Fedora 20 – code-named ‘Heisenbug’ – is the latest version of the free, Linux-based Fedora operating system (OS). The software is now generally available. This new release brings several key features to enhance usability, performance, and provide developers with additional functionality.
Developed by a diverse global community, sponsored by Red Hat, Fedora 20 celebrates 10 years of the Fedora Project’s open source innovation.
Key features of the Fedora 20 operating system include:
Support for ARM
As part of Fedora’s commitment to open source innovation, ARM is now supported as a primary architecture. While x86/x86_64 serves as the default architecture for the majority of Fedora users, ARM would be rapidly growing in stature and already dominates the mobile world.
Beyond mobile and the maker movement, ARM would show great promise as a powerful and cost-effective technology for the server world, leading to primary support from Fedora to satisfy end users and developers targeting the ARM platform.
Cloud and Virtualization Improvements
Fedora 20 continues the Fedora tradition of adopting and integrating leading edge technologies used in cloud computing. Features that make working with virtualization and cloud computing much easier include:
- First-Class Cloud Images – Developed by the Fedora Cloud SIG, these images are well-suited to running as guests in public and private clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OpenStack.
- VM Snapshot UI with virt-manager – This feature makes taking VM snapshots much easier, by adding a simple, discoverable UI to virt-manager, and includes adding functionality to libvirt to support deleting and rebasing to external snapshots.
- ARM on x86 with libvirt/virt-manager – This change to Fedora 20 fixes running ARM virtual machines on x86 hosts using standard libvirt tools libvirt virsh, virt-manager and virt-install.
As with all Fedora distributions, Fedora 20 includes several new features and updated packages to improve the developer experience across the board, including:
- WildFly 8 – Previously known as JBoss Application Server, WildFly 8 makes it possible to run Java EE 7 applications with significantly higher speed. It boasts an optimized boot process that starts services concurrently, preventing unnecessary waits, and taps into the power of multi-core processors. Additionally, WildFly takes an aggressive approach to memory management, and keeps its memory footprint exceptionally small compared to other JVMs.
- Ruby on Rails 4.0 – The latest version of Ruby on Rails keeps Fedora up-to-date and allows current Ruby on Rails developers to stay in step with the project. Apart from that, Rails 4.0 also bring improved functionality, speed. security and better modularization.
To help Fedora 20 continue to meet everyday user productivity needs, several improvements and additions have been added to the overall desktop experience, including:
- GNOME 3.10 – GNOME 3.10 has a number of new applications and features, including a new music application (gnome-music), a new maps application (gnome-maps), a revamp for the system status menu, and Zimbra support in Evolution.
- KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.11 – This latest release includes faster Nepomuk indexing, improvements to Kontact, KScreen integration in KWin, Metalink/HTTP support for KGet, and much more.
Maturity and Advanced Features
With a decade of releases behind it, Fedora 20 adds additional refinements to the needs of more advanced users. These enhancements include:
- NetworkManager Improvements – Users will now be able to add, edit, delete, activate, and deactivate network connections via the nmcli command line tool, simplifying non-desktop uses of Fedora. NetworkManager is also getting support for bonding interfaces and bridging interfaces. Bonding and bridging are used in many enterprise setups and are necessary for virtualization and fail-over scenarios.
- No Default Sendmail, Syslog – Fedora 20 removes and replaces some services that some users find unnecessary from the Live Desktop DVD, such as the former syslog solution, which is now replaced by systemd journal. The systemd journal now acts as the default logging solution for minimal and other selected installation methods such as the Live Desktop DVD, having been tested and able to manage persistent logging in place of syslog. Additionally, Sendmail will no longer be installed by default, as typical Fedora installs have no need of a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA).