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Fedora Core 4 Test 2--Plenty to Look Forward to in FC4
April 25, 2005
I am one of many who felt that Red Hat's abandonment of their desktop user community was treacherous at best. I see the logic in this from a customer support perspective--after all, answering questions from randoms who've coughed up the money for a Linux distribution at CompUSA can be time-consuming, but that's how you build market share. Assuming, of course, that this is the market that you want to be in. Since April 30, 2004, a personal black Friday for desktop Red Hat Linux users, only Red Hat's Enterprise Linux products have been supported by Red Hat, and Red Hat's focus is solely on the enterprise market.
To fill the void, Red Hat announced the foundation and sponsorship of the Fedora Project, whose goal according to their Web site is "to work with the Linux community to build a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from free software." On my screen, the subtitles read "To sponsor a project and people who will develop stuff that we can suck directly into future RHEL releases."
So why be so cranky? Every Linux distribution depends on the open source community. Frankly, the thing that torques me off most about this is the fact that I was a Red Hat user and advocate for years, holding up a dented little shield labeled "end-user support" and "winning over the desktop" whenever I was verbally abused by my Debian, Slackware, and other Linux friends who preferred to build their own Linux distributions and kill their own food.
But now I'm healing. I never called Red Hat for support anyway. Desktop users who want commercial support for Linux can still buy SUSE Linux, the Novell Linux Desktop, Mandriva, Linspire, Turbolinux, or a variety of other distributions. My fortune cookie yesterday said "Accept the things you cannot change."
RHEL 4.0 (previously reviewed on LinuxPlanet) was quite nice and a great update for enterprise Red Hat users. I even have an FC3 box around that I use to keep myself up to speed on what is certainly a popular distribution for both new Linux users and Red Hat Linux refugees. So let's look at the latest and greatest from Fedora, Fedora Core 4 Test 2, which is a test release, not a full-blown release or even a release candidate, but still has plenty to offer for any semi-experienced (or better) Linux user. Fedora Core 4 Test 2 is available for the x86, x86_64, and PPC architectures.