While the internet is abuzz with news of Windows 7 and OS X Snow Leopard releases, do not mistake the open source world to be dilly-dallying. Both Fedora and openSuse teams pushed updates recently for their development versions. Fedora got one step closer to its next release, Fedora 12 with its Alpha build out now and openSUSE marched ahead with its version 11.2’s milestone 6 released.
Codenamed Constantinethe alpha version of Fedora 12 packs a box full of improved network performance, better integration with webcams and the iPv6 protocol. Power Management has been revamped which should make laptop owners, or let me say, netbook owners jubilate. There are several other changes that are worth mentioning. Software packages in Fedora have been switched from Gzip to the more efficient XZ (LZMA) compression method, to save space on mirrors and reduce download times. Drastic improvements have been made to the Ogg Theora video codec and all applications supporting it can now take advantage of the improvements.
Fedora 12 now includes a updated version of GRUB with Ext4 support as the default file system. The Fedora design team has also added support for dynamically rotating wallpapers. Making a debut in this release is support for Dracut a new booting system replacing the previous monolithic system. This replacement can be downloaded from the repository for now, but will be enabled by default in the final release. There are further improvement in design and interface and also bluetooth connectivity.
In this release, Gnome 2.28 sits aboard. Empathy becomes the default IM client and the default KDE environment is version 4.3.
Fedora 12 releases on November 18th, 2009. Meanwhile, you can try out the alpha by downloading it from here.
Coming to openSUSE, it surely depicts signs of progress. Milestone 6 for version 11.2 came out on Monday this week and includes several new packages and updates. Bittorrent client Transmission is now available on the Gnome live Cd and the KDE version packs a bunch of new apps like Okteta, Kompare and Choqok among several others.
Support for the linux kernel has been updated for 2.6.31-rc6. Several onboard applications have been updated to their latest versions: Firefox 3.5.2, GIMP 2.6.7, GNOME 2.28 Beta, Konversation 1.2 Alpha 6, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 Beta 2, VirtualBox 3.0.4 and Wine 1.1.27.
However, seems like they forgot to put Evolution the mail client in the Gnome Live CD, so you won’t find it there. Worry not, it’s been brought to their attention already and it’ll be hopefully fixed by the next release.
It is worth noting that Milestone releases are not major releases and include only a small number of updates or software inclusions. The final openSUSE 11.2 will be released on November 12th, 2009, six days before Fedora 12 is out. If you can wait till then, well and good, if not, grab the latest and bleeding edge 11.2 Milestone 6 from here.
And for the Ubuntu Fanboys (is that a term? Anyway, I just invented it), Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala will be releasing before Fedora 12 and openSuse 11.2 on 29th October. So don’t forget to check it out when it releases.