Q: Why a project instead of a product?
A: A global steering committee at Red Hat decided that Red Hat Linux was suffering from too many compromises as a retail "product", and that we should redirect our efforts at creating a community-based project. Rather than being run through product management as something that has to appear on retail shelves on a certain date, Fedora Core will be released based on schedules, set by a steering committee, that will be open and accessible to the community, as well as influenced by the community.
Q: What are the core benefits of this change?
A: Changing the product to a project will:
Ensure that users can get the latest bits as quickly as possible.
Create new opportunities for developers and users to participate in The Fedora Project development by opening up the full development process for anyone to see and join if they'd like.
Allow us to use The Fedora Project to develop and mature the latest, greatest technologies that may be incorporated later into products like Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Speed up the development process, taking better advantage of the inherent strengths of the open source model.
Q: Who is this steering committee, anyway?
A: The current membership of the steering committee will be maintained in the leadership section of the web site.
Q: Can I make my own commercially-supported operating system based on Fedora Core?
A: The open source licenses (such as the GPL) governing the source code allow you to do this, but any use must comply with the trademark rules.
Q: Can I redistribute The Fedora Project?
A: Yes, and we strongly encourage you to do so. You will need to comply with The Fedora Project trademark rules.
Q: Will Red Hat provide formal technical support for The Fedora Project?
A: No, no formal Web or phone support for The Fedora Project will be available from Red Hat. Red Hat's supported product line will be based in part on Fedora Core, and our development will be done externally as part of The Fedora Project as much as possible. Each new release of our supported products will be based in part on a recent release of Fedora Core.
Refer to the About for details.
Q: Will Red Hat's supported products contain all the packages found in Fedora Core?
A: In order to focus our efforts and limit support costs, we will probably select a subset of packages found in Fedora Core to include in the supported product line. One of the goals of The Fedora Project is to encourage a pool of high-quality add-on packages; if we're successful, there will be so many we won't be able to support all of them.
Q: What is the errata policy for The Fedora Project?
A: Security updates, bugfix updates, and new feature updates will all be available, through Red Hat and third parties. Updates may be staged (first made available for public qualification, then later for general consumption) when appropriate. In drastic cases, we may remove a package from The Fedora Project if we judge that a necessary security update is too problematic/disruptive to the larger goals of the project. Availability of updates should not be misconstrued as support for anything other than continued development and innovation of the code base.
Red Hat will not be providing an SLA (Service Level Agreement) for resolution times for updates for The Fedora Project. Security updates will take priority. For packages maintained by external parties, Red Hat may respond to security holes by deprecating packages if the external maintainers do not provide updates in a reasonable time. Users who want support, or maintenance according to an SLA, may purchase the appropriate Red Hat Enterprise Linux product for their use.
Q: Who will make global technical decisions about Fedora Core?
A: Red Hat will retain editorial control over Fedora Core — but will explicitly include external developers in the process of making technical decisions that align with our project objectives.
Q: What architectures will be supported by The Fedora Project?
A: Red Hat will initially focus on the x86 family of architectures. Red Hat may also choose to build Fedora Core for other architectures, and in doing so will focus on architectures in which it has a business interest. This will make it easier to identify and fix bugs; the sooner they are found, the easier it is to isolate the change that caused the bug and therefore the easier it is to fix. Other community members are welcome to participate in building for other architectures. Mechanisms, policies, and procedures for supporting other architectures have not been created, but soon will be. To avoid duplication of effort, it is recommended that community members ask about builds for other architectures before doing their own builds.
Q: Will Fedora Core be sold in retail?
A: Fedora Core will not be sold through the retail channel as a shrinkwrapped box.
The rapid development pace we expect for Fedora Core doesn't suit retail distribution — it is a lot of work to get a box product in and out of the channel, and retail isn't set up to efficiently handle software that is updated as often as every six months. Also, the creation of packaging and other materials that are necessary for retail significantly slows down the time to market, which means that users can't get the freshest bits when they are still truly fresh.
Further information on the retail product line will be forthcoming this fall.
Q: How will The Fedora Project be made available to the public?
A: Fedora Core releases will be available as ISO images for both CDs and DVDs, and will also be available through other channels such as third-party online sales of physical media; distribution at Linux User Groups, included in magazines and in books, and maybe even handed out at trade shows. The bits may be actively pushed into content sharing networks such as BitTorrent. (Not all mechanisms will be used for each release, except that ISOs will be freely available for each release.)