Filing Bug Reports
File bug reports on this Alpha release for directed feedback.
Refer to the Common_F13_bugs page for a listing of issues commonly found with this release, and any known resolutions. This page is maintained throughout the Fedora 13 development cycle.
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 13, 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 Alpha Release
This release is an installable, testable version of the code and features being developed for Fedora 13 (Goddard). 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 release. Either install or run a Fedora Live instance of the Fedora 13 Alpha release, then try using a few applications or activities that are important to you. If it doesn't work, file a bug. This 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 13 release. You can make the Fedora 13 release better by testing this release and reporting your findings.
What's New in Fedora 13 (Codename: Goddard) Alpha
The following sections document major new features and changes in the Fedora 13 Alpha release.
Improved Software management
Performance of RPM has improved considerably with the integration of RPM 4.8 Beta 1 which is included in this release. A number of other enhancements included ordered erasures, smarter dependency loop handling, revamped Python bindings including compatibility with Python 3.x and a large number of bug fixes. For more details refer to the official announcement by Panu Matilainen from Red Hat.
Enhanced Init System
Upstart has been updated to 0.6 which provides a incremental step towards moving to native Upstart scripts in a subsequent release of Fedora.
Firefox 3.6 Web Browser
Firefox 3.6 pre-release is included in this release.
FIXME: add more details
User level MPI
A rethink of MPI software management has been made in Fedora and relevant packaging guidelines have been adopted for Fedora 13.
Instead of the system-wide alternatives system, support for MPI compilers and runtimes is now managed at userlevel in Fedora with environment modules. The compilers, runtimes and any software compiled against them are installed in separate directories outside the $PATH. Now, for example, it is possible to run program A in one terminal session with Open MPI and program B with MPICH2 in another session. For this reason no default MPI runtime is set by default.
To load support for Open MPI on Fedora 13 x86_64 run
$ module load openmpi-x86_64 and for MPICH2
$ module load mpich2-x86_64. If you want e.g. Open MPI support to be automatically available in your sessions, add the command above to your shell config.
[These changes may have already happened on Fedora 11 and/or Fedora 12, depending on the MPI runtime one has been using.]
Linux Kernel 2.6.32
A number of features including memory de-deduplication and ATI R600/700 3D and KMS support in this kernel release was driven by Fedora and already part of Fedora 12 but this kernel includes several other significant features including a rewrite of the writeback code which provides noticeable performance speedups, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a "perf timechart" tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers.
More details at http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_2_6_32
KDE 4.4 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.
FIXME: nightly composes don't seem to build against F13 yet so currently the live image part does not apply.
PROPOSAL: Perhaps some more details about KDE 4.4? (I grabbed this part from the F12 alpha notes)
How to Try Alpha
This release is accompanied by installable live media of both the GNOME and KDE desktops. With a Live media users can perform testing and demonstration without installing any software to the hard disk. As this 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 media also have an option to install Fedora to the hard disk for the more intrepid users.
The best way to download this release is through BitTorrent -- visit the Fedora torrent server for a listing of available images. Release 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 or x86_64
Fedora does not publish MD5 or SHA1 hashes to verify images since they are not secure enough. Instead we have been using SHA256 since Fedora 11. In Linux, you can use sha256sum command (part of coreutils and installed by default) to verify the Fedora image
sha256sum -c *-CHECKSUM
Mac OS X can use the free to download utility hashtab.
Fedora GPG signatures can be verified following the instructions here
Debugging Information And Performance
Fedora kernels have many extensive debugging options during the development cycle that has a negative impact on performance but provides developers with more information automatically or in the case of bug reports. If you are running performance analysis on Rawhide or test releases such as Alpha or Beta, make sure you take this into account.
Fedora 13 Release Schedule And Feature Details
Development continues on Rawhide during and after this release, leading up to the beta and then 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 13.