After over a month of delays, Fedora 18 is finally officially available. The Fedora 18 Linux release is the first for the Red Hat community effort since the Beefy Miracle Fedora 17 release in May 2012.
"Anaconda really touches nearly every piece of the internals of the operating system," Fedora Project Leader Robyn Bergeron told ServerWatch. "It's people's data and is not a place where we would have shipped something that didn't work."
As a result of the Anaconda overhaul, Bergeron noted that the overall installation experience for the Fedora 18 release is now easier for users to understand, while at the same time still offering plenty of control for power users as well.
Bergeron noted that installation options now have concise explanations. As well, the look and feel of the interface overall has been improved.
"The new installation experience continues the trend of making sure Linux is moving forward and not looking like clunky old Unix from 1975," Bergeron said.
For those users that want to install Fedora 18 on UEFI Secure Boot-enabled hardware, the new installation experience will also work. Secure Boot on hardware built by OEMs with Windows 8 on it previously did not enable other operating systems to boot by default. It's a situation that Fedora 18 now solves.
The Fedora 18 release is also the first from Red Hat to integrate the Samba 4 platform. With Samba 4, Linux gains a Microsoft ActiveDirectory-compliant directory server as well as a robust Windows file sharing platform.
"Samba 4 is very feature rich, and it supports the standard stuff that is used on practically every enterprise on the planet," Bergeron said. "It has improvements that will enable enterprise to do the things they need to do day-to-day much more easily."
Virtualization and Cloud
The Fedora 18 release also includes a number of virtualization and cloud improvements. Among the improvements is support for Suspend and Resume for virtual guests. As such, virtualization users can now have the same basic suspend and resume capabilities that the Linux desktop has enjoyed for years.
Virtualization security gets a boost with Secure Containers technology. According to Fedora 18's feature wiki, this change allows an administrator to run multiple services on the same machine with each service in a secure Linux Container.
Fedora 18 also includes the latest OpenStack Folsom release as well as the inclusion of the Eucalyptus 3.2 cloud platform.
Moving forward, while the Fedora 18 release was somewhat delayed, the plan is to have Fedora 19, codenamed Schrodinger's Cat, generally available in May of this year.