Red Hat has released Fedora Core 1, a community-driven test-bed for software that the company hopes will make it into its commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux software.
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"This is a community-led project that is supported by Red Hat. The goal is to accelerate the development of open-source technology," said John Young, Red Hat's vice-president of marketing.
Red Hat created the Fedora project to give open-source developers a place to experiment with software that is more cutting edge and more frequently released than the software in Red Hat's commercial products.
"This is where we think the most advanced technology will be. Not necessarily the most proven Linux technology, but the most advanced," Young said.
With the release of Fedora Core, Red Hat is now developing two distinct Linux distributions: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which comes with a variety of technical support options, and the unsupported Fedora software.
Fedora software releases will happen every four to six months, which is much more frequently than the 12 to 15 months between Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases. Fedora will not undergo the rigorous testing or application certification process that is done for Enterprise Linux.
Red Hat sees Fedora more as a free-wheeling test-bed for new ideas in software development than as a competitor to Red Hat's commercial offerings.
"The Fedora project is going to focus on rapid technology development and is not going to focus on the needs of enterprises," Young said.
Red Hat hopes Fedora will eventually host a wide variety of open-source projects under its umbrella.
The next version of Fedora Core is expected within six months, and will be based on the Linux 2.6 kernel.
Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service