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Fedora 18 Beta release, "Spherical Cow," now available

The Fedora Project team is excited to announce the beta release of its free, fully functional Linux operating system, Fedora 18, code-named “Spherical Cow.” Fedora continues to enable users to experience the latest in free and open source technology, integrated into a Linux distribution and ready for free download, use, modification and redistribution.

The Fedora Project worldwide community works to advance the cause of software freedom. These contributors hail from a variety of industries and educational backgrounds, and are dedicated to creating a vibrant, growing community to advance free and open source software. The most anticipated result of this community is the Fedora distribution itself, the open operating system released by the project approximately every six months. Each Fedora release represents the culmination of work by hundreds of engineers and thousands of contributors from many different locations and many different walks of life.

New releases of Fedora represent the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the enterprise operating platform delivered by Red Hat that includes ongoing support and a broad certified ecosystem. Fedora serves as a community research and development lab, where code changes and innovations often form the basis for other Red Hat open source projects. While not every alteration will make it from Fedora to the corresponding release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora’s role as a rapidly moving platform for future development allows it to provide important, community-driven updates.

Software enthusiasts are encouraged to download the beta release of Fedora 18, take it for a test drive and help identify items that need attention before Fedora 18 is delivered for general availability. With the beta release, the software is relatively stable, but real-world use and reports from users helps identify any lingering bugs so they can be addressed before it is more widely distributed.

Explore what’s new in the Fedora 18 beta, including these highlighted release features:

For users everywhere

Fedora 18 offers a brand-new version of the Gnome desktop, version 3.6, straight from the upstream development process. Updates have also been made to the KDE, XFCE and Sugar desktop environments; additionally, the MATE desktop is available for the first time in Fedora. Fedora's new installer user interface enhances the anaconda installer with improvements in ease of use and installation.

For developers

This release includes several language updates, including the move to Perl 5.16, updating the Python 3 stack from 3.2 to 3.3, Rails 3.2 and updated D and Haskell programming environments.

For system administrators

Fedora 18 includes the final release of Samba 4, and can be used on an Active Directory domain out of the box. An integrated, new native management software allows you to access data and server information easily.

OpenStack in Fedora 18 has been updated to Folsom, the most recent release by the OpenStack community. This Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform enables the creation and management of cloud infrastructure.

Eucalyptus 3.1, another IaaS platform, is available in Fedora for the first time, and includes the major components of Eucalyptus.

Storage System Management CLI tools simplify the user interface by providing unified abstraction and interface for multiple storage technologies, including lvm, btrfs and md raid.

Download the Fedora 18 beta and please give us your feedback. The final release of Fedora 18 is expected later in the year.