The Fedora Project, a Red Hat sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 9, the latest version of its open source operating system distribution.
Fedora 9 features the first non-destructive live USB with persistence, and marks the first major KDE 4-based distribution. Other highlights include improvements and enhancements for OpenJDK, GNOME 2.22, NetworkManager, PackageKit, the Anaconda installer and Firefox 3 Beta 5 browser, among others.
The Fedora 9 Live images can now be added to an existing USB key using either a Linux or Windows application, without the need to remove data, repartition or reformat the USB key, resulting in a bootable, portable Fedora system. Using the persistence feature, users can download and store data, and remove and add software as on any normal Fedora system.
Fedora’s KDE team, a community effort led by volunteer contributors, has integrated KDE 4 into Fedora 9. KDE 4 includes a new desktop and panel with many enhanced concepts, an integrated desktop search feature, a new visual style, and a new multimedia API and hardware integration framework. Fedora 9 also includes FreeIPA, a powerful new toolset for system administrators to manage identity policy and auditing across mixed computing environments.
Fedora community developers also integrated OpenJDK6, a completely open source implementation of Sun Microsystems, Inc.’s Java SDK Standard Edition, into Fedora 9. This continues to build upon the inclusion of IcedTea, an implementation of OpenJDK, released in Fedora 8.
“Fedora has come a long way over the past few years with a broadening user base, influx of innovative ideas and a thriving community,” said Paul Frields, Fedora project leader at Red Hat. “Fedora 8 had 35 percent more torrent downloads than Fedora 7, and there have been more than 35,000 downloads purely of our various testing releases. We have more than two million unique IP addresses regularly checking in for updates just for Fedora 8, and that number continues to increase daily.”
Other Fedora 9 enhancements include improvements to NetworkManager, which now serves the needs of virtually any system owner with support for mobile broadband, multiple connections and connection editing and sharing. PackageKit is used by default for cross-distribution software package management, affording users the flexibility to enjoy the same tools with any Linux flavor. GNOME 2.22 adds new features including a helpful world time clock, better file system performance, security improvements, power management at the login screen, the ability to dynamically configure displays, better Bluetooth integration and improved podcast support.