Fedora is a leading edge, free and open source operating system that continues to deliver innovative features to many users, with a new release about every six months. We bring to you the latest and greatest release of Fedora ever, Fedora 13! Join us and share the joy of Free software and the community with friends and family. We have several major new features with special focus on desktops, netbooks, virtualization and system administration.
What's New in Fedora 13?
A universe of new features for end users:
- Streamlined Installer. The user interface of Anaconda, the Fedora installer, has changed to handle storage devices and partitioning in an easy and streamlined manner, with helpful hints in the right places. Thanks to Chris Lumens and others on the Anaconda team, and Máirín Duffy, Fedora Design team lead, for her user interface review.
- Automatic print driver installation. We're using RPM and PackageKit for automatic installation of printer drivers, so when you plug in a printer, Fedora will automatically offer to install drivers for it if needed. Thanks to Tim Waugh and Richard Hughes.
- New desktop applications and enhancements. The Shotwell photo manager, Deja-dup backup software, Pino Identi.ca/Twitter client, and Simple Scan scanning utility are all delivered by default to provide an enhanced desktop experience out of the box. Palimpsest, the desktop utility for handling storage devices, can now manage LVM and RAID disks easily.
- NetworkManager improvements include better Mobile Broadband, Bluetooth, and new CLI abilities. NetworkManager is now a one-stop shop for all of your networking needs in Fedora, be it dial-up, broadband, wifi, or even Bluetooth. Mobile broadband enhancements now show signal strength. Old-style dial-up networking (DUN) over Bluetooth has also been added. And now, you can even use NetworkManager from the command line in addition to the improved graphical user interface. Getting a connection when you need it has never been easier to figure out, whether you're at home, at work, at the local coffee shop, or riding your city's wi-fi enabled public transport. Thanks to Dan Williams of Red Hat for his extensive work on these features upstream and within Fedora.
- Color management. Do you like your printouts to look the same as they do on screen - or your scanner output to look the same as what you just scanned? Color Management allows you to better set and control your colors for displays, printers, and scanners, through the gnome-color-manager package. Thanks to Richard Hughes from Red Hat for his involvement upstream and in Fedora.
- Enhanced iPod functionality. Newer Apple iPod, iPod Touch and iPhone models are supported by some of your favorite photo management software, and music library applications such as Rhythmbox. The devices are automatically attached using the libimobiledevice library, so you can work with your content more easily.
- Enhanced streaming and buffering support in Totem Totem's Movie Player and web browser plugins are now better at handling large streaming media, such as HD movies and Podcasts, thanks to the new disk-buffering support in GStreamer.
- 3D support for ATI cards (R600 and R700) via Radeon driver. In Fedora 12, 3D support for the free and open source Radeon driver for some new chipsets was introduced and considered experimental. In this release, the support has moved out of experimental status and is enabled by default. 2D support for the latest generation (R800) is integrated as well in this release. Thanks to Red Hat's Dave Airlie and many others for involvement upstream and in Fedora.
- Experimental 3D graphics support extended to free Nouveau driver for NVidia cards. In this release we are one step closer to having 3D graphics supported on completely free and open source software (FOSS) drivers. Fedora 12 saw the enabling of a number of ATI cards; this time around, we've added a wide range of NVidia cards to our list of liberated video capabilities. You can install the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package to try out the work in progress. Thanks to Red Hat's Ben Skeggs for involvement upstream and in Fedora.
- KDE improvements. KDE in Fedora continues to provide tight integration with the latest technologies in Fedora. In this release, we have improved integration with PulseAudio via Phonon and the volume control KMix, which now allows controlling per-application volumes and moving application sounds between hardware devices, as well as with the latest PolicyKit authorization framework. We have also integrated new major versions, based on the KDE Development Platform 4, of the KOffice office suite, the K3b CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning application and, for developers, the KDevelop IDE, which provide better integration with the KDE 4 Plasma Desktop and no longer require the KDE 3 compatibility libraries. Thanks to the work of a growing community of KDE contributors in Fedora.
- DisplayPort support improvements. Fedora 12 added initial support for the new DisplayPort display connector for Intel graphics chips. Support for Nvidia and ATI systems has now been added in this release. Thanks to Red Hat's Xorg team.
- Experimental user management interface. The user account tool has been completely redesigned, and the accountsdialog and accountsservice test packages are available to make it easy to configure personal information, make a personal profile picture or icon, generate a strong passphrase, and set up login options for your Fedora system. Try out the work in progress. Thanks to Matthias Clasen from Red Hat's Desktop team and others.
For developers there are all sorts of additional goodies:
- SystemTap static probes. SystemTap now has expanded capabilities to monitor higher-level language runtimes like Java, Python, and Tcl, and also user space applications, starting with PostgreSQL. In the future, Fedora will add support for even more user space applications, greatly increasing the scope and power of monitoring for application developers. Thanks to Mark Wielaard from Red Hat.
- Easier Python debugging. We've added new support that allows developers working with mixed libraries (Python and C/C++) in Fedora to get more complete information when debugging with gdb, making Fedora an exceptional platform for powerful, rapid application development. Thanks to David Malcolm from Red Hat.
- Parallel-installable Python 3 stack. The parallel-installable Python 3 stack will help programmers write and test code for use in both Python 2.6 and Python 3 environments, so you can future-proof your applications now using Fedora. Thanks to David Malcolm from Red Hat.
- NetBeans Java EE 6 support. The NetBeans 6.8 integrated development environment is the first IDE to offer complete support for the entire Java EE 6 specification. Thanks to Victor G. Vasilyev from Sun/Oracle for his maintenance and support of NetBeans in collaboration with Fedora.
- IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition, Java IDE. Along with Eclipse and NetBeans already provided by Fedora, IDEA is a popular Java-based development environment newly introduced in this release. It comes with an intuitive GUI, integration with Ant and Maven, extensive language support, version control systems and test tools integration and compatibility with Eclipse projects. Thanks to Lubomir Rintel and Michal Ingeli, Fedora community volunteers, for packaging and integration of this feature.
And don't think we forgot the system administrators:
- boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO). BFO allows users to download a single, tiny image (could fit on a floppy) and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images. Thanks to Mike McGrath, Fedora Infrastructure lead.
- System Security Services Daemon (SSSD). SSSD provides expanded features for logging into managed domains, including caching for offline authentication. How does this help the sysadmin? This means, for example, users on laptops can still login when disconnected from the company's managed network. The authentication configuration tool in Fedora has already been updated to support SSSD, and work is underway to make it even more attractive and functional. Thanks to Stephen Gallagher from Red Hat.
- Pioneering NFS features. Fedora offers the latest version 4 of the NFS protocol for better performance, and, in conjunction with recent kernel modifications, includes IPv6 support for NFS as well. Thanks to Steve Dickson from Red Hat.
- Zarafa Open Source edition Groupware. Zarafa Open Source edition is a complete, 100% free and open source groupware suite that can be used as a drop-in Microsoft Exchange replacement for Web-based mail, calendaring, collaboration, and tasks. Features include IMAP/POP and iCal/CalDAV capabilities, native mobile phone support, the ability to integrate with existing Linux mail servers, a full set of programming interfaces, and a comfortable look and feel using modern Ajax technologies. Thanks to Robert Scheck, Fedora community volunteer, for packaging and integration of this feature.
- Btrfs snapshots integration. Btrfs is capable of creating lightweight filesystem snapshots that can be mounted (and booted into) selectively. The created snapshots are copy-on-write snapshots, so there is no file duplication overhead involved for files that do not change between snapshots. It allows developers to feel comfortable experimenting with new software without fear of an unusable install -- automated snapshots allow them to easily revert to the previous day's filesystem. Fedora 13 has a yum-plugin-fs-snapshot plugin and when installed takes a snapshot of your Btrfs volume before every update allowing you to rollback easily to a previous snapshot and recover out of any update problems more easily. Btrfs is still an experimental filesystem in this release and requires a "btrfs" installation option to enable support for it. Note that this option is only available for non-live images. In the upcoming releases, we plan to integrate the snapshot functionality into the desktop while working on stabilization of the filesystem in parallel. Thanks to Josef Bacik, Btrfs filesystem developer at Red Hat, for filesystem work and the new yum plugin and Chris Ball from OLPC team for leading this effort.
- LVM Snapshots merging support: When you create a LVM snapshot of the origin it preserves a copy of the logical volume at a particular point in time. In general, the origin volume continues to be used (changes and new files stored in origin) and the snapshot is a backup. In the context of system upgrades this would almost certainly be the case: root filesystem is layered on top of an LV (the "origin"); a snapshot is taken of this LV; this origin LV's filesystem is changed (via a system upgrade). The upgrade doesn't go well, you want to rollback. With recent LVM (and DM) snapshot advances included in Fedora 13, you can merge the snapshot back into the origin. In the
process you rollback the origin LV to the state it was in before the system upgrade. As noted earlier, the yum-snapshot-fs-plugin can work with both Btrfs and LVM volumes. This functionality was developed and merged upstream by Red Hat's storage team.
- Virtualization enhancements. Fedora continues its leadership in virtualization technologies first introduced in Fedora Core 4 back in 2005. Fedora continues to be the leading contributor of key technologies like KVM, libvirt and virt-manager. In this release, we have improvements in KVM including Stable PCI Addresses and Virt Shared Network Interface technologies. Having stable PCI addresses will enable virtual guests to retain PCI addresses' space on a host machine. The shared network interface technology enables virtual machines to use the same physical network interface cards (NICs) as the host operating system. In addition to that, performance of virtualization has improved considerably via VHostNet accelerating KVM networking and Virtx2apic providing enhanced guest performance. Virtio-Serial is yet another core improvement that exposes multiple ports to the guest in the form of simple char devices for simple IO between the guest and host userspaces. Thanks to the Red Hat virtualization team for their ongoing contributions.
- Dogtag Certificate System Dogtag is an enterprise-class open source Certificate Authority (CA) supporting all aspects of certificate lifecycle management including key archival, OCSP and smartcard management. Brought into the fold as part of the Red Hat acquisition of Netscape technologies, this certificate server is fully free and open source and now included in Fedora. Thanks to the PKI team at Red Hat.
And that's only the beginning. A more complete list with details of all the new features onboard Fedora 13 is available at:
OK, go get it. You know you can't wait.
Fedora 13 release notes and guides for several languages are available at:
Fedora 13 common bugs are documented at:
Power PC Support
With Apple moving to Intel based machines and Sony PlayStation dropping Linux support, Fedora PowerPC (PPC) usage has dropped considerably. In Fedora 13, PPC is now a secondary architecture and the Fedora release engineering team no longer manages PPC releases. If you would like to participate in the PPC effort or any of the secondary architecture teams, refer to:
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:
There are many ways to contribute beyond bug reporting. You can help translate software and content, test and give feedback on software updates, write and edit documentation, design and do artwork, help with all sorts of promotional activities, and package free software for use by millions of Fedora users worldwide. To get started, visit http://join.fedoraproject.org today!
Even as we continue to provide updates with enhancements and bug fixes to improve the Fedora 13 experience, our next release, Fedora 14, is already being developed in parallel, and has been open for active development for several months already. We have an early schedule for an end of Oct 2010 release, with many new features slated:
If you are a journalist or reporter, you can find additional information at: