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28 May 2013, 17:35

It's alive: Lid lifted on Fedora 19 "Schrödinger's Cat" beta

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Fedora 19 beta logo The Fedora developers have lifted the lid on the first beta of Fedora 19, code name "Schrödinger's Cat", and say they have observed it is alive. At this point, Fedora 19 is feature frozen and only critical updates will be pushed to users before the general release. The Fedora project are now looking for users prepared to test the beta and provide feedback on the state of Fedora 19 before final release.

The Fedora team do note that the cat is rather permissive at the moment; it is possible for applications and users with administrative privileges to install signed packages from repositories without authentication or confirmation. Noting this has been inherited from upstream, is not the intended behaviour and pointing to a bug raised about the problem, they say this will be corrected by the final release. Testers of the beta are also referred to the Common Fedora 19 bugs page for known issues.

Developers are, as usual, especially well catered for in Fedora. OpenShift Origin, the platform as a service (PaaS) cloud system is included to make it simpler to develop and deploy cloud enabled applications. Node.js, the popular asynchronous JavaScript framework, is also included to enable coders to create scalable applications with real time behaviour using a range of over 20,000 programs and libraries available for it. Ruby developers will find Ruby 2.0 is also available in this release. To make life easier for more advanced programmers, the new Developers Assistant feature was designed to automate the setup of developer toolchains for various languages. The feature is also designed for beginners and experienced developers who are not used to Fedora or Linux; future plans for it include the easy creation of applications through the use of templates and examples.

The Fedora 19 development also sees a switch to MariaDB as the default database, replacing MySQL. In the repositories, a number of tools for 3D modelling and printing, like OpenSCAD, Skeinforge, Sfact, Printrun and Repetier-Host, have been added to allow users to more easily get into the increasingly popular route for creating new objects. The beta release also comes with the usual updated software packages: GNOME 3.8, KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.10 and MATE 1.6 are available along with current versions of Xfce and LXDE.

Other changes include support for federated VoIP which should allow Fedora users to make calls by addressing other users as name@domain in a move to make voice calls as simple as email. There's also the latest version of CUPS, which now uses PDF rather than PostScript, easier Kerberos configuration and support for OpenLMI, a common infrastructure for remote machine management. Booting can use GRUB2 or, where GRUB2's features are not needed such as on a cloud appliance or virtual machine, Syslinux.

The full Fedora 19 feature list details all the enhancements made in Fedora 19 that are available for testing in the beta release. DVD and USB stick sized images are available to download from the Fedora pre-release page. In a brief test at The H, Fedora 19 Beta installed onto our test-bed system relatively easily, though the install process still has rough edges. Boot times were good and it appears to work well with The H's hardware selection.



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