Fedora 10 with KVM, Xen and Faster Startup

Nov 26, 2008

Six months after Fedora 9, the free project is now releasing its newest version 10 of the popular Linux distribution, code-named Cambridge.

Fedora 10 is based on Linux Kernel, which kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman and his team had eagerly announced to the community November 7. Fedora 10 is going through a simultaneous upgrade to bring its software to a new level. Now included in Fedora 10 are, among other things, OpenOffice 3.0, GNOME 2.24.1, Eclipse 3.4 and RPM 4.6. The product promises improved printer management and some new virtualization features. As of now, the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) is available by default in Fedora 10 as version 74-5 (KVM was merely an option in Fedora 9). This makes sense, because KVM is made by Qumranet, recently acquired by Red Hat, thus making it practically a house product. Also included in Fedora 10 is open source virtualization hypervisor Xen, in version 3.3.0-1, along with the LXDE X11 lightweight desktop environment. Fedora's own virtualization tools such as libvirt and virt-manager were also improved so that admins can more easily manage virtualized PCs or servers and their storage over the network.

Fedora 10 now provides faster startup through the new Plymouth graphical boot system. Alleviating this headache for users is certainly an advantage. Plymouth should run on ATI Radeon chips and Intel graphics cards, with support for others to be added. An instant-on function in the NetworkManager allows an Ethernet or mobile device to do connection sharing with a neighboring device, thereby setting up an ad hoc Wi-Fi network. Fedora also provides better software management with the PackageKit (debuted in Fedora 9) that detects and searches for missing software for an application. All the many new Fedora 10 features are listed here.

With this version, developers can rely on a regular half-year release cycle, compared to the much longer Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) cycle. Fedora was spun off as a free and independent project under Red Hat sponsorship, while still providing the code base for RHEL. Its free and independent status allows Fedora to shorten its release cycles to satisfy users who frequently update their systems to make use of the newest technologies. Only after a test phase does Red Hat adopt certain elements of the free Linux variant to become commercially supported for RHEL.

The next version, Fedora 11, is due out May 28, 2009 and is likely to provide the basis for RHEL 6. Meanwhile, Fedora 10 is available now with a number of download options.

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  • It's good if the feature works

    I am glad to see the boot up of Fedora 10 has greatly improved. However, it shakes my confidence when it comes to setup the network with the graphic interface (System >> Networks). It just DOESN'T work. The obvious bug of "submask overwritten by default gateway" cast doubt on the quality of the distribution. Further research on the Internet found that this bug is in fact around since 2006. There are also other problems reported such as upgrade option does not work.

    I am happy to see a regular release cycle. However, I would prefer to have products that works instead of having more features that may not work. This makes Fedora looks like Microsoft products while Microsoft learn from the experience and ensure the next Windows does work instead of more half baked features.

    Please don't get into Microsoft's old habits.
  • oy vey

    KVM, in the essay's context, is "Kernel Virtual Machine".
    it refers to a specific hypervisor.
    KVM, in the context of the above question, refers to "Keyboard, Video and Mouse" connection devices.

    despite the identical acronyms, they are as alike as apples and plumbers wrenches.
  • KVM over IP

    I am yet to hear of a wireless KVM.

    For the mean time, personally, i would prefer <a href="http://www.raritan.info">KVM over IP</a> as it will give me longer connections.

    Does Fedora support this type?
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