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 Announcing CSE Fedora 13
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F13 Rollout Timeline
(Subject to Change)

Beta Test: July 7 – July 21, 2010
  • Jul  7: fenwick (GWS - Room 302-5)
  • Jul  7: bicycle (res cycle server - /scratch wiped)
  • Jul  TBD: smurf (IWS - CSE 002)
  • Jul  TBD: mchan (IWS - CSE 022)
  • Jul  12: caturra (GRAIL workstation - CSE 294)
  • Jul  11: coco (res file server)

Rollout to Lab-
  managed machines:  
(As many as possible before Sep 30, 2010)
late July– late November, 2010

End of support for
previous CSE Linux (F11):  
Nov 24, 2010

The new CSE Linux distribution, for 2010-2011 will be installed on most Lab-supported Linux machines late July through September of 2010. Hopefully all Lab-supported Linux machines will be updated by the end of November, 2010, when we stop supplying updates.

This new CSE Linux distribution for 2010-2011 is based on Fedora 13 (F13, code-named "Goddard"), with our usual local customizing.

Some highlighted changes for Fedora 13 are listed below.

Specific Changes:

Here are some of the highlights, and things to watch for, with the new CSE Linux Fedora 13 distribution:

The gcc compiler now uses implicit DSO linking. This means that ld will no longer automatically search in the dependencies of linked objects. If your code uses both libraries A and B, it will not compile unless both A and B are explicitly linked. Under the new changes, if your package fails its build with a message like:
    /usr/bin/ld: gpx-parser.o: undefined reference to symbol 'acos@@GLIBC_2.0'
    /usr/bin/ld: note: 'acos@@GLIBC_2.0' is defined in DSO /lib/ so try adding it to the linker command line
Then the line that builds the specified .o needs to explicitly link libm. As usual, you should check any existing code to be sure it will compile and run under the new system. You may need to make code modifications.
Fedora 13 changes the default NFS protocol to version 4. An NFSv4 client will check to see if the server supports version 4. If the server does it will connect. Otherwise it will connect using protocol version 3. One major benefit is performance. In version 4, the server has state. This means the server can issue things called delegations (or leases) for files allowing the v4 client to aggressively cache, which drastically cuts down on network traffic between the client and server. In Fedora 13 we will be using NFSv4 by default, with the option to roll back to NFSv3 should problems arise.
X graphic drivers
The Xorg graphics drivers for Intel, Nvidia, and Radeon (ATI) now use 'kernel mode setting'. This is optional for Radeon, but now required for Intel and Nvidia. This means some of the code previously in the user mode driver has moved to the kernel. Hopefully this change will be transparent to users, but some surprises may occur, since we do not have the equipment to pre-test, prior to upgrade, all models of graphics cards that are in use on the many different departmental machines.
Shotwell replaces gthumb
Fedora now installs shotwell, instead of gthumb, as the default photo organizer. We have followed suit, on desktop systems.
Empathy replaces pidgin
Fedora now installs empathy, instead of pidgin, as the default messaging client. We have done the same, on desktop systems.
Alpine replaces pine
Alpine, the replacement for the pine mail client, has been available for several of our Fedora releases. Will Fedora 13, alpine totally replaces pine. Pine is no longer developed or maintained, so the switch to alpine is necessary.
Previously, we modified Fedora's emacs to support flock style mail locking, to match the locking used by our sendmail. In Fedora 13 we are using the default Fedora emacs, which does not use flock. Our investigations shows that our users are not actively using emacs RMAIL for reading new mail. But, this is a warning that you could have locking problems, which could lead to mail file corruption, if you do so. Another side effect of not rebuilding emacs is that the path /usr/local/bin/emacs no longer exists. If you must refer to a full path, use /usr/bin/emacs, which works on old and new Fedora machines.
We have dropped the ancient, locally added, tget program. Some old .login and/or .cshrc files may reference this program. If so, just delete any such references.
Package Versions
As with all Linux upgrades, many packages have newer versions. (Note that package versions may change during the course of a release.) Here are some examples at the time of F13 beta:
Package F13 (at beta) F11
emacs 23.3 23.1
firefox 3.6 3.5
glibc 2.12 2.10
xorg-x11-server 1.8.2 1.6.4
GNOME 2.30 2.26
PHP 5.3 5.2
postgresql 8.4 8.3
Last modified: Wednesday, 7 July 2010 at 09:52:45 AM

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