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Red Hat Releases Fedora Core 4

Red Hat has just announced the new version of Fedora Core, a week after the company said it was creating the Fedora Foundation to run the project.

Fedora Core 4 (FC4) promises the latest and greatest of the free and open source world, including GNOME 2.10 and KDE 3.4.

In addition to a prerelease version of OpenOffice.org 2.0, the full release of which is still months off, FC4 includes the latest Linux kernel (2.6.11), Firefox (1.0.4), Samba (3.0.14a) and Apache (2.0.54).

Red Hat's developers also introduced a new default desktop theme called Clearlooks, which evolved from the Bluecurve theme, which has been the default since Red Hat Linux version 8.0.

Of particular note with FC4 is that it has expanded beyond its traditional architecture support of x86 and x86-64 to include support for PowerPC.

Previously, in order to get a Fedora-based distribution (or its predecessor Red Hat Linux) to work on a PowerPC, users had to choose a derivative distribution like Yellow-Dog Linux.

The move to support PowerPC comes at an interesting time, as Apple, long the strongest desktop support of PowerPC, has chosen to abandon the chip architecture in favor of Intel x86.

Last week, Red Hat announced it would be "freeing" Fedora with the creation of a Fedora Foundation to help run the community-focused projects. At that point, details on the new foundation were somewhat sparse.

In an open letter sent to the Fedora community on Friday, Karen Bennet, Red Hat vice president of tools and applications, outlined the basic goals and vision for the new foundation.

"The purpose of the foundation is to expand the collaboration within the community and between the community and outside projects," Bennet wrote.

That being the case, she added that Red Hat has no current plans to change either the management or the processes of the Fedora Core project.

"As many have asked, Red Hat will also maintain ultimate overall control of the project to ensure that we continue to have timely, high-quality releases," Bennet stated.

FC4 is not the only new distro to see light. Last week, the Debian project released its latest version, known as Sarge, after a long wait.

Novell, Red Hat's commercial competitor, released SUSE Professional 9.3 in March.