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Dec 13 2014

Fedora 21 Arrives


First introduced in late 2003, Red Hat's cutting-edge Linux has long entered the next decade of development: based on the framework, the operating system is to become more agile and user-friendly. The latest edition offers first hints at what can be expected with a more comfortable installation process that aligns with different usage scenarios.

Within Fedora 21, an integrated set of fundamental packages, called Fedora 21 Base, creates the standard platform for all offerings, including installer and compose tools. The small platform is not intended for standalone usage, but to serve as a one-size-fits-all foundation on which the three flavors may build. Thus each and every version of Fedora 21 uses the same packages for the kernel, RPM, Yum, systemd, Anaconda, etc.

Fedora 21 Cloud offers images for private cloud environments including OpenStack, AMIs for use on Amazon, and the new Fedora Atomic Host, a toolset for streamlining the OS so that it may run Docker containers. The basic idea behind Atomic was to introduce an upgrade system for the cloud that works as smooth and reliable as Git does on desktop systems and servers. In addition, Fedora 21 Cloud comes with a two-piece modular kernel package: one of them contains a minimum set of modules required to run in virtualized environments, the other a larger set for a general-purpose installation. Together with other size reduction measures, this makes for a 25% smaller cloud OS footprint, enabling users to not only save valuable storage space, but also to add applications of their own choice for a more individual setup.

Fedora 21 Server is a common base platform intended to run featured application stacks such as Web, file, and database servers or to serve as a foundation for IaaS solutions. According to the release announcement, this edition offers new server management functions that simplify installing discrete infrastructure services, namely Rolekit, Cockpit, and OpenLMI. The most interesting among these is Rolekit, essentially a daemon and management toolkit that's meant to help administrators deploy various server roles. However, in this first iteration the only available role is that of a domain controller.

Finally, Fedora 21 Workstation is geared towards users who want to run Fedora on their desktops or laptops. Again according to the release announcement, it sports a cleaner interface and a more polished look than previous versions. Its cornerstone is the Software installer, which now offers a broader choice of applications for swift and easy download and deployment. Developers benefit from a souped-up Terminal application with additional features (such as automatic title updates and a name-based search function) as well as the new DevAssistant tool, which helps in setting up large numbers of language runtimes and IDEs.

For more information, please visit the Fedora wiki and see the release notes.


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