Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute.
Fedora 11 is packed with tons of new features across the spectrum from casual desktop user to hardcore hacker. Additionally, Fedora 11 offers a very good technical preview of features that may appear in the upcoming version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora 11 showcases a new default filesystem in ext4, a 20 second startup, and the latest GNOME, KDE and XFCE releases. Firefox 3.5 and Thunderbird 3 latest pre-releases are available as well.
Fedora 11 features Presto, a yum plugin that reduces bandwidth consumption drastically by downloading only binary differences between updates. It also features Openchange for interoperability with Microsoft Exchange. There are new security enhancements, improved and upgraded development tools, and cutting edge features in areas such as virtualization.
Security-related release notes:
- Fingerprint readers – Fingerprint readers are now better integrated with Fedora 11. GNOME users can easily setup fingerprint authentication using gnome-about-me, and will allow the ability to login from both gdm and gnome-screensaver.
- System Security Services Daemon – The SSSD is intended to provide several key feature enhancements to Fedora. The first being the addition of offline caching for network credentials. Authentication through the SSSD will potentially allow LDAP, NIS, and FreeIPA services to provide an offline mode, to ease the use of centrally managing laptop users. The LDAP features will also add support for connection pooling. All communication to the ldap server will happen over a single persistent connection, reducing the overhead of opening a new socket for each request. The SSSD will also add support for multiple LDAP/NIS domains. It will be possible to connect to two or more LDAP/NIS servers acting as separate user namespaces.
- SHA-2 support – Fedora now uses the SHA-256 digest algorithm for data verification and authentication in more places than before, migrating from the weaker SHA-1 and MD5 algorithms. Where possible, the migration was transparent; in other places the default configuration was changed or manual configuration is necessary to use the stronger algorithms.
To get a copy of Fedora 11 go here.