Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All New Fedora 11 Beta Available now

The Fedora Project has released a beta version of its community-sponsored, Red Hat-based Linux distribution, with the final due in May. The Fedora 11 beta release offers faster, 20-second bootups, improved package management, new virtualization features, and support for cross-compiling Windows applications, says the open-source project.

Similar, but not identical to, the subscription-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Fedora is billed as being "free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute." Fedora was recently claimed by the project to have about 10 million users, which would make it the world's largest Linux distribution. Fedora 10, which shipped last November to generally positive reviews, was notable for vastly improving its NetworkManager application.

The improved PackageKit offers new popups when trying to open a document with uninstalled fonts

The new Fedora 11 release, codenamed "Leonidas," has "a feature list that dwarfs any previous release," says the project. Key improvements are said to include:
  • Faster bootup (as fast as 20 seconds, down from 30 seconds) using kernel mode setting (KMS), and refinements involving NVidia, ATI, and Intel video adapters

  • Use of the new EXT4 filesystem as the default

  • Enhancements to the PackageKit cross-distribution package manager, including on-demand font and file support (see image above)

  • Virtualization features including a new management console with enhanced mouse support and larger screen real estate, integration of SELinux for guest virtual machines, access to PCI bus devices from guests, and authentication for VNC remote access

  • Support for cross-compiling Windows applications directly on Fedora using the MinGW environment
Additional new features are said to include a new "Archer" Gdb development branch for C++ and Python, an automatic bug-reporting tool, and improved support for fingerprint readers. Application updates include Gnome 2.26, KDE 4.2, Xfce 4.6, GCC 4.4, NetBeans IDE 6.5, Python 2.6, Thunderbird 3, and Firefox 3.1.

According to the project, the Fedora 11 alpha release has generated over 40,000 downloads in a little over a month. The beta release is said to be supported with Live images for writing to optical disks or USB keys.


The Fedora 11 beta release is available now for free download, says the Fedora Project, which expects to ship the final in May. The feature list may be found here, and the download page should be here.

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