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Fedora 14 review

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SELinux is enabled – in enforcing mode, and if it detects what it considers suspicious behavior, you will get the type of message shown in the image below.

selinuxntp

SELinux warning

A security tool new in Fedora 14 is OpenSCAP, an open source framework of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), a line of standards managed by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). SCAP “provides a standardized approach to maintaining the security of systems, such as automatically verifying the presence of patches, checking system security configuration settings, and examining systems for signs of compromise.” A bit more information and how to use SCAP is available here. A future article will provide more information on how to use this security tool.

Applications: A new installation of Fedora 14 comes with a minimum set of applications that most users would need. The main applications that are installed, that is, aside from the usual cast of desktop accessories, games, and system utilities, are listed below:

  • OpenOffice.org
  • Firefox 3.6.12 (this is the latest stable version available)
  • The GMP
  • Shotwell Photo Manager
  • Empathy Internet Messaging
  • Transmission BitTorrent Client
  • Totem Movie Player
  • Rhythmbox Music Player
  • Planner, a project management application for GNOME

There are many more applications in the default repository that can be installed with yum, the command line package tool, or via gnome-packagekit, the graphical package manager. Out of the box, the system is configured to check for package updates once per day. You can change it to check for updates hourly, however, I think that would be totally unnecessary.

updates

Updates settings

After a day of testing, these were the package updates available.

updates1

Available updates

Desktop: I can only describe the desktop background of Fedora 14 as bold. It is bold and beautiful, in an abstract sense. See more screenshots of the desktop here.

desktop

Fedora 14 desktop

Final Thoughts and Suggestions: There are three features, just three, that I would like to see implemented in the stable version of Fedora:

  1. Centralized Access to System Administrative Tools – Using Fedora’s system tools, especially those requiring root access, will be a lot easier if they can be accessed from a central location. What I have in mind is similar to the Mandriva Control Center (MCC), and what the PC-BSD team is working on for PC-BSD 9.
  2. Easy Repository Management – On Mandriva, even on Mandriva Free, the edition free of non-free applications, it is very easy to enable access to repositories hosting non-free applications. I do not know if that will go past the Fedora project’s philosophical stand on free/non-free applications, but if it will, it will be a welcome feature.
    sources
  3. GRUB Management – The graphical boot loader management tool is very plain. Other than being able to change the boot time, there is nothing else you can do with it. Features, such as the ability to add entries to it, would be very helpful.
    grub
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4 Comments

  1. John Smith says:

    I think that Ubuntu certainly makes it easier to administrate through its use of sudo rather than su and the home-directory, rather than full disk, encryption.

    • finid says:

      I’ll need an explanation to believe you. Why does the use of sudo better for administration than the use of su? And why is encrypting just the home folder better than full disk encryption?

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