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Fedora Goes Live

Ever wanted to run Fedora Core Linux as a Live CD? Well now you can.

Though Red Hat's sponsored community distribution, Fedora Core, includes a lot of applications and has an easy-to-use installer, it has long been missing a critical piece, namely a Live CD.

The Live Fedora CD is a product of the FedoraUnity.org community group, which is composed of site maintainers, Fedora Project contributors and interested users.

The Live CD is part of the Fedora Unity "re-spins," which are ISOs of Fedora Core releases with additional up-to-date applications already bundled in.

With a Live CD, users can run Fedora from their media drives without the need to actually physically install the OS on their hard drives.

"The biggest item in my opinion is a newer (2.6.17-1.2174) kernel," Fedora Unity Co-Founder Bob Jensen told internetnews.com.

"This brings added hardware support for those who had issues with the initial Fedora Core 5 release.

"Naturally there are many more update packages like KDE and gnome also," Jensen added. "What we do is take the initial ISO merge in the updates and rebuild the anaconda installer around the new package payload."

A Live Fedora CD has been one of the most requested projects by Fedora users, according to Fedora community member Jack Aboutboul.

It has, however, been a project that for various reasons hasn't quite come to the fore via the Fedora Project.

"Priority of the Live CD was sort of sacrificed to other projects, which we viewed as more innovative and more crucial to long-term goals," Aboutboul told internetnews.com.

"Partially it's a resources issue; there are only so many hours in a day."

That's not to say that the Fedora Project hadn't been attempting to develop a Live Fedora CD.

There is even a tool currently under development by the Fedora Project called Kadischi, which is supposed to help make live media.

"I think the biggest issue here in Kadischi is a bit touchy; it does not work well unless everything is perfect," Jensen noted. "Fedora Unity has the resources to make this happen."

Jensen explained that the two developers that are doing most of the Kadischi development are Jasper Hartline and Chitlesh Goorah.

They came to the Fedora Unity Project after seeing the work that Fedora Unity had done with the re-spins wondering if Fedora Unity could help them out with testing and also making Kadischi for x86_64 a reality.

"We figured the best way to get testing for i386 done was to push the Live media that we are calling 'Live Spins' out to the community, so this is what we have done," Jensen said.

"Work is continuing on the x86_64 Live Spins as I am talking to you now."

Fedora community member Aboutboul sees the achievement of Fedora Unity as proof positive that the Fedora approach to building and working with the community is working.

"The long-stated purpose of Fedora has been to engage the community," Aboutboul said.

"The accomplishments of the Fedora Unity projects in areas such as the re-spin ISOs and now Live CD are perfect examples of how we envisioned the community all along.

"This should serve as an example for other open source projects," Aboutboul added. "If you give them freedom, they will come and do a damn good job."

Jensen said that Fedora Unity began with just a couple core people, including Jensen, Jonathan Steffan, Scott Glaser and his wife Andrea. It has grown to about 15 active members from the community.

"I really think that there is very little we can't do," Jensen said.

"I urge the community to bring ideas to us, who knows maybe their idea will be next on the done list."