There has not been a new development release of Fedora 12 since the Constantine Alpha release back in August. However, the second and last development release, Fedora 12 Beta, is set to be released next week. It has been delayed a few times already, but Fedora 12 Beta packs all of the features that are to be found in Fedora 12 with the final development freeze already in effect. Here is an early look at where the Fedora 12 Beta is at in regards to its artwork and feature set.
Much of the new work in Fedora 12 pertains to KVM and improving this virutalization option, which Red Hat is strongly backing and will be a big part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Fedora 12's KVM support brings huge-page backed memory, NIC hot-plugging support, improved qcow2 image performance, a stable guest ABI, virtual network interface management, VM storage management, support for KVM to share identical memory pages, and virtualization privileges/security tightening.
For those not running Fedora 12 in a virtualized environment but on the hardware itself, Constantine brings better web-camera support, DisplayPort support for Intel hardware, and there are more mobile broadband improvements within NetworkManager. Some of the mobile broadband improvements in NetworkManager include the ability to show the signal strength for the cellular connection, and network scanning for GSM. There is also improved power management and optimizations in this Fedora release. Additionally, the 32-bit version of Fedora has changed the base architecture for i686 and there are more modern 32-bit optimizations.
Other new features in Fedora 12 include MDRaid support in Anaconda, Dracut replacing nash/mkinitrd, Empathy replacing Pidgin as the default instant messaging application, GFS2 Clustered Samba support, IPv6 support in NetworkManager, PolicyKit 1.0 integration, Fedora Moblin support, X Input 2.0 integration, and using XZ RPM payloads for the compression format. GNOME 2.28.0 and KDE 4.3.2 are both available through Fedora 12, while lower down on the stack is the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, X Server 1.7.0, Mesa 7.7-devel, and GCC 4.4.1. Fedora 12 is also shipping with the very latest Nouveau code. It's good to see so many of these features being completed in time for Fedora 12.
These screenshots in this article were captured from a 2009-10-13 build of the Fedora 12 desktop LiveCD. We will have more on Fedora 12 Beta next week. The final release of Fedora 12 is expected in mid-November.