Omega (Dalmation) Fedora Remix is out!
Omega is a completely free and open source Linux based operating system. It is a installable Live image that includes comprehensive multimedia functionality out of the box. It is a Live image that can be optionally installed to your hard disk. Omega is 100% compatible with Fedora and a Fedora Remix only including packages from Fedora, RPM Fusion and Livna software repositories. The Dalmation release is based on Fedora 14 + updates till last weekend. I have a i686 edition available for download immediately via ftp and torrent as well. A torrent has been frequently asked for but this time I teamed up with http://linuxtracker.org folks to provide one for Omega users. A x86_64 edition is composed and tested as well but I haven’t finished uploading it yet. It should be available in a day or two at max.
What’s new in this release?
All the good stuff from Fedora 14 + updates till November 27th 2010 from Fedora, RPM Fusion and Livna repositories. As with the previous releases, I have included Openoffice.org, multimedia codecs and multimedia players including Xine, Mplayer and VLC by default. For the real changes,
First and foremost, A torrent is available as part of this release. So do use that to download if possible and please seed the content for other users.
All icons are hidden on the desktop by default. This provides a nice and clean look. Desktop is not a particularly good place for icons and we have places menu and the trash applet by default for quick access. So use them instead. I have put Autoten on the desktop by default however so that you can quickly install some of the things users look for usually. It is not a particular elegant app in either design or look but it is functional and does the job. I had included the Adobe Flash repo by default (but not installed Flash ) for convenience in the previous release but I wasn’t very comfortable with the idea. Autoten does what is needed and not everyone needs Flash so I have removed the repo by default.
Fedora Design team did a good job with a wallpaper this release and even included animated wallpapers that slowly keep changing but unfortunately due to space, Fedora Desktop live edition doesn’t include them by default. Omega is more than CD size (1.2 GB image ideal for USB sticks) and I could afford to include these animated wallpapers by default and indeed I have. So enjoy!
Both Compiz and GNOME Shell is included. I have also included Audacious, Audacity and the vrtualization group is included by default in this release and this has Virt-manager, KVM and some of the other useful tools. Many small utilities including mc, htop, powertop and byobu (enhanced version of screen).
The full list of changes are available from the kickstart file from the Omega homepage. Take a look at that for more details
I have maintained several Fedora Spins in the past including Games, Xfce and so on and a few remixes as well. The goal has always been to demonstrate the power of Free software. Omega serves several purposes.
A: Quick Fedora
This isn’t anything really new or innovative about Omega. If you download the Fedora Desktop Live image, get the RPM Fusion and Livna repositories and make the few changes pretty much everyone makes and get all the updates released so far, you get Omega. I am fond of saying, Omega cannot have bugs. While not strictly true, what I mean is that if there are bugs in Omega, those are just Fedora, RPM Fusion or Livna bugs I don’t modify any of these packages and because there is nothing fundamentally new, I don’t have to worry about breaking things differently and doing a compose is pretty quick and easy. In short, Omega is just a quick way to get started with Fedora.
B: Quality Assurance:
Everytime I do a remix, I find new and interesting bugs or ideas for enhancement in the Fedora tools or packages and file them promptly and these gets fixed usually pretty quickly. For example, for this release I ran across across https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=657766 (already fixed for Rawhide) and https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=658632 ( Kushal Das has a one line patch and this should be fixed soon too). Helps improve life for Fedora users and remixers.
C: Template for other Fedora Remixes
I have seen many Fedora Remixes using the kickstart files I have provided and when they publish their kickstart files, I do take a look at them and inherit changes when I think it is appropriate. I try and keep the changes minimal from Fedora, 100% compatible with it and other than some additional packages by default, it is all the same thing. I don’t install anything proprietary by default and don’t really change the look and feel of stock Fedora. So it will be quite comfortable and easy for Fedora users to use and remix.