On Thursday November 8th (about 3:00 PM GMT), Fedora 8 will go live to
the world, and you will be able to download it at
The bits are all finalized, the mirrors are synced, and the torrents are
primed. But until we flip the switch, you will have to tide yourself
over with this -- my personal Fedora 8 release announcement.
Fortunately, it's pretty long, so if you read it all, Fedora 8 might be
released by the time you have finished!
Fedora Core 1 was released on November 6, 2003. That is almost exactly
4 years ago to the date. There are a lot of people reading this who
were users, developers, or both of Fedora Core 1. I wasn't even a part
of the Fedora community back then -- I remember reading about it on
Slashdot and thinking "Red Hat would be a fun place to work some day".
I have been part of the Fedora Project for a little less than 2 years,
but I know enough of the people who have been there since day 1 to
recognize the tremendous strides that have been taken between version 1
and version 8 of this distribution.
Our community has grown, both the folks within Red Hat who are lucky
enough to spend their days working on Fedora and the folks in our
volunteer community who give so generously of their time and talents.
We have seen Fedora Extras go from an idea to a reality to such a
tremendous success that it led to the complete restructuring of Fedora's
We have seen the emergence of infrastructure and translation teams that
are world-class in their abilities and achievements.
We have seen many of the brightest software engineers anywhere, some as
Red Hat employees and some as volunteers, continue to produce innovative
work with an "upstream first" mentality that benefits not just Red Hat
and Fedora but the entire free software community.
The Fedora Project on the whole -- not just the Linux distribution that
it produces -- today is consistent, reliable, and moving in the right
direction. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of that.
One of the goals that we specifically chose for Fedora 8 was to use it
as the release that gets us back on track in terms of predictability. We
picked two dates -- Halloween and May Day -- that are 6 months apart,
and for the foreseeable future it is Fedora's goal to release as close
to those two dates as possible.
Fedora 7 was released on May 31st. Fedora 8 arrives on November 8th.
In the software world, getting within one week of a date that was picked
six months earlier is considered successful, and I think that everyone
in our development and contributor community should be proud of the fact
that we put together a quality release that includes lots of new
features in exactly 23 weeks.
Fedora's development priorities tend to come in cycles. If you think
back to the Fedora Core 6 release cycle, you will remember that a
significant portion of the engineering goals for that release were
driven by the knowledge that Fedora Core 6 would be the upstream for Red
Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Everyone knew going in that Fedora Core 6 would
be more "corporate" than "community". And that was ok, because we also
knew that once Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was released, the Fedora
Project would be able to spend its next several releases focused on its
community-related priorities. Fedora 9 will probably start to see the
pendulum swing back in the other direction, as Red Hat Enterprise Linux
6 starts to materialize on the horizon.
Fedora 7 and Fedora 8 need to be thought of together in that context --
the community's goals and priorities being paramount. The overarching
goal for both of these releases has been in the realm of custom spins.
We debuted this model in Fedora 7 with pungi, livecd-creator, and
revisor. Fedora 8 has expanded this further, and has proven the
hypothesis of "if we give people the tools, they will come".
Fedora 8 brings with it a developer spin, a games spin, and an
electronic lab spin, in addition to the GNOME and KDE desktop spins that
were first part of Fedora 7.
Additionally, we have seen organizations like Creative Commons use the
Fedora build tools in the past year as the basis for their own custom
Linux projects, built using Fedora as its foundation.
There are a tremendous number of new features in Fedora 8 -- too many
for me to list here. But there is an excellent release summary on the
Fedora Project wiki that I encourage you to read if you want more
specifics about Fedora 8.
If you are interested in running Fedora 8 entirely off of a USB key, we
have an article in Red Hat Magazine that can help you.
We also have a series of interviews with some of the developers who
worked on these features, which offer interesting insights.
If you check out my blog, you can see our ongoing "lesser-known Fedora
And finally, for those of you who can't get enough and want to know what
is being planned for Fedora 9, I am here to help.
My sincere thanks to all of our developers, users, testers, writers,
translators, and ambassadors -- in short, our Community, wherever you
happen to live or work. You are Fedora. None of this would exist
Fedora Project Leader