Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why Choose Fedora?

To distinguish itself from other versions of Linux, each distribution adds some extra features. Because many power features included in most Linux distributions come from established open source projects (such as Apache, Samba, KDE, and so on), often enhancements for a particular distribution exist to make it easier to install, configure, and use Linux. Also, because there are different software packages available to do the same jobs (such as window managers or a particular server type), a distribution can distinguish itself by which packages it chooses to include and feature with its default installations.

Fedora is continuing the Red Hat Linux tradition by offering many features that set it apart from other Linux distributions. Those features include:

• Cutting-edge Linux technology — In Fedora 12, major features include the GNOME 2.28 and KDE 4.3 desktops, Firefox 3.5, 3.1, new Ext4 file system support, and the latest Linux kernel.

• Software packaging — Red Hat, Inc. created the RPM Package Manager (RPM) method of packaging Linux. RPMs allow less technically savvy users to easily install, search, manage, and verify Linux software. With RPM tools, you can install from CD, hard disk, over your LAN, or over the Internet. It’s easy to track which packages are installed or to look at the contents of a package. Because RPM is available to the Linux community it has become one of the de facto standards for packaging Linux software. Tools such as yum and PackageKit, which are built to take advantage of RPM technology, have been added to Fedora to extend your ability to install and update packages. Those tools can point to online repositories, so the latest software packages are often only a click away.

• Easy installation — The Fedora installation software (called anaconda) provides easy steps for installing Linux. During installation, anaconda also helps you take the first few steps toward configuring Linux. You can choose which packages to install and how to partition your hard disk. You can even get your desktop GUI ready to go by configuring user accounts, keyboard, mouse, and even your network connection. With Fedora 12, you can install directly from a running live CD, or choose from several different installonly media.

• UNIX System V–style run-level scripts — To have your system services (daemon processes) start up and shut down in an organized way, Fedora and RHEL support the UNIX System V mechanism for starting and stopping services. Shell scripts (that are easy to read and change) are contained in subdirectories of /etc. When the run level changes, such as when the system boots up or you change to single-user mode, messages tell you whether each service started correctly or failed to execute properly. New system start-up technology, such as Fastboot and Upstart technology are being introduced to help developers transition their services to faster boot-up technology.

• Desktop environments (GNOME and KDE) — To make it easier to use Linux, Fedora comes packaged with the GNOME and KDE desktop environments. GNOME is installed by default and offers some nice features that include drag-and-drop protocols and tools for configuring the desktop look and feel. KDE is another popular desktop manager that includes a wide range of tools tailored for the KDE environment, such as the Konqueror Web browser. You can try out separate Fedora live CDs for GNOME and KDE, and then install software from those CDs directly to your hard disk.

• GUI Administration tools — There are some helpful configuration tools for setting up some of the trickier tasks in Linux. Several different GUI tools provide a graphical, form-driven interface for configuring networking, users, file systems, security and initialization services. Instead of creating obtuse command lines or having to create tricky configuration files, these graphical tools can set up those files automatically.

• Testing — The exact configuration that you get on the Fedora distribution has been thoroughly tested by experts around the world. Because Fedora is now represented by a single huge software repository, the most intensely tested software will be that which is offered in official CD and DVD versions of Fedora.

• Automatic updates — The software packages that make up Fedora are constantly being fixed in various ways. To provide a mechanism for the automatic selection, download, and installation of updated software packages, Fedora relies primarily on the yum facility.

With the addition of yum software repositories on the Internet that include Fedora packages, whole sets of RPM software packages can be updated with a single yum update command. The PackageKit facility provides graphical tools with Fedora to install from multiple software repositories on the Internet (as opposed to local CD or DVD media. A desktop applet automatically alerts you when updated packages are available to download and install.

Source of Information :  Wiley - Adobe Fedora Bible 2010 Edition Featuring Fedora Linux
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