Red Hat has unveiled the first full release of its open-source directory server, based on Netscape technology acquired a year ago.

Fedora Directory Server (FDS) version 1.0 open-sources two important components not included with a release earlier this year - the console and administration engine.

The release gives Red Hat and other Linux distributors an open-source challenger to proprietary systems such as Microsoft's Active Directory, Sun Java Enterprise and particularly Novell's eDirectory. Directory services are essential for large businesses, allowing them to manage identity and security information for employees, customers and partners. They provide a single database for storing information about the network and network based resources such as users, servers, files, printers, shares and the like.

FDS 1.0 is the first release to give developers access to the source code of all the software's components, including LDAP engine, console and administration engine, allowing them to begin porting the server to different platforms. The earlier release only open-sourced the LDAP engine.

The new release includes a new administration engine, which uses the Apache httpd engine and includes mod_nss, a rewrite of mod_ssl using the Mozilla NSS cryptography engine. Other features include LDAPv3, Multi-Master Replication, Windows Synchronisation and support for MD5, SHA-256, SHA-384 and SHA-512 password hashing. It fixes a number of bugs as well, according to Red Hat.

The software doesn't yet support 32-bit x86 chips with 64-bit addressing, but support is on its way, Red Hat said.

More information and downloads are available from the FDS website