Leading Linux and open source distributor Red Hat has announced the availability of Fedora Core 1, a complete Linux deployment built entirely from open source components.
Core 1, which is free of charge, is the first release from the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project for open source developers. It is designed to promote rapid collaborative development.
The project provides a way of previewing and proving new open source technology which could eventually be included, for instance, in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
"This is the debut. Fedora was previously primarily for those wanting to work on projects. Now it's settled into place," Paul Salazar, Red Hat's director of marketing for EMEA, told vnunet.com.
"From this point forwards if someone wants to add to Core they can."
Red Hat is contributing something back to the open source community but also now has a good way for the company to grow its user base, he said.
The academic world represents the largest group of people contributing to open source for development, with a big surge also happening in eastern Europe.
Although Red Hat manages the project and contributes development resources and editorial guidance, the resulting applications could be picked up by other commercially supplied distributions and supported open source.
Salazar said the initial offering had similar functionality to Red Hat Enterprise Server, including its Blucurve desktop, Ximian Evolution mail and calendar and OpenOffice word processing.
Red Hat also supports such things as longer cycles between releases.
Work is now commencing on Fedora Core 2. Red Hat said this will focus on leading-edge technologies, integrating the new Linux 2.6 kernel.
Developers and testers who wish to join the Fedora Project community can access its website at fedora.redhat.com.
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