Fedora 9 hits the streets

The Fedora Project Tuesday said Fedora 9, a free, open source Linux operating system, is ready for download.

The software features a unique portable capability that lets it live on a USB stick. Users can boot the operating system from the USB stick and add applications and download and store data to the environment.

The operating sysyem also is the first major Fedora release with support for KDE 4.x. The KDE desktop environment includes an integrated desktop search feature, a new UI style, a multimedia API and a hardware integration framework.

The Fedora Project is an independent community effort sponsored by Red Hat and many of the improvements developed for the open source Linux distribution find their way into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Fedora 9, code-named Sulphur, also features FreeIPA, which helps administrators centralize authentication and identity management. (Compare identity management tools.)

FreeIPA (identity, policy, audit) includes Fedora, Fedora directory server, FreeRadius, MIT Kerberos, NTP, DNS, Samba and Web browser or command line tools for provisioning and administration.

Paul Frields, Red Hat's project leader for Fedora, said in March that the Fedora Project plans to integrate certificate management and "later on down the road to do centrally managed group access control and collection of audit logs."

FreeIPA is a technology that could provide RHEL with a solid identity and access control framework if Red Hat were to add it to its commercial operating system.

Fedora 9 also includes Gnome 2.22, which adds security, power management and file system enhancement; and OpenJDK6, an open source implementation of Sun's Java SDK Standard Edition.

The operating system also includes Firefox 3 Beta 5, support for resizing ext2, ext3 and NTFS partitions during install, and support for creating and installing to encrypted file systems.

The software also includes PackageKit, a sort of unified installer of open source packages. The back end of PackageKit is built on Yellow dog Updater, Modified, an open source command line package management utility.