Nov
20

Fedora 8: Code Name Werewolf

Yes, you read it right. Fedora 8 has arrived to rock our worlds, armed with new features and updates to make your daily computing more secure and fun. To those who have become intrigued by this news, you probably ask me (or yourself), “what is new with this release?”. So to satisfy your cravings for more information, I am listing some of note-worthy features of Fedora :

  • Fedora includes several different spins, which are variations of Fedora built from a specific set of software packages. Each spin has a combination of software to meet the requirements of a specific kind of end user. In addition to a very small boot.iso image for network installation, users have the following spin choices: 1) A regular Fedora image for desktops, workstations, and server users. This spin provides a good upgrade path and similar environment for users of previous releases of Fedora. 2) One of four Live images that can be run from a disc or USB flash device, and can be installed to hard disk as desired.
  • CodecBuddy is now included, and promotes free, superior quality, open formats to end users trying to play multimedia content under patent encumbered or proprietary formats.
  • Compiz Fusion, the compositing window manager that re-merges Compiz and Beryl, is installed by default. (OMG! OMG! OMG!)
  • The completely free and open source Java environment called IcedTea is installed by default.
  • OpenOffice.org 2.3, with many new features, is available as part of Fedora 8
  • Laptop users benefit from the “quirks” feature in HAL, including better suspend/resume and multimedia keyboard support.
  • This release of Fedora has a new look and feel, called Infinity, from the Fedora Art team.
  • Fedora 8 features a 2.6.23 based kernel.
  • Fedora provides a default firewall that can limit both incoming and outgoing connections and Fedora 8 and above includes a very user friendly system-config-firewall utility.
  • Following all the other security enhancements comes PolicyKit. PolicyKit is a new toolkit from Fedora developers for controlling privileges of system-wide services.

If you are wondering what spins means, in a nutshell, it is a variation from your typical Fedora installation that matches a specific function like an installation made for games or for software development. There are a couple of pre-built spins available for download if you want to try it out.

Another thing that should be noted with this distribution is Fedora 8 is released with a new feature that enables a user to boot from a USB storage device. This is a total turn-on for Fedora 8 because it does not only made LiveCD available (this feature has been made available since Fedora 7) but a LiveUSB (I daresay) as well. Now that is one more reason to get a lovely teeny-weeny USB flash drive – aside from being a cute keychain :) .

Another program is also new to this release, PulseAudio. PulseAudio sound daemon makes the user have control over the sound settings and can even be used as a music server so you can stream music over your local network. It can also control the volume of each program you use, in my case, I can turn on the volume to high for my Gaim so I can hear my Jabber alerts (we have server alerts coming in from Jabber) over my music which is played by XMMS. You can also make PulseAudio hush out your music when another desktop session is opened.

Here are some of the screenshots provided by the Fedora Official website:

Fedora 8 boot screen

Fedora 8 loginscreen

Fedora 8 desktop screen

Fedora 8 cd

Isn’t that exciting? If you want more, then head to Fedora’s official website and read their release notes and security features of Fedora 8.

Of course, I will not forget to tell you where to get a copy of this fabulous release. Here are some of the many ways you can get hold of Fedora 8:

Official Direct Download Site

Official Bittorrent Tracker (You need a bittorrent client for this)

Fedora Free Media Program (Limited free copies of Fedora)

Local burnfests and FOSS conferences (check your local area for the schedules of FOSS events)

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