Fedora 11 Alpha release notes

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We probably don't need the "What is Fedora" in the Alpha release notes, or if we do, it should come last rather than first.  Remember the target audience members are people who are already developers, testers, etc. and keenly aware of the Project.
== Official Announcement ==
* '''Link TBA'''
== General information ==
== General information ==

Revision as of 19:02, 28 January 2009


Official Announcement

  • Link TBA

General information

No GPG signatures

The Fedora 11 Alpha release is not GPG-signed. The release engineering team is working on upgrades to the build system to add support for SHA-256 signatures. Once those upgrades are done, the following test releases will be GPG-signed.

What's New in Fedora 11 (Leonidas) Alpha

The following sections document major new features and changes in the Fedora 11 (Leonidas) Alpha release

Windows Cross Compiler (mingw32-*)

Fedora 11 alpha provides a preview of MinGW, a development environment for Fedora users who wish to cross-compile their programs to run on Windows without having to use Windows during development. In the past developers have had to port and compile all of the libraries and tools they have needed, and this huge effort has happened independently many times over. MinGW in Fedora eliminates duplication of work for application developers by providing a range of libraries and development tools already ported to the cross-compiler environment. Developers don't have to recompile the application stack themselves, but can concentrate just on the changes needed to their own application.

To try the cross-compiler and environment, install the mingw32-gcc or mingw32-gcc-c++ packages. After installation, use the mingw32-configure command to replace ordinary ./configure. The following commands then build a Windows executable (*.EXE) or Windows DLL (*.DLL) from your code:


The mingw32-library packages provide requisite libraries for use with MinGW. If you install requisite libraries with these packages, mingw32-configure will automatically find them.

The following libraries are available in the alpha release:

  • bzip2, zlib for data compression
  • dlfcn (dlopen workalike for Windows)
  • freetype
  • gdbm
  • gettext, iconv, pdcurses, readline, termcap for text/terminal/i18n
  • libpng
  • pthreads (based on Sourceware pthreads-win32)
  • SDL for graphics
  • sqlite

Many more libraries will be available by the time of the Fedora 11 general release.

Ext4 File System

The ext3 file system has remained the mature standard in Linux for a long time. The ext4 file system is a major update which has an improved design, even better performance and reliability, support for much larger storage, and very fast file system checks and file deletions.

The ext4 file system has been an experimentally supported option since Fedora 9, and is now the default file system for Fedora 11 Alpha. More details and a comprehensive list of new features for ext4 is available at:


A file system shrink capability is not supported yet, but planned for Fedora 11 release. Please backup your data for safety if you test this feature in Fedora 11 Alpha. Though unlikely, Fedora 11 general release might still revert back to ext3 if any new major issues are discovered and cannot be fixed on time.

Backward compatibility issues
Backward compatibility for ext4 to ext2/3 is limited. If you convert a file system formatted with ext2/3 to the new ext4 system, be aware that converting back to ext2/3 can be difficult in some situations. Also, the GRUB boot loader does not yet support ext4 in this release. Use ext2/3 for your /boot partition instead.

Btrfs File System

The Btrfs next-generation file system is an experimentally supported option in this release. To enable it within the installer, pass icantbelieveitsnotbtr at the installation boot prompt. The Btrfs file system might become the default for Fedora in a later release. Please backup your data for safety if you test this feature in Fedora 11 Alpha.

A screenshot and reference is available at:


More information about Btrfs is available here:


More explicit testing and feedback for btrfs is requested. Please note that this is a file system under heavy development, without a fully functional fsck program or even proper out of space handling. The on-disk format might still change if there any serious issues found. The GRUB boot loader does not yet support Btrfs. Use ext2/3 for your /boot partition instead.

New Volume Control

Currently, people using Fedora have to go through many levels of mixers in different applications to properly set up sound sources. These are all exposed in the volume control on the desktop, making for a very confusing user experience. PulseAudio allows us to unify the volume controls in one interface that makes setting up sound easier and more pain-free. More details including screenshots here:


PackageKit Firmware Support

PackageKit in Fedora 10 already has support for installing additional media codecs on demand. PackageKit in the Fedora 11 Alpha release has extended this capability to install firmware on demand as well based on system requirements.


GNOME 2.26

The GNOME 2.26 development snapshot is part of this release, and is the default environment used in the Fedora Desktop Live image. The Desktop Live image is a downloadable CD you can use to test the new GNOME environment with or without installing it. The image can be written to CD, or to a USB flash disk using these instructions.


KDE 4.2 Release Candidate 2

The KDE 4.2 Release Candidate 2 snapshot is part of this release and is the default environment in the Fedora KDE Desktop Live image. The KDE Desktop Live image is a downloadable CD you can use to test the new KDE environment with or without installing it. The image can be written to a CD, or to a USB flash disk using these instructions. KDE 4.2 will be available as an update shortly.

Xfce 4.6 Beta

A major new release of Xfce, Xfce 4.6 Beta, is available in the repository and is the default environment in the Fedora Xfce Live Spin. The Xfce Live Spin is a downloadable CD you can use to test the new Xfce environment with or without isntalling it. The image can be written to a CD, or to a USB flash disk using these instructions. Xfce 4.6 changes here:


NetBeans 6.5

The NetBeans has been updated to version 6.5. NetBeans 6.5 is a significant update of the NetBeans 6.1 and includes the following changes:

  • PHP support with code completion, Xdebug and web service features.
  • JavaFX 1.0 supports animation, graphics and media codecs for rich content application development.
  • New Support for Groovy and Grails.
  • Improved JavaScript, AJAX and Ruby support.
  • Automatic Compile and Deploy on Save for Java and Java EE applications.
  • Improved database support: SQL history, SQL completion, and results viewing and editing improvements.
  • Improved Java ME support for Data Binding, SVG and Custom Component creation.
  • GUI Builder: Support for Nimbus and simple class names.
  • JUnit: single test method support.
  • Debugger: Redesign of Step into feature.

For information about the main development features in NetBeans IDE, see:

Python 2.6

Python 2.6 has been integrated into the release and all the software in the distribution has been made compatible with it. This effort leads the way to Python 3.0, a major release that is not backward compatible with the Python 2.x series.

X Server

The key combination Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to kill the X server has been disabled by default. To get this behaviour back, add the the line

Option "DontZap" "false"

to the ServerFlags section in xorg.conf.


Git has been updated to In addition to other changes, the Fedora packages now follow upstream defaults and install the majority of git-* commands outside the default PATH. If you have scripts that call git-* binaries, you are encouraged to change them to use the git foo style. If this is not feasible, you can adjust your PATH. Git provides a convenient method to do this:

PATH=$(git --exec-path):$PATH

It is worth noting that git hooks are run with $(git --exec-path) in their PATH.