Fedora 14 Alpha release notes

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Release announcement
The Fedora 14 Alpha release announcement, which is a shorter summary, can be found here.

Contents

General Information

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Download Fedora 14 Alpha now
To download Fedora 14 Alpha, visit http://fedoraproject.org/get-prerelease. Download options are available for BitTorrent, direct download, and Jigdo. This release is available for all 32-bit and 64-bit Intel-compatible platforms. Note that Fedora uses SHA256 instead of MD5 or SHA-1 to verify images in a more secure way. For more information, refer to #How_to_Try_Alpha on this page.

Filing Bug Reports

Please file bug reports on this Alpha release if you find any problems.

Known Issues

Refer to the Common F14 bugs page for a listing of issues, and any known resolutions, commonly found with this release. This page is maintained throughout the Fedora 14 development cycle.
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ATI/AMD Radeon
In particular, if a blank screen is presented during installation, especially with ATI/AMD Radeon video, please review this note in the Common Bugs page.

Release Overview

As always, Fedora continues to develop and integrate the latest free and open source software. The following sections provide a brief overview of major changes from the last release of Fedora. For more details about other features that are making their way into Rawhide and set for inclusion in Fedora 14, refer to their individual wiki pages that detail feature goals and progress. Features for this release are tracked on the feature list page.

The Purpose of the Alpha Release

This release is an installable, testable version of the code and features being developed for Fedora 14 (Laughlin).The software is going to have bugs, problems, and incomplete features. It is not likely to eat your data or parts of your computer, but you should be aware that it could.

You have an important part to play in this release. Either install or run a Fedora Live instance of the Fedora 14 Alpha release, then try using a few applications or activities that are important to you. If it doesn't work, file a bug. This release gives the wider community a set of code to test against as a very important step in the process of making a solid Fedora 14 release. You can make the Fedora 14 release better by testing this release and reporting your findings.

What's New in Fedora 14 Alpha

The following sections document major new features and changes in the Fedora 14 Alpha release.

Better System and Session Management

Fedora 14 introduces systemd, a smarter, more efficient way of starting up and managing background daemons and services. It is a drop-in replacement for sysvinit and upstart, maintaining compatibility with SysV and LSB init scripts.

Linux Kernel 2.6.35

Linux 2.6.35 includes a wide range of new features, such as:

  • Support for transparent spreading of incoming network load across CPUs
  • Direct-IO support for Btrfs
  • A new experimental journal mode for XFS
  • The KDB debugger UI based on top of KGDB
  • Improvements to 'perf'
  • H.264 and VC1 video acceleration in Intel G45+ chips
  • Support for the future Intel Cougarpoint graphic chip
  • Power management for AMD Radeon chips
  • A memory defragmentation mechanism
  • Support for the Tunneling Protocol version 3 (RFC 3931)
  • Support for multiple multicast route tables
  • Support for the CAIF protocol used by ST-Ericsson products
  • Support for the ACPI Platform Error Interface
  • Many new drivers and small improvements

Desktop Virtualization

Spice is a complete open source solution for interaction with virtualized desktops, focusing on the provision of high-quality remote access to QEMU machines. Spice adds a QXL display device to QEMU and provides drivers for this device for both X and Windows.

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. Thanks to numerous performance related enhancements the new library is at least twice as fast at JPEG compression/decompression than original libjpeg on platforms with the MMX/SSE instruction set, while sharing the same API/ABI. libjpeg-turbo also runs on non-SSE platforms where is around 25% faster.

New and Updated Programming Languages

Fedora 14 sees the introduction of D, a systems programming language combining the power and high performance of C and C++ with the programmer productivity of modern languages like Ruby and Python. D is multiparadigm, supporting many programming styles, and its appearance is very similar to that of C++. Fedora 14 includes the LDC compiler and the Tango standard runtime library for D programming.

Several other programming languages also benefit from updates: Fedora 14 features Python 2.7, Erlang R14, and Perl 5.12.

Simpler, Faster Debugging

gdb includes a number of performance enhancements in Fedora 14, including a new indexing feature which replaces the indices in .debug files, and new commands for finding and fixing memory leaks in programs and libraries.

Better Tools For Developers

Two popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are updated to their latest versions:

  • NetBeans 6.9 introduces OSGi interoperability for NetBeans Platform applications, support for JavaFX SDK 1.3 with new JavaFX Composer, a visual layout tool for visually building JavaFX GUI applications, and support for the PHP Zend framework and Ruby on Rails 3.0.
  • Eclipse 'Helios' includes the new Linux Tools project which includes Eclipse integrations of popular Linux utilities such as GNU Autotools, Valgrind, OProfile, RPM, SystemTap, GCov, GProf, and LTTng; support for Git using the EGit and JGit projects; improved JavaScript Development Tools; and Java EE 6 support.

The Boost C++ source libraries are upgraded to 1.44.0 in Fedora 14.

KDE Plasma Desktop 4.5.0

KDE 4.5.0 introduces window tiling and better notification features, along with many stability and performance improvements. Over 16,000 bugs were fixed for this release, resulting in system that feels faster, takes less time to "think", and works more reliably.

Sugar 0.90

The latest release of Sugar features major usability improvements for the first login screen and the control panel, as well as 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. MeeGo Netbook UX is built on the GNOME Mobile platform, extending and enriching it with new technologies like Clutter, GUPnP and libsocialweb.

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. It features FRU inventory data gathering, an SEL firmware log, sensors, power control, monitoring, and an SOL console. It can write sensor thresholds, FRU asset tags, and supports a full IPMI configuration save/restore. ipmiutil can use various existing IPMI drivers, or run in driverless mode, which is useful for boot media or test environments.

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 the new version. Perl 6 is a major revision to the Perl programming language, which introduces elements of many modern and historical languages.

More Powerful Data Analysis

Support for the increasingly popular R statistical programming language continues to broaden in Fedora 14 with a range of new add-ons for functions such as handling chronological and calendarical objects, exporting tables to LaTeX and HTML, and analysing genomic data. Also new to Fedora 14 is ROOT, an object-oriented open-source platform for data acquisition, simulation and data analysis systems developed by CERN.

Additional Information

How to Try Alpha

This release is accompanied by installable live media of both the GNOME and KDE desktops. With Live media users can perform testing and demonstration without installing any software to the hard disk. As this release is largely targeted at developers and contains many bleeding edge packages, this is the best method for less experienced users who want to get involved with testing. The Live media also has an option to install Fedora to the hard disk for the more intrepid users.

The best way to download this release is through BitTorrent -- visit the Fedora torrent server for a listing of available images. Release images can also be downloaded from any of our mirrors. Remember that live images can be used on USB media via the livecd-iso-to-disk utility available in the livecd-tools package on existing Fedora systems. Refer to the USB How-to for more instructions. You can also use Jigdo to download the i386 or x86_64

Verify Fedora

Fedora does not publish MD5 or SHA1 hashes to verify images since they are not secure enough. Instead we have been using SHA256 since Fedora 11. In Linux, you can use sha256sum command (part of coreutils and installed by default) to verify the Fedora image

sha256sum -c *-CHECKSUM

Windows can use the free to download utility HashCalc.

Mac OS X can use the free to download utility hashtab.

Fedora GPG signatures can be verified following the instructions here

Debugging Information And Performance

Fedora kernels have many extensive debugging options during the development cycle that have a negative impact on performance but provide developers with more information automatically or in the case of bug reports. If you are running performance analysis on Rawhide or test releases such as Alpha or Beta, make sure you take this into account.

Fedora 14 Release Schedule And Feature Details

Development continues on Rawhide during and after this release, leading up to the beta and then the final release. The links below provide the release schedule for both the pre-releases and the final release, as well as the wiki pages for tracking the various features planned for inclusion in Fedora 14.