Fedora Linux 18 beta finally released

Fedora Linux 18 beta finally released

Summary: The latest version of Fedora has just moved to beta and it includes the GNOME 2.x fork MATE desktop as well as the GNOME 3.x desktop.

MATE on Fedora
MATE makes the beta Fedora Linux desktop much easier to use... once you have it installed.

Fedora 18, Red Hat's community Linux distribution, may have an odd name, “Spherical Cow," but with the GNOME 2.x fork, MATE, it may also be the most user-friendly version in years.

Fedora, a cutting-edge Linux distribution, has long been known for championing the unpopular GNOME 3.x Linux desktop interface. While GNOME is showing signs of returning to a friendlier interface, other old-style GNOME 2.x like interfaces such as Cinnamon and MATE have grown in popularity. Now Fedora's developers, seeing which way the wind is blowing, is also supporting MATE.

According to the official Fedora MATE page, all of MATE's packages have been approved and pushed to Fedora 18. The Fedora MATE project owner, Dan Mashal, stated, "MATE is a traditional Gnome 2 like desktop user interface. Many users have expressed interest in this feature since Fedora 15 in which Fedora was switched from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3."

Mashal believes MATE is ideal "For the advanced user that doesn't want a cutting edge desktop and just wants to keep it simple this is perfect for them. The popularity of MATE Desktop is very high. It is one of the 2 choices of DE's [Desktop environments] for Linux Mint, which is one of the most popular Linux distros out right now."

MATE, however, is not installed by default. Fedora's MATE site says all you'll need to add it by running the following command as the root user from a terminal:

yum install @mate-desktop

and that may be true someday. For today, I'm finding installing MATE properly to be really painful and I don't have any easy way for you do it yourself. Hopefully, the Fedora team will get this fixed sooner than later. 

As always, this new Fedora release represents the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat's enterprise operating platform. It's the community research and development lab, where code changes and innovations often form the basis for other Red Hat open-source projects. This means Fedora always includes the newest open-source software. In turn, this means that Fedora isn't the most stable distribution. That makes Fedora ideal for developers pushing Linux's envelope but it may not be for someone who wants the most reliable platform.

So, Red Hat encourages hard-core Linux users "to download the beta release of Fedora 18, take it for a test drive and help identify items that need attention before Fedora 18 is delivered for general availability. With the beta release, the software is relatively stable, but real-world use and reports from users helps identify any lingering bugs so they can be addressed before it is more widely distributed."

The Fedora beta took its own sweet time in arriving. It should have shown up on September 18 but it was delayed no fewer than six times since then. This was because of major rewrite of Fedora's Anaconda software installation and update program. According to Robyn Bergeron, Red Hat's Fedora Project Leader, this "was a one-time aberration." The final release of Fedora 18 should now arrive on Jan. 8, 2013.

Beside the major Anaconda update and the inclusion of MATE, Fedora 18 will also include the following features:

For users everywhere:

  • Fedora 18 offers a brand-new version of the Gnome desktop, version 3.6, straight from the upstream development process. Updates have also been made to the KDE, XFCE and Sugar desktop environments.
  • Fedora's new installer user interface enhances the anaconda installer with improvements in ease of use and installation.

For developers:

  • This release includes several language updates, including the move to Perl 5.16, updating the Python 3 stack from 3.2 to 3.3, Rails 3.2 and updated D and Haskell programming environments.

For system administrators:

  • Fedora 18 includes the final release of Samba 4, and can be used on an Active Directory domain out of the box. An integrated, new native management software allows you to access data and server information easily.
  • OpenStack in Fedora 18 has been updated to Folsom, the most recent release by the OpenStack community. This Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform enables the creation and management of cloud infrastructure.
  • Eucalyptus 3.1, another IaaS platform, is available in Fedora for the first time, and includes the major components of Eucalyptus.
  • Storage System Management CLI tools simplify the user interface by providing unified abstraction and interface for multiple storage technologies, including lvm, btrfs and md raid.

Related Stories:

Topics: Linux, Cloud, Open Source, Servers, PCs

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


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Fedora Linux 18 beta finally released

    Kudos to the Fedora Team.
  • looks like the old windows 95

    this pic looks like the old windows 95., windows 8 still the best i think,
    • Windows 8 ?

      You can't polish a turd.
      Alan Smithie
      • Linux 1 percent vs Windows 8 40 million

        I think the public has spoken, Linux is not only a Turd but vomit too.
        • Dream on dude

          Do a King Canute and believe that meanwhile linux is everywhere.
          Alan Smithie
        • fedora best project

          fedora 18. whenever we come to know about the open source a large and wide field is open in front of us.. red hat wid fedotra is one of the biggest open source project . it will not nly provide a wide range of uses but also make it different from older verstion of fedora 18
          papa blogger
    • MATE=windows 95

      This is the MATE desktop environment and it is designed for people who can't let go of the Win95 style desktop. Most of these users are grumpy old men who don't like change.

      The default desktop on Fedora 18 is GNOME 3.6 and it is highly innovative, modern and productive. Do yourself a favor and check it out at http://www.gnome.org/news/2012/09/gnome-3-6-released/.
  • Like the title says, Steven, Fedora Linux 18 **beta**

    From the article:
    "I'm finding installing MATE properly to be really painful and I don't have any easy way for you do it yourself. Hopefully, the Fedora team will get this fixed sooner than later.

    Have you submitted a bug report?

    P.S. Interesting that Fedora is also supporting MATE. Perhaps this had some influence on the Gnome devs finally starting to listen to their users, including Linus Torvalds.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • maybe because

      Linus jumped back to KDE.... And KDE is most wanted among Linux and Windows users...
      • Kinda funny

        that Linus Torvalds, creator and lead maintainer of the Linux kernel, has become a DE hopper.

        On the bright side, at least with desktop Linux (and BSD) one can choose the DE and window manager.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Re; maybe because

        Linus is trying out KDE, from his Google+ post I don't see him staying with it.

        Linus runs XFCE desktop with Fedora from an article written for Novembers Linux Format ..
        • Re: Re; maybe because

          Just couple weeks ago he said he's using GNOME 3 again.

          • Love it! Arguing about which DE Linus Torvalds is currently using ...

            o KDE
            o Gnome 3.x
            o Xfce

            The DEs installed on his Linux workstation (and/or, maybe, his new Macbook Air) are as bloated and scary as the Linux kernel. He gets PO'd at one DE, rants about it on Google+ and switches to another DE. That's entertainment!

            ... and last I heard, Richard Stallman runs Linux using the CLI most of the time and every now and again fires up X Windows.

            Where else but Linux and BSD? Choice IS grand!
            Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Yawn - it's BETA

    Beta means still in test. That's not a release
  • Fedora Linux 18 beta finally released

    Oh look it has a start menu, bwahahaha. How ugly, plain and boring linux is. Time for you to go do some compiling of that kernel and in 6 months when its done you get to do it all over again for the upgrade. Repeat.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Oh look !

      Someone poked polly parrot awake and it's gibbering the same old claptrap.
      Alan Smithie
      • No, its still dead...

        no facts at all.
    • LOL

      Someone like you really are braindead when you don't know difference o between user interface and operating system running it.
    • How many times do I have to tell you?

      Take $20 bucks and replace that 1985 IBM/AT 286-16 you run Linux on, and buy an i386 or newer system, and you will be able to stop having to compile.
      BTW: Thanks for pointing out Fedora 18 will, in fact, still run on that 286-16 processor.
      • Won't

        Fedora requires at least a 686 and the Linux kernel requires at least a 386, no matter how its compiled.
        John L. Ries