Fedora 13 "Goddard" Alpha release is available! What's next for the free operating system that shows off the best new technology of tomorrow? You can see the future now at:
What's an Alpha release? The Alpha release contains all the features of Fedora 13 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 13 is due in April.
We need your help to make Fedora 13 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.
Among the top features for end users, we have:
- 1 Automatic print driver installation
- 2 Automatic installation of language packs
- 3 Redesigned user management interface
- 4 Color management
- 5 NetworkManager improvements include CLI
- 6 Experimental 3D extended to free Nouveau driver
- 7 SystemTap static probes
- 8 Easier Python debugging
- 9 Parallel-installable Python 3
- 10 NetBeans 6.8 first IDE to support entire Java 6 EE spec
- 11 boot.fedoraproject.org
- 12 Authconfig UI redesign
- 13 Pioneering NFS features
- 14 Zarafa
- 15 Experimenting with btrfs
Automatic print driver installation
In Fedora 13, functionality has been added to leverage RPM and PackageKit capabilities for automatic installation of printer drivers. When a user plugs in any of the supported printers, the driver will identify itself to PackageKit, and once authorized the driver can be downloaded and installed automatically. Thanks to this change, Fedora bootable Live images no longer need to ship all printer drivers. This functionality equals or surpasses that of proprietary operating systems, where driver support is difficult and time-consuming. It also continues to build on the new, compelling functionality of free desktop components along with RPM.
Automatic print driver installation makes adding printers easier for everyone.
Automatic installation of language packs
A number of large suite-type packages, such as OpenOffice.org, Eclipse, and KDE, package their translated content separately as langpacks due to size issues. Now with the langpack plugin, when yum detects that a langpack is needed and available for a package the user requests, yum will automatically download and install the langpack as well. The user no longer needs to specifically request installation of language support for these types of suites. In the future it will be possible to extend this support further throughout the distribution.
Yum langpack support makes software installation smarter and easier for everyone worldwide.
Redesigned user management interface
The user account tool has been completely redesigned, and now makes it easy to configure personal information, make a personal profile picture or icon, generate a strong passphrase, and set up login options. Designed and implemented by several members of the Desktop SIG.
Color management helps artists, photographers, designers, and others display and print work more accurately using 100% free software. Written by Richard Hughes, Red Hat engineer and Fedora contributor.
Color Management allows you to better control your colors.
NetworkManager improvements include CLI
Adds dial-up modem support for older Bluetooth-equipped phones, to complement the personal-area networking already supported in Fedora. Addresses a long-standing missing link for command-line junkies who want NetworkManager to integrate with the CLI. Also useful for jetsetters who operate in lower-power text modes. Provides a better indicator for signal strength, and lets people know if they are roaming.
Experimental 3D extended to free Nouveau driver
3D support was added to the completely free and open source software (FOSS) radeon driver in F12 [adamw note: this is not entirely accurate. radeon supported 3D for r400 and earlier chips for years. what was added in F12 was experimental support for r500 and r600 chips], and now this support has been extended in F13 to the equally free nouveau driver. Fedora and its sponsor Red Hat are dedicated to improving the quality and coverage of completely free accelerated video drivers. While we support user choice and do not prevent use of closed, proprietary drivers, we also recognize that these drivers sometimes conflict with and cause problems in the software written by FOSS community members. We prefer to honor the commitment of the FOSS community with our own commitment to free drivers that complement their work.
For developers there are all sorts of additional goodies:
Innovations that make Fedora a great platform for software developers.
SystemTap static probes
While Fedora used to have pretty decent introspection tools for the kernel, this release expands the visibility of monitoring on a higher level what is happening inside language runtimes like Java, Python and TCL. A start has been made with other user space applications like PostgreSQL, which will be extended to many more applications in Fedora 14 (this is a continuous process, making Fedora a better and tightly integrated developer platform). The feature page already has compelling examples for how this makes observing what your Python programs do very powerful. Additional examples should be added for the other language runtimes enabled by this feature.
Easier Python debugging
Engineering team member David Malcolm has added new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) to get more complete information when debugging. Backtraces will now show output from code written in both languages, including those generated by Fedora's Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT), and developers can more quickly improve software. --Dmalcolm 03:55, 20 February 2010 (UTC): I think it's also a good idea to combine this with the python part of Systemtap Static Probes - both give you more visibility into the internals of Python code on your system, albeit it in different ways.
Parallel-installable Python 3
Fedora 13 also blazes a trail with a parallel-installable Python 3 stack that will help programmers write and test code for use in both Python 2.6 and Python 3 environments. Beyond the core libraries, some additional libraries are already provided, with more expected to follow throughout this and future releases.
NetBeans 6.8 first IDE to support entire Java 6 EE spec
NetBeans IDE 6.8 is the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 spec with improved support for JSF 2.0/Facelets, Java Persistence 2.0, EJB 3.1 including using EJBs in web applications, RESTful web services, and GlassFish v3. We also recommend it for developing with the latest JavaFX SDK 1.2.1, and for creating PHP web applications with the new PHP 5.3 release or with the Symfony Framework. [Are technologies like glassfish/java 6 ee, javafx, etc. packaged for Fedora and actually Free Software?]
And don't think we forgot the Administrators.
Improvements that make system administrators' lives better.
boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is a unique feature in Fedora. We're the first distro to offer it. It allows users to download a single, tiny image and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images.
Summary sentence of talking point.
Authconfig UI redesign
Better integration of new SSSD technology in the configuration UI for authentication, and a full UI revamp making it much easier to configure your Fedora system to work in a number of different authentication environments.
Summary sentence of talking point.
Pioneering NFS features
Fedora 13 changes its default to NFSv4, resulting in improved performance with a seamless transition for users. Clients gracefully falling back to other versions if required by an NFS server. Continues Fedora's role as a front-runner for NFSv4 -- the first distribution to include it, the first to switch to it by default. The other major step forward in NFS is support for IPv6, so clients in mixed or IPv6 only environments can now make full use of NFS.
Fedora 13 now makes available a complete Open Source groupware suite that can be used as a drop-in Exchange replacement for Web-based mail, calendaring, collaboration and tasks. Features include IMAP/POP and iCal/CalDAV capabilities, native mobile phone support, the ability to integrate with existing Linux mail servers, a full set of programming interfaces, and a comfortable look and feel using modern Ajax technologies.
Experimenting with btrfs
Btrfs is capable of creating lightweight filesystem snapshots that can be mounted (and booted into) selectively. The created snapshots are copy-on-write snapshots, so there is no file duplication overhead involved for files that do not change between snapshots. It allows developers to feel comfortable experimenting with new software without fear of an unusable install, since automated snapshots allow them to easily revert to the previous day's filesystem.
Additional information here:
* http://blogs.igalia.com/aperez/2008/06/more-btrfs-goodness-snapshots/ * http://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Getting_started
The System Rollback With Btrfs feature empowers the administrator to be able to have automatic as well as manual full filesystem snapshots, for example each time the yum transactions are processed.
And that is only the beginning. A more complete list and details of each new cited feature is 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!