The Fedora Project, a Red Hat (NASDAQ: RHAT) sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced that the latest version of the popular Fedora Core distribution, Fedora Core 6, is available for download at http://fedoraproject.org. The Fedora Project is host to the best of next-generation open source technologies. An increased focus on the entire user experience has yielded benefits on the desktop, in performance, for systems administrators and developers, and across virtualization.
Fedora Core 6 provides a noticeable performance increase during the start-up of applications such as OpenOffice.org. In addition to the previously supported x86, x86-64 and Power PC chip architectures, this release features support for Intel-based Macs. Fedora Core 6 also introduces a new GUI virtualization manager.
The primary enhancement to the installer is the ability for a network-accessible installation to access third-party RPM repositories, such as Fedora Extras or a local repository, at install-time. The impetus for this change is quite simple - choice. Fedora installation is now more customizable than in previous releases.
"Releases of Fedora Core are always exciting events for the open source community," said Robert 'Bob' Jensen of the formal Fedora Documentation and the community's Unity projects. "The Fedora Project enables many non-technical contributors and developers alike to have a hand in collaborating on the next wave of important technologies in open source. Fedora Core 6 comes from the many interesting formal and informal projects that people like me are a part of."
Fedora Core 6 continues to advance the desktop with improved font and artwork, as well as the usability improvements that come from the latest upstream releases of GNOME and KDE. Improvements to the desktop in Fedora Core 6 include a new platform that enables GL-accelerated effects on a standard desktop, better and faster software updating tools and the latest upstream versions of favorite open source applications.
The newly rewritten printer configuration tool has been extended with many new features. Devices are now detected on-demand as necessary, and support for per-user queues is available, so users can customize their printer settings without having to modify system-wide configurations.
Fedora's internationalization efforts benefit from additional language support, as well as tools to switch input methods. Overall, essential components of Fedora are now translated into more than 50 languages, mainly by volunteer contributors.
Enhancements in performance in Fedora Core 6 build upon established, underlying systems. The start-up boost that applications such as OpenOffice.org receive is gained from being rebuilt with DT_GNU_HASH. This hash is optimized for speed and data cache accesses. Another area of enhanced performance is in network file systems, including NFS.
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
Fedora Core 6 brings new features and improvements in both underlying and interactive parts of the administrator's experience. One major gain is the ability to specify external repositories during installation time. While it has long been possible to install from a local or specific network location, Fedora Core 6 now allows for the selection of third-party package repositories during installation. As this includes the Fedora Extras repository, the separation between packages in Fedora Core and Fedora Extras is lessened when it comes to installation choices. These installation improvements, coupled with improvements in package dependency and updating tools, make it easier to manage systems.
New GUI management tools include a virtualization manager, an SELinux troubleshooting tool and an improved LVM cluster management tool. Smart card services are provided through the new CoolKey technology. Other system improvements include support for IPv6 and a single 2.6.18-based Linux kernel that automatically detects and configures for the number of processors on a machine.
THE FUTURE OF FEDORA
The Fedora Project Board is actively planning the next release of Fedora Core, and encourages anyone who is excited by open source software development to join the effort at http://fedoraproject.org.
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