After some delays, Fedora Core 4, the community-supported Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat, was released Monday.
The new Fedora, code-named Stentz, is the first version of the distribution to arrive since Red Hat Inc. turned over control of the project to the nonprofit Fedora Foundation.
In the past, Red Hat describes Fedora, according to its site, as an “openly developed project designed by Red Hat, open for general participation, led by a meritocracy, following a set of project objectives.”
In practice, it was controlled by Red Hat staffers, who held all the steering committee positions.
With the project just turned over to the foundation a few weeks ago, this version is still largely drawn from the work of Red Hat programmers.
After testing in the field and more development, Fedora Core 4 will become the foundation for the next version of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux).
The last edition of RHEL, version 4, arrived in early 2005.
The one that will be based on Fedora Core 4 wont come to server rooms until the summer of 2006.
This new Fedora supports such x86-64 architectures as Intels Xeon and AMDs Athlon 64, the i386, and both 32 and 64-bit versions of the PowerPC chip.
It brings to Fedora users the 2.6.11 Linux kernel.
It also gives users the choice of Gnome 2.1 or KDE 3.4 for their user interface.
The package also contains the latest beta for OpenOffice.org 2.0 and the Xen virtualization program.
Xen, like EMCs VMWare Workstation 5, enables users to run multiple operating systems on one PC.
While Fedora will run on as little as a 400 MHz Pentium II or an 800MHz PowerPC G3, it really requires more from a machine.
Any PC or Mac from the last two years, though, should run well with Fedora, according to Core 4s release notes.
The system also requires 256MBs of RAM for the graphical user interface.
The new operating system can be downloaded from Red Hat with HTTP or FTP.
Would-be Fedora users can also download it with BitTorrent.