New Fedora Linux Release Promises Improved Desktop Look

The new release, Fedora 17, also provides new desktop features via a new release of the Gnome desktop environment and graphical user interface.

Fedora is based on the Linux kernel and incorporates Red Hat technology, including the JBoss application server and development tools. The Fedora Project generally releases a new version of the software about every six months and the new release is available for download from Fedora Project's site.

[Related: The 10 Best Open-Source Products Of 2011, Fedora 16 Makes The List ]

"I am extremely proud of the Fedora 17 release. The addition of projects such as oVirt and JBoss Application Server 7, enhancements in OpenStack and continued support for fresh releases of desktop environments demonstrate the Fedora Project's commitment to deliver rich features and capabilities," said Robyn Bergeron, Fedora project leader, in a statement. "This, combined with our leading-edge innovations at the operating-system level, truly makes Fedora 17 a comprehensive and robust operating system for all types of users."

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On the development side, Fedora 17 includes the JBoss Application Server 7 for developing and deploying Java EE applications. Also included are the Java 7 and OpenJDK7 Java build and runtime toolset, and a pre-release of the Juno Eclipse software development kit that's expected later this year.

The new Fedora release incorporates oVirt, an open virtualization platform and management system. Also new is the latest release (2012.1) of OpenStack services for setting up and running cloud compute and storage infrastructure. And, the Fedora cluster stack offers a number of updates that boost the operating system's availability and load-balancing capabilities.

On the desktop side, Fedora incorporates Gnome 3.4, a new release of the open-source desktop environment and graphical user interface. Fedora 16 incorporated an earlier version of Gnome that was unpopular with developers, and the hope is that Gnome 3.4 has corrected the shortcomings in the earlier Gnome release.

Gnome 3.4 brings to Fedora new search capabilities in the Activities Overview, enhancements to the Documents and Contacts application, and a new version of the GIMP image manipulation program.