Fedora 14 Well On Its Way to a Desktop Near You

Red Hat's Fedora remains one of the most popular and versatile Linux distributions available today. In fact, it has few equals. And Fedora 14, which is due for final release November 2, saw its one and only beta release on September 28 with some exciting feature previews. Being based on Linux 2.6.35, that was released on August 1 and received its latest stable update on September 29, it will offer goodies like Btrfs direct input/output, better power management, expanded video and Ethernet hardware support, and memory cache de-fragmentation. Of particular interest to Red Hat and Fedora developers and users are the improvements in KVM virtualization, which include enhancements of the timer and emulator code that result in higher performance as well as improvements in performance tracing and monitoring.

Speaking of virtualization, Fedora 14 will introduce SPICE to their users this release. SPICE is a tool for creating and interacting with virtual machines. It features encryption, accelerated 2D graphics, video and audio format detection and playback, hardware cursor support, and dynamic adaption to graphic and communication changes. For developers, this release will bring the Rakudo Star compiler and modules as well as the D programming language compiler and toolkit and several mainstay updates such as Perl 5.12, Python, Ruby, Eclipse, Netbeans, and Perl 6. Open SCAP is also featured this release, which will bring a standard for automated testing and identification of system vulnerabilities.

The average desktop user isn't left out either. This release will bring the newly released GNOME 2.32 and KDE 4.5.x with a lovely new theme, as well as the latest stable Sugar 0.90 and MeeGo 1.0 portable systems. libjpeg-turbo will bring faster compression and decompression of JPEG images than experienced with original libjpeg.

Live images are slated to be compressed with LZMA instead of Gzip this release, bringing almost a 9% reduction in size without a significant performance hit, and allowing Fedora developers to include more software. Multipath installation is rumored to be on the menu as well. systemd, planned for version 14, has been postponed until the next release to allow more time to fix bugs and polish functionality. So, this release will continue to use the Upstart initialization system, but systemd will still be available to those who wish to test it.

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