Fedora 16 Aims for the Cloud
There are many things to explore on the Linux Planet. This week, a new Fedora release provides plenty of items to examine. The new Fedora release isn't the only new open source release this week, as the Linux Planet welcomes new KDE and Firefox releases as well.
1. Fedora 16 Verne
Red Hat's Fedora community Linux project is one of the most widely used Linux distributions on the planet. It is also often one of the first to debut new upstream features to its community, and that's once again the case with Fedora 16.
Fedora 16 includes the new GNOME 3.2 Linux desktop, providing users with a refined GNOME Shell that benefits from multiple stability and functionality improvements over GNOME 3, which debuted in Fedora 15. While GNOME is in the default spin of Fedora 16, KDE, LXDE and Xfce desktop spins are available as well.
On the server side, Fedora 16 is the first Fedora release to include OpenStack.
"Fedora can be used to build a highly available and scalable compute/storage cloud," Fedora 16's OpenStack features page states. "By bringing together the excellent work of the fast-growing OpenStack community and Fedora's superb libvirt/KVM integration, Fedora can hope to attract yet more users interested in building an IaaS system."
While Fedora now supports OpenStack, there is now support for the Red Hat sponsored Aeolus Conductor effort as well. Aeolus is not a competitor to OpenStack; rather, it is a cloud orchestration tools used to create and manage cloud instances across multiple types of clouds.
There is also an interesting virtualization feature that provides a lock manager in Fedora 16 for virtual machines.
"The virtual machine lock manager is a daemon which will ensure that a virtual machine's disk image cannot be written to by two QEMU/KVM processes at the same time," Fedora's wiki stated. "It provides protection against starting the same virtual machine twice, or adding the same disk to two different virtual machines."
2. New Linux 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 Kernels
While much of the attention on the Linux Planet is often focused on new leading edge kernels in the 3.x series, work continues to maintain the 2.6.x series.
This week, Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman released of the 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 stable kernels.
With the 2.6.33.x kernel, the new 184.108.40.206 release will be the last update.
"Note, this is the LAST 2.6.33 kernel that will be released," Kroah-Hartman wrote in a mailing list posting. "It is now end-of-life, please move to the 3.0 kernel for your real time needs."
The 2.6.33 kernel was first released back in May of 2010 and introduced the Ceph and LogFS filesystems to the mainline Linux kernel.
3. KDE 4.7.3
While other Linux desktops seem to advance in a somewhat unpredictable release cycle, KDE has established a stable monthly release cycle for updates.
The November KDE update is the third in the KDE 4.7 series and provides incremental bugfixes and security updates. Additionally this month, KDE developers also took specific aim at the Nepomuk semantic framework, providing performance improvements.
4. ArchBang Linux 2011.11
In recent years, the Arch Linux distribution has grown increasingly popular. The Archbang Linux distribution builds on that popularity with an ease-to-use arch build that leveraged the OpenBox window manager.
The new release deliver better font rendering providing a new look for users.
The ArchBang 2011.11 release also marks the end of the current naming system for ArchBang.
"As of next year, the name format will change from ArchBang YYYY.MM to ArchBang SEASON-YYYY so the next release will be ArchBang Spring-2012 on March 21st 2012," ArchBang developer Willensky Aristide wrote in his release announcement.
5. Firefox 8
This week also marked the debut of Mozilla's Firefox 8 web browser. While most new Firefox releases are focused around the new things that are being provided, many users will first notice the things being taken away.
With Firefox 8, Mozilla is disabling add-ons that were installed by third-party programs. The general idea is to help make Firefox more secure.
"We understand that there are legitimate use cases for some third-party add-on installations, and that those developers have done the right thing by asking users to opt in to the add-on, following our performance best practices, and providing a good user experience," Justin Scott wrong in a Mozilla blog post. "Unfortunately, the extent of unwanted add-ons installed through these methods has caused us to take action, but we're confident that users who truly want such add-ons to be installed will opt in when Firefox prompts them."