Hold onto your (red) hat: Fedora 20 is out

Latest version of Red Hat's edition of Linux has ARM support, JBoss and Ruby on Rails updates, and much more

Hold onto your hats, Linux lovers: Fedora 20 is here.

Code-named "Heisenbug" (sic), the latest version of Red Hat's free edition of Linux, as opposed to the company's commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, is the 20th release of Fedora in 10 years.

The original Fedora Core 1 premiered in November 2003 and was based on Red Hat Linux 9, which shipped with the Linux 2.4.2.2 kernel. "The goal of the Fedora Project," Red Hat wrote at the time, "is to work with the Linux community to build a complete, general-purpose operating system exclusively from free software." By this, Red Hat meant eschewing binary blobs or proprietary additions of any kind, a promise continued to the present day.

Fedora 20's biggest improvements over its predecessors include:

  • Support for ARM processors. The default architectures for Fedora are still x86 and x86_64, but with ARM hardware growing in significance -- and with Red Hat Enterprise Linux itself being readied for 64-bit ARM server hardware -- it only makes sense to add ARM as a supported processor type. All the existing editions of Fedora are available as ARM images, including the conventional desktop, KDE, Xfce, minimal, and PXE-booted versions.
  • Cloud images for OpenStack and AWS. There's little surprise that Red Hat would want Fedora to run well in OpenStack, given that Red Hat has made itself into one of the big name vendors of OpenStack (along with Dell, it seems).
  • WildFly 8, the new version of the JBoss Application Server. According to Red Hat, WildFly "makes it possible to run Java EE 7 applications with significantly higher speed," and has a smaller footprint than other JVMs. Fedora 20 also includes the latest edition of another major and widely deployed application framework, Ruby on Rails 4.0.

As with previous releases of Fedora, the user has the choice of the Gnome (3.10) or KDE (4.11) desktops. Also, some of the less-used services for desktops, like sendmail, are not installed by default but can be added manually.

Fedora 20's release was originally scheduled for a week earlier, but was postponed due to a number of bugs, not least of which was a problem with the installer. Some minor irony there, as the term "Heisenbug" refers to a bug that vanishes whenever one attempts to examine it close up. Here's hoping, then, that early adopters of the final release won't be Heisenbugged.

This story, "Hold onto your (red) hat: Fedora 20 is out," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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