Red Hat Fedora users are to be offered an easier way to use the operating system on portable USB thumb drives.

New USB drive capabilities mean that Fedora 9 Live images can be added to a USB key under a Linux or Windows application without requiring data loss, repartitioning or reformatting, which adds greater flexibility for users, Red Hat said.

Other Fedora 9 features include:

  • Inclusion of the latest KDE 4 graphical user interface, with its new desktop design.
  • A new integrated desktop search feature to make it easier for users to find their files.
  • The integration of OpenJDK6, the open source implementation of Java SDK Standard Edition.
  • Improved NetworkManager, with wider support for mobile broadband, multiple connections and connection editing and sharing.
  • GNOME 2.22 has a world time clock, better file system performance, security improvements, power management at log-in, dynamic display configuration capabilities and improved Bluetooth integration and podcast support.
Fedora 9 comes six months after the release of Fedora 8 last November under Red Hat's Fedora update schedule.

Free downloads of Fedora 9 are available at the Fedora Project website.

The Fedora version of Red Hat's Linux operating system is touted by the company as its ongoing, free version for use by anyone, including consumers, hobbyists and open source fans.

Last month, Red Hat said that because it continues to grow the Fedora Project, it has no plans to release a consumer-aimed retail version of its Linux operating system.