Red Hat Puts Out Fedora 8 Rev of Development Linux
Published: November 13, 2007
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
The Fedora Project, which is the community sponsored by Red Hat to create the development releases of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, last week announced Fedora 8, which is already off to a big start in the race for downloads and bug hunting.
Fedora 8 was made available for download on November 8 (last Thursday), and as of Monday morning, Red Hat had monitored over 54,000 downloads of the new Linux variant. "We're thrilled to see the great reception of Fedora 8 by the community of users," said Max Spevack, Fedora project leader at Red Hat in a statement accompanying the launch. "As interest in Fedora continues to grow rapidly, Red Hat engineers and community volunteer developers will continue to deliver innovative advances with each new release."
Fedora 8 follows fast on the heels of Fedora 7, which came out in May with a new package manager and build system as well as a unified Linux application repository that made it easier for developers and Linux enthusiasts to spin their own variants of the Fedora operating system for very specific uses. Fedora 7 saw the merging of the Fedora Core stack, the key 2,500 or so applications that make up the main Red Hat distribution, and Fedora Extras, the 3,000 or so additional applications that are less commonly deployed on RHEL but which are important nonetheless.
Fedora 8 includes some new custom spins (sometimes called appliances) of the RHEL stack, one for running games (called Games, appropriately enough), one for software developers (called Developer), and one for electronics buffs (called Electronics Lab). Fedora 7 had spins for generic server and business workstations, as well as LiveCD variants, some of which can run on a USB stick. Fedora 8 is based on the Linux 2.6.23 kernel, and comes with the Gnome 2.20 graphical user interface by default; those who like the KDE interface can choose the KDE 3.5.8 interface. (The beta of the KDE 4 interface is available through the repository.) Fedora 8 has a new NetworkManager 0.7 update, which the release notes say offers improved wireless network support (don't Linux vendors always say that?), and CodecBuddy multimedia decoders and the PulseAudio sound server are installed by default now, too. The release has an update of OpenOffice (2.3) and the Compiz Fusion 3D extensions are also installed. The IcedTea open source Java development environment, which predated Red Hat's Java licensing deal with Sun Microsystems last week, is also in the Fedora 8 distro.
The future Fedora 9 will include the KDE 4 GUI as well as a spin that includes tools suitable for astronomers and astrophysicists. The release is being planned now, with alpha code freeze expected on January 8, 2000, and beta freeze on March 4. The first Fedora 9 release candidate is expected on April 17, with a launch on May 1.
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