Fedora 17 Alpha, code-named Beefy Miracle, was released yesterday (February 28). Made available for testing were Live CD images for the main edition, which uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment, the KDE edition and for the other Spins. Also released was a DVD installation image of the main edition, and a bfo image for network-based installs.
I have downloaded all available images and, so far, I have not been able to install any in a virtual environment. However, I do have the KDE Spin running on real hardware. Screen shots from that installation should follow in a separate post.
Like previous editions of Fedora, Fedora 17 will ship with several major feature enhancements. Some will be of interest only to enterprise users, while others will be mainly for desktop users. Other features will, of course, appeal to the needs of both enterprise and desktop users. Here is a list of the top features that desktop users should expect on Fedora 17 when the final stable version is released in May (2012):
- Interface bonding support for NetworkManager – Desktop users will be able to configure network interface bonding using NetworkManager. In addition, enterprise users will be able to configure IP-over-Infiniband, bridges and VLANs.
- Ext4 and 16 TB file systems – Users will be able to setup up ext4 file systems, the default file system in almost all Linux distributions, larger than 16 TB. Ok, how many desktop users will need this feature? Not me – not at this time anyway, but you never know who is out there doing fancy stuff.
- Dynamic firewall configuration – On Fedora 17, firewall configurations will be handled by firewalld, a daemon which will dynamically manage the firewall and apply configuration changes without restarting the whole firewall.
- Multitouch – All the foundational elements needed for multitouch on multitouch-capable hardware are in place. All that is needed now are the applications to take advantage of this feature.
- Network Zones – This feature will bring trust-level classification to network connections, making it possible to apply different firewall profiles to network connections, depending on their trust level. The network zones that have so far being defined are shown in the image below. (Image taken from here.)
- Password quality checking – On Fedora 17, users will be able to set the quality or strength of system and user account passwords. Also, the system will be able to generate passwords that are pronounceable, not the usual jumble of alphanumeric and special characters that only a person with a magnetic memory can remember.
Want to test Fedora 17 Alpha yourself? Download installation images from here. Note that all my attempts to install this release in a virtual environment has, so far, not been successful. So download it if you are willing to install it on real hardware.