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24 April 2013, 13:08

Box opens on first Fedora 19 alpha

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The Fedora developers have released the first alpha for the upcoming version of their distribution. The first alpha release of Fedora 19, code-named "Schrödinger's Cat", includes a number of improvements to the systemd startup system that now allows users to change system parameters on a running system that, up until now, required a restart.

The alpha release comes with the usual updated software packages. Where desktop environments are concerned, GNOME 3.8, KDE 4.10 and MATE 1.6 are available in addition to current versions of Xfce and LXDE. The developers have also added a number of tools for 3D modelling and printing, like OpenSCAD, Skeinforge, Sfact, Printrun and Repetier-Host, to the repositories. This has been the result of an increased effort within the Fedora development community to make the distribution a first class alternative for users interested in 3D printing technology.

The latest versions of development tools go hand in hand with Fedora's reputation as a platform for software developers – the Fedora 19 alpha comes with Ruby 2.0 and the latest version of Node.js; the Scratch development environment is included in the hope that it will get children and young adults into learning programming for the first time. To make life easier for more advanced programmers, the new Developers Assistant feature was designed to automate the setup of developer environments for various languages. The feature was designed for both beginners as well as for experienced developers not used to Fedora or Linux and will be further expanded to allow for easy creation of applications, with templates and examples.

Fedora 19 can be booted with Syslinux as well as GRUB 2, which has advantages when booting the distribution on virtual machines, especially in cloud environments where GRUB's features are not needed. The new Checkpoint and Restore feature allows users to pause running processes which then can be resumed on the same or another system, allowing for load balancing within a cluster of systems. Virtual machines running Fedora 19 can use "Virt storage migration" to allow them, and their in-use storage, to be moved from one physical system to another without both machines having to have access to the shared storage. The introduction of the Open Linux Management Infrastructure (OpenLMI) aims to further simplify the remote management of systems running Fedora.

A list with all included features in Fedora 19 is available from the Fedora Project wiki. The wiki also has a list of different spins of the first Fedora 19 alpha that can be downloaded. According to the current development schedule, Fedora 19 is slated for release on 2 July. The alpha is specifically designed for testing and requires that users acknowledge that there will be bugs and to click "I accept my fate" before installing. Installable images can be downloaded from the Fedora Project's "Get Pre-release" page.


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