Fedora Core is following the path blazed by the Linux kernel: having started out as primarily an x86-based project (the 32-bit Intel-based processors from the 386 through the Pentium 4 and Athlon), it’s branching out. Versions 2 and 3 added support for the AMD-64 chips (basis of the Opteron and Athlon 64), and now, with the first test release of Fedora Core 4, official support for both 32-bit and 64-bit PowerPC.

There was a side project already, and most of the pieces that go into a Linux distribution have reached the point where they’re (mostly) platform-independent—all you need to do is recompile them. It takes fine-tuning, of course, and the actual hardware support takes effort. Yellow Dog Linux started out porting Red Hat to the PowerPC so it would run on Macs, and now builds a solid distribution off of Fedora Core, including a high-end server OS targeted for IBM’s PowerPC servers.

It’ll be interesting to compare upcoming versions of Yellow Dog and Fedora Core now that the latter is working on an actual PPC release.

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