The Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" Alpha release is plumping up! This release offers a preview of some of the best free and open source technology currently under development. Model a glimpse of the future:
Already mooo-tivated to give F18 Alpha a try? Great! We still hope that you'll read onwards; there are fabulous features in this release you may want to know about, as well as important information regarding specific, common F18 Alpha installation issues and bugs.
What is the Alpha Release?
As if Fedora 17 wasn't beefy enough, the Alpha release of Fedora 18 is even meatier. Anyone can help test this release, guided by the Fedora QA team, which helps us identify and target 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 18 is due in late November.
Fedora 18 will be the best release ever -- but only with your help. Please take a moment of your time to download and try out the Fedora 18 Alpha. Make sure the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please report it -- every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Together, we can make Fedora a well-rounded distri-moo-tion. (Read down to the end of the announcement for more information on how to help.)
Fedora 18 adds many new and improved features for a variety of audiences. A small sample is included below; the full list of features for this release can be seen on the Fedora 18 Feature List.
On the desktop
- NetworkManager Hotspots improve the ability to use a computer's WiFi adapter to create a network hot spot.
- The redesigned installation system adds flexibility to the installation process while simplifying the user interface.
- Desktop updates galore: Gnome 3.6, KDE Plasma Workspace 4.9, Xfce 4.10, Sugar 0.98, and the introduction of the MATE Desktop in Fedora.
- The Riak NoSQL database, a fault-tolerant and scalable database system, is included for the first time in Fedora 18.
- Samba 4 adds SMB3 support and support for FreeIPA trusted domains.
- Offline system updates adds support for installing OS packages at boot. This gives systems administrators the ability to upgrade important libraries in a controlled manner.
- Fedora 18 will be able to easily join an Active Directory domain or FreeIPA realm.
- The Python 3 stack is upgraded to version 3.3.
- Rails is upgraded from version 3.0 to version 3.2.
- Perl 5.16 adds Unicode 6.1 support.
- Power7 optimized ppc64p7 is added as a supported platform for Fedora 18 packages.
Cloud and Virtualization
- OpenShift Origin brings Platform as a Service (PaaS) infrastructure to Fedora.
- Eucalyptus gives Fedora the ability to support private, AWS-compatible Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds.
- Fedora 18 Alpha's OpenStack packages are synchronized with "Folsom," the OpenStack release due near the end of September.
- Heat provides an API for orchestration of cloud applications using file- or web-based templates, enabling a standardized method for OpenStack users to launch applications in an OpenStack cloud. It is currently an OpenStack related project.
- Virt Live Snapshots adds the ability to perform snapshots of QEMU and libvirt virtual machines without having to stop the guest.
- The oVirt Engine is upgraded to version 3.1 and adds GUI tools.
Known Issues and Bugs
We know that many of you are moo-tivated to download and try the Alpha release of "Spherical Cow"; to help you avoid stepping into any sticky issues, we'd like to highlight a few specific issues, before you moooove on to the downloads page. Information about these, and other common bugs, including bug reports and workarounds for known issues where available, are detailed on the Common F18 Bugs page, as well as in the Alpha release notes.
- Utilizing automatic partitioning during installation will reformat all selected disks on which to install without any further warning; ALL EXISTING DATA ON THE DISKS WILL BE LOST. At this time, there is no option presented to use free space on the disks, or to resize existing partitions. A workaround solution exists.
- Some NVIDIA graphics adapters will have problems with the start or display of the login manager or the desktop. This will prevent the user from reaching a usable desktop, when booting the live image or an installed system. In these cases, the login manager and/or desktop may fail to appear at all, or may appear but with the cursor missing, and/or visual corruption issues.
- This release features a new user interface for the anaconda installer, which will significantly enhance the end-user installation experience. Known issues relating to the new installer user interface include:
- For non-graphical installations, a root password must be set to be able to login; for graphical installations, the first user should be set as an adminstrative user. This is currently the default setup during installation.
- There is no anaconda-based upgrade or preupgrade to F18 Alpha; if you must upgrade an installed system, you should use yum.
- The new installer user interface is still undergoing work; the Alpha release may not necessarily duplicate exactly the implementation seen in the Final release of Fedora 18 in November.
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:
A shorter list of common bugs can be found here: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_F18_bugs
Great releases like Fedora 18 don't get made in a vacuum. We can't do it without you! Bug reports are especially helpful as we move from the theory to the applied physics. If you encounter any issues, please report them!
Fedora is a fantastic, friendly community, and we have many ways in which you can contribute, including Documentation, Marketing, Design, QA, Development, and more.
To learn how to help us, visit: http://join.fedoraproject.org/
Thank you, and we hope to see you in the Fedora Project!