Documentation Desktop Beat
Automatic print driver installation
In Fedora 13, functionality has been added to leverage RPM and PackageKit capabilities for automatic installation of printer drivers. When a user plugs in any of the supported printers, the driver identifies itself to PackageKit, and once authorized the driver is downloaded and installed automatically. Thanks to this change, Fedora bootable Live images no longer need to ship all printer drivers. This functionality equals or surpasses that of proprietary operating systems, where driver support is difficult and time-consuming. It also continues to build on the new, compelling functionality of free desktop components along with RPM.
Automatic installation of language packs
A number of large suite-type packages, such as OpenOffice.org, Eclipse, and KDE, package their translated content separately as langpacks due to size issues. Now with the langpack plugin, when yum detects that a langpack is needed and available for a package the user requests, yum automatically downloads and installs the langpack as well. The user no longer needs to specifically request installation of language support for these types of suites. In the future it will be possible to extend this support further throughout the distribution.
PackageKit integration everywhere
Brasero has gained the ability to automatically install missing GStreamer codecs when they are needed for burning audio CDs. File-roller can now install missing tools for handling archive formats.
Redesigned user management interface
The user account tool has been completely redesigned. The tool has functions to configure personal information in user accounts, and make a personal profile picture or icon. It also helps users generate strong passphrases, set up additional login options such as automatic login, and determine special roles for users such as in the case of a single owner of a personal laptop or an administrator of a shared system. This new feature was designed and implemented by several members of the Fedora Desktop SIG.
To install and try the new user account tool, install the accountsdialog and accountsservice packages, and then run the accounts-dialog command.
NetworkManager improvements including a command line interface
NetworkManager now supports older Bluetooth dial-up networking, and features a command line interface and better signal strength indicators. The dial-up modem support for older Bluetooth-equipped phones complements the personal-area networking already supported in Fedora. NetworkManager also addresses a long-standing missing link for command-line junkies who want NetworkManager to integrate with the CLI. The command line utility, nmcli, is also useful for jetsetters who operate in lower-power text modes. Finally, NetworkManager now provides a better indicator for signal strength, and lets you know if you are roaming.
Experimental 3D extended to free Nouveau driver for Nvidia
Fedora 12 included experimental 3D support for newer ATI cards in the free and open source radeon driver, and now experimental 3D support has been extended in Fedora 13 to the nouveau driver for a range of NVidia video cards. Fedora and its sponsor Red Hat are dedicated to improving the quality and coverage of completely free accelerated video drivers. While we support user choice and do not prevent use of closed, proprietary drivers, we also recognize that these drivers sometimes conflict with and cause problems in the software written by FOSS community members. We prefer to honor the commitment of the FOSS community with our own commitment to free drivers that complement their work, and work in the upstream Nouveau community to make these drivers better. Simply install the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package to take advantage of this new feature.
Shotwell replaces Gthumb and F-Spot as default photo organizer
Shotwell is a free and open source photo organizer designed for the GNOME desktop environment and has replaced Gthumb and F-Spot by default in Fedora 13. It supports the following features:
- Import photos from any digital camera supported by gPhoto
- Automatically organize events containing photos taken at the same time
- Use tags to organize your photo collection
- Edit non-destructively when altering photos, without ruining originals or using disk space for each copy
- Publish photos to Facebook, Flickr or Picasa
- One-click auto-enhancement
- Rotate, mirror, and crop photos
- Reduce red-eye and adjust the exposure, saturation, tint, and temperature of your photos
- Edit any photo, even if it's not imported to the Shotwell library
Gthumb and F-Spot continues to be maintained and available in the Fedora repository. They are not installed by default anymore.
Déjà Dup simple backup tool
Déjà Dup is the default simple backup tool for GNOME desktop in Fedora 13. It hides the complexity of doing backups properly, and uses duplicity as the backend.
- Support for local or remote backup locations, including Amazon S3
- Securely encrypts and compresses your data
- Incrementally backs up, letting you restore from any particular backup
- Schedules regular backups
- Integrates well into your GNOME desktop
Simple Scan scanning utility
Simple Scan is the default scanning utility for Fedora 13. Simple Scan is an easy-to-use application, designed to let users connect their scanner and have the image/document in an appropriate format. More details at http://lwn.net/Articles/377063/.
For users that need to tweak all the parameters offered by the scanner drivers, use the scanner for directly copying or faxing or who want to scan directly from within the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), the previously used XSane stand-alone application and the respective GIMP plugin are still available. The stand-alone application can be selected as an optional package in the "Graphics" group, the GIMP plugin will be installed per default along with the GIMP main package if the "Graphics" group is selected.
GNOME Color Manager
Color management helps artists, photographers, designers, and others display and print work more accurately using 100% free software. Color management supports setting output gamma tables for most monitors, including when they are hotplugged during a session. Users can also install vendor-supplied ICC or ICM files by double-clicking them, and calibrate displays and scanners with external devices and color targets using the ArgyllCMS package. Written by Richard Hughes, Red Hat engineer and Fedora contributor.
Color management helps you control and produce more accurate color output for displays, printers, and scanners.
The Nautilus file manager now defaults browser mode. The user interface for this mode has been reorganized. Additionally, nautilus can now offer two directories side-by-side, in the new split-view mode.
Spatial mode is still available as an option.
Gnote is a C++ port of Tomboy. It is the default desktop note-taking application for GNOME in Fedora and has a number of enhancements and bug fixes. Gnote now has a few new add-ins, and follows the XDG directory specification from freedesktop.org. Notes stored in previous versions are automatically migrated from .gnote to .local/share/gnote in the user's home directory.
GNOME DVB Daemon
DVB support in Totem is now handled through the GNOME DVB Daemon, which brings things like EPG (Electronic Program Guide) support, easy to use tuning, and Exporting of TV channels through UPNP (with Rygel).
Xfce Software Changes
The Fedora 13 Xfce Spin brings several changes to the default applications:
- Gftp has been dropped, as this functionality is provided by Thunar and Gigolo
- Totem has been replaced by Parole, a media player designed for the Xfce desktop with simplicity, speed and resource usage in mind
- Gnome-screensaver has been replaced by Xscreensaver
- TigerVNC has been replaced by Remmina, with support for additional protocols (RDP, XDMCP, SSH) and improved integration with the Xfce desktop via the accompanying panel plugin
Related feature pages: