Docker, OpenStack, EC2 and "Project Atomic" are among the leading buzzwords for Fedora Linux 21, the upcoming release of the community-developed open source operating system that serves as the basis for Red Hat's enterprise Linux platforms. Due out next month, the release is now receiving its final tweaks from developers, who have revealed further details on the cloud and virtualization innovations in the new version.

Fedora 21 will debut at a time of significant change for the Fedora world. Since last spring, the Fedora community has been working on plans to make the operating system less "boring" through the initiative, which will split the operating system into different "flavors" tailored to distinct use cases.

Among those flavors is a cloud-focused version that continues Fedora's focus on compatibility with services like Amazon's EC2, as well as OpenStack, according to a recent update on the platform from Joe Brockmeier. Fedora cloud "should be an excellent base for developing and deploying services and applications in private clouds like OpenStack and Apache CloudStack or a public IaaS environment like Amazon Web Services (AWS)," he wrote.

But that is not a radically new change for Fedora, which has catered to major private and public cloud platforms for a while now. The most novel part of Fedora 21 in the cloud, as Brockmeier also pointed out, will be the fruit of Project Atomic, an initiative that launched last April with the goal of creating a ready-made platform for rolling out Docker-based containizered apps.

That makes Project Atomic, which currently also supports the Fedora-related Linux distribution of CentOS (and will probably eventually make it into Red Hat Enterprise Linux, too), a pretty important innovation. Docker has become massively popular as a way of deploying cloud apps (although that is only a small part of containerization's true potential, according to some parties), but no operating system platform has so far tailored itself for deploying Docker apps out-of-the-box. Fedora 21 will stand out for doing that as a result of the work of Project Atomic -- a fact made all the more significant by Canonical's recent decision to focus on an alternative to Docker in the form of LXD, making it unlikely that the Ubuntu-oriented part of the Linux world will offer the Docker-friendliness that Fedora and its cousins are implementing through Project Atomic.

Fedora 21 is currently set for release on December 9.