Six months after the release of Fedora 8, version 9 of the Linux operating system has been released. Fedora, the Red Hat-backed Linux version, is an easy to use system that makes even first-time Linux users feel at home.
Fedora 9 has been released in a number of versions suitable for most users. These "spins", as Fedora likes to call them, are custom boot images that can be used to install Fedora on most platforms including desktop computers and USB devices.
One of Fedora's strengths is its user-friendliness with a great deal of work having gone into making the desktop easy to use. Fedora also spends a great deal of time working to make the desktop as attractive as possible. Fedora 9 includes the recently-released Gnome 2.22 desktop which itself packs a few decent applications including the new Cheese webcam photo and video application, improved network filesystem support, a new international clock applet, Google Calendar support and custom email labels in email client Evolution.
For those that prefer the KDE desktop, KDE 4.0.2 is included in the KDE Live image as well as on the regular DVD.
NetworkManager in Fedora 9 has been improved to provide better mobile broadband support, including for GSM and CDMA devices, and now supports multiple devices and ad-hoc networking for sharing connections.
The much talked about PulseAudio is also installed by default in Fedora 9. PulseAudio is an improved sound server compatible with nearly all existing Linux sound systems. PulseAudio allows for hot-switching audio outputs and for running multiple audio streams simultaneously and still being able to control the volume of each.
Compiz, the compositing window manager that creates impressive 3D eyecandy for the desktop, is installed by default and is easily enabled by both GNOME and KDE users via the Desktop Effects tool. Using Compiz users can enjoy desktop effects including 3D representations of their desktop and windows.
Up at the top of the pile with Ubuntu and Suse, Fedora is ideal for both experienced Linux users as well as those looking to try Linux for the first time.
Fedora can be downloaded from http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora.html for free.