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LinuxLinks Fedora 7 Review (page 1)
LinuxLinks Review
By Kevin E. Glosser

Introduction / Hardware

If you're a Fedora user the end of May means one thing...time for a new release! This year was no different as the Fedora project continued its aggressive six month release schedule. Fedora 7, code named “Moonshine”, is the latest version of the Red Hat influenced Linux distribution. Fedora regulars will note the absence of the word “Core” in the new name. This isn't the only change with this release. We'll delve into what's new in 7 as well as review Fedora from a desktop standpoint.

Fedora is Red Hat's testbed for it's enterprise edition. Features first appear in Fedora before graduating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Although Fedora users are used to being Red Hat's guinea pigs, the project has it's own set of goals. Red Hat's challenge has been to create a partnership between it's engineers and the open source community in an effort to create “the best operating system and platform that free software can provide.”

Fedora is governed by a board of 9 members, 5 selected by Red Hat, 4 by the open source community. The chairperson, selected by Red Hat, has veto rights over decisions made by it. Although the board provides the “highest level of decision making within the Fedora project”, it came into existence after Fedora Core 5. The establishment of the board is part of Red Hat's desire to establish a more cohesive partnership with the Fedora community. Fedora Core 6 and Fedora 7 are the first two examples of the new partnership. We'll use the final product as the true metric of how this new commitment to the community is working.

Fedora is designed for Linux users who want to stay on the cutting edge, yet still benefit from a stable environment. Free software is stressed in this distribution. You will therefore not find common or often used packages that contain proprietary non-free code. GNOME is the desktop environment of choice. Packages are managed with Red Hat's rpm system, overseen by pup (a simple interface for updates). Although Fedora might not have been the distro you would recommend to Linux novices, this may soon be possible due to tools included within it. New utilities allowing Fedora users to repackage, recreate the distro in a fashion of their choosing, certainly provide the opportunity to create a “newbie” variation of Fedora that might match or exceed Ubuntu in ease of use.

Reviews are always going to be influenced by the reviewer's past experiences.  I've been using Linux since 1997, when the first distribution I tried was Red Hat 4.1 (Editor -- if only you'd installed the 50 floppy SLS distro, you'd understand what pain was). Since then I've had every version of Red Hat (and Fedora) installed on my home computer, minus one. I've tried other distributions over the years, Mandrake/Mandriva, Xandros, Ubuntu but nothing has made me want to abandon my original distro. Fedora has been the sole operating system to reside on my computer for over two years. Cedega helped me kick my Microsoft habit, freeing me from my dual booting days. 

My desktop computer is getting a little old in the tooth, but it's still modern enough for this review. It's a modified Dell Dimension 8300 with a 3 GHz single core Pentium 4 processor with a front side bus running at 800 MHz. The computer has 1 GB of dual channel DDR 400 memory. The original video card was  replaced with a ASUS GeForce 4 Ti4200 with 128 MB of VRAM. This video card is quite dated by today's more modern options. However, it does work well allowing popular games like World of Warcraft and Quake 4 to play on the machine. Sound is provided by a SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 sound card.

Let's install Fedora 7...


Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Installation
3. Flying High with Fedora
4. 3D Desktops and the default software lineup
5. Fedora and the Free Software Movement
6. Making your own version of Fedora
7. Final thoughts

Last Updated Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 04:22 AM EDT

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