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Fedora 9 promises better eyecandy, networking

By   |  May 12, 2008

Fedora 9 is scheduled for release tomorrow. Six months after Fedora 8 was released, Fedora 9 will be available in a variety of “spins” (custom boot images for everything from desktop installs to USB devices) with improved networking and eyecandy.

Fedora 9 will include the recently-released Gnome 2.22 desktop which itself packs a few decent applications including the new Cheese webcam photo and video application, improved network filesystem support, a new international clock applet, Google Calendar support and custom email labels in Evolution. But best of those is the PolicyKit integration which allows users and administrators to control access to the various levels of applications.

For those that prefer the KDE desktop, KDE 4.0.2 is included in the KDE Live image as well as on the regular DVD.

NetworkManager 0.7 in Fedora 9 has been improved to provide better mobile broadband support, including for GSM and CDMA devices, and now supports multiple devices and ad-hoc networking for sharing connections.

The much talked about PulseAudio is also installed by default in Fedora 9. PulseAudio is an improved sound server compatible with nearly all existing Linux sound systems. PulseAudio allows for hot-switching audio outputs and for running multiple audio streams simultaneously and still being able to control the volume of each.

Compiz, the compositing window manager that creates impressive eyecandy for the desktop, is installed by default and is easily enabled by both GNOME and KDE users via the Desktop Effects tool. Compiz is not enabled by default, however. Compiz Fusion, which re-merges Compiz and Beryl, is also available in the Fedora software repository.

Other changes include better Anaconda (installer) support for independent locations; the free OpenJDK 6 is installed by default; bluetooth devices and tools now have better graphical and system integration; better suspend/hibernate support for laptop users; and PackageKit, a new set of graphical and console tools for cross-distribution software management, is installed by default in this release of Fedora.

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