Fedora 21 Release Announcement
The Fedora Project is pleased to announce Fedora 21, the final release, ready to run on your desktops, servers, and in the cloud. Fedora 21 is a game-changer for the Fedora Project, and we think you’re going to be very pleased with the results.
Impatient? Go straight to https://getfedora.org/ and get started. Otherwise, read on!
Fedora.next and Fedora 21 Flavors
As part of the Fedora.next initiative, Fedora 21 comes in three flavors: Cloud, Server, and Workstation — whether you’re using Linux on your laptop, using Linux on your servers, or spinning up containers or images in the cloud, we have what you need to be successful.
Fedora 21 Base
Each of the flavors builds on the “base” set of packages for Fedora. For instance, each flavor uses the same packages for the kernel, RPM, Yum, systemd, Anaconda, and so forth.
The Base Working Group develops the standard platform for all Fedora deliverables, which includes the installer, compose tools, and basic platform for the other flavors. The Base set of packages is not intended for use on its own, but is kept as a small, stable platform for other initiatives to build on.
Highlights in the Fedora 21 Release
Fedora 21 Cloud
The Fedora Cloud Working Group and Special Interest Group (SIG) has been busy leading up to Fedora 21. Cloud is now a top-level deliverable for Fedora 21, and includes images for use in private cloud environments like OpenStack, as well as AMIs for use on Amazon, and a new “Atomic” image streamlined for running Docker containers.
Modular Kernel Packaging for Cloud
Space is precious, and there’s little reason to include drivers for hardware that doesn’t exist in the cloud. As part of the work for this release, the cloud SIG and kernel team split the kernel into two packages. One package contains the minimum modules for running in a virtualized environment, the other contains the larger set of modules for a more general installation. With other size reduction work, the F21 cloud image is about 25% smaller than F20, making for faster deployment and more room to whatever you need.
Fedora Atomic Host
In early April, Red Hat announced Project Atomic, an effort to provide the tools and patterns for a streamlined operating system to run containers. The Fedora 21 release is the first to offer an “Atomic” host for Fedora, which includes a minimal set of packages and an image composed with rpm-ostree.
While using the same RPMs as other Fedora offerings, the Atomic host lets you roll back updates (if necessary) as one atomic unit — making update management much easier.
Our Atomic image includes Kubernetes and Cockpit for container management, and will receive updates through the Fedora 21 release cycle as rpm-ostree updates.
Fedora 21 Server
The Fedora Server flavor is a common base platform that is meant to run featured application stacks, which are produced, tested, and distributed by the Server Working Group. Want to use Fedora as a Web server, file server, database server, or platform for an Infrastructure-as-a-Service? Fedora 21 Server is for you.
Fedora Server Management Features
The Fedora Server flavor introduces new Server management features aimed at making it easier to install discrete infrastructure services. The Fedora Server introduces three new technologies to handle this task, rolekit, Cockpit, and OpenLMI.
Rolekit is a Role deployment and management toolkit that provides a consistent interface to administrators to install and configure all the packages needed to implement a specific server role. Rolekit is at an early stage of development in Fedora 21.
Cockpit is a user interface for configuring and monitoring your server or servers. It is accessible remotely via a web browser.
OpenLMI is a remote management system built atop DMTF-CIM. Use OpenLMI for scripting management functions across many machines and for querying for capabilities and monitoring for system events.
Domain Controller Server Role
As part of the server role offerings available for Fedora 21, the Server flavor ships with a role deployment mechanism. One of the roles offered in 21 is the Domain Controller Service.
The Domain Controller Service packages freeIPA‘s integrated identity and authentication solution for Linux/UNIX networked environments.
A FreeIPA server provides centralized authentication, authorization, and account information by storing data about user, groups, hosts, and other objects necessary to manage the security aspects of a network of computers.
Fedora 21 Workstation
The Fedora Workstation is a new take on desktop development from the Fedora community. Our goal is to pick the best components, and integrate and polish them. This work results in a more polished and targeted system than you’ve previously seen from the Fedora desktop. We want our desktop operating system to solve your problems, not be your problem.
Easy access to all your software
The cornerstone of the Fedora Workstation is the Software installer, which lets you find all kinds of applications quickly and easily. The improvements to the Software installer in Fedora 21 provide a responsive and fast user experience. In addition, Fedora packagers have worked with developers around the world to greatly improve the number of featured applications.
Improvements to the Terminal application
We want developers to have a great experience, so a strong Terminal application is absolutely important. We’ve integrated a set of additional features in the Terminal, such as:
- Support for transparent backgrounds
- Automatic title updates to help you identify different terminals
- A simple toggle for disabling shortcuts in the Terminal
- Search for Terminals by name in the GNOME desktop overview
Experimental Wayland support
Wayland is a new and exciting display server technology that will power Linux desktops of the future. With Fedora Workstation 21 you can visit the future now, and see how well your applications work with Wayland. You can also experiment with making your applications take advantage of Wayland’s new capabilities. Much of the core Wayland development comes from Fedora Workstation contributors, so this is your chance to try out Wayland straight from the source.
We recognize developers need an easy and straightforward way to set up many different programming environments. In Fedora Workstation, we offer the DevAssistant developer helper, which takes care of this setup for a large number of language runtimes and IDEs.
Ease of installation
We want the installation of the Fedora Workstation to be as straightforward and simple as possible. In Fedora Workstation we’ve distilled this process down to selecting the layout of your physical media, and then pressing “Install.” (In fact, you can even let the installer choose the disk layout for you.) And because the future of installations is not optical disks, we ship with an easy to use tool to help you create bootable USB sticks — just download a new Live image, right-click, and write to USB.
Web service integration
We recognize you have work to do, and you want to use the tools that let you get it done. That’s why we’re working to make all your applications in Fedora Workstation look and feel the same. With the ability to run HTML5 web services in a chromeless window, we aim to make your apps feel like a natural extension to your desktop. More integration upgrades are coming in future Fedora Workstation releases.
Support for high resolution displays (HiDPI)
Technology never stands still, and as a software developer you are used to using the best technology available. So we’ve spent a lot of time and effort on supporting the new generation of HiDPI displays found on new hardware like many new ultrabook models, or the Apple Retina display. That’s probably why Fedora has been called the best of HiDPI.
This Fedora Workstation release is not the end. It’s the beginning of a new era for Fedora on the desktop. We have a roadmap lined up to bring a range of exciting new technologies to the Linux desktop:
- Smarter virtual machines
- Better development tools
- Improved toolkit integration
- More web integration
- …and much more
So if you want to be part of the future of the Linux desktop, get on board now!
Downloads, upgrades, documentation, and common bugs
You can start by downloading Fedora 21:
- If you are upgrading from a previous release of Fedora, refer to:
- Fedora now includes the FedUp utility to enable an easy upgrade to Fedora 21 from previous releases. See the FedUp page on the Fedora wiki for more information:
Read the full release notes for Fedora 21, guides for several languages, and learn about known bugs and how to report new ones:
- Fedora 21 common bugs are documented at:
This page includes information on several known non-blocker bugs in Fedora 21, please be sure to read it before installing!
In addition to the new Fedora flavors, Fedora users also have the alternative of Fedora Spins that highlight user favorites like KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce, LXDE, and Sugar on a Stick (SoaS). If you’re interested in trying out one of the spins, head over to the page for Fedora Spins and grab the spins you’re interested in!
We hope that you’re excited to have Fedora 21 in your hands and are looking forward to using it and exploring its new features and many improvements over Fedora 20. But that’s not all! Fedora never stands still, we’re always working towards a new and better release and sharing our work with the world. Want to be part of the fun? It’s easy to get involved!
There are many ways to contribute to Fedora, even if it’s just bug reporting. You can also help translate software and content, test and give feedback on software updates, write and edit documentation, design and do artwork, help with all sorts of promotional activities, and package free software for use by millions of Fedora users worldwide. To get started, visit http://join.fedoraproject.org today!