Fedora 21 beta finally arrives

It took a while, but the latest version of Fedora, Red Hat's community Linux, is now available in beta.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

It's a bit late, but the Fedora 21 beta is now out and ready to download.

Fedora 21
Fedora 21 beta is ready for your testing pleasure.
Image courtesy of LinuxScreenShots,org

Previously, Fedora was first and foremost a desktop distribution that also contained server elements. If all went well, the new features introduced in Fedora would eventually appear in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This go-around, there are three Fedora spins: one for the cloud, one for the server, and one for the workstation.

Fedora now uses a modular-style design. So, while each spin is for a specific use case, they all share the basics of the Linux kernel, RPM, yum, systemd, and Anaconda. On top of this foundation, each includes the following features:

Fedora 21 Cloud Beta

  • Private cloud support: OpenStack.
  • Public cloud support: Amazon Web Services.
  • Container support: Docker.
  • Modular cloud kernel packaging. There’s no reason to include drivers for hardware that doesn’t exist in the cloud, so Fedora 21 Cloud Beta has two kernel packages: One that contains the minimum number of modules for running in a virtual environment and a larger set for a more general installation. So the Fedora 21 Cloud Beta image is 10 percent smaller than that of Fedora 20, allowing faster deployment.
  • Fedora Atomic: Provides a streamlined operating system for running Docker containers

 Fedora 21 Server Beta

  • Private cloud support: OpenStack
  • Rolekit management tool: A Role deployment and management toolkit to implement a specific server
  • Cockpit mangement tool: This provides a remote interface for configuring and monitoring servers.
  • OpenLMI: A remote management system built atop DMTF ­CIM, which is used for scripting management functions across machines.
  • Domain Controller Server Role: This packages up the freeIPA integrated centralized identity and authentication solution.

Fedora 21 Workstation Beta

  • GNOME 3.14: The latest GNOME desktop, which includes integration Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) media server support for video streaming. It also incorporates the controversial systemd init system.
  • Wayland technology preview: A new display server positioned as a possible X.org Linux graphics display replacement
  • DevAssistant:  A tool to help developers set up project environments so that they can focus on just the code and nothing but the code.

Looking at Fedora 21 as a whole, it's become clear to me that Fedora is becoming more and more an advanced look for developers and system administrators at the future of RHEL. It's always been a bleeding-edge distribution, but now more than ever, it's a distro for serious professionals rather than enthusiastic amateurs.

If you don't feel up to working with the beta, the final release of Fedora 21 is now scheduled for December 9th.

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