New Distro Releases on the Horizon

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 21, 2008

Spring is in the air and that can only mean one thing: several popular Linux distributions are getting ready for their next release. Let's take a look at the upcoming versions of Fedora, Ubuntu, and openSUSE to see what's new, what's improved, and what will be worth the wait.

Fedora 9's much-anticipated release is scheduled for May 13 and has several new features users will love. PackageKit is a tool that, according to its developers, makes the process of installing and updating software "suck less." You'll also be able to resize partitions during installation, create a LiveUSB image with persistent data, and get better bluetooth capabilities. Fedora 9 will also ship with the newest version of Mozilla's Internet browser Firefox3, and upgrades the KDE desktop environment from 3.5 to 4.'s Fahmida Y. Rashid reviewed a beta version of Fedora 9 recently. He says it "shows that a lot of work is being done to clean up the operating system behind the scenes," and that it's worth the upgrade.

Ubuntu 8.04 is slated for release on April 24 and sports a bunch of software and core system features. PolicyKit gives users a greater amount of control over administrative permissions, and PulseAudio offers new options for mix audio from multiple applications as well as performing advanced operations on audio streams. Speaking of audio, the audio CD burning utility Serpentine has been replaced with Brasero, a full-featured CD/DVD burning application.

InfoWorld's Neil McAllister recently reviewed the release and says it's "shaping up to be a worthy upgrade for existing users and a good jumping-on point for new ones."

The release of openSUSE 11.0 isn't expected until June 19 but you can grab the beta right now and give it a spin. New features include a zypp solver and repository meta data to increase the speed of package management. Engineers also made some changes under openSUSE's hood and now an entire install can be completed in less than a half-hour.

OpenSUSE 11.0 will ship with Firefox 3 and continues to give users a choice of desktop environments and will ship with KDE 4, KDE 3.5, and GNOME 2.22. Since the beta version of openSUSE 11.0 was only released a few days ago, no one's had a chance to thoroughly review it yet but it's getting high marks from members of the SUSE community.

Which release are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.