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The Present and Future with Fedora Core 4

Where Things Stand Now

  • September 22, 2005
  • By Ibrahim Haddad

Each new release of Fedora Core brings with it new possibilities. Red Hat Enterprise and Fedora Core 4: The Complete Reference by Richard Petersen makes a special effort to incorporate the latest developments of Fedora Core as well as Linux in general. Critical changes have taken place with device management (udev and HAL) and software access, as well as new capabilities like GFS (Global File System). We caught up with Richard to talk about his view of Fedora Core 4. Some standard concerns still remain, and there is the ever present competition with that other OS.

Is there any impact of udev and HAL to an end user?

Though udev and HAL are designed to have zero impact on the end user, there is a circumstance where it could be important. Customized or non-standard applications could require a symbolic link to a device. Though udev and Hal already implement the standard links like /dev/cdrom, should you need to add a new one, you would have to edit the udev configuration files and know how to add a SYMLINK entry for your device reference.

So what do you think is the most irritating desktop bug?

This involves the GNOME Volume Manager and Samba. For the last two official releases, Fedora Project has reported a bug in the system-securitylevel implementation of the standard firewall rules that prevent the GNOME Volume Manager from accessing Windows shares. This is a real pain as the GVM is a great way for an end user to seamlessly access any Windows files. Several key ports are being blocked. The simple solution is to just download the development version of system-securitylevel (1.6-4 and above). There you will find added entries for accessing Samba. Check these and you will then be able to use GVM to access all your windows shares from your desktop.

How can someone make OS usage more robust?

Abstract the OS to bullet proof operations using Xen virtualization. Normally when an application fails, your OS continues. What if could do the same thing with your OS. Your OS fails, just restart it, without have to restart your system. Better yet, just try a different OS. Like different applications for the same data, you could try different OSs for the same data (or different kernels), without rebooting (avoids the equivalent of the blue screen of death found on Windows systems). Xen, though, does not and may never support Windows.

What's your most frustrating "guilty" Fedora pleasure?

Getting multimedia to work. With the lack of serious vendor support, users have to implement their own MP3 and DVD video support. The lack of DVD video support is heavily felt as the major vendors don't really supply DVD players for Linux. Even Mplayer cannot distribute support. One key point to keep in mind here, freshrpms.net. Enough said.

Divx though is strongly supported and always has been (www.divx.com and www.xvid.org). Given its instant Internet global distribution "possibilities," its most likely the wave of the "future" anyway. Of course in an entirely unrelated point, BitTorrent is fully supported.

And the source of your greatest rage?

ATI and Nvidia driver support. Nvidia support as always is strong and is getting better. They finally clued into game systems, which is about time for Linux. To be careful, use the ATI and Nvidia driver packages out on Livna.

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