Fedora 11 “Leonidas” Released Today

fedora-logoThe Fedora Project has released the next version of the Fedora Linux distribution — Fedora 11.  After the release date was pushed back two times due to last minute bugs (Bug #1, Bug #2) Fedora 11 – code name “Leonidas” – is now available for download.

Features

Some features included in this new release are listed below:

  • 20 second boot time
  • Change architecture from i386 to i586 default – more info
  • Gnome 2.26
  • Automatic bug reporting tool
  • ext4 as the default file system
  • Better fingerprint reader support
  • Firefox 3.1
  • Thunderbird 3
  • Windows cross-compiler
  • Improved power management

The full feature list can be found here.

Download

The recommended way of downloading Fedora 11 is via BitTorrent, and a list of the torrent files can be found at the Fedora Project BitTorrent tracker.

Fedora 11 can also be downloaded from the Fedora FTP server and other FTP mirrors.  A full list of mirrors can be found at the Fedora Project Mirror List page.  Be sure to select a FTP mirror that is closer to you to help improve download speeds.

Have you experienced any problems after installing Fedora 11?  What are you opinions of the release so far?  Let us know by commenting below.

How To: Check Your Hard Drive Health With A Linux LiveCD

Previously, I wrote a guide on monitoring your drive’s status with S.M.A.R.T. tools from a running system [see Check your HDD’s S.M.A.R.T. Status].  Although these programs work well for checking the live status of your hard drive, you may run across a situation where you cannot boot the operating system to access these programs.

If you system does not boot, it may be necessary to use a boot disc to check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard drive.  This is easily done with a Linux LiveCD such as Knoppix and a program called smartctl.  Although almost all versions of Linux come with this utility preinstalled, I recommending using Knoppix for booting your system, as it tends to have better out-of-the-box hardware support, especially for older hardware.

Important Note: For reasons unknown, the smartctl utility is not included in the newest version of Knoppix 6.0.1.  For this reason, it is necessary to use Knoppix 5.3.1 DVD or Knoppix 5.1.1 CD/DVD.

Download Knoppix 5.1.1 LiveCD via FTP.

Download Knoppix 5.3.1 LiveDVD via BitTorrent.

The Process

Once you have downloaded and burned the LiveCD ISO image, insert the disc into your CD/DVD drive and boot from it.  Unless there are hardware problems, your computer will automatically boot to the KDE Linux Desktop.  If you are not able to boot, enter failsafe at the Boot: prompt.  The KDE desktop looks like this:

Knoppix 5.3.1 Desktop
Knoppix 5.3.1 Desktop

When the desktop is shown, select the terminal icon as shown below.

knoppix-terminal-icon

Type the following command to check the first hard drive on the system:

smartctl –all /dev/hda | less

This will check the S.M.A.R.T. attributes of the hard drive and display then on the screen in scrollable form.  A description of the common attributes can be found here.

When you have reviewed the S.M.A.R.T. attributes of your drive, you can simply press q to return to the terminal input.  Type reboot at there terminal to reboot the computer and eject the LiveCD.

How often have you used a Linux LiveCD to help diagnose your computer?  Is there another Linux program or LiveCD that you use to check your hard drive S.M.A.R.T. status?  Let us know by commenting below.

Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Released

ubuntu-logo1Ubuntu – currently the world’s most popular Linux distribution – released it’s newest version today named “Jaunty Jackalope” which offers some major improvements over previous versions.  Available in desktop, server, and netbook editions, Ubuntu 9.04 offers faster boot-up times (23 seconds on a solid state drive!), better device compatibility, and new software such as Firefox 3 and OpenOffice.org 3.0.

In the back-end, Ubuntu 9.04 includes Gnome 2.26 which boasts better multi-monitor handling, as well as X.org server 1.6 which provides support for new video cards and better video performance.  Long-time Ubuntu users will notice a new notification style and preferences and added support for the Ext-4 file system.

Ubuntu 9.04 server edition comes equipped with Eucalyptus, which is an open source technology that allows users to create their own private cloud computing servers.

Check back for guides and reviews of Ubuntu 9.04 and Ubuntu-related software coming soon.