The Fedora 14 "Laughlin" Alpha release is available! This release offers a preview of some of the best free and open source technology currently under development. Catch a glimpse of the future:
What is the Alpha release?
The Alpha release contains all the features of Fedora 14 in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete, and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 14 is due in October.
We need your help to make Fedora 14 the best release yet, so please take a moment of your time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please report it -- every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Together, we can make Fedora a rock-solid distribution. (Read down to the end of the announcement for more information on how to help.)
Fedora 14 is named in honor of distinguished physicist Robert B. Laughlin, whose fields of research have included, among other things, the topic of emergence. Emergence is the process by which a group of individual components interact to produce a system that is more complex than the sum of its parts - a perfect description of an open source community.
After several releases focusing on desktop improvements, Fedora 14 turns its attention less visible features that are nonetheless vital to the emergence of an advanced and powerful operating system. These include:
- System and session management. Fedora 14 introduces systemd, a smarter, more efficient way of starting up and managing the background daemons that services we all use every day - such as NetworkManager and PulseAudio - rely on.
- Desktop virtualization. High-quality access to QEMU virtual machines moves a step closer with the introduction of Spice, a complete open source solution for interaction with virtualized desktops.
- Faster JPEG compression/decompression. The replacement of libjpeg with libjpeg-turbo brings speed improvements to a wide range of applications when handling images in JPEG format, including photo managers, video editors and PDF readers.
- New and updated programming languages. Fedora 14 sees the introduction of D, a systems programming language combining power and high performance with programmer productivity, as well as updates to Python, Erlang, and Perl.
- Better tools for developers. Simpler, faster debugging with gdb indexing and new commands for finding and fixing memory leaks, as well as new versions of NetBeans and Eclipse.
- The latest desktop environments. KDE 4.5 introduces window tiling and better notification features, along with many stability improvements. Sugar 0.90 features major usability improvements and support for 3G networks.
- Improved netbook experience with MeeGo™. The MeeGo™ Netbook UX 1.0 provides a user interface tailored specifically for netbooks, building on the foundations laid by Moblin in previous Fedora releases.
- Fedora on the cloud. From Fedora 14 onward images for EC2 will be provided for each new release, allowing users of Amazon's on-demand cloud computing platform to use the latest Fedora.
- IPMI server management made simple. New to Fedora 14 is ipmiutil, an easy-to-use, fully-featured IPMI server management utility that allows a wide range of management functions to be performed with just a few commands.
- Support for SCAP. Fedora 14 introduces an open source framework for the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), allowing users to automatically scan their system to check whether it complies with a defined security configuration.
- Perl 6 support with Rakudo. Fedora 14 comes with Rakudo Perl, an implementation of the Perl 6 specification based on the Parrot virtual machine, which enables developers to write new applications or port existing ones to Perl 6.
- More powerful data analysis. Given that Fedora 14 is named after one of the giants of modern theoretical physics, it seems appropriate that Laughlin sees the introduction to Fedora of ROOT, an obejct-oriented, open-source platform for data acquisition, simulation and data analysis developed by CERN. Support for the increasingly popular R statistical programming language is also broadened with a range of new addons.
These and many other improvements provide a wide and solid base for future releases, further increasing the range of possibilities for developers and helping to maintain Fedora's position at the leading edge of free and open source technology.
A more complete list and details of each new cited feature is available here:
We have nightly composes of alternate spins available here:
For more information including common and known bugs, tips on how to report bugs, and the official release schedule, please refer to the release notes:
Thank you, and we hope to see you in the Fedora project!