June 1, 2007 3:55 PM PDT

Fedora 7 unifies Red Hat, outside coders

Red Hat on Thursday released a new edition of its hobbyist version of Linux, Fedora 7, a version which unifies the work of programmers inside and outside the company.

Fedora 7, as expected, unifies what had been two separate software components, Red Hat-built Core and community-built Extras. Shortly before the final version was released, the project also switched to a new open system called Koji for housing and building the software components.

"With our new open-source build process, our community of contributors will enjoy much greater influence and authority in advancing Fedora," said Max Spevack, Red Hat's Fedora project leader, in a statement.

Fedora is freely available, but Red Hat doesn't provide formal support for it or certify software and hardware compatibility as it does with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora is intended in part to test out new features the company eventually puts in RHEL.

Fedora competes with OpenSuse from Novell and with the up-and-coming Ubuntu version of Linux from Canonical.

One new feature in Fedora 7 is KVM, open-source virtualization software that can enable a single computer to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. KVM is a newer alternative to Xen, another open-source alternative that's built into current versions of RHEL and Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

Among other Fedora 7 features are GNOME 2.18 and KDE 3.5.6 desktop interface software; fast switching among multiple users; better power management through a new timing mechanism in the kernel; and the experimental Nouveau open-source driver to support 3D graphics features on Nvidia graphics chips.

Fedora 8 is due to be released October 31. On its tentative feature list is a more polished graphical start-up, remote management for virtualization software, and a helper application for dealing with multiple audio and video formats.

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Fedora Project, Red Hat Inc., Red Hat Enterprise Linux, KVM, open source

6 comments

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Fedora is now useless
I used to have a couple of servers running Fedora Core 2 when they silently pulled the plug on fedoralegacy.org !
I fail to see the point of installing an OS that will be obsolete only 1 year after.

Centos and Ubuntu are much better choices.
Posted by My-Self (242 comments )
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Fedora not so useless...
Fedora is not made to be a long term OS. It is just the testing grounds for RHEL. Every release of Fedora is meant to experiment with new technology that may eventually make it into the enterprise version. With Ubuntu, there is no enterprise edition, everybody gets the same version, so it must try to combine older, more stable apps with newer ones. Ubuntu also has one of, if not the best, community support pages. It really depends on what you want. If you just want a computer with linux so that you can play around with it, go with the cutting-edge distributions, but if you need a server or long-term solution, go with the more stable, longer life distribution (ubuntu)
Posted by shldvebnacwby (37 comments )
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Fedora isn't really a long-term server OS
If you look at the release schedules of Fedora (typically every 7-9 months), you're basically kidding yourself if you think that it's possible to support, say, 3 or 4 versions of Fedora without some serious help (e.g. a lot of volunteers or a lot of money).

Red Hat do it by funding their RHEL release with support+update licences (though I think it's poor they don't have update-only licences, because RHEL prices itself out of the small business market with its current pricing model).

CentOS do it by relying on RHEL's efforts for 90% of their distro and the final 10% is concentrated on removing trademarks/logos and adjusting the installer/updater software.

Fedora? Just has volunteers plus some Red Hat staff. It's primarily aimed at desktop users (particularly developers) who want the latest bleeding edge goodies but still having a fairly stable distro. Yes, features from Fedora filter down to RHEL/CentOS over time, but Fedora is what you want as a preview for that.

I've still got some servers on Fedora Core 2, but they're moving to CentOS 5 soon, which is clearly a much more suitable OS for server use (RHEL goodness, CentOS no-chargeness) than Fedora will ever be. BTW, if you're wondering why I used FC2 on a server, brand new Dell Poweredges at the time had hardware that would *only* work on FC2 (yes, I tried White Box Enterprise Linux at the time and that was no good either).

It should be noted that fedoralegacy.org did have notices up for months to say that they were reviewing the policy about updates - I was more annoyed about them wasting volunteer time on Red Hat 7.3 and 9 (and not 8.0!!), neither of which were ever Fedora releases and should never have been part of Fedora Legacy, IMHO.

I'd have liked to have seen the FC2 legacy repo servers stay up longer even if there were no more updates, but I presume this would have cost money and they had to pull them.

BTW, as a final point, the Fedora folks have decided that a Fedora release will now be supported for 2 major releases plus one month (so typically 15-18 months, not the one year you stated in your posting). For a completely free OS, I think this isn't too bad and if there's a "yum upgrade" route that works, then there's even an avenue there to avoid a complete OS re-install/re-config. As you said, if you need longer support, CentOS is such an obvious route (not so obvious in the FC2 days perhaps, but *blatantly obvious* now) for servers, that it doesn't make much sense to put Fedora on servers at all now.
Posted by rklrkl (143 comments )
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Not Ubuntu
If you are going to run linux for a business, you want to run an enterprise class distro like RHEL. Fedora and Ubuntu are not enterprise class distros, even though many people and companies use them as such.
Posted by bliq (12 comments )
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