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Fedora 9 Hits Beta

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The first Beta for Red Hat's Fedora 9 (code named Sulfur) is now out. As expected it includes the latest and greatest in Linux technologies including new GNOME, KDE, Firefox and Linux kernel packages.

I spoke with the new Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields last month about Fedora 9 and at the time he highlighted FreeIPA among the new features set to debut in Sulphur. FreeIPA is a tool for system administrators to install, set up and
administer centralized identity management and authentication. On the
enterprise side, Red Hat has already disclosed that a Red Hat
Enterprise IPA product is in development.

The release notes for Fedora 9 also mention something called PackageKit. According to PackageKit.org:

PackageKit is a system designed to make installing and updating software
on your computer easier.
The primary design goal is to unify all the software graphical tools
used in different distributions, and use some of the latest technology
like PolicyKit to make the process suck less.

It's an amazing concept and one that I'll be keen to see work in practical terms. After all software packaging and installation is key to the overall experience of any operating system and with all the different options available to Linux users, having a unified installer is a fantastic idea.

The final release of Fedora 9 is currently set for April 29, leaving a full month of testing to go. Fedora release manager Jesse Keating underscored the importance of testing in his release announcement:
Beta is a point of much greater stability in Fedora's development branch, but some fixes continue to occur to improve usability, performance, and stability. This release is great for early adopters and Linux enthusiasts! The Fedora 9 Beta boots on the majority of systems, and gives you an idea of how the final Fedora 9 will look and feel.

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