Red Hat's Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" Beta Now Available

Red Hat said on Tuesday that the beta for Fedora Version 18, "Spherical Cow", is now available for download. Included in this release is a brand-new Gnome desktop (v3.6), a new installer user interface, several language updates, and the final release of Samba 4.

"Software enthusiasts are encouraged to download the beta release of Fedora 18, take it for a test drive and help identify items that need attention before Fedora 18 is delivered for general availability," the company said. "With the beta release, the software is relatively stable, but real-world use and reports from users helps identify any lingering bugs so they can be addressed before it is more widely distributed."

In addition to the new Gnome desktop, the beta also includes updates to the KDE, XFCE and Sugar desktop environments. The MATE desktop has also been included – its first appearance in Fedora – and a new installer user interface now enhances the anaconda installer with improvements in ease of use and installation.

For developers, the new Fedora includes several language updates. These include moving to Perl 5.16 and Rails 3.2, updating the Python 3 stack from 3.2 to 3.3, and updating D and Haskell programming environments.

On the system administrator front, the final release of Samba 4 can be used on an Active Directory domain out of the box. There's also new native management software integrated into the platform to access data and server information more easily. Even more, OpenStack has been updated to Folsom, and the Eucalyptus 3.1 IaaS platform has also been added.

"New releases of Fedora represent the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the enterprise operating platform delivered by Red Hat that includes ongoing support and a broad certified ecosystem," the company said. :Fedora serves as a community research and development lab, where code changes and innovations often form the basis for other Red Hat open source projects."

To download the Fedora 18 beta, head here. The final release of Fedora 18 is expected later in the year, Red Hat said.

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