May 31, 2007

Red Hat releases Fedora 7

Author: Joe Barr

Red Hat announced the release of Fedora 7, its community-driven version of Linux, this morning. Fedora 7 merges two previously separate repositories -- Fedora Core and Fedora Extras -- into a single repository, includes completely new build tools which allow the creation of customized versions of the distribution, and opens the door to greater community involvement than ever before.Max Spevack, the Fedora project leader, said in this morning's press release, “Beyond the usual set of upstream changes and improvements, our latest release is by far the most exciting and flexible to date. With our new open source build process, our community of contributors will enjoy much greater influence and authority in advancing Fedora. The ability to create appliances to suit very particular user needs is incredibly powerful.”

Spevack briefed on the new release a few days before it went public, saying that "most of the buzz" around the new release has to do with its ability to do fast user switching, as well as the new build tools. Revisor, a new graphical tool for the creation of ISOs, allows individuals to select the RPMs they want to include and make new versions of the distribution.

Application developers can use the new build tools to update their applications in Fedora's CVS directly, Spevack said, without the need to go through any Fedora package maintainers.

Other improvements Spevack noted come in Fedora 7's wireless capabilities, with more wireless cards that "just work," and the inclusion of the the nouveau project drivers, which provide open source 3D acceleration for Nvidia video cards.

Fedora 7 has been in constant testing in Rawhide, the nightly CVS version of Fedora, for some time. Prior to its release, all the "show stoppers" were resolved and the first and only RC (release candidate) -- released last week -- has now been given the go ahead by Will Wood, Fedora's QA Lead.

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