Fedora 15 Alpha release notes
Filing Bug Reports
Please file bug reports on this Alpha release if you find any problems.
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 15, 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 15 (Lovelock).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 15 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 15 release. You can make the Fedora 15 release better by testing this release and reporting your findings.
What's New in Fedora 15 Alpha
GNOME 3 is the next major version of the GNOME desktop. After many years of a largely unchanged GNOME 2.x experience, GNOME 3 brings a fresh look and feel with GNOME Shell. There are also many changes under the surfaces, like the move from CORBA-based technologies such as GConf, Bonobo and at-spi to dbus-based successors.
Since the requirements of GNOME Shell on the graphics system may not be met by certain hardware / driver combinations, GNOME 3 also support a 'fallback mode' in which we run gnome-panel, metacity and notification-daemon instead of GNOME Shell. Note that this mode is not a 'Classic GNOME' mode; the panel configuration will be adjusted to be similar to the shell.
The fallback will be handled automatically by gnome-session, which will detect insufficient graphics capabilities and run a different session.
LibreOffice is an office productivity suite that will replace OpenOffice. It will be completely open source and driven solely by the community supporting it. It has a word processor, presentation creator, spreadsheet creator, database creator, formula editor, and drawing editor.
Fedora 15 has replaced Upstart with systemd. systemd uses services files located in /lib/systemd/system for services, and /etc/systemd/system for configuration. A dozen desktop daemons [list them] have been initially converted to use systemd service files and small number of programs have been patched to take advantage of it. systemd is compatible with legacy SysV init scripts and rest of the migration will happen incrementally over time.
Fedora 15 adds support for the optional firewall daemon, that provides a dynamic firewall management with a D-Bus interface.
DNSSEC for workstations
NetworkManager now uses the BIND nameserver as a DNSSEC resolver. All received DNS responses are proved to be correct. If particular domain is signed and failed to validate then resolver returns SERFVAIL instead of invalidated response, which means something is wrong.
This release uses KDE 4.6 by default as the KDE Desktop environment. KDE 4.6 offers new features such as it will be HAL-free (featuring udisks/upower Solid and Power Management backends), systemd password agent, improved bluetooth support using bluedevil bluetooth framework. Also in the works is kde-integration to libreoffice and switching the default phonon backend to gstreamer.
BoxGrinder is an easy to use command line tool to create appliances (virtual images) for various platforms (KVM, Xen, VMware, EC2) from simple plaintext application files.
Ecryptfs in authconfig
Fedora 15 brings in improved support for eCryptfs, a stacked cryptographic filesystem for Linux. Starting from Fedora 15, authconfig can be used to automatically mount a private encrypted part of the home directory when a user logs in.
4kB Sector disk boot support
This will allow booting from disks with a 4kb sector size work on UEFI machines.
Indic Typing Booster
Indic Typing Booster is a predictive input method for ibus and scim. It suggests complete words based on partial input, which can then simply be selected from a list, and boost one's typing speed for more enjoyable input.
LZMA for Live Images
By using LZMA for the live images it will allow for more packages to be shipped on the live image, allow the space constrained images to be better and for the smaller images faster to download.
LessFS is a data deduplication project. The aim is to reduce disk usage where filesystem blocks are identical by only storing 1 block and using pointers to the original block for copies. This method of storage is becoming popular in Enterprise solutions for reducing disk backups and minimising virtual machine storage in particular.
Xfce 4.8 has a number of improvements and new features including the Xfce menu will support menu merging, allowing graphical menu editors like alacarte to work in Xfce, the task list windows can now be filtered by monitor and improved multi-head support. Also Thunar has been ported from thunar-vfs to gvfs, PolicyKit support in xfce4-session, multilib enhancements for xfce4-panel plugins and the run dialog now runs with the users full session environment.
Tryton is a three-tiers high-level general purpose application platform under the license GPL-3 written in Python and using PostgreSQL as database engine. It is the core base of a complete business solution providing modularity, scalability and security.
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
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 15 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 15.