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Spicy Fedora 14 Adds New Linux Flavor

Polishing the Plumbing

  • September 28, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner
Sean Michael Kerner

The Red Hat sponsored Fedora Linux community distribution is out this week with the first beta of the Fedora 14 release. The new distribution updates key applications and introduces new security and virtualization capabilities as well as support for the latest open source programming languages.

"A lot of the features in Fedora 14 are more under-the-covers type plumbing that needed to be done," Jared Smith, Fedora Project Leader, told InternetNews.com. "There are not a lot of new desktop-centric features in this release."

One new feature that desktop users may benefit from is the SPICE virtualization support included in Fedora 14. SPICE, the Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment, is technology that Red Hat gained as part of its acquisition of Qumranet in 2008.

"Red Hat spent the last couple of years re-implementing things that the SPICE folks at Qumranet had written, pushing changes upstream to various communities," Smith said. "The goal was to make it work better from a technical standpoint and also to be a better player in open source infrastructure."

Virtualization on the whole is improved in Fedora 14 as well. Smith noted that there are some improvements in the networking stack within KVM. There are also improvements to virtualization tools including, virt-manager and virt-shell.

"They're incremental improvements rather than revolutionary changes," Smith said. "It's a maturation of the KVM platform and the tools."

Programmers will also benefit from new additions in Fedora 14 with the inclusion of Python 2.7, the NetBeans 6.9 IDE and new memory debugging tools. There is also support for emerging programming languages including the D programming language and a Perl 6 implementation.

"A lot of Perl fans have been looking forward to Rakudo Star support in Fedora 14," Smith said. "Rakudo Star is the first really usable implementation of the Perl 6 specification. There is lots of work still being done there, but it is a usable implementation."

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