You may remember reading about our plans for Fedora 27 Server. The
working group decided not to release that at the same time as the
general F27 release, and instead provided a beta of Fedora 27
Modular Server. Based on feedback from that beta, they decided to
take a different approach, and the Modularity subproject is going
back to the drawing board.
Fortunately, there is a contingency plan: Fedora’s release
engineering team made a “classic” version of Fedora 27 Server —
very similar to F26 Server, but with F27’s updated package set. The
quality assurance ran this version through validation testing, and
it’s being released, so:
* You can now download Fedora 27 Server from the Get Fedora site.
This is the “classic” Fedora Server, without Modularity.
* The Modularity Working Group is going back to the drawing
board. Plans are still in progress, but it will likely produce a
separate package repository which will build on top of and coexist
with the traditional Fedora operating systems.
Modularity Past and Future
Modularity has a very straightforward mission: to enable Fedora to
deliver multiple versions of components on different lifecycles
across multiple base OS releases. It includes some other ideas
about improving packager and user experiences in the process, but
that’s the basic thing. Every Linux user has some things they want
to move quickly, and others they want to not worry about. Fedora
wants to give you that choice.
The approach in last summer’s “Boltron” and the recent beta
envisioned an entirely new distribution of Fedora software, with
the base operating system itself composed as a module. This offers
some interesting benefits — in particular, it keeps the build
dependencies of a piece of software well-defined and
well-contained. But it has a huge drawback: if some random piece of
software isn’t contained in a module, it wouldn’t be available on
that edition of Fedora at all. Also, the definition files for
modules were another layer of complication, and it became clear
that wouldn’t get to an acceptable level of available software for
So, the Modularity Working Group and Server Working Group together
decided, rather than offer users and early adopters another
iteration down that path, to release the traditional Fedora 27
Server you can find above and take a different approach. The teams
are still working out what exactly that will look like, but the
most promising involves adding an entirely separate package
repository which can be layered on top of traditional Fedora,
rather than building a new modular base operating system. This will
make it easy for users to opt-in when they want to, and greatly
reduces the complication for packagers.
“First” is one of the core foundations of the Fedora Project. At
the leading edge of innovation, every step Fedora takes advances
the state of the art, even when it’s not directly successful. And,
if every try succeeds, Fedora’s not trying hard enough. Sometimes
experiments produce negative results. That’s okay — the project
learns even when trying a path that doesn’t work out, and it
iterates to something better. That process is happening now, and if
you’re interested, please join the conversation on the devel
mailing list or watch for updates on the Fedora Community Blog in
the Modularity Category.
Fedora Project Leader