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Fedora 19 lands in beta with updates for devs, cloud

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The Fedora Project has announced the beta release of Fedora 19, codenamed "Schrödinger's Cat", almost exactly six months since the previous version entered beta.

The release brings the Fedora project back on track after the much-delayed Fedora 18, which shipped two months later than expected due to lingering bugs.

Among its major new features, Fedora 19 is the first to bundle Red Hat's OpenShift Origin platform-as-a-service (PaaS) management software, something that was meant to be included in the previous version but was bumped to give the OpenShift devs time to upgrade their code to run on the new version of Ruby on Rails.

Fedora's OpenStack infrastructure cloud software has also been upgraded to the "Grizzly" release, which shipped in April.

Fedora 19 brings lots of new tools for developers, including PHP 5.5, Ruby 2.0.0, and a technology preview of the next version of the Java platform, OpenJDK 8. There's even a new Developer's Assistant tool that automates setting up new software projects in a variety of programming languages.

The release also marks the first time the JavaScript-based Node.js software platform comes as a standard component of the Fedora distro.

In addition, Fedora 19 now defaults to installing MariaDB, MySQL creator Monty Widenius's community-developed fork of the MySQL database server, in place of Oracle's version (although MySQL is still available for those who insist upon it).

The new version includes updated versions of the Gnome, KDE Plasma Workspaces, and MATE desktop environments, and a number of Fedora "Spins" are available that support still other desktops, such as Xfce and LXDE.

Systems admins will be pleased to note that Fedora 19 offers support for the OpenLMI Linux management infrastructure and optional simplified booting via Syslinux, as well as improved Kerberos management and better on-the-fly control of service settings.

And in keeping with the Fedora Project's goal of building a general-purpose Linux distro for a wide variety of users, Fedora 19 now includes a full suite of tools to assist with 3D modeling and printing, including OpenSCAD, Skeinforge, SFACT, Printrun, and RepetierHost.

The full list of features added for the release is available here.

As with all Fedora beta releases, Fedora 19 should currently be considered unfinished, and it is virtually guaranteed to include a few bugs, either known or unknown – so download and install at your own risk.

The beta is the last major milestone before the final release of Fedora 19, however, so it can be considered feature-complete. If all goes according to plan (unlike last time), the final version is expected to ship around the first week of July. ®

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