Dec 092014

Fedora 21 debuted today and the upgrade is available in three flavors – Workstation (previously known as the desktop version), Server and Cloud.

The three versions are built on a common base that uses the same packages for kernel, RPM, Yum, systemd, Anaconda, etc.

Fedora Workstation

Fedora developers are touting Workstation 21 as “a more polished and targeted system” than previous versions.

It features an improved Software Installer and featured applications, support for high definition displays and the Wayland display server technology.

Enhancements to the terminal application include support for transparent backgrounds, automatic title updates to let users identify different terminals, a toggle to disable shortcuts and the ability to search for terminals by name in the GNOME desktop overview.

The Workstation version is aimed at students, hobbyists and developers on laptops and PCs.

Fedora Server

Targeted at users looking to deploy a Linux web server, file server, database server, or as a platform for an Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Fedora 21 Server features three new server management technologies – Rolekit (in an early implementation avatar), Cockpit and OpenLMI.

Rolekit is a role deployment and management toolkit offering a consistent interface for administrators to install and configure all the packages needed to implement a specific server role.

Cockpit is a user interface for configuring and monitoring servers that can be accessed remotely via a browser.

A remote management system built atop DMTF-CIM, OpenLMI is meant for scripting management functions across multiple machines as well as querying for capabilities and monitoring for system events.

Fedora Cloud

Fedora 21 Cloud comes with images for deployment in private cloud environments like OpenStack, as well as AMIs for use on Amazon EC2 environments, and a new “Atomic” image for running Docker containers.

In this version, the kernel is split into two packages – One contains the minimum modules required for running in a virtualized environment and the other includes the larger set of modules for a more general installation. So the Fedora 21 Cloud image ends up 25% smaller than in Fedora 20, which should make for faster deployments.

One of the highlights of Fedora 21 Cloud is support for Red Hat’s Project Atomic initiative to provide tools and patterns to run Docker containers. Atomic host is supposed to make update management easier by letting users roll back updates as one atomic unit.

Atomic image includes Kubernetes and Cockpit technologies for container management, and will receive updates through the Fedora 21 release cycle as rpm-ostree updates.

Fedora 21 – Where to Download

Although I’ve never been a great fan of Fedora (I use Red Hat Linux on the server and LinuxMint on the desktop), I intend to download Fedora 21 Workstation and give it a spin.

Newbies can download Fedora 21 at GetFedora.

Those already running Fedora can upgrade from a previous release of Fedora should head over to the Fedora Project web site. <>
The FedUp utility should help easily upgrade to Fedora 21 from previous releases.

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