Feeds

Fedora 'Spherical Cow' delayed by bugs, Secure Boot

Release pushed back until 2013

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Delays continue to plague development of the popular Fedora Linux distribution, with Fedora 18's original November ship date now pushed back to January 2013 at the earliest.

Ordinarily, the Fedora Project aims to ship a new version of the OS twice annually, with new releases arriving on the Tuesdays closest to May 1 and October 31 of each year.

Had all gone according to plan, that would have meant Fedora 18 – known to developers by the codename "Spherical Cow" – would have arrived this past Tuesday, November 6. But things haven't been going as planned for the Fedora Project for a while now, and Fedora 18's release data has slipped six times already, usually by a week each time.

During the most recent IRC-based meeting of the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), however, the distribution's maintainers admitted that it might be best to give themselves a little more breathing room.

"The problem with moving from week to week is: do we have some kind of realistic way to estimate when we might be ready?" asked FESCo chairman Kevin Fenzi during the meeting. "I fear we don't."

The issue is that the current Fedora 18 source code still contains a number of "blocking bugs," so-called because they're deemed significant enough to interrupt the planned release schedule.

In particular, there are several outstanding bugs related to Anaconda, Fedora's GUI installer app, which has received a significant overhaul since the last release. Other problems involve fedup, a tool that allows users to upgrade their systems from earlier versions of Fedora.

"We could rename fedup to DukeNukemForever," quipped FESCo member Bill Nottingham, referring to the legendarily delayed videogame.

Currently, fedup only has one official developer, and it's not entirely clear how long it will take him to shore up the remaining blocker bugs.

And then there is the nagging issue of Windows 8's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Secure Boot, which can block installation of Linux on newer PCs. In October, the Linux Foundation proposed a "stop-gap measure" that uses a Microsoft-authorized digital key to allow Linux to run, but the Fedora Project board insists on a solution that works without the Microsoft key.

After much discussion and faced with the choice between delaying the project again and "shipping junk," as one FESCo member termed it, the Committee agreed to move the Fedora 18 release date to January 8, 2013, giving developers an extra four weeks to work past the previously announced date.

If that release schedule can be met, when Fedora 18 finally arrives it will be two months late, the longest any Fedora release has been delayed so far.

That hasn't kept the Fedora Project from looking ahead, though. On Friday it announced that it is now accepting votes to select the release name of Fedora 19, the version that will come after "Spherical Cow." Curiously, among the eight names in the running we find "Higgs Boson," "Loch Ness Monster," and "Schrödinger's Cat" – all names of things that might exist, but might not. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.