You heard it here (or possibly here): The Alpha release of Fedora 15, “Lovelock,” is now available for everyone to gloriously download and test. This release offers a preview of some of the latest and greatest in free and open source software innovation.
What is the Alpha release?
The Alpha release contains all the beefy features of Fedora 15 in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify 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 15 is due in May.
We need your help to make Fedora 15 the best release yet, so please: Ketchup with what we’ve been working hard on. Download and try out the Alpha, and make sure that the things that are important to you are working.
You want ’em, we got ’em. Think of them like condiments for your hot dog: A delicious variety of toppings that make something great even better.
- Updated Desktop Environments. Fedora 15 will ship with GNOME 3, the next major version of the GNOME desktop. If you’re interested in other experiences, KDE and Xfce will also be showcasing the latest and greatest in desktop technology from their respective projects.
- System and session management. Previously available as a technology preview in F14, systemd makes its full-fledged debut in Fedora 15. systemd is a smarter, more efficient way of starting up and managing the background daemons relied on by services we all use every day – such as NetworkManager and PulseAudio.
- Cloud. Looking to create appliances for use in the Cloud? BoxGrinder creates appliances (virtual machines) for various platforms (KVM, Xen, EC2) from simple plain text appliance definition files for various virtual platforms.
- Updated programming languages and tools. Fedora 15 features new versions of Rails, OCaml, and Python. GDB and GCC have also been updated. (Fedora 15 was built with GCC 4.6.0, too!)
- Productivity Applications. LibreOffice is filled with tools for everyday use, including word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.
- Consistent Network Device Naming. Server management just got even easier. Fedora 15 uses BIOS-provided, non-arbitrarily given names for network ports, taking the burden off of system administrators.
- Dynamic Firewall. Fedora 15 adds support for the optional firewall daemon, that provides a dynamic firewall management with a D-Bus interface.
- Ecryptfs in Authconfig. Fedora 15 brings in improved support for eCryptfs, a stacked cryptographic filesystem for Linux. Starting with Fedora 15, authconfig can be used to automatically mount a private encrypted part of the home directory when a user logs in.
- DNSSEC for workstations. NetworkManager now uses the BIND nameserver as a DNSSEC resolver. All received DNS responses are proved to be correct. If particular domain is signed and failed to validate then resolver returns SERFVAIL instead of invalidated response, which means something is wrong.
- Go Green. Power Management improvements include the PowerTOP tool, which identifies the software components that make your computer use more energy than necessary while idle. Automatic tuning of power consumption and performance helps conserve on laptop battery usage, too!
- Business Management tools. Tryton is a three-tier high-level general purpose application platform, providing solutions for accounting, invoicing, sale management, purchase management, analytic accounting, and inventory management.
- New Package Suite Groups. The Graphics suite group has been renamed to the Design group, and the Robotics SIG has created the Robotics Package Suite, a collection of software that provides an out-of-the-box usable robotic simulation environment featuring a linear demo to introduce new users.
A more comprehensive list of Features is available to devour (much like one would a tasty, beefy, miraculous hot dog). Additionally, there are nightly composes of alternate spins available for you to “take for a spin,” including desktop environments such as KDE, LXDE, and Xfce,
Issues, Details, and Contributing
This is an Alpha – we may still be working things out, but fortunately, a lot of the kinks have been smoothed over, thanks to great things like the Fedora Alpha Release Criteria.
However, if you’re looking for more information, the Fedora 15 Alpha Release Notes are a great place to start. This document contains *great* stuff, including information on common and known bugs, tips on how to report bugs, and the official release schedule. The Common 15 Bugs page is also a great resource if you are thinking about testing things out.
Bug reports are helpful, especially for Alpha. If you encounter any issues please report them and help make this release of Fedora be, quite frankly, the best ever!