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Whats New , and Whats Old - A little comparison between Ubuntu 7.10 new features with the upcoming Fedora 8 and older Fedora releases

Ubuntu 7.10 'Gutsy Gibbon' was just released a few days ago, and Fedora 8 just hit devel-freeze yesterday. With all the hype going all over the internet, one point annoys me - when some Ubuntu users claiming that some of the new features in Ubuntu are something Fedora does not have. Now, lets bust this myth. (This list might not be complete)

Ubuntu 7.10 feature list was taken from :

GNOME 2.20

Both Fedora 8 and Ubuntu 7.10 uses GNOME 2.20.

Compiz Fusion

Both Fedora 8 and Ubuntu 7.10 have Compiz 0.6.0 during its release. However, in Fedora 8, compiz will not be enabled by default , as there are several issues which still need to be fixed in Fedora's point of view, one of it is the Xv video support - patches are being developed by Red Hat developers in fixing the the X server and Xv and apply it upstream. Compiz is enabled by default in Ubuntu - with a hack patch applied in mplayer to allow Xv rendered properly on Mplayer only.

In Ubuntu 7.10, Compiz-Fusion plugins are included in the installation CD and enabled by default . As for Fedora 8, the Compiz-Fusion plugins can be yum'ed from the repositories.
yum install compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-extras

CCSM is currently under review, it might not reach Fedora 8 during the release because Fedora 8 already hit its devel freeze. Anyway, it will available as an update. (Maybe I can try poking Jesse to make an exemption for this)

Desktop Search

Desktop search was enabled by default during Fedora Core 5 (yes, FIVE!), but due to complains about it eating too much resource , it was made optional on later releases. Desktop search can be yum'ed from the repos to those who want it.
yum install deskbar-applet tracker-search-tool

Fast User Switch

One of the new features of Ubuntu 7.10 is FUS. This feature was developed under Fedora Project and was integrated together during the release of Fedora 7.


Firefox Plugin

The firefox plugin finder is from upstream, therefore, all distros using it get the feature

Ubuntu 7.10 repositories now have Firefox add-ons packaged in DEB. This feature is a creditable new feature. There was a discussion about this not so long ago in Fedora-Devel-List ( ). Concerns were raised about low-quality and vulnerable add-ons might be hitting the repository if the package submission are not properly managed. Maybe we will be seeing this in Fedora after a guideline for the XPIs is available.

Dynamic Screen Configuration

XRanR have been included together in Fedora 7. Ubuntu 7.10 just included it.

Graphical Configuration for X and BulletProofX

Now now now ... this is REALLY OLD .. Fedora have a similar configurator called System-Config-Display and that tool have been around in Fedora ever since I started using it .. and that was .. Fedora Core 3 (read, THREE) and it might have existed older than that. System-Config-Display supports Xinerama (Multi Display) as long as that too.

Same goes for BulletProofX (but in a different form). When a X session was misconfigured , system-config-display will automatically reset Xorg.conf to the lowest settings of which Xorg can start. This feature have been around as long as system-config-display.

One thing nice in Ubuntu's BulletProofX is the display configurator actually display itself to allow manual adjustments. In Fedora, it'll simply reconfig automatically - and sometimes this doesnt work and causes a failure loop. I had to run system-config-display manually to fix the settings when that happens. I have asked for this 'feature' before, but Fedora believes the fallback should be done automatically without user interaction, and running system-config-display to allow manual reconfigure is considered a hack because it does not fix the actual problem. Any issues about fallback not functioning properly are supposed to be reported at bugzilla.

Printer Support

Ubuntu 7.10 includes a modified Fedora's System-Config-Printer. (thats all I could say, as I dont use printer much).

NTFS Writing using NTFS-3G

Ubuntu 7.10 includes NTFS-3G for accessing NTFS partitions. NTFS-3G have been enabled by default in Fedora since Fedora 7 LiveCDs. Fedora Core 6 added this support through update.

Power Consumption

Ubuntu 7.10 inludes kernel 2.23 which includes tickless kernel support. Fedora 8 also includes kernel 2.23. Fedora 7 might be having kernel 2.23 from updates soon.

Encrypted Harddisk

Alternate installer for Ubuntu 7.10 includes install-time encrypted hdd creation support.

I dont see this in Fedora's Anaconda installer, but a little googling for "encrypted hdd fedora" pointed me to
Fedora Core 5 release note
which then pointed me to LUKS. Maybe theres an easy way to encrypt HDD post-installation in Fedora, but I dont know that for now. While I dont see theres a need for encrypted HDD support for / as those installed in / are basically stuff from RPM which everyone have access to on the net, and good admins will separate the system and the data and encrypt the data partition, maybe some people really need it.

Security Framework

Ubuntu 7.10 just included AppArmor by Novell in their release. A similar tool is available in Fedora since long ago called SELinux. SELinux was developed by NSA and has more strict control and security, but however, it was tauted hard to configure. That has changed in Fedora 7 with lots of GUI configuration tools were introduced for ease of maintaining SELinux.

The rest?

well, I have no idea what "Additional installation profiles for Ubuntu Server" , "Profile-based Authentication Configuration", and "Improved thin-client support" supposed to mean in the Tour page, so I couldn't compare them.

What Fedora 8 Will Have, Sooner Than Other Distros

The full feature list available here:

- NetworkManager 0.7.0 is under heavy development and is included in Fedora 8.
- Online-Desktop - Internet and Desktop - Working together! - Online Desktop developer interview
- IcedTea - IcedTea are the fully Free components of Sun's OpenJDK
- PulseAudio - PulseAudio is a powerful sound server system which supports advanced mixing capabilities.
- Eclipse 3.3 - Fedora Eclipse IDE.
- Animated Wallpaper - Animated wallpaper for your Desktop - Fedora Artwork interview (details in one of the paragraphs)
- Enhanced Bluetooth Improvements - Bluetooth Improvements developer interview

Fedora: Infinity | Freedom | Voice.

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