Fedora 11 Alpha release notes

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Contents

Official Announcement

Filing Bug Reports

File bug reports on this Alpha release for directed feedback.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_file_a_bug_report

General Information

Important.png
Download Fedora 11 Alpha now
To download Fedora 11 Alpha, visit http://fedoraproject.org/get-prerelease. Download options are available for BitTorrent, direct download, and Jigdo. Fedora 11 Alpha is available for all 32-bit and 64-bit Intel-compatible platforms, and PowerPC. For more information, refer to #How_to_Try_Alpha on this page.

Known Issues

Due to changes in MD5 checksums, "yum update" will fail. To fix this:

  • yum update rpm
  • yum update

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 11, refer to their individual wiki pages that detail feature goals and progress. Also, throughout the release cycle, there are interviews with the developers behind key features giving out the inside story. Features for this release are tracked on the feature list page.

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 test releases that follow will be GPG-signed.

The Purpose of the Alpha Release

A Fedora Alpha release is an installable, testable version of the code and features being developed for Fedora 11 (Leonidas). 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 Alpha release. Either install or run a Fedora Live instance of the Fedora 11 Alpha release, then try using a few applications or activities that are important to you. If it doesn't work, file a bug. This Alpha 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 11 release. You can make the Fedora 11 release better by testing the Alpha release and reporting your findings.

What's New in Fedora 11 (Leonidas) Alpha

The following sections document major new features and changes in the Fedora 11 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 using Windows during development. In the past, developers had to port and compile all of the libraries and tools they needed, with this huge effort happening 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 do not need 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:

mingw32-configure
make

The mingw32-library packages provide requisite libraries for use with MinGW. If you install requisite libraries with these packages, mingw32-configure automatically finds 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, and termcap for text/terminal/i18n
  • libpng
  • pthreads (based on Sourceware pthreads-win32)
  • SDL for graphics
  • sqlite

Many more libraries are planned to 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 that 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:

http://kernelnewbies.org/Ext4

A file system shrinking 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.

Note.png
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:

http://www.heise-online.co.uk/news/Ext4-to-be-standard-for-Fedora-11-Btrfs-also-included--/112467

More information about Btrfs is available here:

http://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Main_Page

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.

The Fedora 11 Alpha install kernel has a btrfs bug which makes a deadlock possible if you use both brtfs and SELinux. It is recommended that you also add selinux=0 to the installation boot prompt. After the system has been installed and updated selinux can safely re-enabled.

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:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/VolumeControl

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.

http://www.packagekit.org/img/gpk-client-firmware.png

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.

ADD MORE INFO.

KDE 4.2.0

KDE 4.2.0 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.

The x86_64 KDE ISO exceeds the declared size of a 700 MiB CD by about 3.2 MiB. It can however be burned on most CD media by enabling overburning in the CD burning software. In K3b, this can be done as follows:

  • Settings / Configure K3b...
  • Advanced
  • [x] Allow overburning (not supported by cdrecord <= 1.10)
  • OK

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 installing it. The image can be written to a CD, or to a USB flash disk using these instructions. Xfce 4.6 changes here:

http://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.6/general-info

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 as a decision of the upstream Xorg project. To get this behavior back, add the the line

Option "DontZap" "false"

to the ServerFlags section in xorg.conf.

The Xorg project has changed the default DontZap setting to "true" after complaints from desktop users that accidentally hit Ctrl+Alt+Backspace when trying to type Alt+Backspace, Ctrl+Backspace, or Shift+Backspace, or who had StickyKeys enabled. Ctrl+Alt+Backspace is also a keyboard shortcut for deleting certain expressions in C and Java modes in Emacs.

Git 1.6.1.1

Git has been updated to 1.6.1.1. 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.

Additional Information

How to Try Alpha

Alpha is accompanied by installable live CDs of both the GNOME and KDE desktops. With a Live CD users can perform testing and demonstration without installing any software to the hard disk. As the Alpha 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 CDs also have an option to install Fedora to the hard disk for the more intrepid users.

The best way to download Fedora 11 Alpha is through BitTorrent -- visit the Fedora torrent server for a listing of available images. Alpha 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, x86_64, or ppc versions.

Fedora 21 Release Schedule And Feature Details

Development continues on Rawhide during and after the Alpha release, leading up to the Beta and Release Candidate before 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 11.