Paul Frields is the Fedora Project Leader and in the days before the Fedora
10 release he was giving telephone briefings to the media. I took
advantage of about an hour of Paul's time to talk about Fedora and the
Fedora 10 release. The following article is based on that conversation.
To begin with, we talked about Fedora's new Special Interest Group (SIG)
for servers running
Fedora. Fedora is a fast-paced distribution, and therefore not
suitable for all servers. There are many places Fedora makes an excellent
server, though. Some of those uses are: in house, non-internet facing
servers or servers with a separate firewall. It is used in server farms
and home servers, and other places where the 13 month life cycle is not a
problem. The roadrunner
supercomputer, a hybrid cluster with both IBM PowerXCell and AMD
Opteron processors runs both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora.
Roadrunner holds the number 1 spot
in the top500 list.
Fedora is more than a bleeding edge desktop, although it is good at that.
Fedora sponsors the development of many projects through FedoraHosted.org, and provides many
other contributions to upstream projects. Extra Packages for Enterprise
Linux (EPEL) is a
community effort by Fedora developers to provide high-quality add-on
packages that complement Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its compatible
spinoffs such as CentOS or Scientific Linux. Fedora also contributes to
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.
Fedora does serve many needs.
Including those of "remixers", the creators of derivative distributions.
The new trademark
guidelines, still in draft form, are designed to spell out the DOs and
DON'Ts of creating a remix. Remixers can chose packages from the official
Fedora repository, EPEL, RPMFusion and
other repositories. Packages can also be built from source, with or
without patches; to create the distribution they want.
Naturally, I asked Paul about the infrastructure/security problems that
last August. LWN covered the issue in August and September. We have yet to see a final
analysis of what happened. Paul did say that a team of Red Hat engineers
and Fedora volunteers rebuilt everything from scratch, and signed the
packages with new keys. Beyond that, we were told that the investigation
is ongoing and more information will be available once the investigation is
Fedora 10 was announced this week, along
with the RPM Fusion and ATrpms repositories, updated for Fedora 10.
Here are some highlights of this release.
With Fedora 9 it became possible to create a persistent USB device, that is
a key that can be updated, remember settings and store some data. With
Fedora 10 you have all that, plus you can encrypt your home directory on
The new NetworkManager
features connection sharing to enable collaboration everywhere. PackageKit advances the software
management system with its ability of using yum, apt, conary, and other
existing tools. PackageKit can search for codecs, listen to dbus and
communications between applications. With the long-term roadmap for
PackageKit, this utility will understand what packages you need and will
get it for you. F10 has faster boot times, kernel mode settings and
improved virtualization with KVM.
Paul said that the number of Fedora Ambassadors
doubles each year. The ambassador program is world-wide, with people who
represent the Fedora Project to the wider public, help spread the word
about Fedora, Linux, and Open Source, become a point of contact for local
community members and channel the feedback to Fedora Project, help recruit
project contributors and think of creative ways for promoting Fedora.
Fedora 10 has more official spins than
ever before. These are specialized distributions that contain only
packages in the main Fedora repository. A small sampling includes the
Fedora Electronics Lab (FEL) Spin, Fedora KDE Desktop, Fedora Edu/Math Spin
and Fedora XFCE Desktop. So check out Fedora 10, or one of the many spins
and remixes that are available.
to post comments)