May 3, 2007

Fedora merges Core and Extra repositories

Author: Mayank Sharma

At noon EDT today Red Hat developers began merging the Fedora Core and Extras repositories. The new merged Fedora repository is one of the major changes for the upcoming Fedora 7 release, and marks the first time a major distribution supported by a company has allowed members of the community to modify packages inside a distribution.

Before the merger, all core packages inside of Fedora, such as the kernel, were being maintained by Red Hat employees only. After the merger, people from the community will be allowed to work on these packages. The distribution will also use the external build system Koji to keep track of Fedora packages.

While no official count on the number of packages in the combined repository is available, Rahul Sundaram, a Fedora board member, estimates the number to be around 8,000. He also mentions that the single repository will help people create their own custom spins of Fedora, such as a Fedora KDE live CD, or get the entire repository in a couple of DVDs.

The initial plan is to first merge the development repositories. Once this is successful, repositories for the current Fedora release, Fedora Core 6, will also be merged. As per the merger's wiki page, the new directory structure on Fedora mirrors will look like:

`-- fedora
    `-- linux
        |-- development
        |-- releases
        |   |-- 6
        |   |-- 7
        |   `-- test
        |       |-- 6.90
        |       |-- 6.91
        |       `-- 6.92
        `-- updates
            |-- 5
            |-- 6
            `-- testing
                |-- 5
                `-- 6

Fedora 7 is scheduled to be released on May 24.