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Along with support for FCoE, iSCSI and multipath, the installer also includes a number of smaller improvements. Some of the most heavily criticised points, however, have not changed much. Manual partitioning, for example, continues to work very differently than in other distributions, with some users unable to figure it out at all or only after quite a bit of experimentation.

For the initial system setup, Fedora has dropped firstboot and now uses modules that can link to the installer and other elements – like GNOME's initial setup dialog, where users can now configure user accounts and time zone settings if they weren't specified during installation.

The distribution now automatically sets up an initramfs that, apart from common drivers and tools, now only includes items that are needed to start up the particular system. The initramfs needed to mount the root filesystem is therefore smaller, which speeds up the boot process. When the system is booted after major hardware changes or for system recovery, Fedora now configures a "rescue" boot entry that uses an initramfs with more drivers and tools; dracut --regenerate-all --force can then be used to create new initramfs images for all installed kernels.

When the boot parameter extlinux is given, Fedora's installer sets up extlinux instead of Grub 2 when the distribution starts. That bootloader, which belongs to Syslinux, is smaller, but doesn't work in all of the circumstances that Grub supports; Fedora therefore considers extlinux mostly suitable for use in virtual machines.

For developers

The standard C compiler is GCC 4.8.1, which fully supports C++11 and is the next version up from GCC 4.8, released in March and used to compile the majority of the C and C++ software in Fedora. A number of other programs that are especially interesting for developers were also updated; Ruby, for example, has been updated to version 2.0, published in February, and PHP is now up to the recently released version 5.5. The distribution also now includes Node.js.

For applications that need MySQL databases, Fedora no longer comes with the original program but with the MariaDB fork instead; the fork is apparently completely compatible with the original, which is still available from packages called "community-mysql".

Further information

In many places, the neighbouring text links to web sites with further information on the changes in Fedora 19. More information can be found on the Fedora 19 feature overview, the Fedora Project web site, the wiki and the documentation subdomain. The latter includes detailed release notes, an installation guide, etc.

The Fedora wiki includes a list of common bugs, which is likely to be expanded over the next few days.

Other new features

  • KVM and Libvirt can now migrate a running virtual machine from one host to another without the need for the emulated disk to be mounted in a location that both hosts have access to ("shared storage").

  • A feature called High Availability Container Resources can be used by Pacemaker and Corosync to manage not only resources on hosts, but also any KVM guests and containers running from them.

  • The project now offers not only images for Amazon's cloud, but also raw and qcow2 images that are suitable for OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus.

Next page: Outlook and conclusion

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