Fedora 12 Beta Released [Download]
By on October 21st, 2009

Today comes a good news for those bitten by the Linux bug. The Fedora Foundation has released the first and the last Beta for Fedora 12, its mainstream consumer Linux distro. After many delays and postponements, the beta is finally available for download.

There are a lot of improvements and new features in the beta. Let me briefly jot them down together for you:

  • Optimized performance for Atom CPUs, thus improving functioning on Netbooks and devices based on Atom chips.
  • Smaller update files due to a new compression system called XZ being used, rather than gzip.
  • An enhanced NetworkManager finds it way in Fedora 12 Beta improving IPv6 and bluetooth support.
  • Improved Ogg Theora Video playback, now in version 1.1, plays video as good as H.264
  • Improved Graphics support with experiment 3D support for AMD Radeon HD 2400 and later graphics cards.
  • The new beta also fares better at virtualization with extensive improvements in performance, management, resource sharing, and security enhancements.
  • Better bug reporting with Abrt, a tool to help non-power users report crashes to Bugzilla with a few mouse clicks which has now been enabled by default.
  • A newer, faster and more flexible boot system has been deployed. Dracut, an initial ram disk generation tool with an event-based framework designed to be distribution-independent has been made available in Fedora with this beta.
  • “PackageKit now has a plugin which can install an appropriate package when a user tries to run a command from a missing package. Another new plugin allows installation of software packages from a web browser”
  • Bluetooth can now automatically start when needed and shuts down itself after a 30 second no-activity timer; saving resources and battery life.
  • Support for the Moblin Desktop Interface has also been made available with this release. Users who wish to experience the the new mobile platform may get the Moblin Desktop Environment package.
  • Once again, the PulseAudio system has been improved. Significant improvements have been made on UPnP media integration and hotplug support. An improved Mixer Logic makes volume control even more fluid.
  • In order to mitigate the impact of security vulnerabilities, permissions have been hardened for many files and system directories and process privileges have been lowered for a number of core components that require super user privileges- Quoted
  • To much rejoice by the developers, Fedora now deploys a SELinux Sandbox, where programmers can experiment with their applications, confining applications’ access to the system and running them in a safe sandbox.
  • Wireless networking has been improved for Broadcom chipsets.
  • The Live images provided in this release can be directly imaged onto a USB stick using dd (or any equivalent tool) to create bootable Live USB keysThis is great news!
  • Better and improved support for webcams brings quality rich video one step close to your near and dear ones.
  • The latest Gnome 2.28 desktop environment comes by default. Included is Gnote, a lighter replacement for Tomboy, Empathy, which finally replaces Pidgin as the default Instant Messenger program. The Volume Control has also been improved, bringing in new features without getting too complicated.
  • Fedora 12 includes an early version of GNOME Shell, which will become the default interface for GNOME 3.0 and beyond. To try it, install the gnome-shell package, and use the Desktop Effects configuration tool to enable it. It will only work correctly from the GNOME desktop environment, not others such as KDE or Xfce. This is a preview technology, and some video cards may not be supported. Quoted.
  • The KDE flavor will include KDE 4.3 which features an updated Airtheme.
  • Perl 6, PHP 5.3, SystemTap 1.0 and the newest Netbeans IDE is included. Moreover, Eclipse Galileo now has more plugins than ever before.
  • New functionality has been added for System Admins. Clustered Samba devices are now more easy to manage and the ability to boot a cluster of Fedora systems from a single, shared root file system has been added.
  • X.org has been updated to 1.7, introducing the X Input Extension version 2.0 which provides a new API for handling input devices and also Multi-Pointer X devices, making it easy to deal with multitouch desktops.

Read the Beta announcement here, which includes this same list, but in a very explained manner (If you like to read it short, read it here! ;) ). Also, do give a read to the feature list for Fedora 12 Final. Download Fedora 12 Beta here.

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Author: Keshav Khera
Keshav Khera is a young freelance writer from India. Alongside writing for the web, he also attends school and tries not to bunk classes. He keeps interest in music, table tennis, reading and of course, twitter (@keshav)

Keshav Khera has written and can be contacted at keshav@techie-buzz.com.

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