Red Hat has announced the first release of a free operating system derived from the Fedora Project - Fedora Core 1.
Sponsored by Red Hat and supported by the open-source community, the Fedora Project and the Fedora Core 1 is a complete Linux platform built solely from open-source software.
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Brian Stevens, vice-president of OS development, said Red Hat’s Linux was very much developed under a proprietary model, where new releases were put out every 12 to 15 months.
He added that the company wanted to participate in a more community-based initiative, which is why it started the Fedora project about six months ago.
Unlike commercial offerings, Fedora Core 1 will be released on a fixed schedule - every four to six months - and anyone is free to kick-start their own project based on Fedora. However, Red Hat will build new capabilities from Fedora into its own Enterprise edition.
Nicholas Petreley, an analyst with Evans Group, and author of the Fedora user manual, said the project could remedy the perception in the open-source community that Red Hat was taking and not giving back.
"It helps Red Hat be perceived as building something that is managed and driven more by the community than by Red Hat. Red Hat does have the power of veto and does have the final say of what goes in Fedora, but they’re really turning a lot more of the control over to the community," he said.
Petreley added that Fedora solves a problem some Linux users had: they did not like using Red Hat because its infrequent release schedule meant they did not have access to the latest technology associated with Linux.
One thing users will find with Fedora is that it is completely devoid of any proprietary technology, Petreley said. It will not include MP3 players or Macromedia Flash and, even though he said it is a fully graphical user-friendly platform, it might not appeal to some users because it will be harder to get plug-ins for software that is not open source.
In the next edition, Fedora Core 2 will make it easier for users to get these plug-ins, Petreley said. For example, a button will be included so users can go to the site where they can download a needed plug-in. It will also integrate the new Linux 2.6 kernel.
The Fedora Project is online at http://fedora.redhat.com.
Earlier this week, Red Hat said it would stop providing Red Hat Linux for free in favour of its Enterprise product
Rebecca Reid writes for ITWorldCanada.com