These are the Talking Points for the Fedora 13 release. For information on how these talking points were chosen, see Talking Points SOP. They are intended to help Ambassadors quickly present an overview of highlighted features when talking about the release.
For desktop users and everyone
Things of general interest to most people using Fedora.
Automatic print driver installation ("Easy print")
In Fedora 13, functionality has been added to leverage RPM and PackageKit capabilities for automatic installation of printer drivers. When a user plugs in any of the supported printers, the driver will identify itself to PackageKit, and once authorized the driver can be downloaded and installed automatically. Thanks to this change, Fedora bootable Live images no longer need to ship all printer drivers. This functionality equals or surpasses that of proprietary operating systems, where driver support is difficult and time-consuming. It also continues to build on the new, compelling functionality of free desktop components along with RPM.
Automatic printer driver installation lets you connect a USB printer and install the printer drivers automatically.
Color management helps artists, photographers, designers, and others display and print work more accurately using 100% free software. Color management supports setting output gamma tables for most monitors, including when they are hotplugged during a session. Users can also install vendor-supplied ICC or ICM files by double-clicking them, and calibrate displays and scanners with external devices and color targets using the ArgyllCMS package. Written by Richard Hughes, Red Hat engineer and Fedora contributor.
Color management helps you control and produce more accurate color output for displays, printers, and scanners.
NetworkManager improvements include CLI
Adds dial-up modem support for older Bluetooth-equipped phones, to complement the personal-area networking already supported in Fedora. Addresses a long-standing missing link for command-line junkies who want NetworkManager to integrate with the CLI. Also useful for jetsetters who operate in lower-power text modes. Provides a better indicator for signal strength, and lets people know if they are roaming.
NetworkManager now supports older Bluetooth dial-up networking, and features a command line interface and better signal strength indicators.
Experimental 3D extended to free Nouveau driver
Fedora 12 included experimental 3D support for newer ATI cards in the completely free radeon driver, and now experimental 3D support has been extended in Fedora 13 to the equally free nouveau driver for a range of NVidia video cards. Fedora and its sponsor Red Hat are dedicated to improving the quality and coverage of completely free accelerated video drivers. While we support user choice and do not prevent use of closed, proprietary drivers, we also recognize that these drivers sometimes conflict with and cause problems in the software written by FOSS community members. We prefer to honor the commitment of the FOSS community with our own commitment to free drivers that complement their work, and work in the upstream Nouveau community to make these drivers better.
Fedora 13 features and contributes to experimental 3D support for many NVidia video cards using the 100% free software Nouveau driver.
Improvements that make system administrators' lives better.
boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is a unique feature in Fedora. It allows users to download a single, tiny image and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images. Other functionality can be added incrementally while keeping the download extremely small, to enable more extensive installation and testing options. More information can be found at the BFO home page and at the original boot.kernel.org page.
Boot.fedoraproject.org allows you to kick off installation and testing with a tiny image file.
System Security Services Daemon (SSSD)
SSSD provides expanded features for logging into managed domains, including caching for offline authentication. This means that, for example, users on laptops can still login when disconnected from the company's managed network. The authentication configuration tool in Fedora has been updated to support SSSD and redesigned to make it simpler to use.
SSSD lets users who normally login to managed domains or networks do so even when offline.
Pioneering NFS features
Fedora 13 changes its default to NFSv4, resulting in improved performance with a seamless transition for users. Clients gracefully falling back to other versions if required by an NFS server. Continues Fedora's role as a front-runner for NFSv4 -- the first distribution to include it, the first to switch to it by default. The other major step forward in NFS is support for IPv6, so clients in mixed or IPv6 only environments can now make full use of NFS. Additional information can be found at the NFSv4 new features page and RFC 3530 which proposes the exporting of a single "pseudo file system."
Fedora 13 includes the version 4 of the NFS protocol for better performance and IPv6 support.
Zarafa Open Source edition
Fedora 13 now makes available a complete Open Source groupware suite that can be used as a drop-in Exchange replacement for Web-based mail, calendaring, collaboration and tasks. Features include IMAP/POP and iCal/CalDAV capabilities, native mobile phone support, the ability to integrate with existing Linux mail servers, a full set of programming interfaces, and a comfortable look and feel using modern Ajax technologies. Fedora encourages contributors to package and maintain 100% free, unencumbered software that is useful to our users. This package is provided in Fedora thanks to the work of long-time Fedora volunteer Robert Scheck, who packaged it for inclusion in the distribution.
Fedora 13 now provides the Open Source edition of Zarafa, a complete, 100% free and open source groupware suite to replace Exchange.
Experimenting with btrfs
Btrfs is capable of creating lightweight filesystem snapshots that can be mounted (and booted into) selectively. The created snapshots are copy-on-write snapshots, so there is no file duplication overhead involved for files that do not change between snapshots. It allows developers to feel comfortable experimenting with new software without fear of an unusable install, since automated snapshots allow them to easily revert to the previous day's filesystem. Additional information can be found at the kernel.org btrfs wiki page, and in this blog entry.
System rollback using Btrfs helps administrators automatically or manually perform full filesystem snapshots for flexibility and data security.
Innovations that make Fedora a great platform for software developers.
Better monitoring tools
While Fedora used to have pretty decent introspection tools for the kernel, this release expands the visibility of monitoring on a higher level what is happening inside language runtimes like Java, Python and TCL. A start has been made with other user space applications like PostgreSQL, which will be extended to many more applications in Fedora 14 (this is a continuous process, making Fedora a better and tightly integrated developer platform). The SystemTap static probes feature page already has compelling examples for the case of Python programs. In addition, Engineering team member David Malcolm has added new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) to get more complete information when debugging. Backtraces will now show output from code written in both languages, including those generated by Fedora's Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT), and developers can more quickly improve software. Both static probes and mixed debugging give developers fuller visibility into the workings of Python code, enhancing the development experience on the Fedora platform.
SystemTap's new static probes for monitoring higher-level languages and user space applications, and mixed debugging for Python and C/C++, help programmers find and squash bugs quickly.
Parallel-installable Python 3
Fedora 13 also blazes a trail with a parallel-installable Python 3 stack that will help programmers write and test code for use in both Python 2.6 and Python 3 environments. Beyond the core libraries, some additional libraries are already provided, with more expected to follow throughout this and future releases.
Python 3 support makes Fedora 13 an ideal platform for rapid development of future-resistant applications.
NetBeans 6.8 first IDE to support entire Java 6 EE spec
NetBeans IDE 6.8 is the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 spec with improved support for JSF 2.0/Facelets, Java Persistence 2.0, EJB 3.1 including using EJBs in web applications, RESTful web services, and GlassFish v3. We also recommend it for creating PHP web applications with the new PHP 5.3 release or with other frameworks and toolkits. Additional information is available at the NetBeans IDE 6.8 Release Information page and Notes page as well as recent tutorials.
NetBeans 6.8 has the first truly free, complete support for the entire Java EE 6 spec, making Java development for beginners to experts rock on Fedora 13.
A few highlighted Fedora Spins coming out with this release.
The Moblin Spin has updated support for the Netbook Environment. The Moblin Architecture is designed to support multiple platforms and usage models ranging from Netbooks and NetTops to Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and various embedded usage models, such as In Vehicle Infotainment systems. The central piece of the architecture is the common layer called "Moblin Core". Moblin Core is built on the GNOME Mobile platform, extending and enriching it with new technologies like Clutter, GUPnP and mojito. The Moblin Core is the core desktop environment that sits of top of Fedora, and above the Moblin Core are the specific user interface and user interaction model for the target device(s.)
Moblin 2.2 enhances your user experience on NetBook, NetTop and other small devices.
Sugar on a Stick
Sugar on a Stick is a Fedora-based operating system featuring the award-winning Sugar Learning Environment and designed to fit on a USB thumbdrive ("stick"). Originally developed for the One Laptop Per Child Project and designed specifically as a 1-to-1 computing environment for K-8 students to collaborate with others in exploring the world around them, Sugar is used every day by over half a million students in classrooms throughout the world. It is now deployable for the cost of a stick rather than a laptop; students can take their Sugar on a Stick thumbdrive to any machine - at school, at home, at a library or community center - and boot their customized computing environment without touching the host machine’s hard disk at all.
Sugar on a Stick brings the award-winning Sugar Learning Environment to students in a classroom-deployable, thumbdrive-portable form.
Looking for a ready-to-go desktop environment brimming with free and open source multimedia production and publishing tools? Try the Design Suite, a Fedora Spin created by designers, for designers.
The Design Suite includes the favorite tools of the Fedora Design Team. These are the same programs we use to create all the artwork that you see within the Fedora Project, from desktop backgrounds to CD sleeves, web page designs, application interfaces, flyers, posters and more. From document publication to vector and bitmap editing or 3D modeling to photo management, the Design Suite has an application for you — and you can install thousands more from the Fedora universe of packages. Additional information is available on the Design Suite wiki page.
Use the same tools the Fedora Design Team uses to create the interfaces, art, and marketing material for Fedora - try the Design Suite Spin today.
The Fedora Security Lab provides a safe test environment to work on security auditing, forensics, system rescue and teaching security testing methodologies in universities and other organizations. The spin is maintained by a community of security testers and developers. It comes with the clean and fast LXDE Desktop Environment and a customized menu that provides all the instruments needed to follow a proper test path for security testing or to rescue a broken system. The Live image has been crafted to make it possible to install software while running, and if you are running it from a USB stick created with the LiveUSB Creator's overlay feature, you can install and update software and save your test results permanently. Additional information is available at the Fedora Security Lab home page and its wiki page.
The Fedora Security Lab provides security testers, developers, and sysadmins with a toolbelt-ready auditing, forensics, and system rescue environment.