Red Hat's Fedora project yesterday quietly released version 9, an upgrade of its open source Linux operating system with support for live USB bootup, OpenJDK6 , KDE 4 and the ext4 file system.
Fedora 9, code-named Sulphur, was developed by more than 2,000 volunteer developers, said Paul Frields, Fedora's recently-appointed project leader.
Version 9 offers a variety of aesthetic and functional improvements, ranging from a "surgery free facelift" to live USB with persistence, which turns any USB key into a bootable, portable Fedora OS users can take anywhere and use on any system that boots with USB.
Fedora 9, like the recently released Ubuntu 8.04, is one of the first Linux operating systems to incorporate Mozilla's Firefox 3 (beta 5) browser and Sun's OpenJDK6, an open source implementation of Java SDK Standard Edition. Fedora 8 implemented Red Hat's IcedTea openJDK.
Fedora 9 incorporates an enhanced Anaconda Installer and another feature called PackageKit that simplifies management of patches and updates and integrates with existing package management systems. It also offers on-demand installation of features.
Fedora 9 is also, project leaders claim, the first Linux OS to fully implemnt the KDE 4 desktop as well as Gnome 2.22.
KDE 4 features a redesigned desktop and panel, new visual look, integrated desktop search, multimedia API and hardware integration framework.
Although some Linux distributions use Gnome as the primary open source desktop, KDE continues to receive support from Red Hat's Fedora project, Novell-sponsored openSUSE and others.
OpenSUSE 11, which is now in beta testing and due to ship on June 19, also offers KDE 4 and GNOME 2.22. It will also offer a one CD install, enhanced updating stack and a slimmed down installation.
Fedora 9 also offers an improved NetworkManager with better support for static IP addressing, mobile broadband and multiple connections and connection sharing. The Fedora project said more than 2 million copies of Fedora 8 have been downloaded.