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
Fedora is continuing the Red Hat Linux by offering many features that set it apart from other Linux distributions. Those features include:
Cutting-edge Linux technology — In Fedora Core 3, major new features include the Linux 2.6 kernel, Security Enhanced Linux, and a new X server from X.Org. You can get your hands on those and many other new Linux features before they go into commercial Linux products.
Software packaging — Red Hat, Inc. created the RPM Package Management (RPM) method of packaging Linux. RPMs allow less technically savvy users to easily install 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.
Chapter 5 describes how to install RPM packages.
— The Fedora installation process (called
) 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 your video card,
Chapter 2 covers Fedora Core installation.
UNIX System V–style run-level scripts — To have your system services (daemon processes) start up and shut down in an organized way, Fedora uses 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. Chapter 12 describes how to use runlevel scripts.
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 KDE Control Center for configuring the desktop.
— With the latest Fedora and other Red Hat Linux distributions, whether you use KDE or GNOME as your desktop environment, you can expect to see many of the same icons and
GUI Administration tools
— There are some helpful configuration tools for setting up some of the trickier
There are advantages and disadvantages of using a GUI-based program to manipulate text-based configuration files. GUI-based configuration tools can lead you through a setup procedure and error-check the information you enter. However, some features can’t be accessed through the GUI, and if something goes wrong, it can be trickier to debug. With Linux, you have the command-line options available as well as the GUI administration tools.
— The exact configuration that you get on the Fedora distribution has been thoroughly
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, Red Hat created the up2date facility. For officially supported Red Hat Linux distributions, the Red Hat Network provides a focal point for software updates. While Fedora also supports the up2date facility to allow you to get software updates, on the back end Fedora will point up2date at community- supported yum and apt software repositories for providing those updates. Using the up2date command, as a Fedora user you can receive critical security fixes and patches very simply over the Internet.