secure, and ready for you to work your magic.

A number of improvements are included in Fedora 12 to make your life easier. A new initial ramdisk setup tool called Dracut helps keep boot time as low as possible. There's now ext4 support for GRUB, and Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) is enabled by default on systems with NVIDIA, ATI and Intel video cards for a faster and smoother graphical boot.

For those who use Samba, the addition of GFS2 Clustered Samba and improvements in HA (high availability) clustering makes sharing data across machines easier and more reliable. Fedora 12 also features constant security updates for bulletproof systems, and a number of virtualization improvements have emerged with this release that use memory more efficiently, provide more flexible hardware and network solutions, and boost the performance of virtual guest disk images. You can even create scripts to perform complex tasks directly on guest disk images. Fedora 12 helps you unite all the diverse cultures of your virtual guests into a single functional system.


For developers, Fedora 12 includes a rich set of development tools, including all popular programming languages, IDEs, and an extensive set of libraries. The most recent versions of emacs, mercurial, and php are included - no need to worry about downloading the latest and greatest, we've got them all. And for developers using Eclipse, version 3.5.1 (Galileo) is included in Fedora 12, along with more Eclipse plug-ins than ever before. And these features are all in addition to the world's most popular web, SQL and application servers, creating a complete development and production environment in one easy to use platform.

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How to get started

Intrigued? Want to give Fedora 12 a try?

You can download a LiveCD regardless of what operating system you're running. This will give you a working version of Fedora, complete with common applications, all running off your CD drive - your hard drive won't be touched at all. And when you're ready, installation is just a click away.

And if you're running Fedora 11, upgrading is easy. Refer to our handy documentation for help.

Help make Fedora!

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Want to join the Fedora community and help us make the best Linux distribution even better? Get started at Our diverse community from all over the globe welcomes contributors of all types. From artists to marketers to coders to testers to writers to translators and more, you can get involved. Share what you know or help with something you've always wanted to learn; mentors are always available to help you get started.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on Fedora 12. Have a suggestion? Find a bug? Start by taking a look at the Common F12 bugs to see if it's something we know about. (That page has information on what to do if you don't find your bug, too.)

Further reading

Want more? Here are some further resources on Fedora 12, or talk with a community member in our live chat 24/7.

Five Fun Things in Fedora 12 Video

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In fifteen minutes, learn 5 fun things you can do with Fedora 12!

Unity hands photo credit: soccer practice by woodleywonderworks on Flickr - used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.