Fedora 37 beta version is now available for testing

Fedora Linux 37 Beta release

Fedora Linux 37 distribution beta testing has started

The release of the "Beta" test version, of what will be the next version of the popular Linux distribution, "Fedora 37", in which various changes that had already been announced months ago have been integrated, such as the end of support for ARMv7, as well as official support for RPi 4, the beginning of the deprecation of SHA-1 digital signatures, among other things.

It is worth mentioning that the launch of this beta version marked the transition to the final stage of testing, in which only critical bug fixes are allowed.

Main news in Fedora 37 Beta

This new version of Fedora Workstation arrives with GNOME 43, whose release is expected on September 21. With the release of GNOME 43, the configurator has a new panel with security options and firmware (for example, displays information about UEFI Secure Boot activation, TPM status, Intel BootGuard, and IOMMU security mechanisms).

Another novelty that this beta presents is support for the Raspberry Pi 4 board which now is officially supported, including hardware graphics acceleration support for the V3D GPU.

Besides that, two new official editions are proposed: Fedora CoreOS (an atomically upgradable environment for running isolated containers) and Fedora Cloud Base (images to create virtual machines running in public and private cloud environments).

In x86 systems with BIOS, partitioning is enabled by default using GPT instead of MBR. While for the Silverblue and Kinoite editions of Fedora they provide the ability to remount the /sysroot partition in read-only mode to protect against accidental changes.

Regarding the architecture ARMv7, also known as ARM32 or armhfp, this has become obsolete and its support has ended. Reasons cited for ending support for ARMv7 are the general removal of distribution development for 32-bit systems, as some of Fedora's new security and performance enhancements are only available for 64-bit architectures. ARMv7 remained the last fully supported 32-bit architecture in Fedora (repository training for the i686 architecture was discontinued in 2019, leaving only multi-library repositories for x86_64 environments).

With this change the Fedora developers, make the recommendation to the maintainers stop creating packages for the i686 architecture if the need for such packages is questionable or results in a significant waste of time or resources. The recommendation does not apply to packages used as dependencies on other packages or used in the "multilib" context to make 32-bit programs run in 64-bit environments. For the i686 architecture, the java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, java-17-openjdk, and java-latest-openjdk packages have been deprecated.

On the other hand, we can find in this Fedora 37 beta that files included in RPM packages are digitally signed, which can be used to verify integrity and protect against file spoofing using the IMA (Integrity Measurement Architecture) kernel subsystem. Adding signatures resulted in a 1,1% increase in RPM package size and a 0,3% increase in installed system size.

Of the other changes highlights of this beta version:

  • Added policy TEST-FEDORA39 to test for the upcoming deprecation of SHA-1 digital signatures. Optionally, the user can disable SHA-1 support using the command “update-crypto-policies –set TEST-FEDORA39”.
  • A version of Fedora Server has been prepared for download, designed as a virtual machine image optimized for the KVM hypervisor.
  • A preliminary setup is proposed to test the control of the Anaconda installer through a web interface, even from a remote system.
  • It is also mentioned that as of this Beta version, additional language support and localization components have been separated from the main Firefox package.
  • Updated package versions including Python 3.11, Perl 5.36, LLVM 15, Go 1.19, Erlang 25, Haskell GHC 8.10.7, Boost 1.78, glibc 2.36, binutils 2.38, Node.js 18, RPM 4.18, BIND 9.18, Emacs 28, Stratis 3.2.0.
  • The packages and edition of the LXQt desktop distribution have been updated to LXQt 1.1.
  • The openssl1.1 package has been deprecated and replaced by the package with the current OpenSSL 3.0 branch.

Finally for those who are interested in being able to test the beta, you can get the ISO image from the following link.

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