The Fedora Project announced the release of Fedora 14, codenamed Laughlin, on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. A week later than originally scheduled, the release is packed with bleeding edge features that have Linux users pretty excited. You can download the live CD now.
Virtual desktop, remote administration and cloud features
I put out a request for feedback on Twitter, and Dan, a Linux user, responded that he hadn’t tried Fedora 14 yet, “but after reading the article about virtualization and cloud stuff built into it, I want to try it.”
For virtual desktop users, the Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment (SPICE) is included, bringing “thin client” computing to life. SPICE can be used to connect to remote or local QEMU virtual machine instances, and handles 2D graphics acceleration, audio, and video streaming. A 64-bit software environment is recommended for the host, but the client can be either x86 or x86-64. The inclusion of SPICE is a good preview of desktop virtualization capabilities coming in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2.
For those interested in test-driving the features of Fedora 14, it is available on Amazon’s EC2. Until now, the most recent version of Fedora on EC2 was version 8.
Remote administration is enhanced with Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) via ipmiutil. For servers containing hardware with IPMI support, remotely management and administration is made easier with ipmiutil’s capabilities, which include features like Serial-over-LAN and identity LED manipulation.
JPEG handling, system admin, and developer features
Fedora 14 also features libjpegturbo, which offers significant time-savings for users when working with jpeg files. The developers say that the library “practically halves processing time on most systems,” and even older hardware users will see a boost.
For system admins a tech preview of systemd, a replacement for a Upstart and System V init, is included.
For developers, the GNU debugger, GDB is included and has been made more efficient by automatically generating the indexes it needs in advance in the debuginfo packages. Python 2.7 is included with increased efficiency in modules, some of which are now feature complete with their Python 3.1 equivalents. For Perl devs, Rakudo Star, a Parrot virtual-machine-based implementation of Perl 6 is included. Also, the D programming language is available.
Fedora 14 ships with GNOME 2.32, a transitional GNOME release. KDE 4.5, released in August, is also available in Fedora 14 with a new notification system and preliminary support for tiling in the KWin window manager.
A complete list of the features included in Fedora 14 shows that I’ve only shared the highlights here. We’d like to hear what your favorite features are, please leave your comments below.
For a first-hand look into Fedora 14, you can read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols review from ITworld, which gives a good idea of the release and reports some minor problems.