The Fedora Project has released Fedora 9, a significant upgrade for the popular Linux distribution. Fedora 9 packs in a number of new features including an improved package management system, KDE 4 and more.
Perhaps the best part of Fedora 9 is the new live USB options. Fedora has always made it easy to go from a live CD to a bootable USB stick, but the new options allow for a non-destructive install and persistent data. The non-destructive part means that, provided your USB stick has space, you can install Fedora 9 and none of your existing files will be lost.
Thanks to the persistent data features, booting from a live USB install isnâ€™t just a temporary trial experience like the live CD â€” any changes you make or files you create are stored and available the next time you boot up, and that includes system files as well. Fedora sent me a live USB stick with RC1 last week and I was able to upgrade the USB stick to the final release this morning without issue (note that the Fedora Project servers appear to slammed at the moment, so be patient and use a torrent download if possible).
Fedora 9 introduces a nice upgrade to PackageKit which allows you to treat all your updates the same whether theyâ€™re RPG, UM or Apt. Thereâ€™s also a new feature that detects when youâ€™re missing a piece of software needed to open a file. PackageKit will pop up a window offering to install what you need (provided thereâ€™s a free software package available).
Fedora continues its long tradition of strong Java support with OpenJDK6 and IcedTea (an implementation of OpenJDK, released in Fedora 8) included by default.
As always Fedora ships with both GNOME and KDE desktops available. The GNOME version comes with the 2.22 and all its assorted goodness like GVFS and more. On the KDE side Fedora 9 makes a leap of faith and defaults to KDE 4 with all the latest and greatest eye candy and new features.
After playing with the release candidate for a week or so Iâ€™m happy to report that Fedora 9 has made some significant strides and gives Ubuntu a serious run for its money when it comes to user-friendliness.
You can grab a copy of Fedora 9 from the Fedora Project download site.