Fedora 15 announcement
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 15! 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, developers, virtualization, security and system administration.
What's new in Fedora 15 (Lovelock)?
For desktop users
A universe of new features for end users:
- GNOME 3 desktop environment GNOME 3 is the next generation of GNOME with a brand new user interface. It provides a completely new and modern desktop that has been designed for today's users and technologies. Fedora 15 is the first major distribution to include GNOME 3 by default. GNOME 3 is being developed with extensive upstream participation from Red Hat developers and Fedora volunteers, and GNOME 3 is tightly integrated in Fedora 15. GNOME Shell, the new user interface of GNOME 3, is polished, robust and extensible, and several GNOME Shell extensions and the GNOME tweak tool are available in the Fedora software repository. Thanks to the Fedora desktop team developers and community volunteers.
- Btrfs filesystem Btrfs, the next generation filesystem is being developed with upstream participation of Red Hat developers, Oracle and many others. Btrfs is now available as a menu item in the installer (only for non-live images. live images support just Ext4) and does not require passing a special option to the installer as in the previous releases. Btrfs availability has moved up a notch as a incremental step towards the goal of Btrfs as the default filesystem in the next release of Fedora. The btrfsck program for performing filesystem checks is under active development upstream with participation from Fedora but the one included in this release is still limited and hence users are highly recommended to maintain backups when using this filesystem (backups are a good idea anyway!). Thanks to Josef Bacik, Red Hat Btrfs developer, for his upstream participation and integration of this feature in Fedora including a yum plugin (yum-plugin-fs-snapshot) that enables users to rollback updates if necessary, taking advantage of Btrfs snapshots.
- Indic typing booster Indic typing booster is a predictive input method for the ibus platform. It suggests complete words based on partial input, and users can simply select a word from the suggestion list and improve their typing speed and accuracy. Thanks to the development led by Pravin Satpute and Naveen Kumar, Red Hat I18N team engineers in Pune, India.
- Better crash reporting ABRT, a crash reporting tool in Fedora, can now perform a part of crash processing remotely, on a Fedora Project server. Remote coredump retracing avoids users having to download a large amount of debug information and leads to better quality reports. The retrace server can generate good backtraces with a much higher success rate than local retracing.
- Redesigned SELinux troubleshooter SELinux troubleshooter is a graphical tool that watches and analyses log files and automatically provides solutions to common issues. In this release, this tool has been redesigned to be simpler but provide more solutions at the same time. Thanks to Dan Walsh, SELinux developer at Red Hat, for leading the development of this functionality.
- Higher compression in live images Live images in this release use XZ compression instead of gzip as in older releases, making them smaller (about 10%) to download or providing more space for applications to be made available by default. Thanks to Bruno Wolff III, Fedora community volunteer, for integrating this functionality in Fedora Live CD tools. Thanks to Phillip Lougher for his work on squashfs and Lasse Collin for getting XZ squashfs support in the upstream Linux kernel.
- Better power management Fedora 15 includes a redesigned and better version of powertop and newer versions of tuned and pm-utils for better power management. The tuned package contains a daemon that tunes system settings dynamically to balance between power consumption and performance. It also performs various kernel tunings according to selected profile. The new version of tuned brings several bug fixes, improvements and profiles updates for better efficiency. Thanks to Jaroslav Škarvada, Red Hat developer, for integrating the newer powertop and pm-utils, as well as performing power measurement and benchmarking. Thanks to Jan Včelák, Red Hat developer, for developing tuned and integrating the newer version in this release.
- LibreOffice productivity suite LibreOffice is a community-driven and developed free and open source personal productivity suite which is a project of the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation. It is a fork of OpenOffice.org with a diverse community of contributors including developers from Red Hat, Novell and many volunteers. OpenOffice.org has been replaced with LibreOffice in this release. Thanks to Caolán McNamara from Red Hat for his upstream participation and for maintaining LibreOffice in Fedora.
- KDE plasma workspaces 4.6 and Xfce 4.8 desktop environments Fedora 15 includes new major versions of these alternative desktop environments. Fedora also provides dedicated KDE Plasma Workspaces and Xfce installable live images that include these desktop environments by default. Thanks to Red Hat developers and other Fedora community volunteers, part of KDE and Xfce special interest groups.
- Sugar .92 learning platform Sugar is a desktop environment originally designed for the OLPC project which has now evolved into a learning platform developed by the non-profit Sugar Labs foundation. This version provides major usability improvements for the first login screen and the control panel, as well as new features such as support for 3G networks. Thanks to Peter Robinson and Sebastian Dziallas, Fedora community volunteers, for leading the integration of this environment.
For developers there are all sorts of additional goodies:
- Robotics Suite Fedora 15 now includes the Robotics Suite, a collection of packages that provides a usable out-of-the-box robotics development and simulation environment. This ever-growing suite features up-to-date robotics frameworks, simulation environments, utility libraries, and device support, and consolidates them into an easy-to-install package group. Refer to http://rmattes.blogspot.com/2011/05/fedora-15-robotics-suite.html for more details. Thanks to Tim Niemueller and Rich Mattes, Fedora community volunteers for their participation.
- GCC 4.6 GCC 4.6 is the system default compiler in Fedora 15 and all the relevant packages have been rebuilt in Fedora 15 using it. Developers can realize compiled code improvements and use the newly added features, such as improved C++0x support, support for the Go language, REAL*16 support in Fortran and many other improvements. Thanks to Jakub Jelinek from Red Hat for upstream participation and leading the integration in Fedora.
- GDB 7.3 This new GDB release 7.3 together with Archer and Fedora extensions improves the debugging experience on Fedora by making the debugger more powerful. The majority of these features were written by Red Hat engineers, thus benefiting all gdb users. New features for the Fedora 15 release include support for breakpoints at SystemTap markers (probes), support for using labels in the program's source, OpenCL language debugging support, thread debugging of core dumps and Python scripting improvements. Numerous important packages within Fedora are pre-built with SystemTap static markers, and these can now be used as the target for breakpoints in gdb. Thanks to Jan Kratochvil and other GDB developers from Red Hat for their upstream participation and integration of this functionality.
- Programming language updates Python 3.2: The system Python 3 stack has been upgraded to 3.2 (the system Python 2 stack remains at 2.7), bringing in hundreds of fixes and tweaks; for a list of changes refer to https://docs.python.org/dev/whatsnew/3.2.html. OCaml 3.12: OCaml 3.12 is a major revision of the OCaml programming language, the camlp4 macro language, libraries, and CDuce for XML processing. Rails 3.0.5: Rails 3 is a large update to the Ruby on Rails web framework. It brings many new features such as a polished routing API, new activemailer and activerecord APIs, and many more new enhancements. Thanks to Dave Malcolm, Richard W.M. Jones and Mo Morsi, Red Hat developers leading the integration of the respective features in this release.
- Maven 3 Maven 3.0 offers better stability and performance compared to previous versions and a lot of work under the hood to simplify writing Maven plugins and further improve performance by building projects in parallel. Refer to https://maven.apache.org/docs/3.0/release-notes.html for more information. Fedora still provides maven2 package to support backward compatibility where needed. Thanks to Red Hat developer, Stanislav Ochotnický for the work in this feature.
For system administrators
And don't think we forgot the system administrators:
- systemd system and session manager systemd is a system and session manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux cgroups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements a powerful transactional dependency-based service control logic. It can work as a drop-in replacement for sysvinit. A related change is /var/run and /var/lock are mounted from tmpfs and results in a simpler, more faster and robust boot-up scheme and aligns to the default configuration of several other distributions. Thanks to Lennart Poettering, Rahul Sundaram. Michal Schmidt, Bill Nottingham and others from Red Hat for leading development and integration of systemd as the default init system in this release and many Fedora community volunteers for their extensive testing and feedback.
- Dynamic firewall Dynamic firewall makes it possible to change firewall settings without the need to restart the firewall and makes persistent connections possible. This is for example very useful for services, that need to add additional firewall rules including virtualization (libvirtd) and VPN(openvpn). With the static firewall model these rules are lost if the firewall gets modified or restarted. The firewall daemon (firewalld) holds the current configuration internally and is able to modify the firewall without the need to recreate the complete firewall configuration; it is also able to restore the configuration in a service restart and reload case. Another use case for the dynamic firewall mode is printer discovery. For this the discovery program will be started locally that sends out a broadcast message. It will most likely get an answer from an unknown address (the new printer). This answer will be filtered by the firewall, because the answer is not related to the broadcast and the port of the program that was sending out the message is dynamic and therefore a fixed rule can not be created for this. It also has a D-BUS interface to allow clients or services to request firewall changes. firewall-cmd (part of firewalld package) is a very simple yet powerful user space alternative to the iptables command: for instance, firewall-cmd --enable --service=samba --timeout=10 opens the appropriate ports for Samba for only ten seconds. Since the current implementation is a proof of concept, in this release, it is available in the Fedora software repository but not installed by default. The plan is to make it the default firewall solution in the next release. Thanks to Thomas Woerner from Red Hat for developing this feature.
- BoxGrinder appliance creator BoxGrinder is a set of free and open source tools used for building appliances (images/virtual machines) for various platforms (KVM, Xen, VMware, EC2). BoxGrinder creates appliances from simple plain text appliance definition files. Thanks to Marek Goldmann and others from Red Hat for upstream participation and bringing this feature into Fedora.
- Spice integration in Virt Manager With Fedora 15, virt-manager has been updated to support Spice, the complete open source solution for interaction with virtualized desktops. It is now possible to create a virtual machine with Spice support without touching the command line, easily taking advantage of all the Spice enhancements directly from virt-manager. Spice provides better performance and additional functionality (such as copy/paste between guest and host) compared to using VNC. Thanks to the spice-gtk library, a new client can be developed in Python or C, or with gobject-introspection bindings. Thanks to Marc-André Lureau, Red Hat developer, for leading development of this feature.
- Consistent network device naming Servers often have multiple Ethernet ports, either embedded on the motherboard, or on add-in PCI cards. Linux has traditionally named these ports ethX, but there has been no correlation of the ethX names to the chassis labels - the ethX names are non-deterministic. Starting in Fedora 15, Ethernet ports will have a new naming scheme corresponding to physical locations, rather than ethX. By changing the naming convention, system administrators will no longer have to guess at the ethX to physical port mapping, or invoke workarounds on each system to rename them into some "sane" order. This feature is enabled on all physical systems that expose network port naming information in SMBIOS 2.6 or later. Thanks to Jordan Hargrave, Matt Domsch and several other engineers from Dell for their long term upstream participation and collaboration with Fedora in integration of this feature.
- Setuid removal Fedora 15 removes setuid in several applications and instead specifically assigns the capabilities required by each application to improve security by reducing the impact of any potential vulnerabilities in these applications. Thanks to Daniel Walsh from Red Hat for leading the integration of this feature.
- Improved support for encrypted home directory Fedora 15 brings in improved support for eCryptfs, a stacked cryptographic filesystem for Linux. Starting from Fedora 15, authconfig can be used to automatically mount a private encrypted part of the home directory when a user logs in. Thanks to Paolo Bonzini from Red Hat for integration of this feature.
- RPM 4.9.0 package manager RPM 4.9.0 brings a number of immediate benefits to Fedora including the pluggable dependency generator, built-in filtering of generated dependencies, additional package ordering hinting mechanism, performance improvements and many bugfixes. More details at https://rpm.org/wiki/Releases/4.9.0, Thanks to Panu Matilainen from Red Hat and other RPM developers for their participation and help in integration of this feature in this release.
- Tryton ERP system Tryton is a three-tier general-purpose application platform and basis for an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. Currently, the main modules available for Tryton cover accounting, invoicing, sale management, purchase management, analytic accounting and inventory management Thanks to Dan Horák, Fedora community volunteer for integration of this feature.
And that's only the beginning. A more complete list with details of all the new features on board Fedora 15 is available at:
Download and upgrading
OK, go get it. You know you can't wait.
If you are upgrading from a previous release of Fedora, refer to
For a quick tour of features in Fedora 15 and pictures of many friends of Fedora, check out our "short-form" release notes:
Fedora 15 full release and technical notes and guides for several languages are available at:
Fedora 15 common bugs are documented at:
Fedora spins are alternate versions of Fedora tailored for various types of users via hand-picked application set or customizations. Fedora spins include those providing alternative desktop environments like KDE, Xfce and LXDE by default but also more specialized ones such as Fedora Security Lab, Fedora Electronics Lab and Fedora Design Suite. More information on these spins and much more is available at
Looking forward to Fedora 16 (Verne)
Our next release, Fedora 16 codename is named after and to honor, Jules Verne. Jules Verne is considered a father of science-fiction. He was a science-fiction writer and futurist, best known for novels such as "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea". More information at
Fedora's awesome design team is already busy at work creating artwork based on this concept and you are welcome to join the team
Even as we continue to provide updates with enhancements and bug fixes to improve the Fedora 15 experience, our next release, Fedora 16, 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 2011 release:
Features planned for Fedora 16 include the default use of Btrfs as the next generation filesystem, GRUB 2 bootloader by default, further enhancements to systemd system and session manager, dynamic firewall by default and much much more. Watch the feature list page for updates.
Join us today and help improve free and open source software and lead the future of Linux.
We need your help!
Our rapid release cycle and innovative features are a direct result of development of thousands of upstream projects and collaboration by a large distributed and diverse community with many volunteers and organizations across the globe, participating in the free and open source software community and within Fedora. Fedora strives to bring these thousands of upstream projects together and serves as a integration point for them and for our users and contributors. Red Hat, the leading provider of open source solutions is a partner in our community and major sponsor of the Fedora project. To continue to advance and bring you the best of free software quickly and robustly. we are always looking for more people to join us in the Fedora community. You don't have to be a dazzling software programmer to participate and join us in developing Fedora although if you are one, you are welcome too! There are many ways to contribute beyond programming. You can report bugs, help translate software and content, test and give feedback on software updates, write and edit documentation, design and do artwork, perform system administration on our infrastructure, help with all sorts of promotional activities, and package free software for use by millions of Fedora users worldwide and more. Whether you are a Linux kernel hacker or just a newcomer, there is always something for everyone to pitch in.
To get started, visit https://join.fedoraproject.org today!
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