Home > Fedora, Politics, Technology > Leonidas: On the Brink of Release

Leonidas: On the Brink of Release

With Fedora 11 (“Leonidas”) released earlier today and Rawhide looking to the future, I find myself instead looking back at what has made Leonidas such an excellent release.

With over 50 new features in this release (more than any previous release, I’ve been told!), it would seem logical that this staggering amount of new improvements would leave us with many majors bugs and issues yet to resolved – the more features we add, the less manpower/resources we can expend on each individually, right?

Wrong. With so many test days and an amazing Quality Assurance team, we’ve hammered, smashed, pounded, banged, and kicked this release into a uniquely rich and stable Fedora experience.

One of my favorite features of this release is Presto. Though not enabled by default, Presto allows users to use so-called DeltaRPMs to update the packages installed on their system. That is, instead of downloading the whole new updated packages, only the changes between the installed version and the update need be downloaded. Especially for large packages (such as some game data and OpenOffice.org) or those who are on a slower or pay-per-usage internet connection, this can be a very hefty savings both in time and cost. I used it immediately after installed Leonidas, and it saved me quite a bit on the initial updating:

Size of all updates downloaded from Presto-enabled repositories: 14M
Size of updates that would have been downloaded if Presto wasn't enabled: 128M
This is a savings of 89 percent

Win! The DRI2/KMS support has also been updated heavily and now works out of the proverbial box, at least for a large portion of Intel and AMD/ATi hardware. (This allows a proper composited desktop with 3-D and all. By default. VERY awesome.)

Another excellent feature is that the installation now defaults to using the Ext4 filesystem where applicable. I must admit, I was a bit afraid of actively using this when I was first reading about it, due to all of the reports of data corruption people have experienced; but it seems those issues are long-since fixed, as I’d been using Ext4 for my root partition since Fedora 10. With Leonidas, I took the plunge and upgraded my /home partition (via Anaconda) from Ext3 to Ext4, and have yet to notice a problem. (For those wishing to do similar – and even for those not – I would still highly recommend keeping proper backups Just In CaseTM)

Finally, while I could pinpoint each and every feature and how I feel it’s improved Fedora, suffice it to say that I don’t have adequate time to type out such a long rave. However, as much as these individual features improve Fedora on their own, it is their conglomeration which impacts us the most – the way things are so well-integrated and work properly “out of the box” (so to speak), the way that we as a community of many actively support all of this so well, the way we as a community so diverse handle bugs and packaging, the beautiful artwork and the amazing work of the Release Engineering team to distribute this blend of creativity so readily.

I’d like to rehash those last few points: It’s the wonderful combination of the efforts of you countless contributors and users which makes Fedora so great. Thank you all. Keep up the impressive work. I can’t wait for what’s to come in Fedora 12+!

  1. Rob
    June 9th, 2009 at 23:27 | #1

    Well, there are bugs introduced all over the place that are still not fixed. E.g., from the 4 machines I have access to, 2 of them would have lost important hardware features like suspend-to-ram / resume, dual head, wireless, etc.

    I ‘ve been in a few test days and bugs have been filed for all of those, yet they were not fixed, some not even commented upon. Is this anybody’s fault? Not really,
    this is all part of how FOSS works.

    I ‘m just saying that it is not that the introduced bugs from all those new features were fixed, it is just that you don’t see them ;)

  2. JamesD
    June 11th, 2009 at 07:48 | #2

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

  1. June 20th, 2009 at 21:18 | #1