Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

Summary: Fedora, always a leading cutting edge Linux distribution, has a new release with major improvements in cloud-support, virtualization, and virtual desktop infrastructure.

SHARE:

Fedora 16, Verne, is pretty but GNOME 3.2 isn't that useful.

Fedora 16, Verne, is pretty but GNOME 3.2 isn't that useful.

If you want to see the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), you need only no farther than Red Hat's community Linux distribution, Fedora. In its brand new release, Fedora 16, Verne, Fedora comes with multiple cloud and virtualization improvements.

Of course, what most Fedora users, as opposed to RHEL system administrators, will be interested in is that Fedora now supports GNOME 3.2 as its default desktop. Good luck with that. For me, GNOME 3.2, like GNOME 3.0 before it, is a failed interface. I'm not the only one who doesn't care for the GNOME 3.x line. Linus Torvalds, Linux's founder, finds GNOME 3.x unusable as well.

Fortunately, you're not stuck with GNOME 3.x. Fedora 16 also comes with the far superior KDE 4.7 interface. One area where both desktop Linux fans and system administrators may find equally interesting is that Fedora includes an advanced version of Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE)-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

While Red Hat doesn't plan on fighting it out with Ubuntu Unity or Windows 7 for the traditional desktops or Citrix or Microsoft on VDIs, you can use SPICE, which depends on server-based KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine), to run VDI thin-client desktops. SPICE's new features include USB port sharing between guest operating systems, and audio volume messages between guest and client.

In addition, Fedora now includes Virtual Machines Lock Manager to protect users from starting the same virtual machine twice or adding the same disk to two different virtual machines. It also now includes Virt-manager Guest Inspection. This allows read-only browsing of guest file-systems and the Windows Registry. Fedora also has better virtual networking support. Put it all together and you have everything you need for using Fedora as the basis for a thin-client desktop system.

On the cloud side, Fedora offers the following goodies:

  • Aeolus, a cross-cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, which consists of a web-based user interface and tools for managing cloud instances across heterogeneous clouds.
  • OpenStack, another IaaS platform, which takes form as a collection of services for setting up and running a cloud compute and storage infrastructure.
  • Pacemaker-cloud, which provides application service high availability for cloud environments.
  • HekaFS, formerly CloudFS, is a cloud-ready version of GlusterFS, which extends the file-system to be suitable for deployment by a cloud provider by adding in stronger authentication and authorization, encryption, and multi-tenancy. GlusterFS, by the by, is being acquired by Red Hat.

When you look at all these improvements in Fedora's virtualization and cloud support, it's easy to see that when Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst recently told me that VMware, not Microsoft or Ubuntu, would Red Hat's biggest rival by 2016. The proof is in Fedora. RHEL is headed for an ever greater role as not just a leading server operating system, but as the foundation for virtual machines and clouds as well.

Related Stories:

Red Hat's biggest enemy? VMware

Red Hat buys Gluster storage company, OpenStack support included

Red Hat invites users to help create the next Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat CEO thinks the desktop is becoming a legacy application

Fedora 15's five best features

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

21 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    I don't think that the reference of VMware being an 'enemy' to RHEL/Fedora is really all that accurate. Perhaps they'll be competitors, but implying any kind of enmity is a bit much.

    By the way, this is me (feel free to reply there, or not, if you like): https://plus.google.com/u/0/107589895345000267917
    ArchKaine
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    There are two additional desktops LXDE or Xfce as alternates to Gnome and KDE.
    daikon
  • Too much cutting edge for me....

    ...plus only 13 months of security updates. Which makes it effectively more of a toy than a serious operating system.

    On the desktop environment: Xfce is the new Gnome Classic! Which is why I use nothing else, on any distro. :-)
    pjotr123
    • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

      @pjotr123 You said it! Xfce is the new GNOME 2 and will only get better with more people using it. ;-)
      statuskwo5
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    I've been running 16 beta for a couple weeks. Gnome 3 takes some getting used to, but I actually find I work faster than I used to since it requires less mousing around. I did add some extensions to make it do some things I missed, but only at work. At home, I just use the generic Gnome 3 shell. Overall, I am happy with the upgrade from Fedora 14.
    ncted
    • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

      @ncted I did try KDE, but I found it sluggish, even on my Core i7 laptop with 4GB of RAM and a fast SSD drive. Xfce is a better alternative to Gnome 3 than KDE.
      ncted
  • Why do Linux organizations waste time on the desktop?

    Yet another distro for the desktop. Nice idea, but a waste of effort since according to the most recent polls Linux desktop is down to a bit over 1% of the market.

    Since the desktop is supposedly dead according to Linux pundits, why waste time on 1% of a dying market with virtually no hope of winning?

    Why not put the effort into something that makes sense like Servers (depending on your source ranging from 20% to 100% of the market) or something good for tablets?

    At least those two markets show promise, even though Apple is kicking Android manufacturers profit margins out the door. (Apple controls 4% of the mobile phone market and accounts for over 50% of the profit)

    One really wonders about the futility of the desktop, yet these teams keep pumping out doomed versions day after day after day after day after day.
    Cynical99
    • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

      @Cynical99 How does Apple over charging their customers equate to 'kicking Android manufacturers'? Just because Android makers don't rip off customers is no reason they should stop making a reasonable profit on reasonably priced products.<br><br>As to continuing to making a Linux desktop, you need to realize Linux is not about money or market share, its about writing good code. Nobody cares how many people use it, we make it for ourselves. If some one else finds it useful, all the better.
      anothercanuck
      • You live in lala land

        @anothercanuck
        Try telling the Red Hat stockholders that Linux is just for the enjoyment of the technical crowd that makes it for themselves.

        No, there's a profit margin involved here, so one has to ask why waste time on the desktop.

        So far as your rather pathetic accusation that Apple over charges their customers, one has to wonder why Android manufacturers can't make a decent profit from the OS? Apple controls 4% of the market and 50+% of the profits.

        Perhaps handset makers will finally understand that their bet on Android only made their products commodities, or as the accountants call them, fungible assets. There is no way to tell them apart except by price, so the profit margin is nothing.

        If handset makers and Tablet makers want to differentiate themselves from the Android pack and make a decent profit margin, Android sure isn't the way.

        Over and over, Linux as a commodity is no way to serve the corporate owners. Companies only make money selling add-on products or services and only a few are successful.

        So again, why waste the time on the desktop? It was lost a decade ago and has no future for Linux. If it is for the personal enjoyment of a select techie few, Red Hat management should be canned.
        Cynical99
      • Linux users are real and want a desktop

        @Cynical99
        Quibble over percentages if you must, but desktop Linux users are real, and this is one of our options.
        Zogg
      • From lala land

        @Cynical99 Red Hat gave up on the consumer desktop some years ago, but they have not yet given up on the enterprise desktop:<br><br>"Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop<br><a href="http://www.redhat.com/rhel/desktop/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.redhat.com/rhel/desktop/</a><br><br>Also remember that Fedora is Red Hat's testbed for their RHEL server and desktop products. Their stable RHEL OS depends on Fedora. Similarly, SuSE's SLES ('S' means server) and SLED ('D' means desktop) depend on OpenSuSE. And, no, SuSE has not given up yet on SLED in the enterprise either. In fact, both Red Hat and SuSE are corporate supporters of LibreOffice. Lot's of Linux users in lala land are die hard Fedora and/or OpenSuSE users. It's their payback for helping to create a testbed that Red Hat and SuSE use for their stable enterprise Linux products.<br><br>@Cynical99 wrote:<br>"If handset makers and Tablet makers want to differentiate themselves from the Android pack and make a decent profit margin, Android sure isn't the way.<br><br>Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Rakuten (who very recently acquired Kobo) are using Android as a vehicle to increase (or maintain) their media and other sales. You've said it yourself, Android is the razor.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Real but insignificant

        @Zogg
        Real, but insignificant in percentage and financial terms. So, again, why waste the effort on the desktop?
        Cynical99
      • You're arguing bass-akwards!

        @Cynical99
        <i>"Real, but insignificant in percentage and financial terms."</i>

        Obviously <b>not</b>, then! Geez! Talk about a "straw man" argument...
        Zogg
    • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

      @Cynical99 according to http://www.worldometers.info/computers/ "there were over one billion PCs in use worldwide by the end of 2008" and "it is estimated that there will be more than two billion PCs in use by 2015"
      So 1% isn't all that little.
      adinas
      • And that's assuming that the &quot;one percent&quot; story is even accurate.

        @adinas
        I think he was indulging in casual "Linux bashing", and no more need be read into his statements.
        Zogg
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    I wouldn't call KDE "far superior" - far from it. More like bloated and resource heavy. Xfce is a better compromise for those who are disgruntled with Gnome 3/Shell.

    I also don't care for rpm-based Linux distros as they are a royal pain when dealing with package management. I'm sure RedHat is probably an exception but the last time I tried Fedora I loathed how unstable the package management system was.

    As for the cloud components in this distro - no thanks. I don't want RedHat or some faceless third parties getting unfiltered access to my sensitive data. They can shove this controlling technology down some other suckers throat and let them deal with it.

    I sincerely hope other distro developers are not going to follow RedHat's lead into the trecherous domain of cloud computing because if they did (and didn't offer a way out ~ ala Unity) then my days running GNU/Linux will be over.
    bitrate
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    Who cares about the Linux desktop, lets get back to servers, tablets, and smartphones where Linux matters.
    hayneiii@...
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    Fedora isn't just about the Desktop. It is also where Red Hat gets to preview lots of technologies that will end up in their server product. Oh, and Red Hat does actually sell a desktop product which numerous customers use for Financial and Scientific workstations amongst other uses.
    ncted
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    Video explaining some of Fedora 16's features! http://youtu.be/c-k8JEHKVAQ
    barnapkins
  • RE: Fedora 16, Red Hat's new community Linux distribution, arrives

    Okay I used it for several days and found Gnome 3 usable not Gnome 2 by any means but the reason I re-installed Mint was I couldn't get either VMware or Virtualbox to run because of free-software scripts or codex and hell I didn't get my stuff in Ubuntu-one cloud in Fedora 16. Honestly I liked Fedora and Gnome 3.x but I expect a lot from my computers and use them for a lot and I was first disappointed because Fedora 16 struck me as being like Arch where I had to install damn near everything and stuff still didn't work because of missing codexes and scripts because of free software concerns as well as extra repositories I had to install RPMFusion project...if you've used Fedora. Someone said you couldn't use Flash on Fedora....totally stoned;I installed and used Flash 11 on Fedora and much better than flash 10 trash that worked right on nothing;flash 11 is sweet.even on Fedora; Fedora would be great for an average user but not if you are pushing your computer and a few lines of codex and proprietary scripts make Fedora maybe the best distribution especially since Ubuntu went to the nobody wins desktop.
    Freedom9