Fedora Core 6 Zod Review
Another leading change with Fedora Core 6 is included support for Compiz with AIGLX. The packages are installed by default and can be accessed from System > Preferences > Desktop Effects. This window allows you to start the Compiz manager and the options of windows wobble when moved and workspaces on a cube. In order to use Compiz with AIGLX, you will need supported display drivers installed.
Shipping with Fedora Zod is GNOME v2.16.0 and KDE v3.5.4. Due to the development freeze earlier this month, we imagine GNOME v2.16.1 will reach the updates repository in the very near future along with KDE v3.5.5. GNOME 2.16 delivers a wealth of new features, as we have covered in various Phoronix articles.
OpenOffice.org 2.0.4 is also a prominent package in Fedora Core 6. Unfortunately, one of our package complaints is the use of the Mozilla Firefox 1.5 branch. Mozilla Firefox 2.0 is being released today, so it is unfortunate that FC6 had not shipped with the release candidate. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Mozilla Firefox 2.0 will reach the FC6 updates repository; users will need to wait for the release of Fedora Core 7 for official support. However, at the Phoronix Forums we have provided an unofficial Firefox 2.0 RPM for Fedora Core 6. Fedora 6 does ship with GAIM 2.0 Beta, which is certainly a welcome addition.
Improvements are also made to package management and dependency resolving. Virt-manager has also been included in Fedora Core 6, which is a graphical virtualization manager. Other changes are the removal of Helix Player in favor of GNOME's Totem, inclusion of Dogtail, ext3 file-system performance improvements, and DT_GNU_HASH performance improvements with Fedora Core applications. Additional packages comprising Fedora Core 6 is the Linux 2.6.18 kernel and X.Org 7.1. Pirut and Pup also have minor updates to the interface since their premiere with Bordeaux.
We have already used Fedora Core 6 Zod for several days now and have been extremely pleased by this release. The changes are extensive from default AIGLX + Compiz support to a great deal of performance improvements. Another nice feature is the immediate availability of Extras packages built for Fedora Core 6 (ATRPMS, Livna, and FreshRPMs also have third-party FC6 repositories established). After more than a dozen installations, we have not yet run into any show-stopping problems. Firefox is rather bloated and has crashed multiple times already during general usage. When metacity is running there does appear to be problems when minimizing windows, the window will turn black during the minimization process. There also appears to be ACPI cpufreq problems with notebooks and the default kernel.
If you run into any hardware troubles, or with the NVIDIA and ATI display drivers and FC6, be sure to hit up the Phoronix Forums as information and guides have already been posted. Well, to end this article, Zod is certainly one of the best-engineered Fedora/Red Hat releases yet! The improvements gone into Fedora Core 6 Zod are evident, and pardoning a few bugs, this is a very polished release for GNU/Linux desktop users. Looking forward to Fedora Core 7, we will hopefully see a new icon package (Echo) and a new Fedora Init System. If abiding by a six to nine month release cycle, we will also be greeted by X.Org 7.2 and GNOME 2.18.
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