First look: Fedora 15 arrives with GNOME 3.0 and systemd
By Ryan Paul
The community of open source software developers behind the Fedora Linux
distribution announced this week the release of version 15. The update
brings an overhauled desktop user interface and a number of noteworthy
architectural improvements under the hood.
Fedora is a community-driven Linux distribution that is sponsored by Red
Hat. It is released twice a year on a six-month development cycle and
typically ships with the latest cutting-edge Linux software. Fedora is
known for riding ahead of the curve and is often the first Linux distro
to introduce major new features. It also serves as an incubation space
for emerging Red Hat technologies, particularly in areas like
virtualization. It lacks the usability and robustness of some other
distros, but its unique technical advantages and high commitment to open
source ideology are appealing to system administrators, software
developers, and software freedom advocates.
The most significant user-facing change in Fedora 15 is the inclusion of
GNOME 3.0, a major update of the open source GNOME desktop environment.
It brings a completely new desktop shell to Fedora that helps to
modernize the user experience. The new shell is built with the Clutter
toolkit and requires hardware-accelerated rendering in order to operate.
Fedora fortunately does a pretty good job of handling it with open
source drivers on many hardware configurations.
Fedora 15: More than just a pretty interface
GNOME emerges from last century
By Scott Gilbertson
The Red Hat–backed Fedora Project has released the latest version of its
Linux-based operating system, Fedora 15, into the wild.
Despite the similarities of the two leading Linux-based PC operating
systems, Fedora has long played second fiddle to Ubuntu in the minds of
many Linux fans. Now – for the first time – there are actually major
differences between the two distros.
For most users, the debate between the two can be distilled down to
GNOME 3 versus Unity. But as always, Fedora remains quite a bit
different under the surface, as well.
With the Unity Shell making waves – and not always good ones – in the
Ubuntu community, Fedora 15 offers something of a refuge for those
frustrated with the Unity Shell.
Unfortunately GNOME 3, Fedora's new default desktop, while in much
better shape than Ubuntu's Unity, is still very different than any
version of GNOME you've used before.
"Takeaway: Jack Wallen was jonsing for GNOME 3 and discovered the best
route to this new desktop was Fedora 15 beta. Can you image how
surprised Jack was to find out that GNOME 3 blows away Ubuntu Unity?
Read on to find out more."
Conclusion: "I’d like to drop some props to the Fedora 15 team, as
they’re doing an absolutely incredible job with this bleeding-edge Linux
distribution. Fedora 15 and GNOME 3 is a serious win-win from my
perspective. Give it a go, and you might find that you agree!"
Verbatim copy of the release announcement for the most part but here it is
"The best features of Fedora 15, which will attract a lot of users is
Gnome 3 shell. Fedora 15 will give users a distro which will allow then
to explore Gnome 3 with the stability that Fedora 15 offers.
Fedora 15 is also introducing Btrfs as a menu item in the installer
(only for non-live images. live images support just Ext4) and does not
require passing a special option to the installer as in the previous
releases. Btrfs availability has moved up a notch as a incremental step
towards the goal of Btrfs as the default filesystem in the next release
Mark Webbink who was the general counsel of Red Hat and now a board
member of the Software Freedom Law Center and a law professor has taken
over primary responsibilities of Groklaw from Pamela Jones
and has written a article on the subject of copyright license agreements
(CLA). A good article that compares the approach of Canonical, FSF and
Fedora. In short, Fedora is way better :-)
"By contrast, the historical method used in the Fedora Project sponsored
by Red Hat has been to obtain a broad license from the developer but
leave the copyright ownership with the developer. This can be seen in
the now superseded Fedora Project Individual Contributor License
Agreement. In another departure from both the FSF and Canonical
approach, Red Hat obtained an express license in any patents the
contributor held covering the contribution. [snipped]
But one of the things the maintainers of the Fedora Project came to
realize is that Fedora is primarily an aggregator of projects, not an
originator of projects. As an aggregator, Fedora is more interested in
assuring that packages included in the distribution have an acceptable
FOSS license that governs them rather than worrying about an assignment
or broad license apart from that package license.
So Red Hat, having hired much smarter lawyers than the one responsible
for the old CLA (I think his first name was Mark) and listening to the
Fedora developers went back to the drawing board and came up with the
Fedora Project Contributor Agreement or FPCA. The FPCA is a very
different animal. It is not a copyright assignment agreement, and it is
not a broad grant of license in copyright to the code"
"This new Fedora approach would appear to be a vast improvement over any
of the other approaches discussed above"
Important changes for spins include using the Koji build system to build
the images and LZMA compression to save more space,
""We wouldn't go through the effort of building the spins if we didn't
think they were useful for both building our community and to give
people a creative outlet to do what is best for them," Smith said. "It's
really hard to make a one size fits all operating system, so we found
that the spin process allows people to be more focused on what part of
the operating system they want."