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Fedora Core 4 Test 2--Plenty to Look Forward to in FC4 - page 5

Looking Forward

  • April 25, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

As you'd expect from any test release or release candidate, the packages that make up FC4t2 are constantly being updated. Traditionally, Red Hat offered the Red Hat Network and its underlying up2date application to decipher what's on a system, locate updates, and apply them in the right sequence using RPM. However, entire civilizations have risen and fallen in the time that it takes most up2date updates to complete.

Fedora Core still provides RPM and up2date for those with unlimited time on their hands, but for the rest of us, Fedora Core offers yum (Yellow Dog Updated, Modified) from our PPC friends at Yellow Dog. Yum has been around for the last couple FC releases, and has some problems in FC4T2, but it's a huge step in the right direction. For Debian or Ubuntu fans, it's almost as good as having apt-get! For everyone else, it's great!

The versions of up2date and yum provided with FC4T2 are still on a shakedown cruise, though it's sometime difficult to tell the difference between problems in packages and package repositories and problems in the applications themselves. My original attempts at using up2date reported that every available package update was size 0, so I couldn't actually update anything. Yum reported problems with unsigned packages and unresolved dependencies, both of which I could work around (for the most part) using yum's groupupdate feature. However, updates are necessary and frequent for test releases, pre-releases, and actual releases--caveat emptor!

As a test release, Fedora Core 4 Test 2 shows just how good FC4 will be when it's officially releases. Should you punt FC3 and upgrade? Frankly, not on your primary system unless you don't need the guarantees of an official, complete release. Aside from various minor problems, the only problems I encountered that I felt were extremely serious were those in updating the the system. Fedora has some great mailing lists and forums where early adopters can get assistance from Fedora's huge community of friendly, knowledgeable devotees. It's easy to see why Fedora Core is a popular distribution, and FC4 should be great when it gets here! I'm going to wait for the official release before I upgrade my FC3 system--but I'll definitely try the next test release or release candidate on one of my scratch boxes.

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