The Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project has released a beta of the next version of its Linux operating system build, showcasing developments that will eventually find their way into the mainstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform.
Available to download and evaluate now, the Fedora 23 beta follows the pattern of Fedora releases set out last year under the Fedora.next initiative to map out a roadmap for the next decade of development.
This sees the operating system delivered in three editions; Fedora 23 Cloud, Fedora 23 Server and Fedora 23 Workstation, which has been the case since the Fedora 21 release.
While targeting different usage models, all three are built from a base set of packages that includes the Linux kernel, Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), the systemd system management Daemon and Anaconda installer, as well as the updated package manager DNF.
Numerous updates and enhancements have been made to these base packages, but perhaps the most significant update is the use of compiler flags to help improve security by "hardening" Fedora 23 binaries against memory corruption vulnerabilities, buffer overflows and other similar issues, according to the Fedora Project team.
While not overt changes, these, and many other under-the-hood tweaks, will help to provide additional system security, the team detailed on the Red Hat blog.
For the Fedora 23 Workstation Beta edition, new features include the Gnome 3.18 desktop environment and the inclusion of LibreOffice 5, the latest release of the open source office suite that has now become the preferred choice for many Linux distributions.
On the server side, Fedora 23 Server Beta now supports a new role; a cache server for web applications, with the underlying functionality delivered by memcached, an open source distributed memory caching system. This adds to the two already supported roles of domain controller (powered by FreeIPA) and database server (using PostgreSQL).
Meanwhile, on the management side, the Cocktpit tool now features basic dashboard support for the Kubernetes container orchestration system, and support for SSH key authentication and for configuring user accounts with their authorised keys.
Fedora 23 Cloud Beta has undergone "substantial package updates and enhancements to the underlying base Fedora infrastructure", but no substantial new features are delivered in this release, according to the Fedora Project team.
However, Fedora 23 Atomic Host is expected in the near future. Atomic Host in the previous Fedora release showcased numerous enhancements, particularly around support for Docker containers.
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