Red Hat's Fedora 13 open-source software can serve in a full gamut of Linux roles, as long as users are prepared to upgrade their systems about once a year.
its first version, in 2003, Red Hat's Fedora Linux has been the best place to
track what's on the leading edge of Linux and open-source software. Of course,
the trouble with running on the leading edge is that it's easy to get cut, and
the Fedora distribution's fast development pace has required a certain amount
of bug-squashing tolerance from its users.
13, which began shipping in late May, boasts many of the leading-edge
enhancements-and few of the rough spots-that I've come to expect from the
popular Linux-based operating system. In particular, I appreciated the work the
Fedora team has done in the area of security and permissions, with progress
toward more granular rights management through Fedora's PolicyKit framework,
and an implementation of the SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) framework that
remained, for the most part, tucked away unobtrusively in the background.
addition to serving as a sort of first look at the latest and greatest in Linux
and open-source software in general-and future Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
releases in particular-Fedora 13 can serve in a full gamut of Linux roles, as
long as Fedora-embracing users are prepared to upgrade their systems about once
this reason, smoother edges notwithstanding, enterprises in search of a more
long-lived Linux distribution for production roles would do best to turn to
RHEL, or, for organizations prepared to provide their own support, the freely
available RHEL clone CentOS.
fast-moving nature of Fedora 13 fits best with desktop and developer
workstation roles, where users are most likely to appreciate the up-to-date
versions of the desktop-oriented open-source software that ships with the
distribution, including Version 2.30 of the GNOME desktop environment, Version
3.2 of the OpenOffice.org productivity suite and Version 3.6.3 of the Firefox
13 is available as a free download from http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora,
with separate versions that support the x86 and x86-64 platforms. Beginning
with Fedora 13, the Power PC CPU architecture has been reduced to secondary
architecture status, where its ongoing development will depend on volunteer
As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. Jason's coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at email@example.com.