A new version of the popular Linux desktop distro originally based off Red Hat is now available. Fedora 12, named Constantine, brings a host of new software and feature enhancements. Among the new additions include Empathy, an alternative to Pidgin and other clients for instant messaging, Bluetooth audio support, updated package management, more tablet support and a host of other additions. You can browse through a short list using the Fedora 12 release notes, or view a slightly more detailed release announcement here.

While not the most popular distro available, Fedora tries to offset itself from others, like Ubuntu, by adhering to "purist" standards. Fedora only includes software released under a free and open source license, which prevents them from including a lot of de-facto features you might find elsewhere.

Proprietary video and audio codecs like mp3 support, Nvidia and AMD drivers, DVD playback, flash and much more do not make a default appearance in Fedora as a result. All of these can be installed, of course, at the user's discretion, but it gives you an idea of just how much software many people take for granted is not supplied truly for "free".

If you are interested in downloading Fedora 12, it is available through their site.