A month after the release of Fedora Core 3 (FC3) we have a pretty good idea over its evolution since its first release last year. In fact, we found FC3 to be its best release yet.FC3 comes with either a DVD or a 4 CD-set. Installation hasn’t change much from previous releases, however FC3 has a problem that previous releases didn’t (on this laptop): the installation screen would stay all black if we didn’t specifically add a “vga=773” to the boot manager.
FC3 includes remote desktop support, Gnome 2.8, KDE 3.3, GCC 3.4 and SELinux works much better now than when it was first introduced last March. I was happy to see Helix Player included, but there was no gnome menu item for it. I had to hunt for it…
Among the coolest new software included is the uber-modern Howl (zeroconf stuff) and gnome-volume-manager (via dbus/hal). Firefox is included too, along with NetworkManagerInfo (see screenshot) which is able to scan for wireless networks near you and allow you to change your active connection on the fly (just like Mac OS X’s menubar wifi utility). This FC3 utility is cool but it doesn’t really work correctly yet as it still has some bugs left in it.
Despite that, I found FC3 to be the most bug-free version to date. Performance is not great, but at least on a modern PC, FC3 will perform adequately and feel reliable.
There are a lot of updates almost daily and up2date seems to work better than in the past, it doesn’t get frozen forever anymore. “Upgrading” FC3 to add DVD, Java, Flash and mp3 support was very easy after following some easy instructions and installing some upgrades from FreshRPM via apt-get and Synaptic.
After placing all these pieces of the puzzle together, Fedora Core 3 has shown some good evolution signs which should satisfy both knowledgable readers and newbies. I am not a fan of RPM because it’s way too picky on library version numbers, however if you only need a specific set of applications and you feel the need to install new stuff all the time, Fedora should be a good choice.
FC3 was tested on LinuxCertified’s LC2430 laptop.