So much going on today!
At 10:00 am US Eastern time (1400 UTC), Fedora 13 Beta is released. The Beta is our last milestone before the final release of Fedora 13. We’d like to have as many people test it as possible. It’s available in a “Live ISO” format you can write not only to CD DVD, but also to a USB key, and boot off the USB key. I really prefer the USB key, because you can update the key with fixes as you use it using the “persistence” feature. It also gives you nifty options we created along the way, like an encrypted user data area, very fast booting, and very fast installation to hard disk as well. Who loves ya, baby?
Also, today starts our Graphics Test Week, beginning with the Nouveau NVidia driver. Graphics drivers affect almost everyone who uses Linux, so this is a fantastic opportunity for you to help make a difference. We’re having one today for Nouveau, tomorrow for the Radeon ATI card driver, and on Thursday for Intel graphics cards. How do you do it? Very easily, it turns out — you join IRC Freenode at #fedora-test-day to participate. Just about anyone can help, because all the tests are fully documented already. You just follow a simple set of instructions, and if you encounter a problem, the QA crew will help you get a bug filed.
But what if you don’t run Fedora? No problem! There are Live ISO images available for the test day as well, meaning you don’t have to install Fedora to participate. And why would you want to help if, heaven forfend, you don’t use Fedora? Because even if you use another distribution, your time is still worthwhile — because Fedora works hard to send changes upstream to the driver developers, so the entire Linux community benefits. That’s how collaboration and open source work. It’s not about hoarding, it’s about sharing.
Adam Williamson, a Fedora QA contributor and seemingly unstoppable force in community testing and quality, wrote more about the Video Test Week here. (There’s also a Phoronix article here and a LWN article here as well.)
By the way, to see what kind of graphics card you have, you can open up a terminal and type or copy/paste this command:
/sbin/lspci | grep -i vga
UPDATE: The ever-helpful Josh Boyer reminded me that the Fedora 13 Beta, Live Desktop edition, needs a DVD because of size reasons, although this won’t be the case for the final release of Fedora 13. Seriously, use the USB, it’s awesome.