The latest edition of Fedora Linux, the open source operating system that helps form the basis for Red Hat's (RHT) enterprise server platform, is set to debut soon -- though a couple weeks later than initially planned, as bugs have held up the release. Still, it could bring some of this autumn's biggest changes in desktop Linux when it appears in December.
On November 1, the Fedora Project announced that it would push back the release of Fedora 20 by another week. That change came on top of an earlier announcement in late October delaying the release by one week. The plan now is to have the beta version of the system out on November 12, and a final release on December 17.
The delays may disappoint Fedora fans, but the developers say the revised schedule will help to smooth out bugs before Fedora 20 goes lives. (That approach, by the way, stands in contrast to the one taken by Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution, which sticks hard and fast to pre-determined release dates, a policy that has its own advantages and downsides.)
And at any rate, Fedora users have a lot to look forward to in the latest and greatest edition of the operating system. For one, the release will have a lighter footprint than its predecessors as a result of the removal of some packages that were previously installed by default, such as syslog and sendmail.
NetworkManager is also set to gain some useful new features, including support for network bridging and bonding -- both cool things that traditionally required complicated command-line hacking to implement. Now, Fedora will be a more attractive host for complex networking situations, an especially important characteristic for building clouds and software-defined networks.
And Fedora 20 aims to provide full support for ARM-based devices (specifically, armv7hl hardware), which could give it a leg up in the mobile and emerging-hardware worlds.
These various changes help to make Fedora 20 one of the most notable desktop Linux distributions of the season -- especially since Ubuntu 13.10, which appeared last month, brought few updates for the desktop. (It did include somewhat more for servers and the cloud.)
The enhancements are also significant beyond the Fedora community, which is mostly restricted to more advanced users, since Red Hat uses Fedora as a proving ground for testing features that may eventually become a part of its commercial enterprise operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. So Linux fans can geek out when Fedora 20 goes live (hopefully) in December, and look forward to taking advantage of some of the new features in Red Hat production environments down the road.