Version 5 of the Fedora Core Linux distributions has been released today. FC5 includes several bug fixes and security updates and comes with new features like a photo manager, integrated virtualization and a Java run-time stack.
Users are likely to first notice that the desktop has been revamped and looks much cleaner. In addition, several new applications were added, while older ones were updated. Newly added is Beagle, which is a search tool that resembles Apple’s Sherlock or Google Desktop on PCs. Note taking is handled by TomBoy which allows for “sticky notes” on the desktop and can also manage a to-do list. Digital photographers can try the new F-Spot photo manager. Users of older FC versions will recognize Firefox and Open Office which have been upgraded to versions 1.5 and 2.02 respectively.
Multiple operating systems can be run under FC5 with Xen’s virtualization application. Similar to commercial virtualization programs like VirtualPC and VMWare, Xen allows users to run other Linux distributions as Guest operating systems. It doesn’t yet support FreeBSD, but developers are working on it. In addition, it does not officially support running Windows inside of Linux.
An integrated Java compiler and run-time module is now included. This is a, “big step down the free Java path,” according to the release summary and is the first time the distribution has used an all open source Java solution. Several Java programs, like the famous Azureus Bittorrent client, are included.
Fedora Core 5 is available for download on 32 and 64-bit x86 platforms, as well as PowerPC processors. The distribution comes in five CD ISO images or a single DVD image. People on slow Internet connections can also order the discs from various vendors for around $5 to $10.