Fedora 12 "Constantine" 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 is a preview release that contains all the features of Fedora 12 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 12 is due in November.
We need your help to make Fedora 12, so please take a moment of your time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure that the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please report it - every bug you uncover improves 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:
- Better webcam support - Out of the box support for a lot of new webcams has been extended further than ever.
- Empathy as default IM client - Empathy is an instant messenger client replacing Pidgin, featuring better integration with the GNOME Desktop.
- GNOME 2.27.90 beta and KDE 4.3 - The latest code from the two main desktop environments and their many bundled supporting applications are part of this release. GNOME 2.27.90 is the latest GNOME version as of the Alpha release; GNOME 2.28 is planned for the final release.
- Network Manager Mobile Broadband - By providing a database of preconfigured mobile broadband providers, supporting more hardware and permit to scan GSM networks, NetworkManager makes the use of mobile broadband much easier.
- Better Free Video Codec - The latest technology is found in the improved, free Ogg Theora video encoder, codenamed "Thusnelda." Encoded video at very high definition now can meet or exceed the expectations of the most demanding viewer and material.
- PackageKit improvements - PackageKit now has plugins to install applications from a web browser, and from the command line if a user tries a command from a package not yet installed.
- PulseAudio improvements - The PulseAudio volume control applet has been extended to support profiles, input switching and easy speaker setup.
- Better power management - This release offers better power management features regarding CPU, disk and network I/O.
For developers there are all sorts of additional goodies:
- NetBeans 6.7 - NetBeans 6.7 is the most recent version of Sun's IDE.
- PHP 5.3 - PHP 5.3 has been integrated as the popular web language.
- Eclipse 3.5.0 - The latest release of the popular, open, and extensible development platform is included.
- SystemTap - Updates to this debugging capability include better documentation, tools, and examples; support for kernel tracepoint and modern gcc debuginfo ("dwarf") output; and Eclipse support for launching traces and graphing results.
Peek under the hood and there is still more:
- Better IPv6 in NetworkManager - NetworkManager has been extended to fully support IPv6 configurations through the GUI.
- Automatic Bug Reporting Tool - This release provides ABRT, a service that automatically reports application crashed to Fedora, without requiring the end user to have any special knowledge on error reporting.
- RPM XZ payload - All the software packages in Fedora have been switched from Gzip to the more efficient XZ (LZMA) compression method, to save space on mirrors and reduce download times.
- x86 optimized for Atom - The 32 bit version of this release will be compiled for i686 with a specific optimization for Intel Atom processors used in many netbooks.
- GRUB ext4 support - Fedora 11 included Ext4 by default, however GRUB in that version did not support Ext4 and hence required a separate boot partition formatted as Ext3 or Ext2. This release includes an updated version of GRUB with Ext4 support.
- Bluetooth Service On Demand - In order to support Bluetooth devices, the Bluetooth background service was started by default in previous versions of Fedora. In this release, the Bluetooth service is started on demand when needed, and automatically stops 30 seconds after last device use, reducing initial startup time and resources.
- KVM improvements - Many improvements in KVM virtualization are found in this release: reduced memory consumption and improved performance, NIC hotplug, better disk I/O, modern PXE booting, support for flexible network configurations, and much more.
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!