Filing Bug Reports
File bug reports on this Beta release for directed feedback.
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 12, 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.
The Purpose of the Beta Release
A Fedora Beta release is an installable, testable version of the code and features being developed for Fedora 12 (codename). 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 Beta release. Either install or run a Fedora Live instance of the Fedora 12 Beta release, then try using a few applications or activities that are important to you. If it doesn't work, file a bug. This Beta 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 12 release. You can make the Fedora 12 release better by testing the Beta release and reporting your findings.
What's New in Fedora 12 (codename) Beta
The following sections document major new features and changes in the Fedora 12 Beta release.
Thusnelda - Next Generation Open Video Codec
In support of Free Culture, the open web and to reduce the hold of proprietary and patent encumbered codecs, Red Hat has been sponsoring improvements on the open Ogg Theora video codec implementation codenamed Thusnelda via Christopher Montgomery (xiphmont), who created the format and work has resulted in drastic improvements to the codec. This release features this next generation codec. All applications using libtheora library including all the Gstreamer applications will automatically and transparently be taking advantage of the improvements. More details here.
GRUB with 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. Fedora 12 now includes a updated version of GRUB with Ext4 support.
The GNOME 2.28 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.
Gnote is installed by default in GNOME for this release replacing Tomboy. Gnote is a port of Tomboy from Mono to C++ and consumes fewer resources. Gnote is both an applet that can sit in your GNOME panel as well as a individual application you can run within other desktop environments. Fedora Desktop Live CD since the Fedora 10 release has excluded Mono and hence Mono based applications like Tomboy due to lack of space. Gnote will be installed by default in the Live CD as well in this release. Tomboy is still available as a optional alternative. If you are upgrading from the previous release you will not be migrated to Gnote and will continue to have Tomboy. Tomboy users can migrate easily to Gnote as it shares the file format and a plugin is available in Gnote that will automatically import Tomboy notes on first run. Many of the Tomboy plugins have been ported to Gnote. Following plugins are available as part of Gnote
- Bugzilla Links
- Tomboy Importer
- Fixed Width
- Insert Timestamp
- Export to HTML
- Printing Support
- Sticky Notes Importer
If required, you can copy the notes from Tomboy to Gnote using the following command in your home directory
cp -r .tomboy .gnote
The sticky notes applet is not provided anymore since Gnote provides a better note taking utility and is available by default in this release.
Empathy replaces Pidgin as the default instant messenger in GNOME. Empathy is better integrated with GNOME and provides audio and video functionality for XMPP/Jabber users with more improvements planned. Empathy supports important accounts from Pidgin on first run so users can migrate more easily. Users upgrading from a previous release will continue to have Pidgin by default.
Epiphany in this release is now using the WebKit engine instead of the Gecko engine from Firefox. If you have issues, do report them via bugzilla.
KDE 4.3.x 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.
Firefox 3.5 pre-release was included in Fedora 11 and Fedora 12 Beta now includes the general release with many improvements.
How to Try Beta
Beta 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 Beta 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 12 Beta is through BitTorrent -- visit the Fedora torrent server for a listing of available images. Beta 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 12 Release Schedule And Feature Details
Development continues on Rawhide during and after the Beta 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 12.