Red Hat is expecting to deliver the final release of Fedora 11 in just less than one month, but today they have offered up a preview build of this next open-source Linux distribution update that is known as Leonidas. This afternoon we have screenshots of the Fedora 11 Preview release along with information on some of the changes.
The first item users will notice with Fedora 11 is the boot process, which continues to be refined with Red Hat's Plymouth project and as it recently replaced RHGB (Red Hat Graphical Boot) it is continuing to receive new improvements here and there. With Fedora 11 more users will be able to see Plymouth in action by default due to improved kernel mode-setting. The state of kernel mode-setting has fluctuated quite a bit in between the past few Fedora releases, but with Leonidas it should work across the board with Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA hardware. Besides KMS improving the boot experience by flashing the screen less, also improved as a result is VT switching, suspend-and-resume, and the X Server is then capable of running without root access.
Also on the graphics side, Fedora 11 is shipping with the Nouveau driver and is in fact the default NVIDIA driver. As we shared earlier, the volume control interface has also been improved in Fedora 11. Support for fingerprint readers and the IBus input method system has also been improved upon for enriching Fedora's support.
As you can see from the screenshots, the desktop background and some of the artwork has also been updated compared to earlier Fedora 11 test releases. Shipping in the Fedora 11 Preview is the Linux 2.6.29 kernel, GNOME 2.26.1, X Server 1.6.1, Mesa 7.5, and Firefox 3.1/3.5.
The Fedora 11 Release Candidate is expected to be available on the 12th of May while the final release is scheduled for May 26, 2009. The Fedora 11 Preview release announcement along with links to their Torrents can be found on the Fedora announcement list.