Yesterday the first alpha of Fedora 15 “Lovelock” was released. This release is a very important release both for Fedora as well as other free software communities for a number of reasons.
The first thing you will notice in Fedora 15 is GNOME-Shell. GNOME Shell is the new user interface that the all new GNOME 3 brings. This is the first time that GNOME 3 has been included in any of the major Linux distributions. From what I have seen, it seems like GNOME 3 does not have a many supporters. So, having GNOME 3 as default in Fedora will help to judge how people react to the complete overhaul.
Like Ubuntu, Fedora has also decided to drop OpenOffice.org in favor of LibreOffice in this release. As of now LibreOffice is pretty much similar to OpenOffice and users will not feel lost. However, it is good that Fedora is also putting its weight behind the community driven project.
An important change that has been implemented under the hood is that systemd has replaced Upstart in this release. systemd is a system and session manager for Linux. It is faster than Upstart and offers more features. It was originally planned for Fedora 14, but was delayed.
BoxGrinder is another new feature in Fedora 15 alpha that holds a lot of promise. BoxGrinder is an easy to use command line tool to create appliances (virtual images) for various platforms (KVM, Xen, VMware, EC2) from simple plaintext application files. It is developed by Red Hat and is comparable to Novell’s SUSE Studio.
Fedora 15 alpha includes a new feature called LessFS. LessFS reduces disk usage by storing identical blocks only once and using pointers to point to the location. This is not a very important feature for desktop users but very useful for Enterprise.
These are just some of the main things that have changed in Fedora 15 Alpha. If you want to read more, you can go through the release note.
If you want to test Fedora 15 Alpha, download it from here.