Fedora 18 as a server distribution

Test Lab

systemd 195

To initialize system start, Fedora 18 uses systemd version 195, which brings several new command-line tools to system configuration. For example, timedatectl serves to configure time zones and system time, localectl is dedicated to the system language and keyboard layout, and hostnamectl is used for configuring the system name. In the previous version, configuration files in /etc/sysconfig were used for some of these settings. Their number has thus been reduced in Fedora 18. New to systemd 195, the admin can now specify which display manager will serve as the graphical login screen.


A new iptables daemon, controllable via D-Bus, and firewalld [5] now take care of the firewall rules. Among other things, firewalld supports various security zones, such as public WLAN, home, or corporate networks, and then automatically uses corresponding rules. The service can be configured with the graphical tool firewall-config (Figure 3) or the command-line tool firewall-cmd.

Figure 3: Fedora 18 includes a new firewall daemon with a graphical interface for configuration.

More Innovations

Fedora 18 also contains the current Samba 4, which implements an Active Directory domain controller in a Windows domain. Also, Fedora 18 includes the DragonEgg GCC plugin [6] that enables GCC to use the LLVM compiler infrastructure, which can, for example, be useful for cross-platform development and optimization.

Beyond that, Fedora 18 also includes Riak, the fault-tolerant and scalable NoSQL database. MariaDB is scheduled to replace MySQL as the database no later than Fedora 19.

Fedora 18 is one of the first distributions to include the NFSometer tool [7], a framework for measuring performance, with reporting for all current versions of the NFS protocol. NFSometer supports all important NFS options and takes into account the peculiarities of NFS client implementations under Linux. NFSometer was originally developed at NetApp as a procedure for automated performance testing services under Linux. Now, however, it has many features in addition to the reporting interface and is available under the GPLv2 license. Fedora 18 also contains the tracing tool SystemTap [8] version 2, as well as the Linux Trace Toolkit – next generation (LTTng) [9].

If you install Fedora 18 as a guest system, KVM now also supports suspend-to-RAM, as well as suspend-to-disk, even with active virtio drivers. The ability to create snapshots with running guest systems is also supposed to be possible. Fedora provides both Eucalyptus 3.2 as well as OpenStack "Folsom" for setting up clouds; Red Hat has been involved with the OpenStack Foundation for some time.

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