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The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration project, today announced the availability of Fedora 11, the latest version of its free open source operating system. The community's eleventh release includes the broadest feature set to date, spotlights developments in software management and sound, improves key virtualization components and introduces Fedora Community, a portal project beta.
"The Fedora 11 release showcases a feature set that shows the strength and diversity of Fedora contributors' interests in the evolution of open source," said Paul Frields, Fedora Project Leader at Red Hat. "We've built several of the major features on the foundations established in previous releases, showing that the open source development model can provide a compelling mixture of steady advancement and rapid innovation."
The Fedora Project aims to release a new complete, general-purpose, no-cost operating system approximately every six months. The development cycle is purposely restricted to six months to encourage rapid innovation and collaboration between thousands of Fedora project contributors worldwide. Fedora now has almost 29,000 project members.
Fedora 11 's feature set includes substantial improvements in virtualization, including an upgraded interactive console, a redesigned virtual machine guest creation wizard and better security with SELinux support for guests. There are also numerous desktop improvements such as automatic font and content handler installation using PackageKit, better fingerprint reader support, and an updated input method system for supporting international language users.
The foundational work for Fedora 11's kernel mode setting feature was completed as part of Fedora 10, which supported a small subset of ATI Radeon-based video cards. The feature is designed to shorten boot times and present a cleaner interface to users by letting the kernel do the work of initially displaying a graphical screen during the startup process. Additionally, the release supports a much broader selection of ATI cards, as well as many Intel and Nvidia cards. Similarly, the PackageKit feature for font installation builds directly on a design that premiered in Fedora 9 and was refined further in Fedora 10. Fedora 11 also includes many brand-new features, such as the ext4 file system and the MinGW cross compilation system.
Premiering alongside this release is the beta test of Fedora Community, a portal-style project that aims to streamline the interface that Fedora community members use to contribute code and interact with the community. The portal features a user-friendly, customizable dashboard that tracks contributions, conversations and updates in a simple graphical interface. The beta test of the portal focuses on software package maintainers; community members will have an opportunity to comment and improve Fedora Community as it develops throughout this year.
"The Fedora Community portal project is going to provide new ways to engage our community members and improve the way they collaborate," said Frields. "The portal project uses a new web framework, built on best-of-breed open source components, that has the capability to provide a more real-time experience. Ultimately, we intend for this portal to become a single, simple and usable online tool our community members can customize to produce and organize their Fedora contributions."
For more information on Fedora 11, to download the distribution or to join this community effort, please visit http://fedoraproject.org/.
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