While finishing Verne, the Fedora developers have already started work on Fedora 17, which is due to be released in May 2012. In this version, the GNOME shell is expected to function even if the graphics driver doesn't support OpenGL acceleration. Furthermore, the developers plan to start all services via Systemd units and ban the last remaining SysV-init scripts from the distribution. Potentially, the developers will also implement some major restructuring measures and place most of the executables in /usr/bin/ instead of distributing them across /bin/, /sbin/, /usr/bin/ and /usr/sbin/.
The next version of Fedora will be called "Beefy Miracle". So the campaign for this name will be crowned with success after all: several Fedora contributors had already vehemently supported this name for Fedora 16, but it narrowly lost the vote to "Verne" in the ballot. The unusual name and related logo are based on the hot dog that was displayed during the installation of Red Hat Linux 7.3.
The new Fedora offers a lot of advancements. Considered individually, they tend to constitute minor, evolutionary improvements – but overall, the distribution is taking another noticeable step forward.
Verne's large number of virtualisation and cloud-related changes are a reminder that Red Hat is the driving force behind Fedora, and that the distribution serves for field-testing various features that are geared towards corporate customers and might, sooner or later, appear in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Nevertheless, the distribution is perfectly usable on desktop PCs and notebooks, as it is also designed to suit these device types.
Like its predecessor, however, Verne is not as suitable for Linux beginners as, for example, Ubuntu. This is as it should be, because Fedora intentionally targets users with advanced skill levels and those with a keen interest in Linux.
The Fedora project maintains several pages where you can download the Linux distribution. The project's main download page only offers the standard version: the "Desktop Spin" for x86-32/x86 systems. The x86-64/x64 variant of this live medium, which is about 600 MB in size and includes the GNOME desktop, can be found on a different page that offers the most popular Fedora spins – including those with KDE and Xfce. All spins are available as hybrid ISOs which can be transferred to blank CDs or USB flash drives.
New with Verne, the "Robotics" and "Scientific" spins can be found in a separate subdomain. This subdomain also provides information on the different Fedora variants' range of features and target groups, and offers popular spins of earlier versions to download, including "Security" and "Sugar on a Stick" (SoaS) as well as the "Games" spin that is intended for DVDs or big USB flash drives.
Another download page links to ISOs that come with the traditional installer: they install Fedora from DVD or through the network, but don't allow users to test the distribution first. There is also a gXPE image to boot the installer itself directly from the network via boot.fedoraproject.org. Ideally, many of the download links take users to a mirror server in their proximity; Fedora also offers most of the images via Bittorrent.