The bleeding edge of Red Hat’s Linux efforts hits a major milestone today
with the release of Fedora Core 5, which sports the latest in
Linux desktop, server and system applications.
It has been just over 9 months since Fedora Core 4 was released,
and a lot of change and innovation has occurred in the Linux community in
that time. A lot of those innovations have found their way into Fedora Core
5 (FC 5).
Fedora Core is Red Hat’s community distribution and is heir to the legacy of
its venerable Red Hat Linux product line, which was terminated in 2003 with
support ending in 2004.
Unlike Red Hat Enterprise Linux, (which coincidently is
on track for its version 5 release this year), which updated every 18
months, Fedora is on a much more rapid release cycle.
Red Hat recently hyped up the Xen integration in FC5, which will find its way into the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 release.
The new Xen integration is supposed to be easier
to install and manage than the Xen implementation in FC4. Xen version 3.0 was just released at the end of last year.
FC 5 also marks the Red Hat debut of the Novell-led Mono project, which is used to power the beagle desktop search, F-Spot, a
photo management utility and the Tomboy note-taking application. Mono is an
open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework.
SELinux which first appeared in FC 2 , continues its evolution in the new FC 5 release.
The SELinux reference policy is a new reference policy framework in Fedora. SELinux enforces mandatory access controls on the Linux kernel and is intended to help prevent privileged escalation-based attacks and system exploitation.
With the new reference policy, individual
packages can now contain SELinux policies. The new reference policy is
expected to also be included in RHEL 5 later this year as part of an effort
to make SELinux even stronger.
FC 5 users will also see a very visible change in this Fedora release over
its predecessors. Fedora now has a new “bubbly” default theme and has a new
logo, the first such logo change since the project began in 2003.
Red Hat’s community release comes coincidentally on the same day that rival
Novell begins its annual BrainShare conference. Novell’s own community
OpenSUSE effort is currently at beta 8 of SUSE Linux 10.1 and is on
track for an expected April 13 release date.