Fedora 18 to get MATE desktop, Samba 4 and ownCloud
A Fedora developer has proposed adding the packages for the MATE Desktop Environment – a fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME – into the repositories for Fedora 18, which is due for release in early November. The proposal was approved at yesterday's meeting of Fedora's Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo). This is, however, conditional on the developers involved merging the desktop components into Fedora's package repositories on time, otherwise the MATE desktop will have to wait for a future Fedora version. Since Fedora's rules allow new packages to be added to the update repositories, MATE – which has come to the fore primarily through Linux Mint – could find its way into all currently maintained Fedora versions.
The Engineering Steering Committee has also signed off sixteen other feature proposals. These include a plan to add the client and server software for the ownCloud cloud platform; this allows users to host and access files and personal data, such as addresses and calendar entries, from a range of devices. Samba 4.0 integration will also be improved; Fedora 17 already includes an alpha version of Samba 4. Other approved proposals include upgrading the Python 3 stack to version 3.3, and the inclusion of tracing and performance monitoring tools LTTng and systemtap 2.0.
With these new additions, the list of accepted features for Fedora 18 will grow to 55 items in total. Some changes will, however, be implemented outside of the Fedora feature process. The list does not, for example, mention that the Fedora 18 kernel will be upgraded to at least Linux kernel 3.6, development on which has now commenced following the release of Linux 3.5 last week.
Typically, some developers do not manage to complete planned changes on time, so that the feature list is liable to shrink a little between now and the release of Fedora 18. From now on, new features will only be included in exceptional cases, as the deadline for submission expired last week, with feature freeze scheduled for 7 August. In contrast to both Fedora 16 and Fedora 17, since there is currently no proposal or plan to switch to Btrfs, it would appear that ext4 is set to remain the default file system in Fedora 18. This could have knock-on effects on RHEL 7, which will be based on Fedora 18.