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Fedora 16 goes final with cloud and virtualization

Last build before Beefy Miracle

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Fedora has released the final build of Fedora 16, and is touting big improvements in the way the OS handles cloud computing and virtualization.

Fedora 16, previously codenamed Verne, is sticking with the wildly unpopular Gnome 3.2 interface, but is giving users the choice between that and KDE 4.7. Incidentally, the wallpaper looks like a representation of Jules Verne’s classic “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” – which makes El Reg wonder what Fedora 17, aka “Beefy Miracle” will look like.

But it’s the cloud computing and virtualization features upon which Red Hat is selling (so to speak) the system.

On the cloud front, the new OS comes with the Aeolus Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) system, which allows cross platform control of cloud environments – controlled via a web portal, as well as the OpenStack IaaS platform. For the more security-conscious user, the Fedora build also has HekaFS, a cloud-ready version of GlusterFS that supports encryption and strong authentication protocols.

On the virtualization side, a Fedora Virt-manager guest inspection tool has been added, which gives read-only access to guest file systems, applications, and registry. Virtual networking for larger rollouts has also been beefed up, and virtual discs can be locked down for better security. The Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE) system has also seen improvements, allowing sharing and two-way audio messaging for virtual desktops.

A new version of Perl, 5.14, is built-in, as is the first version of the programming language D. Python 2 and 3 users can get more control of the GNU Compiler Collection without needing to mess around in C code.

According to the Fedora team, the next beefy build should be out around May 2012, in keeping with the six-month refresh cycled the group has set for itself. ®

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