Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to follow it all. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for September 18th, 2014:

Fedora 21 Alpha Release!

Of course, this week’s big news is the release of Fedora 21 Alpha — the first formal test release on the way to an early-December final release. This will be our first release with distinct Cloud, Server, and Workstation products — a first phase of Fedora.next. Read the F21 Alpha release announcement, and download the flavor you’re interested in (or launch the cloud image in EC2).

A gigantic thank you and congratulations to all of the Fedora contributors who made this happen!

Shellshock and Fedora

And then, this is our other big news. By now, this has been well-covered everywhere, but if you haven’t seen it yet, check out articles tagged shellshock on Fedora Magazine to keep your system safe.

If you’re curious, read my Shellshock: How does it actually work? article, where I attempt to give a satisfying level of detail in a way that anyone can understand. Also, the Red Hat security blog has a nice post-incident FAQ, with a lot of other background and information, and explains the reasoning behind the patch Red Hat developed (which is the one we are using in Fedora).

You might also be interested Dan Walsh’s blog entry on how SELinux helps contain this attack — it’s not perfect, but when an exploit is in the wild, it’s important to have meaningful layers of protection.

And! I’ll be live on the Linux Action Show this Sunday, talking about Shellshock and other things.

In Which Adam Fixes Everything

Fedora QA Community Monkey (no, really, that’s his title) Adam Williamson apparently does not need to sleep, and in the midst of all of the Shellshock fun, spent about 36 hours straight cleaning up some of the documentation in the Fedora wiki around our release schedule and process. Some of this is only of interest if you’re deeply involved in Fedora development or QA, but if you’re following Fedora prereleases (like the alpha!) — and possibly if you have been confused previously — it’s all a lot better now, with more consistent names and documentation that actually reflects reality. Take a look at

and about three dozen interlinked pages which are now all nicely consistent and much more beautiful than they were before. This is a great example of how “just do it!” works in wikis and open source in general — some discussion on IRC and mailing lists, but no waiting to act. Thanks to Adam for seeing a mess and making it better!

Flock Possibilities

Flock (our big annual contributor conference) will be held in North America next summer — but where? We have four bids, all in the United States:

The Flock planning team is working on putting together a side-by-side feature and cost comparison, and will soon be running a straw poll to find the preferences of potential attendees.

Robyn on Distros and DevOps — and User Communication

Former Fedora Project Leader Robyn Bergeron has an interesting blog post about “distros and silos, devops and open source“. She talks about several things (all worth reading), but one of the most interesting is the suggestion she floats for a User Committee. What do you think? Would a Fedora User Committee help improve our communication and break down silos?