Does it get any better than this? Not one but two of the most popular distributions have been updated and unleashed onto the world at stage this week. Both feature some substantial upgrades, a host of new toys to play with too. If you haven't so far checked them out, now is as good a time as any,
First up, the new Fedora Core 6 can now be accessed again after it was overloaded by the initial Slashdotting.
Feature highlights can be found here and they include everything that's hip and cool at the moment such as a 2.6.18 based kernel, the latest Gnome 2.16 and KDE 3.5.4, the latest modular Xorg 7.1 and, as is the emerging trend, OpenGL accelerate graphics, this time with AIGLX and Compiz for some impressive visual effects.
Perhaps the most interesting update however is the use of the new GNU_HASH, aka --hash-stye, for dynamic linking. It's interesting because for a while now cutting-edge freaks trying who desperately to break their systems (um, and this includes me) have been playing around with various linker optimisations including -Bdirect, -hashvals, -zdynsort and the rest for over a year now.
All of these linker based optimisations have had various levels of impact on performance, all positive, but so far have been patches against glibc and binutils and not usually included in a distribution (because, quite literally, if you break glibc you break your entire system). That Fedora Core 6 has made use of the latest development here in GNU_HASH and applied it against the whole system is definitely a boon -- this can dramatically reduce startup times for all applications, whether it's a simple xterm or the behemoth Open Office. See the summary for a full list of new features and these guides here and here for a walkthrough of some of highlights.
Ubuntu 6.10, ala 'Edgy Eft', is a much anticipated update for the Ubuntu series and includes 2.6.17 kernel, the new Gnome 2.16, Open Office 2.0.4, the latest Gaim 2.0 beta, the just-released Firefox 2.0, a new default theme from the Ubuntu art team, and a new init manager called Upstart. Developed specifically for Ubuntu, but available to be used in any distribution, it will be interesting to see if Upstart takes off and becomes the de-facto, much like devfs has now been replaced by udev.
As always, Kbuntu (bundling the very latest KDE 3.5.5), Edubuntu, and Xubuntu have also been updated to the 6.10 release and are available for download.
Fedora Core 6: Homepage
Fedora Core 6: Download mirrors and torrents
Ubuntu 6.10: Homepage
Ubuntu 6.10: Download mirrors and torrents
|Fedora Core 6: Source: The Coding Studio
|Ubuntu 6.10: Source: The Coding Studio