A peek at Fedora Rawhide

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Rawhide is the development version of Fedora which includes the latest upstream packages. At some point in the Fedora release schedule a fork (called branched release) is created to become the next stable Fedora and the rawhide version continues on its own.

As of today Fedora Rawhide contains packages that will be part of both Fedora 19 and Fedora 20. If you want to take a peek at the next Fedora version, Rawhide is what you need, but bare in mind though that it can be unstable so in the event of a system crash you should know what to do to recover it.

There are several ways to install or switch to Rawhide, I chose to upgrade a Fedora 18 VM with yum using the official instructions:

yum install fedora-release-rawhide
yum-config-manager --disable fedora updates updates-testing
yum update yum
yum --releasever=rawhide distro-sync --nogpgcheck

The default mirrorlist / baseurl configuration for Rawhide didn’t work for me, so I had to manually edit /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-rawhide.repo and modify the URL:

[rawhide]
name=Fedora - Rawhide - Developmental packages for the next Fedora release
failovermethod=priority
baseurl=ftp://ftp.mirrorservice.org/sites/dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/development/rawhide/x86_64/os/
enabled=1
gpgcheck=0
gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-$basearch file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-$basearch

After updating all packages I triggered a restart but the machine didn’t boot anymore. I had to temporarily boot an older (F18) kernel until a newer version of the latest (3.9-based) kernel came out which fixed the error for me.

One other issue I encountered was with the X server. Fedora Rawhide ships with Xorg 1.14 which is not supported by the latest VirtualBox 4.2.10 so attempting to install the guest additions will fail and so will the X session. Fortunately Fedora includes native support for the Gnome shell software rendering, so as long as you have a capable CPU you should be able to run X and Gnome 3 just fine.

The current version of Rawhide includes features from the upcoming Fedora 19, so if you’re a developer you might be interested in OpenJDK8 8, Ruby 2.0 or PHP 5.5. Python still ships as 2 separate packages to accommodate both 2.7.3 and 3.3 branches compatibility.

For desktop enthusiasts there’s Gnome 3.8 (which brings a new Gnome Classic session), Mate 1.6 and KDE 4.10. Sysadmins should look into the new BIND 10 that delivers both DNS and DHCP services, MariaDB which becomes the default in Fedora 19 (replacing MySQL) and the enhanced systemd daemon.

Fedora Rawhide

Fedora 19 Features

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