The Fedora 20 "Heisenbug" alpha release has arrived with a preview of
the latest fantastic, free, and open source technology currently under
development. Take a peek inside:
*** What is the Alpha Release? ***
The Alpha release contains all the exciting features of Fedora 20 in a
form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA
team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we
make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete and
bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The
final release of Fedora 20 is expected in early December.
We need your help to make Fedora 20 the best release yet, so please
take some time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure the
things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please
report it – every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience
for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Together, we can make Fedora a
rock-solid distribution. We have a culture of coordinating new features
and pushing fixes upstream as much as feasible and your feedback will
help improve not only Fedora but Linux and free software on the whole.
(See the end of this announcement for more information on how to help.)
*** Changes ***
Fedora prides itself on bringing cutting-edge technologies to users of
open source software around the world, and this release continues that
tradition. No matter what you do, Fedora 20 has the tools you need to
help you get things done.
To see how Fedora 20 is evolving from Fedora 19, see the accepted
== 10 Years of Fedora ==
The Fedora 20 release coincides nicely with the 10th anniversary of
Fedora. The first Fedora release (then called Fedora Core 1) came out
on November 6, 2003.
Since then, the Fedora Project has become an active and vibrant
community that produces nearly a dozen "spins" that are tailor made for
desktop users, hardware design, gaming, musicians, artists, and early
== ARM as a Primary Architecture ==
While Fedora has supported a number of hardware architectures over the
years, x86/x86_64 has been the default for the majority of Fedora users
and for the Linux community in general.
ARM, however, has been making massive strides. It already dominates the
mobile market, and is becoming a go-to platform for hobbyists and
makers, and is showing enormous promise for the server market as well.
In keeping with Fedora's commitment to innovation, the Fedora community
has been pushing to make ARM a primary architecture to satisfy the
needs of users and developers targeting the ARM platform.
*** Maturity and Advanced Features ***
Sometimes it's not the big new features that make a users' experience
better, it's the little enhancements or long-awaited tricky features
that really help make a new release the bee's knees.
=== NetworkManager Improvements ===
NetworkManager is getting several improvements in Fedora 20 that will
be welcome additions for power users and system administrators.
Users will now be able to add, edit, delete, activate, and de-activate
network connections via the nmcli command line tool, which will make
life much easier for non-desktop uses of Fedora.
NetworkManager is also getting support for bonding interfaces and
bridging interfaces. Bonding and bridging are used in many enterprise
setups and are necessary for virtualization and fail-over scenarios.
=== No Default Sendmail, Syslog ===
Fedora 20 removes some services that many users find unnecessary,
though (of course) they will remain available as installable packages
for users who might need them.
The systemd journal now takes the place as the default logging
solution, having been tested and able to manage persistent logging in
place of syslog.
Also, Sendmail will no longer be installed by default, as most Fedora
installs have no need of a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA).
== Cloud and Virtualization Improvements ==
The Fedora 20 release continues the Fedora tradition of adopting and
integrating leading edge technologies used in cloud computing. This
release includes a number of features that will make working with
virtualization and cloud computing much easier.
* OS Installer Support for LVM Thin Provisioning: LVM has introduced
thin provisioning technology, which provides greatly improved
snapshot functionality in addition to thin provisioning capability.
This change will make it possible to configure thin provisioning
during OS installation.
* VM Snapshot UI with virt-manager: This change will make taking VM
snapshots much easier. qemu and libvirt have all the major pieces in
place for performing safe VM snapshots/checkpoints, however there
isn't any simple discoverable UI. This feature will track adding that
UI to virt-manager, and any other virt stack bits that need to be
fixed/improved. This includes adding functionality to libvirt to
support deleting and rebasing to external snapshots.
* Role based access control with libvirt: Libvirt role based access
control will allow fine grained access control like 'user FOO can
only start/stop/pause vm BAR', but for all libvirt APIs and objects.
* ARM on x86 with libvirt/virt-manager: This change will fix running
ARM VMs on x86 hosts using standard libvirt tools libvirt virsh,
virt-manager and virt-install.
== Developer Goodness ==
As always, Fedora 20 will include several new features and updated
packages that will be of interest to all manner of developers.
* Ruby on Rails 4.0: This update will keep Fedora up-to-date and will
ensure that the current Ruby on Rails developers stay with us as they
will get support for system-packaged Ruby on Rails of the latest
version. Apart from that, Rails 4.0 also bring improved
functionality, speed. security and better modularization.
* Perl 5.18: Perl 5.18 will be shipped in Fedora 20. Perl doesn't get
as much attention these days, but it's still a vital part of many
production and development environments. Fedora will deliver the most
up-to-date Perl release so its users will be able to stay current
with the latest Perl.
*** Desktop Environments and Spins ***
= GNOME 3.10 =
Fedora 20 Alpha will have a preview of GNOME 3.10, GNOME 3.9.90. GNOME
3.10 will have a number of new applications and new features that will
please GNOME-lovers in the Fedora 20 release. This release includes a
new music application (gnome-music), a new maps application
(gnome-maps), a revamp for the system status menu, and Zimbra support
There is also preliminary support in this release for running
GNOME-shell as a Wayland compositor, though Wayland may not be in the
default packages for the final Fedora 20 release.
= KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.11 =
The Fedora KDE SIG has rebased to KDE 4.11 for Fedora 20. This release
includes faster Nepomuk indexing, improvements to Kontact, KScreen
integration in KWin, Metalink/HTTP support for KGet, and much more.
= Spins =
Spins are alternate versions of Fedora. In addition to various desktop
environments for Fedora, spins are also available as tailored
environments for various types of users via hand-picked application
sets or customizations.
To see all of the Official Fedora 20 Release Spins, visit the Fedora 20
Release Spins page:
Nightly composes of alternate Spins are available here:
*** Note on Performance ***
Fedora development releases use a kernel with extra debug information
to help us understand and resolve issues faster; however, this can have
a significant impact on performance. Refer to the kernel debug strategy
page for more details:
You can boot with slub_debug=- or use the kernel from nodebug
repository to disable the extra debug info.
*** Issues and Details ***
Heisenbug Alpha is a testing release. To report issues encountered
during testing, contact the Fedora QA team via the test mailing list or
in #fedora-qa on freenode.
As testing progresses, common issues are tracked on the Fedora wiki:
For tips on reporting a bug effectively, read "How to File a Bug
You can join the Fedora QA team mailing list here:
** Contributing ***
There are many ways to contribute beyond bug reporting. You can help
translate software and content, test and give feedback on software
updates, write and edit documentation, design and do artwork, help with
all sorts of promotional activities, and package free software for use
by millions of Fedora users worldwide. To get started, visit