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The Fedora Project is proud to announce the beta release of its free cutting-edge Linux operating system, Fedora 17, code-named “Beefy Miracle.” Fedora offers the latest open source technology integrated into a Linux distribution that anyone can freely download, use, modify, and redistribute. We believe this beta release certainly lives up to its beefy namesake, with numerous features and enhancements on the desktop and under the hood, as well as updates to several developer tools for those who can't wait to cook up the next great open source project.

The Fedora Project is a worldwide community of more than 20,000 collaborators that help advance the cause of software freedom. These contributors interact to create a vibrant, growing community dedicated to the advancement of free and open source software. The most anticipated product of this community is Fedora, the operating system released by the project approximately every six months. Fedora represents the culmination of work by hundreds of engineers and thousands of contributors from many different locations and many different walks of life.

Software enthusiasts are encouraged to download the release and help identify items that need attention before Fedora 17 becomes generally available. With the beta release, the software is relatively stable, but real-world use and reports from users helps identify any lingering bugs so they can be addressed before wide distribution.

If you’re looking to try out the latest in free and open source software, you’ll find it in the Fedora 17 beta release. Check out just a small portion of our list of fresh-from-the-oven features:

On the Desktop:

  • GNOME 3.4 introduces many user experience improvements, including new search capabilities in the Activities Overview, improved themes, and enhancements to the Documents and Contacts application. A new application, GNOME-boxes, provides easy access to virtual machines.
  • GIMP 2.8, the newest version of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) brings new improvements such as single-window mode, layer groups, and on-canvas text editing.

For Developers:

  • A pre-release of Juno, the release of the Eclipse SDK expected in June 2012, including the Eclipse Platform, the Eclipse Java Development Tools (JDT), and the Eclipse Plugin Development Environment (PDE), which is schedule for update in the final version upon upstream completion.
  • GCC 4.7.x as primary compiler, as well as a rebuild of Fedora with this version of GCC.
  • Java 7 (and OpenJDK7) is the default Java runtime and Java build toolset.
  • Ruby 1.9.3, the latest stable version of the Ruby language, which has significant increases in speed and reliability.
  • PHP 5.4, the latest PHP stack.
  • Erlang has been updated to the R15 release.

Under the Hood and In the Cloud

  • OpenStack, a collection of services that can be used to set up and run cloud compute and storage infrastructure, has been updated to the latest release, 2012.1 (Essex), which includes two new components: the Horizon web interface, and Quantum networking.
  • The Cluster stack includes numerous and significant updates for both high availability and load balancing applications.
  • Firewalld is now the default firewall solution in Fedora, providing the ability to dynamically manage and apply changes to firewall configurations without restarting the firewall.
  • Includes Linux kernel 3.3, with improved btrfs and ext4 filesystems, GMA (poulsbo) graphics and Broadcom wireless chipset support, and a large number of bug fixes and other enhancements.

Download the beta and please give us your feedback. And, keep an eye out for the general availability of Fedora 17 later this year. To download the beta release for Fedora 17, please visit http://fedoraproject.org/get-prerelease. For more information on these and other Fedora 17 features, see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/17/FeatureList.

The Fedora Project is a Red Hat-sponsored community project. For more information about Fedora, please visit here.

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