First Major Linux 2.6 Beta Distribution Arrives

Red Hat's community distribution operation, Fedora, delivered on the first major distribution beta release of Linux 2.6.

Eager and ready to get Linux 2.6 a try, but youre not a kernel hacker? Well, you dont have to wait any longer. Red Hat Inc.s released a 2.6 distribution, the community based distribution Fedora Core 2 test 1, late last week.

Fedora, which is not supported Red Hat, is an experimental distribution for Red Hat users who want to ride the bleeding edge of Linux technology. Its meant primarily for early adopters, pilot projects and developers.

This first mainstream distribution of Linux 2.6 from a major Linux distributor consists of the Linux 2.6 kernel, GNOME 2.5, and KDE 3.2. It is an early release and you can expect to find bugs. Users are requested to file bug reports to Bugzilla.

The first beta version of beta Fedora Core consists of four binary ISO and four source ISO images. It is available via ftp, from some Red Hat mirror sites, and from the Duke University Torrent system for BitTorrent users. In any case, with high demand and a payload size of 2.1GBs for the binary ISO images alone, only users with broadband and time on their hands should download the distribution.

The next version, Fedora Core 2 test2, is scheduled for release March 8, with test3 due March 28 and the final version on April 19.

Casual users, based on what has seen of the first release, would be well advised to wait for the April release. Experienced Linux users wont have any trouble with the early marks of Fedora, but it is still clearly a work in progress.

For business users, since no Red Had plans to never offer formal Web or phone support for Fedora Project distributions, Fedora should be seen as a release for getting your feet wet with 2.6, rather than as an upgrade path.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3.0, Red Hats commercial distribution, has already some of Linux 2.6s best performance features, such as native POSIX threading, improved Asynchronous I/O (AIO) and an enhanced network stack. Red Hat plans to move RHEL fully to Linux 2.6 in its next release, which is now scheduled for 2005. Other enterprise Linux companies, such as Novell/SuSE, hope to release 2.6 business distributions in 2004.

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Be sure to add our Linux feed to your RSS newsreader: