Fedora community has released the beta of Fedora 27, the upcoming release of the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution.
Who uses Fedora either way?
Fedora is the desktop Linux distribution that Linus Torvalds uses, and he has his own valid reasons. Fedora is a cutting-edge distribution that offers the latest libraries and packages allowing developers to use the latest features of these packages. Not only that it allows them to see what’s coming next to Linux so that they can keep their own code up-to-date. So as it seems, Fedora is the preferred distribution for such developers. Since Fedora is upstream for Red Hat, RHEL users also use Fedora to develop for RHEL target.
Since new use-cases have emerged, Fedora community has split the distro into three editions to serve each use-case without bloating the whole system or without offering an incomplete solution. So now you have three editions: Atomic Host, which is a distro for running containers, Fedora Server is a distro to run server workloads and Workstation is your good old desktop edition.
Ok, so what’s new?
All three editions share the common base packages, where they diverse is additional package that are required by that particular target. Workstation comes with desktop packages, whereas server removes all of that and comes with server focused tools; Atomic Host has a laser tight focus on containerized workloads.
The beta of Fedora Atomic Host 27 includes:
- Consolidated storage setup based on OverlayFS for a simpler container storage setup. Fedora 27 Atomic Host Beta will now default to a large root filesystem that is shared with container storage through overlayFS.
- Containerized Kubernetes, flannel and etcd by default, which replaces Kubernetes, flannel and etcd in the base OSTree. This provides more flexibility to users in choosing different versions of Kubernetes/flannel/etcd, or to not use these technologies at all. Package layering is still an option for those seeking to deploy Kubernetes as an RPM.
- Improvements in package layering by way of the latest rpm-ostree, which now supports base package overrides (removes and replaces). This builds on top of the previous features including support for direct rpm install, and experimental LiveFS layering, enabling layering without a reboot.
- System Containers in Fedora Layered Image Build Service (FLIBS) to expand the way users can install system infrastructure via containers. Since Fedora 26, the Fedora Project has been polishing the System Container technology and is able to offer System Containers for docker, Kubernetes, Flannel, and etcd all through the Fedora Layered Image Build Service.
- atomic 1.19.1, the updated Atomic Command Line Interface (CLI), which provides enhancements/bugfixes to system container support.
- Cockpit 149, the latest version of Cockpit, a system monitoring tool, that brings support for Cockpit Dashboard installation on Atomic Host via rpm package layering.
While there is no beta for the Server edition, it’s expected to be released soon. The cause of the delay is Fedora community is reworking on the distribution, based on feedback sent by Boltron Modular Server Preview.
Best for the last, Fedora 27 Workstation
Fedora used to be the most unstable distribution for me in early days, but things have changed dramatically since Fedora 22. I am still not a huge fan on the new installer as the UI is not very intuitive, but I manage to install it one 2-3 efforts. I prefer click-next installed offered by openSUSE.
The beta comes with the latest release of Gnome, which is 3.26. According to the press release, there is a “new and improved Builder IDE to bear for developers, providing a new interface, contextual popups, improved search functions and a new debugger. For traditional desktop users, GNOME 3.26 adds support for fractional scaling for high DPI screens, color emoji, and a cleaner look for the Settings application.”
Gnome 3.26 itself is a massive release with a lot of UI refinements, so there is a lot to explore in Fedora. If you are a SSD user, and you are doing it wrong if you are still using HDD for running an OS, there are further refinements done by the Fedora team including TRIM support for encrypted disks.
If you are new to Fedora, this one of the top Linux distributions, which you must try out. If you are already a Fedora user, you must check out what’s coming next. Here is the beta image of Fedora 27 for your usage.