The final release of Fedora Core 3 isn't expected until
with the release
of Fedora Core 3 test 2 (FC3t2) on Monday (a week later
than originally planned) we decided to check in and see what users could
expect from the next release of Fedora Core. We also contacted Red Hat to
see if Cristian Gafton or another representative would be available to talk
about Fedora, and its relation to Red Hat's commercial products, but they
were unable to provide a representative to speak to LWN by deadline.
This release marks the addition of the GNOME 2.8 release candidate, KDE
3.3.0, X.org 6.8.0, and the udev
We gave FC3t2 a try on an Athlon XP 2000 system with 1 GB of RAM. One thing
we noticed was that the media check failed all of the disks we burned, but
we were able to perform an install from the media without any
problems. This seems to be an
issue that came up during tests of FC3 test 1 as well. While bugs and
glitches are to be expected in test releases, we note this particular issue
so that users trying out FC3t2 do not burn through a stack of blanks in a
futile attempt to burn four good disks.
Users will find that the default partitioning has changed a bit since
Fedora Core 2. By default, the installer will attempt to set up LVM rather
than the standard "simple" partitioning most Linux users are used to. There
seem to be a few bugs left in the partitioning tool, as the installer
informed us we were "probably out of disk space" when attempting to
install. However, when we performed an install using a standard
partitioning scheme, all went well. No doubt, this will be ironed out by
the time that FC3 final is released.
Fedora Core 3 marks the Fedora team's second stab at SELinux, and they are
asking that users give SELinux another try as well. According to Colin
Walters, this release marks a scaled-back approach that should cause fewer
problems while still providing additional security for "select system
Instead of the original "strict" policy which covered everything, a new
"targeted" policy has been developed which only applies SELinux
restrictions to a few select system daemons. Regular user login sessions
The initial approach to SELinux was probably a too-radical departure for
many users, so we're happy to see the Fedora team taking a more moderate
approach that will (we hope) build support for SELinux over time.
However, the actual documentation and tools for SELinux leave a bit to be
desired, as Matias
Feliciano points out on the fedora-devel list. While the "targeted"
policy is "mostly
invisible" to the end-user, so is the documentation for users
who want to customize and tweak their SELinux policy.
FC3t2 marks the introduction of the udev device model to Fedora. The udev
device model implements
devfs in userspace, creating a dynamic
/dev that allows consistent naming of devices. Users upgrading
from test 1 or installing udev on
test 1 reported a few bugs, but we didn't see any problems with udev
from a clean install.
Despite the occasional glitch in the test release, FC3 is shaping up
nicely. It's not a radical change from FC2, most of the changes are package
upgrades and further refinement of existing features. The udev device model
is probably one of the most major changes that users will see in FC3.
It bears mentioning that the Fedora Core development process still seems to
be shy on community involvement. However, Red Hat and the Fedora team have
provided a usable Linux distribution with many of the cutting-edge technologies
that users want to try. From that perspective, we think that Fedora has
become a success.
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