In recent years, growing attention has been devoted to the conversion of biomass into fuel ethanol, considered the cleanest liquid fuel alternative to fossil fuels. Significant advances have been made towards the technology of ethanol fermentation. This review provides practical examples and gives a broad overview of the current status of ethanol fermentation including biomass resources, microorganisms, and technology. Also, the promising prospects of ethanol fermentation are especially introduced. The prospects included are fermentation technology converting xylose to ethanol, cellulase enzyme utilized in the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials, immobilization of the microorganism in large systems, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, and sugar conversion into ethanol.