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Fedora 8

On Thursday November 8th (about 3:00 PM GMT), Fedora 8 will go live to the world, and you will be able to download it at http://fedoraproject.org.

The bits are all finalized, the mirrors are synced, and the torrents are primed. But until we flip the switch, you will have to tide yourself over with this -- my personal Fedora 8 release announcement.

Fortunately, it's pretty long, so if you read it all, Fedora 8 might be released by the time you have finished!


Fedora Core 1 was released on November 6, 2003. That is almost exactly 4 years ago to the date. There are a lot of people reading this who were users, developers, or both of Fedora Core 1. I wasn't even a part of the Fedora community back then -- I remember reading about it on Slashdot and thinking "Red Hat would be a fun place to work some day".

I have been part of the Fedora Project for a little less than 2 years, but I know enough of the people who have been there since day 1 to recognize the tremendous strides that have been taken between version 1 and version 8 of this distribution.

Our community has grown, both the folks within Red Hat who are lucky enough to spend their days working on Fedora and the folks in our volunteer community who give so generously of their time and talents.

We have seen Fedora Extras go from an idea to a reality to such a tremendous success that it led to the complete restructuring of Fedora's development processes.

We have seen the emergence of infrastructure and translation teams that are world-class in their abilities and achievements.

We have seen many of the brightest software engineers anywhere, some as Red Hat employees and some as volunteers, continue to produce innovative work with an "upstream first" mentality that benefits not just Red Hat and Fedora but the entire free software community.

The Fedora Project on the whole -- not just the Linux distribution that it produces -- today is consistent, reliable, and moving in the right direction. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of that.


One of the goals that we specifically chose for Fedora 8 was to use it as the release that gets us back on track in terms of predictability. We picked two dates -- Halloween and May Day -- that are 6 months apart, and for the foreseeable future it is Fedora's goal to release as close to those two dates as possible.

Fedora 7 was released on May 31st.  Fedora 8 arrives on November 8th.

In the software world, getting within one week of a date that was picked six months earlier is considered successful, and I think that everyone in our development and contributor community should be proud of the fact that we put together a quality release that includes lots of new features in exactly 23 weeks.


Fedora's development priorities tend to come in cycles. If you think back to the Fedora Core 6 release cycle, you will remember that a significant portion of the engineering goals for that release were driven by the knowledge that Fedora Core 6 would be the upstream for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Everyone knew going in that Fedora Core 6 would be more "corporate" than "community". And that was ok, because we also knew that once Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was released, the Fedora Project would be able to spend its next several releases focused on its community-related priorities. Fedora 9 will probably start to see the pendulum swing back in the other direction, as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 starts to materialize on the horizon.

Fedora 7 and Fedora 8 need to be thought of together in that context -- the community's goals and priorities being paramount. The overarching goal for both of these releases has been in the realm of custom spins.

We debuted this model in Fedora 7 with pungi, livecd-creator, and revisor. Fedora 8 has expanded this further, and has proven the hypothesis of "if we give people the tools, they will come".

Fedora 8 brings with it a developer spin, a games spin, and an electronic lab spin, in addition to the GNOME and KDE desktop spins that were first part of Fedora 7.

Additionally, we have seen organizations like Creative Commons use the Fedora build tools in the past year as the basis for their own custom Linux projects, built using Fedora as its foundation.


There are a tremendous number of new features in Fedora 8 -- too many for me to list here. But there is an excellent release summary on the Fedora Project wiki that I encourage you to read if you want more specifics about Fedora 8.
 * http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/8/ReleaseSummary

If you are interested in running Fedora 8 entirely off of a USB key, we have an article in Red Hat Magazine that can help you.
 * http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/11/07/i-am-fedora-and-so-can-you/

We also have a series of interviews with some of the developers who worked on these features, which offer interesting insights.
 * http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Interviews

If you check out my blog, you can see our ongoing "lesser-known Fedora contributors" series:
 * http://spevack.livejournal.com/tag/fedora

And finally, for those of you who can't get enough and want to know what is being planned for Fedora 9, I am here to help.
 * http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/9/FeatureList


My sincere thanks to all of our developers, users, testers, writers, translators, and ambassadors -- in short, our Community, wherever you happen to live or work. You are Fedora. None of this would exist without you.

Max Spevack
Fedora Project Leader

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