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2. Fedora Core 5 Tour

You can find a tour filled with pictures and videos of this exciting new release at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Tours/FedoraCore5.

2.1. What Is New In Fedora Core 5

This release is the culmination of nine months of development, and includes significant new versions of many key products and technologies. The following sections provide a brief overview of major changes from the last release of Fedora Core.

2.1.1. Desktop

Some of the highlights of this release include:
  • There is a completely revamped appearance with a bubbly new theme and the first use of the new Fedora logo.
  • Early work from the Fedora Rendering Project is integrated into the desktop. This new project (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RenderingProject) is going to provide the technical foundations for advanced desktop interfaces based on OpenGL.
  • Innovative new versions of the popular desktop environments GNOME and KDE are included in this release. The GNOME desktop is based on the 2.14 release (http://www.gnome.org/start/2.14/notes/C/), and the KDE 3.5 desktop is the general 3.5 release (http://kde.org/announcements/announce-3.5.php).
  • The latest versions of GNOME Power Manager (http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnome-power-manager/) and GNOME Screensaver(http://live.gnome.org/GnomeScreensaver/) provide new and integrated power management capabilities.
  • The new GNOME User Share facility provides simple and efficient file sharing.
  • LUKS (http://luks.endorphin.org/) hard disk encryption is integrated with HAL and GNOME in this release. Refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Software/LUKS for more information.
  • Software suspend (hibernate) capability is now provided for a wide variety of hardware. Suspend to RAM feature has also been improved due to infrastructure work done to support hiberation.
  • The previous graphical software management utilities have been replaced with the first versions of a new generation of tools. This release includes Pup, a simple interface for system updates, and Pirut, a new package manager that replaces system-config-packages. These applications are built on the yum utility to provide consistent software installation and update facilities throughout the system.
  • This release of Fedora includes Mono support for the first time, and Mono applications such as Beagle, a desktop search interface; F-Spot, a photo management utility; and Tomboy, a note-taking application.
  • Desktop applications now built using the fully-open java-gcj-compat include Azureus, a BitTorrent client, and RSSOwl, a RSS feed reader, now available in Fedora Extras.
  • You can now enjoy enhanced multimedia support with version 0.10 of the Gstreamer media framework. This milestone release brings major improvements in robustness, compatibility, and features over previous versions of Gstreamer. The Totem movie player and other media software in this release have been updated to use the new framework.
  • There is dramatically improved internationalization support with SCIM in Fedora Core 5. The SCIM language input framework provides an easy to use interface for inputting many different non-English languages. SCIM replaces the IIIMF system used in previous Fedora releases.
  • The default Web browser is the latest in the Firefox 1.5.0.x series (http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/releases/1.5.html), which has many new features for faster, safer, and more efficient browsing.
  • The office applications suite OpenOffice.org 2.0.2 (http://www.openoffice.org/product/index.html) now makes better use of general system libraries for increased performance and efficiency.
  • A large number of GTK and GNOME programs take advantage of the Cairo 2D graphics library (http://cairographics.org/), included in this release, to provide streamlined attractive graphical interfaces.
  • There are new experimental drivers that provide support for the widely-used Broadcom 43xx wireless chipsets (http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/).
  • NetworkManager (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Tools/NetworkManager) has received numerous menu, user interface, and functionality improvements. However, it is disabled by default in this release as it is not yet suitable for certain configurations, such as system-wide static IPs or bonding devices.
  • This release includes libnotify, a library that features simple and attractive notifications for the desktop.
  • Fedora Core now uses gnome-mount, a more efficient mechanism that replaces fstab-sync, and uses HAL to handle mounting.
  • Printing support is improved in this release with the inclusion of the hplip utility, which replaces hpijs.

2.1.2. System Administration

Improvements for administrators and developers include:
  • The Xen virtualization system has enhanced support. The tools to configure Xen virtual machines on your Fedora Core system now use the standard graphical installation process, run as a window on your desktop. Fedora developers have also created gnome-applet-vm, which provides a simple virtual domains monitor applet, and libvirt (http://libvirt.org/), a library providing an API to use Xen virtualization capabilities.
  • The industry-leading anaconda installation system continues to evolve. New features for this release include remote logging and improved support for tracebacks. Package management in the installation system is now provided by yum. This enhancement is the first step in enabling access to Fedora Extras from within the installation process.
  • Version 2.2 of the Apache HTTP server is now included. This release provides enhancements to authentication, database support, proxy facilities, and content filtering.
  • The latest generation of database servers are packaged in this release, including both MySQL 5.0 and PostgreSQL 8.1.
  • Several native Java programs are now available compiled with GCJ, such as the Geronimo J2EE server and the Apache Jakarta Project, in addition to the Java programs and development capabilities in the previous releases.
  • There are new tools for system monitoring and performance analysis. This release includes SystemTap (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SystemTap), an instrumentation system for debugging and analyzing performance bottle necks, and Frysk (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Frysk), an execution analysis technology for monitoring running processes or threads which are provided as technology previews in this release.
  • This release includes system-config-cluster, a utility that allows you to manage cluster configuration in a graphical setting.
  • The combination of Kexec and Kdump (http://lse.sourceforge.net/kdump/) utilities provides modern crash dumping facilities and potential for faster bootup, bypassing the firmware on reboots. Kexec loads a new kernel from a running kernel, and Kdump can provide a memory dump of the previous kernel for debugging.
  • This release includes iscsi-initiator-utils, iSCSI daemon and utility programs that provide support for hardware using the iSCSI interface.
  • fedora-release now includes the software repositories for debuginfo packages and source rpm packages.
  • fedora-release now includes the software repositories for Fedora Legacy community maintenance project. (disabled by default)

2.1.3. System Level Changes

  • X.org X11R7.0 is included in this release. The new modular architecture of R7.0 enables easier driver upgrades and simplifies development, opening the way for rapid improvement in Linux graphics.
  • The GCC 4.1 compiler (http://gcc.gnu.org/gcc-4.1/changes.html) is included, and the entire set of Fedora packages is built with this technology. This provides security and performance enhancements throughout the system.
  • The kernels for this release are based on Linux 2.6.16. Refer to the section on the kernel in these release notes for other details.
  • The PCMCIA framework used by laptop and mobile devices has changed. The older pcmcia-cs package using the cardmgr/pcmcia service has been replaced with a new pcmciautils package. With pcmciautils, PCMCIA devices are handled directly and dynamically by the hotplug and udev subsystems. This update increases both efficiency and performance of the system. For more information about these changes, refer to http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/kernel/pcmcia/pcmcia.html.
  • SELinux implementation has undergone a major change, with a switch to the SELinux reference policy (http://serefpolicy.sourceforge.net/). The SELinux reference policy can support binary policy modules. It is now possible to move SELinux policies into individual packages, making it easier for users to ship site-specific policy customizations when required. This version also adds support for Multi-Category Security (MCS), enabled by default, and Multi-Level Security (MLS). SELinux continues to offer support for TE (Type Enforcement), enabled by default, and RBAC (Role-Based Access Control). Refer to the section on SELinux in these release notes for other details and links to SELinux resources on the Fedora Project pages.
  • udev provides a new linking for device names that includes the physical name of the device. For example, if your CD-ROM is /dev/hdc, it gets symlinked to the friendly name /dev/cdrom-hdc. If you have additional matching devices, the same rule applies, so /dev/hdd is symlinked to /dev/cdrom-hdd. This is true for /dev/scanner, /dev/floppy, /dev/changer, and so forth.
    The typical name /dev/cdrom is also created, and udev assigns it randomly to one of the /dev/cdrom-hdX devices. This random assignment usually sticks, but in some configurations the symlink may change on boot to a different device. This does not affect CD burning applications, but some CD player applications such as kscd may be affected. If you wish, you can set your CD player application to point at a specific CD-ROM device, such as /dev/cdrom-hdc. This situation only occurs if you have more than one of a type of device.