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28 September 2010, 15:47

Beta version of Fedora 14 released

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Zoom The GNOME desktop of the Fedora 14 beta
The Red Hat sponsored Fedora Project has released the first and only beta version of the Fedora 14 Linux distribution. Release of the final version is scheduled for early November. The release of the beta version is within the project's stipulated schedule, after the alpha version of this distribution, named after physicist Robert B. Laughlin, was released a week late five weeks ago.

As previously mentioned, the Fedora developers have recently returned to using Upstart, which is used in the current and several previous versions of Fedora, having removed Systemd which was introduced in April and used in the alpha version as the alternative to SysV-Init and Upstart. Everything currently points towards Systemd being chosen for system start-up in Fedora 15, which is expected next April or May.

As a result, the number of new features in Fedora 14 has decreased to 20. This is about half as many as in Fedora 12 and 13, which is probably due to developers also working on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 release that is currently in beta phase. Among the most important advancements of Fedora 14 are the Rakudo Star Perl 6 distribution, compilers and toolkits for programming in D, version 4.5 of the KDE project's Plasma Desktop, GNOME 2.32, Python 2.7, Perl 5.12 and the integration of Spice (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments).

The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), which is behind the decision to use Upstart in Fedora 14, is developing an "updates policy" for Fedora and has recently submitted a draft version for discussion. The current draft encourages package maintainers to adopt a conservative updating approach for versions of Fedora that have already been released: newer versions of the software included in Fedora are only to be released as regular updates in exceptional circumstances. Until now, Fedora updates have quite often included version changes – including new kernel versions. This meant that Fedora updates have often provided the drivers for newly introduced hardware; in openSUSE or Ubuntu, which already use a similar updates policy, new drivers only tend to become available with a new version of the distribution.

As part of a "Fedora Graphics Test Week" the developers are calling for more testing on the Fedora 14 video drivers. on Tuesday the focus will be on the open source Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics chips, 2010-09-29_Radeon:Wednesday will look at the drivers for Radeon hardware and on Thurday the focus moves on to drivers for Intel's GPUs.

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