The Fedora Project is excited to announce the beta release of Fedora 21, the first Fedora release to embrace the Fedora.next initiative, which in part seeks to better meet user needs by delivering three distinct variants. Fedora 21 is a Linux-based operating system developed and maintained by the Fedora Project’s diverse global community as part of the project's mission of advancing free software; it deviates from other Fedora releases, however, by delivering not one, but three flavors of Fedora 21 Beta:
After 10 successful years of operating system innovation, the Fedora Project is intentionally examining every possible means of improvement for the next decade of Fedora; this is the driving force behind Fedora.next. Fedora 21 Beta offers the first tangible variants of this initiative with Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation, with the expectation that Fedora will become even more modular and flexible over the next few releases in order to adapt to whatever future needs the world throws at Fedora and our users.
Each of these distinct variants addresses a specific set of use cases, but all are built from a base set of packages that includes the Linux kernel, RPM, yum, systemd, and Anaconda to name a few. It’s also important to point out that the Fedora 21 Beta has been patched to close the Shellshock vulnerability within GNU Bash.
So what can you expect from each Fedora 21 Beta flavor?
Fedora 21 Cloud Beta
Starting with Fedora 21, Fedora Cloud is a top-level variant and includes images for use in private cloud environments (like OpenStack) as well as AMIs for use on Amazon Web Services and a new image that is streamlined for running Docker containers. Key features for Fedora Cloud 21 Beta include:
Modular Kernel Packaging for the Cloud – There’s no reason to include drivers for hardware that doesn’t exist in the cloud, so Fedora 21 Cloud Beta has two kernel packages: one that contains the minimum modules for running in a virtual environment and a larger set for a more general installation. As a result, the Fedora 21 Cloud Beta image is 10 percent smaller than that of Fedora 20, allowing faster deployment.
Fedora Atomic Host – Emphasizing the tools and patterns delivered by Project Atomic for a streamlined operating system to run Docker containers, Fedora 21 Cloud Beta is the first to offer an “Atomic” Fedora Host, which includes an image composed with rpm-ostree that allows for rollbacks as one unit, making update management much easier and offering a compelling solution for hosting Docker containers. The Fedora Atomic Host carries a minimal set of packages optimized for running containers.
Fedora 21 Server Beta
Fedora Server is designed for running featured application stacks, making it an excellent option for organizations looking for a platform upon which to run Web/file/database servers or even Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Fedora 21 Server Beta offers:
New Management Features – Specifically, Fedora 21 Server Beta introduces three new technologies to make it easier to install discrete infrastructure services:
Rolekit – A Role-based deployment and management toolkit to implement a specific server role (like a Web or database server).
Cockpit – A remote interface for configuring and monitoring servers.
OpenLMI – A remote management system built atop DMTF-CIM and used for scripting management functions across machines, querying capabilities and monitoring system events.
Domain Controller Server Role – One of the roles offered through Fedora Server 21 Beta’s role deployment mechanism (Rolekit), the Domain Controller Server Role packages up the freeIPA integrated Identity and Authentication solution, providing centralized authentication, authorization and account information by storing user, group, host and object data as needed to manage network security.
Fedora 21 Workstation Beta
Offering a reliable, user-friendly and powerful operating system for laptops and PCs, Fedora 21 Workstation Beta delivers a stable and flexible development platform for application developers from students to hobbyists to corporate coders. Fedora 21 Workstation Beta features:
GNOME 3.14 – The latest GNOME desktop, which includes integration of Picasaweb and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) media server support for increased interoperability with other media devices and much, much more.
Wayland Technology Preview – A next-generation display server positioned as a possible X.org replacement in the future, Wayland offers a more modern windowing system for Fedora 21 Beta and will likely serve as the default in the next iteration of Fedora Workstation.
DevAssistant – A tool to help developers set up project environments so that they can focus on code and code alone.
As always, the Fedora Project Team wants to hear from you – let us know about any bugs or problems that you encounter, as your feedback will only help us improve Fedora 21. Common issues can be found on the Fedora 21 common bugs page (please read this on how to effectively report bugs).
If you are interested in being more deeply involved with Fedora, we want you on our team! You can contribute to the Fedora Project in many ways other than bug reporting – the Fedora Project is always looking for translators, testers, content creators, marketers, designers and so much more. Whatever your skillset, we would love to have you involved – find out more at http://join.fedoraproject.org.
The Fedora Project is a Red Hat-sponsored community project. For more information about Fedora, please visit the Fedora Project homepage.