The Fedora 23 Beta is here, right on schedule for our planned October final release! Want to help make Fedora 23 be the best release ever, or just want to get a sneak peek? Download the prerelease from our Get Fedora site and give it a whirl:
- Get Fedora 23 Beta Workstation — a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system for your laptop or desktop computer
- Get Fedora 23 Beta Server — make use of the very latest server-based technologies available in the open source community
- Get Fedora 23 Beta Cloud — build scale-out computing and utilize the next generation of container deployment technology
- Get Fedora 23 Beta Spins — alternative desktops for Fedora
- Get Fedora 23 Beta Labs — curated bundles of purpose-driven software and content
What is the Beta release?
The Beta release contains all the exciting features of Fedora 23’s editions in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 23 is expected in October.
We need your help to make Fedora 23 the best yet, so please take some time to download and try out the Beta and make sure the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please report it – every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide.
Together, we can make Fedora rock-solid. We have a culture of coordinating new features and pushing fixes upstream as much as feasible, and your feedback will help improve not only Fedora but Linux and free software on the whole.
Fedora 23 includes a number of changes that will improve all of the editions. For example, Fedora 23 makes use of compiler flags to improve security by hardening the binaries against memory corruption vulnerabilities, buffer overflows, and so on. This is a “behind the scenes” change that most users won’t notice through normal use of a Fedora edition, but will help provide additional system security.
Likewise, Fedora 23 has disabled SSL3 and RC4 by default due to known vulnerabilities in the protocols. This means all applications that use GNUTLS and OpenSSL libraries have had the SSL3 protocol and RC4 cipher disabled.
Fedora 23 comes with the latest version of Mono 4. This means a big improvement because we were stuck with an ancient version of Mono (2.10) for too long. All packages within Fedora that are based on Mono have been adjusted and rebuilt, to target the 4.5 version of the .Net framework. Mono 4 does not support solutions targeting v1.0, v2.0 or v3.5 of .Net, but usually they can be easily upgraded to v4.5.
Fedora 23 Beta also includes support for Unicode 8.0, which includes new emojis, and improvements in sorting Unicode text and processing non-ASCII URLs.
The Fedora Server release includes a number of interesting changes and additions.
The rolekit service now supports setting up three roles. In addition to the previously supported Domain Controller (powered by FreeIPA abd Database Server (powered by PostgreSQL) roles, Fedora Server 23 features a cache server for web applications (powered by memcached).
Rolekit can also now be used from the anaconda kickstart by passing the –deferred arguments to rolectl. For example: rolectl deploy domaincontroller –name=example.com –deferred will instruct the system to deploy the Domain Controller role on the next boot.
The Cockpit Admin Interface in Fedora Server has several big improvements as well.
- Support for SSH key authentication
- Support for configuring user accounts with their authorized keys.
- Basic cluster dashboard for driving Kubernetes on Fedora Server and Fedora Atomic Host.
- Set the timezone for your Fedora Server from the Cockpit User Interface (UI).
- Cockpit has also been made safe to use with multipath disks.
While there’s a lot going on under the hood, desktop users are also going to find Fedora 23 Beta pretty exciting for all the obvious goodness coming to the desktop. The easiest way to experience the preview of these technologies is to download and try the Fedora 23 Beta Workstation edition.
Naturally, GNOME is getting an upgrade, with Fedora 23 containing a preview of the upcoming GNOME 3.18 release, which is easier to use than ever. There are also many enhancements on the way, such as:
- Improvements to next-generation graphics stack Wayland, preparing it to be the default graphical server in a future release. This includes mixed HiDPI support, to provide a better experience when moving apps between HiDPI and non-HiDPI monitors
- Support for ambient backlight drivers, so brightness responds to the environment on laptops with the required hardware
- The Software application is smarter about metered Internet connections, and can now update system firmware
- Refreshed support for Google APIs to provide access to user data through GNOME apps (including Google Drive integration)
Users trying to get a little work done on Fedora will be happy to see LibreOffice 5 in Fedora 23. The new release includes a lot of new features and improvements:
- Style previews in the sidebar
- Microsoft Word-compatible text highlighting
- Built-in image crop
- UI for data bars in Calc
- Support for Time-Stamp Protocol in PDF export
- Support for Adobe Swatch Exchange color palettes
- Import of Apple Pages files
- Improved support for HiDPI screens
- Significantly improved support for MS Office formats
Fedora 23 Cloud Base image includes many updates and enhancements to the underlying Fedora base packages. For example, Fedora 23 now has the latest Docker release, docker 1.8. We can now verify the publisher of an image before running. This gives the users the power to identify that the image publisher published has not been tampered with. You can find many other details about the newest Docker in this announcement.
Stay tuned for news about Fedora Atomic Host in the not too distant future!
Other notable changes in Fedora
Fedora Spins are alternative desktops for Fedora that provide a different experience than the standard Fedora Workstation edition. For instance, the Fedora KDE and Fedora Xfce spins provide popular alternatives to GNOME for Fedora users who enjoy the KDE or Xfce experience.
There’s a new spin in town for Fedora 23. Want a classic take on a modern desktop? If so, the Cinnamon spin may just be what you’re hoping to find. Fedora 23 includes a spin that tries to emulate the GNOME 2 experience using GNOME Shell from GNOME 3.x. Learn more at Cinnamon.
Sugar on a Stick is a stand-alone implementation of the desktop environment originally designed for the One Laptop per Child project. Fedora’s SoaS spin has been updated to Sugar 0.106, for better performance, updated activities, and a new “social help” feature for collaborative learning.
Fedora Labs are curated software collections. You can find updated live media focused on Games, Design, Robotics, and more.
Issues and Details
This is an Beta release. As such, we expect that you may encounter bugs or missing features. To report issues encountered during testing, contact the Fedora QA team via the test mailing list or in #fedora-qa on freenode.
As testing progresses, common issues are tracked on the Common F23 Bugs page.
For tips on reporting a bug effectively, read “how to file a bug report.”
The full release schedule is available on the Fedora wiki. The current schedule calls for a beta release towards the end of September, and the final release scheduled towards the end of October.
These dates are subject to change, pending any major bugs or issues found during the development process.