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4. What is New for Desktop Users

4.1. Fedora Desktop

This section details changes that affect Fedora graphical desktop users.

4.1.1. Better webcam support

Fedora 10 comes with improved support for webcams.
This support follows on the improvements to the UVC driver first introduced in Fedora 9 that added support for any webcam with a Windows Vista compliant logo. Fedora 10 features a new V4L2 version of gspca, a USB webcam driver framework with support for many different USB webcam bridges and sensors.
Userspace support for webcams has also been improved by adding libv4l and updating all webcam using applications to use libv4l. This support makes these applications understand the manufacturer specific and custom video formats emitted by many webcams, especially by many of the webcams supported by gspca.
For a list of all webcams and applications where Fedora 10's new webcam support has been tested refer to https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/BetterWebcamSupport. For a list of all webcams supported by the original version of gspca refer to the original gspca website.
The V4L2 version of gspca in Fedora 10 supports all these webcams and more.

4.1.2. Plymouth graphical boot

For information about the new graphical boot mode read Section 2.6, “Fedora 10 boot-time”.

4.1.3. Infrared remote support

New to Fedora 10 is the gnome-lirc-properties package with a new graphical front-end for configuring LIRC to use with applications supporting the protocol. For more information refer to Section 4.1.3, “Infrared remote support”.
LIRC is routinely used in multimedia applications to implement support for infrared remote controls, and using it in Rhythmbox and Totem should be as easy as plugging the remote receiver into your computer, then selecting Auto-detect in the Infrared Remote Control preferences. Refer to the feature page for more information:

4.1.4. Bluetooth BlueZ 4.0

The Bluetooth support stack, called BlueZ (http://www.bluez.org,) has been updated to version 4.x in Fedora 10. Most changes in this version are useful for application developers, but users can notice the new, easier to use wizard for setting up keyboards, mice, and other supported Bluetooth devices. There is also the ability to turn-off the Bluetooth adapter on most brands of laptops through the preferences. This new version will also allow better support for audio devices in the future, through PulseAudio.
Note that the default Bluetooth kernel driver was also switched to btusb, which cuts down power consumption compared to its predecessor hci_usb.

4.1.5. GNOME

This release features GNOME 2.24. For more details refer to:
4.1.5.1. Empathy instant messenger
Empathy instant messenger is available in this release. It has support for multiple protocols including IRC, XMPP (Jabber), Yahoo, MSN, and others via plugins. It also supports video and voice in the XMPP protocol, with support for other protocols under active development. Empathy uses the telepathy framework that has a number of additional plugins:
  • telepathy-gabble - Jabber/XMPP plugin
  • telepathy-idle - IRC plugin
  • telepathy-butterfly - MSN plugin
  • telepathy-sofiasip - SIP plugin
  • telepathy-haze - Libpurple (Pidgin) library connection manager provides support for other protocols such as Yahoo
Pidgin continues to be available in the Fedora software repository and is retained as the default for users upgrading from previous releases of Fedora.
4.1.5.2. GNOME Display Manager
The GNOME Display Manager (gdm) has been updated to the latest upstream code, which is a complete rewrite driven by Fedora developers. PolicyKit can be used to control shutdown and reboot. The configuration tool gdmsetup is missing currently, and is set to be replaced. For configuration changes, refer to:
4.1.5.3. Codec installation helper
The GStreamer codec installation helper codeina was replaced by a PackageKit-based solution for Fedora 10. When Totem, Rhythmbox, or another GStreamer application require a plugin to read a film or song, a PackageKit dialog appears, allowing the user to search for the necessary package in the configured repositories.
More details are available on the feature page:

4.1.6. KDE

This release features KDE 4.1.2. As the kdevelop packages is not part of KDE 4.1 and kdewebdev is only partially available (no Quanta) in KDE 4.1, the KDE 3.5.10 versions of those packages are shipped. A kdegames3 package containing the games not yet ported to KDE 4 is also available.
KDE 4.1 is the latest release of KDE 4 and provides several new features, many usability improvements, and bugfixes over KDE 4.0, the first KDE 4 release series. This new release includes a folder view desktop applet (Plasmoid), improvements to Dolphin and Konqueror and many new and improved applications. KDE 4.1.2 is a bugfix release from the KDE 4.1 release series.
Fedora 10 does not include the legacy KDE 3 Desktop. It does include a compatibility KDE 3 Development Platform, which can be used to build and run KDE 3 applications within KDE 4 or any other desktop environment. Refer to the Section 7.6, “KDE 3 Development Platform and Libraries” section for more details about what is included.
Fedora 10 includes a snapshot of knetworkmanager, which works with the prerelease of NetworkManager 0.7 in Fedora 10. As it was not considered ready for production use, the KDE Live images use nm-applet from NetworkManager-gnome instead (as in Fedora 8 and 9). The gnome-keyring-daemon facility saves passwords for these encryption technologies. If you wish to try knetworkmanager, it can be installed from the repository.
As the native KWin window manager now optionally supports compositing and desktop effects, the KDE Live images no longer include Compiz/Beryl (since Fedora 9). The KWin compositing/effects mode is disabled by default, but can be enabled in systemsettings. Compiz (with KDE 4 integration) is available from the repository by installing the compiz-kde package.
4.1.6.1. Enhancements
  • Plasma is more mature and panel configuration has been extended. The new panel controller makes it easy to customize your panel providing direct visual feedback. The Plasma folderview applet provides a view of a directory and thus allows you to store files on the desktop. It is replaces other well known icons on the desktop.
4.1.6.2. Package and application changes
  • Fedora 10 ships kdepim 4.1.2 instead of 3.5.x.
  • libkipi, libkexiv2, and libkdcraw have been obsoleted by the KDE 4 versions in the kdegraphics package. Accordingly, kipi-plugins, digikam, and kphotoalbum have been updated to KDE 4 versions.
  • kpackagekit, a KDE frontend to PackageKit, is now available. (It may be made available as an update for Fedora 9 at a later time.)
In addition, the following changes made since the Fedora 9 release, which have been backported to Fedora 9 updates, are also part of Fedora 10:
  • KDE has been upgraded from version 4.0.3 to 4.1.2.
  • qt and PyQt4 have been upgraded from 4.3 to 4.4.
  • kdewebdev, kdevelop, kdegames3, and the KDE 3 backwards-compatibility libraries have been upgraded from KDE 3.5.9 to 3.5.10.
  • QtWebKit is now part of the qt package. The stand alone WebKit-qt package has been obsoleted.
  • The new package qgtkstyle contains a Qt 4 style using GTK+ for drawing, providing better integration of Qt 4 and KDE 4 applications into GNOME.
  • The phonon library, which was part of kdelibs in Fedora 9, is now a separate package. An optional GStreamer backend (phonon-backend-gstreamer) is now available, but the xine-lib backend, which is now packaged as phonon-backend-xine, is still the recommended default backend and is now required by the phonon package.
  • The kdegames3 package no longer provides development support for the KDE 3 version of libkdegames because nothing in Fedora outside of kdegames3 itself requires that library any longer.
  • The package okteta is now part of kdeutils.
  • The package dragonplayer is now part of kdemultimedia.
  • The program kaider has been renamed to Lokalize and is now part of kdesdk.
  • The package ksirk has been ported to KDE 4 and is now part of kdegames.
  • The package extragear-plasma has been renamed to kdeplasma-addons.

4.1.7. LXDE

This release of Fedora comes with an additional desktop environment named LXDE. LXDE is a new project that provides a lightweight, fast desktop environment designed to be usable and slim enough to keep resource usage low. To install the LXDE environment, use the Add/Remove Software tool or run:
su -c 'yum groupinstall LXDE'
If you only need the base components of LXDE, install the lxde-common package:
su -c 'yum install lxde-common'

4.1.8. Sugar Desktop

The Sugar Desktop originated with the OLPC initiative. It allows for Fedora users and developers to do the following.
  • Build upon the collaborative environment.
  • Test out Sugar on an existing Fedora system by selecting the Sugar environment from their display manager.
  • Developers interested in working on the Sugar interface or writing activities can have a development platform without needing an XO laptop.

4.1.9. Web browsers

4.1.9.1. Enabling Flash plugin
Fedora includes swfdec and gnash, which are free and open source implementations of Flash. We encourage you to try either of them before seeking out Adobe's proprietary Flash Player plugin software.
For more information on Flash in Fedora, including installation tips and known problems, visit http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Flash.
4.1.9.2. Disabling PC speaker
PC speaker is enabled by default in Fedora. If you do not prefer this, there are two ways to circumvent the sounds:
  • Reduce its volume to a acceptable level or completely mute the PC speaker in alsamixer with the setting for PC Speak.
  • Disable the PC speaker system wide by running the following commands in a console:
    	    su -c 'modprobe -r pcspkr' su -c 'echo "install pcspkr :" >> /etc/modprobe.conf'