Besides the Fedora 13 Graphics Testing Week taking place over the next few days, this week is also significant within the Fedora community as it will mark the release of Fedora 13 Beta. There's just one month left to go until Fedora 13 (codenamed Goddard) will be officially released, but over the past few hours we have been testing out what will become the official Fedora 13 Beta spin this morning. Fedora 13 is quite exciting and worth checking out.
Some of the new features for Fedora 13 include automatic printer driver installation of supported packages like foomatic and hpijs, improved web-camera support, the KDE desktop now has PolicyKit One and PulseAudio integration, and system rollback support using Btrfs. When it comes to packages, Fedora 13 has been upgraded against KDE 4.4, GNOME 2.30, NetBeans 6.8 is in place as a development IDE, NFSv4 support, Python 3 support along side Python 2.x support, RPM 4.8, OpenOffice.org 3.2.0, Sugar 0.88 desktop, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.2, and Upstart 0.6.0.
Red Hat's Anaconda installer that has been undergoing a rewrite since Fedora 11 particularly with the storage options is about finalized with the beta release. One of the last features is storage filtering, which is now fully implemented. NetworkManager, another Red Hat project, now has support for dial-up networking with Bluetooth network adapters, the NetworkManager can now be used without a GUI through its CLI-driven nmcli binary, and mobile broadband connections now should be able to report the signal strength, cellular technology, and roaming status.
Within the Linux graphics stack, Fedora 13 now supports DisplayPort monitors with NVIDIA and ATI/AMD graphics cards complete with kernel mode-setting support via updates to the Nouveau and Radeon DRM, respectively. Of huge benefit to those with NVIDIA graphics cards is the Gallium3D driver for Nouveau now being included and enabled by default. There is also a classic Mesa driver for NVIDIA's very old fixed-function hardware. For several releases now, Fedora has been carrying the Nouveau DDX and DRM for kernel mode-setting support, but Goddard will be the first where they have activated open-source 3D support for NVIDIA's hardware. Fedora 13 is using the Linux 2.6.33 kernel and X.Org Server 1.8.0.
Other work completed in Fedora 13 Beta includes support for the Dogtag Certificate System, GNOME Color Manager integration, UDisks improvements, VHostNet for providing kernel acceleration of KVM networking, and support for sharing a physical network adapter between the host OS and guest virtual machines.
The official Fedora 13 release should come on the 18th of May. Those interested in grabbing the beta release should be able to find it on mirrors within a few hours at FedoraProject.org.