Fedora 18 Alpha released with new installer UI
The Fedora Project has released an alpha version of Fedora 18, the next major version of the popular Linux distribution. One of the most noticeable changes in the alpha is the new user interface (UI) for the operating system's Anaconda graphical installer. The new interface has been simplified and no longer asks for all the parameters that a user might possibly want to change one after the other; instead, the installer presents a few standard default settings that can be changed and only asks users to configure the parameters that they must decide on, such as installation location.
In terms of desktop environments, KDE SC 4.9, Xfce 4.10 and development versions of GNOME 3.6 and Cinnamon 1.6 are included in the Alpha, as are nearly all components for the Mate desktop, a fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME. New versions of the desktop interfaces are just a few of the more than 70 new features that the Fedora developers are working on in version 18. Others include support for setting up a hotspot with NetworkManager, an upgrade to the Folsom release of OpenStack, support for UEFI Secure Boot and everything necessary to set up an Active Directory with Samba 4. A number of software components were also updated, with current versions including Perl 5.16, RPM 4.10 and a release candidate of the 3.6 Linux kernel.
Some of the features planned for the new version of the installer are not included or finalised in the alpha version; for example, according to the release announcement, automatic partitioning currently reformats selected disks without warning, causing all data stored on them to be lost. In addition, the system still seems to be experiencing some growing pains. In order to fix some problems before the alpha version was released, the Fedora Project decided to postpone the alpha three times, pushing the completion back by a total of three weeks. The beta and final versions will therefore also each be released three weeks later than originally planned. As long as the schedule isn't changed again, Fedora 18 should be available in late November.
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