Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Upcoming Linux distribution updates

January 28th, 2007 at 3:08 am

I have been trying out the latest test release of Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (Linux) in a Parallels virtual machine. It is currently at the alpha 2 (v7.04) phase of the Feisty Fawn release that is set to be finished and available by April 19th. I do say that one feature that really catches my eye is the new "Control Center" that consolidates a lot of preference and admin functions of the computer, similar to SUSE's YaST. This is a much needed organizational upgrade. I am a bit more excited about the planned features for Fedora's upcoming v7 release on April 26th.

Some of the upcoming features that are of interest in Fedora include:

  • Boot/Shutdown Speedup
    • This one plays off of work done in Ubuntu, to a degree. This will eliminate as much unnecessary junk as possible to greatly speed up the time it takes the computer to cold start or shutdown.
  • Encrypted Filesystems
    • This will be of most interest to government customers. This will allow an entire filesystem to be encrypted for protection of all data on the computer from unauthorized persons.
  • Fedora Directory Server
    • I have wanted better integration of this side project for a while. I have a couple reasons that I won't go into here to experiment with LDAP, and my past attempts at using OpenLDAP have not gone so well. The Fedora Directory Server approach should help me attain my goal.
  • Nouveau Drivers
    • This will provide some much improved open source drivers for nVidia video cards. Things still won't work quite as well as using nVidia's proprietary drivers, but the Nouveau solution should be much easier to install and supported right out of the box for new users.
  • RPM/Yum Enhancements
    • This area is one of Fedora's greatest weaknesses to most users. Yum and RPM are really quite powerful, but their speed is quite a bit slower than other package management systems out of the box. Some optimization and reworking of the update system should be a welcome change for Fedora users.
  • Wireless
    • Ubuntu tried to get this one right in their October v6.10 release. In my opinion, wireless network functionality increased significantly, but left much more room for improvement. I'm hoping Fedora 7 really goes the rest of the way to easy and functional wireless support. It will also help that the Fedora devs are going out of their way to try to include as many wireless firmware drivers as possible in the initial install.

I have high hopes for the next version of Fedora. I guess it is worth noting that a bunch of consolidation is happening, too. The official name for the distribution has dropped the "Core" part of the name to coincide with dropping the difference between the core and extras software repositories. Fedora will also be available in several versions optimized for desktop, server, etc. I guess that's enough to say about Fedora for now. It will be interesting to try the first test release after Jan. 30th.

2 Responses to “Upcoming Linux distribution updates”

  1. Adam Lohr Says:

    I decided to check out Feisty Fawn on my desktop, there's 12 minutes left on the download.

  2. Dennis Kerby Says:

    One day Linux will rule the cyber-world. Does there stock trade on the public market?

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