Announcing the release of Fedora 16 Alpha!!

Dennis Gilmore dennis at
Tue Aug 23 14:40:12 UTC 2011

The Fedora 16 "Verne" Alpha release is available! This release offers a 
preview of some of the best free and open source technology currently 
under development. Catch a glimpse of the future:

== What is the Alpha release? ==

The Alpha release contains all the exciting features of Fedora 16 in a 
form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA 
team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we 
make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete, and 
bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The 
final release of Fedora 16 is due in early November.

We need your help to make Fedora 16 the best release yet, so please take 
a moment of your time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure 
the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, 
please report it -- every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the 
experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Together, we can make 
Fedora a rock-solid distribution. (Read down to the end of the 
announcement for more information on how to help.)

This release of Fedora includes a variety of features both over and 
under the hood that show off the power and flexibility of the advancing 
state of free software. Examples include:

     * System Boot. Fedora 16 introduces GRUB2, the long-awaited 
next-generation boot-loader for Linux. GRUB2 automatically recognizes 
other operating systems, supports LVM2 and LUKS partitions, and is more 
customizable than the previous version. In this release, only x86 
systems with a BIOS uses GRUB2 by default. Work is ongoing for making 
GRUB2 the default for other architectures and systems.

     * Services Management. Fedora 15 introduced the Systemd services 
management program. This release features better integration of Systemd 
via conversion to native systemd services from legacy init scripts in 
many software components -- for desktop users, this means faster boot 
times; for system administrators it means more powerful management of 

     * Desktop Updates. The two major desktop environments have been 
updated to the latest releases: KDE Software Compilation 4.7 and GNOME 
3.1 development release.

     * SELinux Enhancements. SELinux policy package now includes a 
pre-built policy that will only rebuild policy if any customizations 
have been made. A sample test run shows 4 times speedup on installing 
the package from 48 Seconds to 12 Seconds and max memory usage from 38M 
to 6M. In addition to that, SELinux file name transition allows better 
policy management. For instance, policy writers can take advantage of 
this and write a policy rule that states, if a SELinux unconfined 
process creates a file named resolv.conf in a directory labelled etc_t, 
the file should get labeled appropriately. This results is less chances 
of mislabeled files. Also, from this release onwards, selinuxfs is 
mounted at /sys/fs/selinux instead of in /selinux. All the affected 
components including anaconda, dracut, livecd-tools and policycoreutils 
have been modified to work with this change.

     * System Accounts. Fedora now standardizes on login.defs as 
authority for UID/GID space allocation, and has moved boundary between 
system and user accounts from 500 to 1000 to match conventions followed 
by several other Linux distributions. Upgrading from a existing release 
will not be affected by this change and you can use kickstart to 
override this change during installation if necessary.

     * Chrony NTP. Fedora has switched over to using Chrony as the 
default NTP client. There are several advantages including smaller 
memory footprint (1.3MB vs 6MB resident size), no unnecessary process 
wakeups which results in better power savings. better timekeeping on 
systems not running 24/7 or without permanent internet connection or 
with low quality/unstable clocks (virtual machines). Once the clock is 
synchronized, applications are not upset by backward time jumps. 
system-config-date and GNOME settings daemon has been modified to use 
Chrony as well.

     * HAL Removal. HAL, a hardware abstraction layer which has been a 
deprecated component for several releases, has been completely removed 
from all Fedora spins and DVD. Software components using HAL have moved 
over to using udisks and upower as well as libudev for device discovery. 
This results in faster system bootup and faster startup for applications 
depending on device discovery.

     * Cloud Updates. Fedora now includes a number of new and improved 
features to support cloud computing, including a "cloud ready" version 
of GlusterFS, including additional auth*/crypto/multi-tenancy; 
pacemaker-cloud, application service high availability in a cloud 
environment; Condor Cloud, an IaaS cloud implementation using Condor and 
the Deltacloud API, and Aeolus.

     * Virtualization. Once again Fedora raises the bar on 
virtualization support, including expanded virtual network support, an 
improved Spice for managing virtual machines, restored Xen support, a 
new virtual machine lock manager, and improved ability to browse guest 
file systems.

     * Developer Improvements. Developers get many goodies with Verne, 
including updated Ada, Haskell and Perl environments, a new Python 
plugin for GCC and a number of new and improved APIs.

These and many other improvements provide a wide and solid base for 
future Fedora releases. This release increases the range of 
possibilities for developers and helps Fedora to maintain its position 
at the leading edge of free and open source technology.

A more complete list and details of each new cited feature is available 

We also have nightly composes of alternate spins available here:

== Issues and Details ==

For more information including common and known bugs, tips on how to 
report bugs, and the official release schedule, please refer to the 
release notes:

A shorter list of common bugs can be found here:

== Contributing ==

Bug reports are helpful, especially for Alpha. If you encounter any 
issues please report them and help make this release of Fedora the best 

Thank you, and we hope to see you in the Fedora project!
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