The Red Hat-backed Fedora project has released version 15 today and is the first major Linux distribution to include GNOME 3 as the default desktop environment.
GNOME 3 was released last month, however, Ubuntu 11.04 shipped with its own Unity interface, not the default, like Fedora 15.
GNOME 3 includes the new “GNOME Shell” user interface which requires 3D video acceleration, which Fedora provides with open source drivers for Nvidia, AMD (ATI) and Intel, including support for “Sandybridge” GPUs.
With Fedora 15, 3D support in Nouveau, the open source Nvidia driver, is now available by default, and the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package does not need to be installed.
KDE users also get the latest version with KDE 4.6 available for installation. And, not to be outdone, the smaller Xfce desktop environment is bumped up to version 4.8.
For Web browsing Firefox 4 is the default browser and recoll, a full-text search tool makes its Fedora debut.
Like most other Linux distributions Fedora 15 has opted for the LibreOffice productivity suite to replace Oracle’s OpenOffice.org.
At the core is Linux kernel 2.6.38 and a new service manager, systemd, aims to speed up boot times.
For security there is a new dynamic firewall service that supports firewall changes without the need for a restart.
Fedora also introduces some changes to its Java support with IcedTead6 1.10 making it in along with the new IcedTea-Web for Java Web applet plug-in support.
According to the developers, IcedTea-Web brings improvements to Fedora and will make the bug fix turn-around time shorter as it no longer requires a JDK package “re-spin”.
The Fedora project is online at: https://fedoraproject.org/
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