Fedora 11 Alpha came out a month ago, 2 days later than the initial schedule, and it has recently entered its “Feature Freeze” state.
Codenamed Leonidas, Fedora 11 is due to be released on May 25th and it includes a large number of new features (most of them have already been approved).
I’ve been using Fedora for more than 5 years and I often run Rawhide (Fedora’s development branch) to preview some of the future improvements. I couldn’t have missed this Alpha release, so I installed it for testing (first, as a guest OS in VirtualBox and then on my laptop).
Anaconda has been rewritten to address several issues and to improve partition management and block device encryption. A new pyparted module is currently being developed to be used in Anaconda’s new storage configuration code.
The new default file system is EXT4. Large file support and journal checksumming are just a few improvements over the old EXT3.
The installation itself went smoothly, I chose the default package selection and checked the “Customize later” button.
The Fedora project team has worked a lot over the years to improve user experience. This release makes no exception. All major desktop environments have been upgraded (KDE 4.2, GNOME 2.26, XFCE 4.6), several applications were updated (Firefox 3.1, Thunderbird 3) and lots of other features have been improved (VolumeControl, PulseAudio, FingerPrint).
The developers were not forgotten. Python 2.6, GCC 4.4 and NetBeans 6.5 have been accepted and implemented in Fedora 11.
An important new feature is the new architecture support. All 32-bit kernels are now built for i586 by default. x86_64 kernels will be installed on all compatible hardware (even on 32-bit systems) while PAE kernels will only be installed by default on older hardware (PII-P4).
I have a 64-bit CPU on my laptop, so the 64-bit kernel was automatically installed.
Fedora 11 Alpha is fast and incredibly stable. I’ve only had some YUM issues and a couple of minor crashes. There are still more than 2 months before the final release is out and plenty of features to be 100% completed (e.g. 20SecondStartup).
I’m sure Fedora 11 will be an amazing release, making user experience even more pleasant.
Fedora 11 Beta released.