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News and Editorials

A quick look at what's new in Fedora 7

The Fedora Project wiki has some release highlights for the upcoming Fedora 7 release. Here's a quick look.

Fedora 7 will have Spins with different combinations of software to meet the requirements of end users. Each spin contains a very small boot.iso image for network installation. Users will be able to add GNOME and KDE to create live CDs that will also work as a single disk install. Other users looking for an upgrade path may spin a regular image for desktops, workstations and servers. A third possibility is to create a set of DVD images that include all the software in the Fedora repository.

For the desktop user Fedora 7 will have GNOME 2.18 and KDE 3.5.6. Fast User Switching has been integrated, display devices can be hot plugged and work automatically, thanks to the inclusion of Xorg Server 1.3, and NetworkManager presents a graphical interface that allows users to quickly switch between wireless and wired networks for increased mobility. Also Fedora 7 has a new "Flying High" theme, Firefox 2, improved I18N support, and the SELinux troubleshooting tool 'setroubleshoot' is enabled by default. The kernel has a new FireWire stack for more robust device handling and it implements dynamic ticks for improved power management. The experimental nouveau driver has been integrated within Xorg and the kernel for those with nVidia cards. The mac80211 (formerly Devicescape) wireless stack is also part of the Fedora kernel.

Smolt is an opt-in hardware profiler used to get anonymous, automated hardware information from users. It has been integrated with firstboot in the installer and all data is available on the Smolt homepage. The profile information will be used to encourage cooperation from vendors in improving end user hardware experience, and to prioritize development and quality assurance on commonly used hardware.

The Fedora Directory Server base is now part of the Fedora software repository. Also all of the Python software available in the repository uses Python 2.5.

All in all, Fedora 7 is shaping up to be great release.

Comments (8 posted)

New Releases

Announcing Foresight Linux 1.2.1

Foresight Desktop Linux v1.2.1 has been released. This version provides some package updates, "...but mostly we have replaced firstboot with a more robust mechanism for configuring Xorg and creating the first user."

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OpenPKG Enterprise 1 Pro for SMEs and Professionals

OpenPKG GmbH has released the OpenPKG Enterprise 1 Pro, an online variant of the resellable product OpenPKG Enterprise 1. "OpenPKG Enterprise 1 Pro is tailored for SMEs and professionals, replaces OpenPKG Community 2-STABLE and this way fills the gap between OpenPKG Community CURRENT and OpenPKG Enterprise 1." OpenPKG is revising its offerings to better balance the needs of enterprises, professionals and developers.

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Ubuntu 7.04 released

Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" has been announced. "The Ubuntu team is proud to announce version 7.04 of the Ubuntu family of distributions. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution for your desktop or server, with a fast and easy install, regular releases, a tight selection of excellent software installed by default, an incredible variety of add-on software available with a few clicks, and professional technical support from Canonical Limited and hundreds of other companies around the world."

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Distribution News

Debian Project participates in Google's Summer of Code

The Debian project has been accepted by Google as a mentor organization for this year's Summer of Code program, with nine tasks in total. "Google will fund the students mentioned below to work full time on these tasks during their summer vacation, from May 28th to August 20th. They will be guided and evaluated during this time by active Debian developers."

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OpenSUSE to drop ZENworks

The openSUSE developers have sent out a brief note to the effect that Novell's ZENworks management suite will no longer be a part of the openSUSE distribution. Instead, openSUSE will be using YaST, zypper, and libzypp for its package management. Initial responses on the list (follow the thread here) suggest that this is a popular idea in the openSUSE community.

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openSUSE Artwork

The openSUSE project has a new mailing list, openSUSE Artwork. It's meant for discussing issues related to the distribution styling and branding.

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Ubuntu Community Council nominations and confirmation polls

Five people have been nominated to expand the Ubuntu community council, and voting is underway. "The Community Council is our highest governing body of the project, and makes fundamental decisions around our community structure, and code of conduct. They serve to mediate disputes and also appoint the leaders of key community teams. We specifically have 5 independent candidates because we believe that it's important to have a broad coverage of timezones and areas of expertise on the CC."

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Opening development for Gutsy Gibbon (Ubuntu)

The Gutsy Gibbon archives are now accessible, and will be open for normal upload and syncs from Debian.

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Xandros Linux Server First to Receive LSB Certification by Using New Automated Testkit

Xandros has announced that Xandros Server 2.0 is the first product to be certified by the Linux Foundation through use of the LSB Distribution Testkit (LSB DTK). "Xandros engineers worked closely with their Linux Foundation counterparts in perfecting the new, automated testing procedures that will facilitate broad application developer support to Xandros Server 2.0 and all other standards-based Linux operating systems."

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New Distributions

Bugnux, a live CD for software testers

Bugnux is a live CD Linux distribution made specifically for software testers. It is based on Mandriva and PCLinuxOS and runs entirely in RAM. Bugnux contains an extensive set of open source software testing tools that can be used for functional and performance testing. It also has standalone tools to test GUI applications and Mozilla Firefox extensions as well as a set of stress and load testing tools that can be used to assist in testing performance of web applications.

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Polippix, the Political Linux Distribution of Denmark

Polippix is the Political Linux Distribution of Denmark. It was created to counter the increasing amount of surveillance in Denmark, where the ISP's will soon be required to log a lot of data. The CD has created quite a stir in Denmark recently. Read more in this MadPenguin review. (Thanks to pointwood)

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XtreemOS, a Linux-based Operating System to support Virtual Organizations for next generation Grids

XtreemOS is a 4-year European research project, which aims to develop a grid operating system based on Linux to simplify the usage, management and programming of grids. "An initial version of the XtreemOS operating system for PCs is planned to be distributed under open source licence after the first two years of the project (Spring 2008). The XtreemOS system will eventually be available for a wide range of hardware platforms: PCs, clusters and mobile devices (mobile phones, PDAs, etc.)."

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Distribution Newsletters

Fedora Weekly News Issue 84

The Fedora Weekly News for April 21, 2007 looks at F7T4 and SATA/IDE Testing, Multi-Lingual Release Announcement, is going away, and much, much more.

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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for April 16, 2007 covers GWN seeking writers, April Gentoo Council meeting, Gentoo on AppleTV, and several other topics.

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Ubuntu Weekly News: Issue #37

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter for April 21, 2007 covers the release of Ubuntu 7.04 and related press coverage, a week long series of events to introduce the diverse Ubuntu community, and a friendly competition where individuals and Lo``Cos can win money and prizes.

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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 199

The DistroWatch Weekly for April 23, 2007 is out. "The week belonged to Ubuntu, whose new version 7.04 was made available as planned despite the skipped release candidate a week earlier. The hype surrounding the new release of the popular operating system completely eclipsed that of another desktop-oriented distribution - Mandriva Linux 2007.1, which was also made available last week, but which generated little excitement in comparison. Also in the news: a new openSUSE-based live CD featuring the latest KDE 4 snapshot, a link to an interview with Novell's Nat Friedman, and an update on the development of PC-BSD. Finally, don't miss our fifth and final part of the overview of top ten distributions, featuring Gentoo Linux and FreeBSD."

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Newsletters and articles of interest

The Perfect Setup (HowtoForge)

HowtoForge has been busy setting up servers with new releases of CentOS 5.0, Ubuntu 7.04 and Debian 4.0.

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Distribution reviews

CentOS 5: Linux for Grownups (Enterprise Networking Planet)

Enterprise Networking Planet reviews CentOS 5.0. "CentOS is more than RHEL with the trademarks removed, which in itself is a big job as you'll see in the Release Notes. (The CentOS team are so paranoid about infringing on Red Hat's trademarks that you'll find hardly any mentions of "Red Hat" in the CentOS distribution or on the Web site. Instead, they refer to it as "UOP", or Upstream Operating system Provider.) They maintain their own package repositories, and apply security patches as they receive them from upstream. CentOS supports a range of hardware architectures as this matrix shows. They're always going to be behind RHEL; with security fixes they're right on top of things, and with things like new releases and support for multiple architectures, they sometimes lag a few weeks behind RHEL. It's free and it's binary-compatible with RHEL, so no complaining allowed."

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A Linux for the rest of us? (Channel Register)

The Channel Register covers a new live CD Linux distribution targeted at newbies and technophobes. "BabelLinux is tailored for simplicity, to give users access to the seven most common applications. It boots from the (free) CD, and once booted the OS can't write to the local hard drive or USB media. Instead, users can store their data online in the "BabelBank" - which is how the venture will get its revenue."

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Page editor: Rebecca Sobol
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