Fedora 29 Beta was released on Sept. 25, providing an early look at new capabilities coming in Red Hat's community Linux project.
Fedora 29 Beta is noteworthy for a number of aspects, among which is this release marks the debut of the newly named Silverblue edition, formerly known as Fedora Atomic Workstation. Silverblue has been developed to help enable container use cases and it also benefits from the open source rpm-ostree package management system for incremental (or atomic) updates.
"rpm-ostree is a hybrid image/package system," the Fedora Silverblue documentation states. "It supports package layering, which allows to install RPMs for 'OS extensions' such as printer drivers, fonts, and utilities like powerline or ykclient."
Fedora 29 also improves on the modularity of the Linux platform, which first debuted in Fedora 28 on May 1. With modularity, Fedora enables system administrators to choose which version of software they want to run.
While modularity was limited to the server edition in Fedora 28, it has been extended to all editions in Fedora 29, and includes "Spins" for different desktop editions such as KDE, xFCE, LXDE, MATE and Cinammon desktops.
The default desktop for the Fedora 29 Workstation edition is the GNOME 3.30 desktop environment, which was first released on Sept. 6. GNOME 3.30, codenamed "Almeria," benefits from improved desktop performance that uses fewer system resources.
Fedora 29 does drop support for the ppc64 architecture, while adding initial support for FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays).
ARM gets a boost for both aarch64 and ARMv7, with support for ZRAM, which will help enable improved reliability and performance.
From a security perspective, Fedora 29 includes GnuTLS, which now enables support for the new TLS 1.3 data encryption standard by default. For developers, Fedora 29 updates multiple languages, providing Python 3.7, Go 1.11, Perl 5.28 and GNU C Library version 2.28.
While almost all spins, labs and editions that carry the Fedora moniker are getting updated with the Fedora 29 Beta, one that is not is the Fedora CoreOS distribution. Fedora CoreOS is the new name for Container Linux, which is a container-optimized version of Linux originally developed by CoreOS, which is a company Red Hat acquired for $250 million on Jan. 30.
"There's no direct relationship between the F29 beta and Fedora CoreOS," Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller told ServerWatch. That said, "a lot of the technology behind Atomic Host will be combined with Container Linux concepts to create early versions of Fedora CoreOS in the F29 timeframe leading up to (Fedora) 30."
The final release of Fedora 29 is currently set to become generally available the last week of October.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.