Fedora (linux distribution)

Not to be confused with Red Hat Linux or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
This article is about the operating system. For other uses, see Fedora (disambiguation).
developer Fedora Project,
(owned by Red Hat, Inc.)
OS family Unix-like (independent)
Working state Current
Source model Free and open source software (with exceptions)[1]
Initial release 2003-11-06[2] It was codenamed Yarrow. Fedora Core 1 was based on Red Hat Linux 9 and shipped with version 2.4.19 of the Linux kernel, version 2.4 of the GNOME desktop environment, and K Desktop Environment 3.1.[3]
Latest stable release 19 (Schrödinger's Cat) / 2 July 2013; 11 months ago (2013-07-02)
Available language(s) Multilingual
Update method Yum (PackageKit)
Package manager RPM Package Manager
Supported platforms i686, x86-64
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Userland GNU
Default user interface GNOME 3
License Various free software licenses, plus proprietary binary blobs.[1]
Official website

Fedora /fɨˈdɒr.ə/, formerly Fedora Core, is an RPM-based, general purpose collection of software, including an operating system based on the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and owned by Red Hat. The Fedora Project's mission is to lead the advancement of free and open source software and content as a collaborative community.[4]

One of Fedora's main objectives is not only to contain software distributed under a free and open source license, but also to be on the leading edge of such technologies.[5][6] Fedora developers prefer to make upstream changes instead of applying fixes specifically for Fedora—this ensures that their updates are available to all Linux distributions.[7]

A version of Fedora has a relatively short life cycle—the maintenance period is only 13 months: there are 6 months between releases, and version X is supported only until 1 month after version X+2.[8] This promotes leading-edge software because it frees developers from some backward compatibility restraints, but it also makes Fedora a poor choice for product development (e.g., embedded systems), which usually requires long-term vendor-support, unavailable with any version of Fedora.

In 2008, Linus Torvalds, author of the Linux kernel, stated that he used Fedora because it had fairly good support for the PowerPC processor architecture, which he had favoured at the time.[9]


The Fedora Project was created in late 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued.[10] Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat's only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution.[10] Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.[11]

The name of Fedora derives from Fedora Linux, a volunteer project that provided extra software for the Red Hat Linux distribution, and from the characteristic

The Fedora Project is governed by a

Features of Fedora


The Fedora Project distributes Fedora in several different ways:[16]

  • Fedora DVD/CD set – a DVD or CD set of all major Fedora packages at time of shipping;
  • Live images – CD or DVD sized images that can be used to create a Live CD or boot from a USB flash drive and optionally install to a hard disk;
  • Minimal CD – used for installing over HTTP, FTP or NFS.[17]

The Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora which are called Fedora spin.[18] These are built from a specific set of software packages and have a combination of software to meet the requirements of a specific kind of end user. Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.[19] It is also possible to create Live USB versions of Fedora using Fedora Live USB creator, UNetbootin or dd.

Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) is a volunteer-based community effort from the Fedora project to create a repository of high-quality add-on packages that complement the Fedora-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its compatible spinoffs such as CentOS or Scientific Linux.[20]

Software package management is primarily handled by the yum utility.[21] Graphical interfaces, such as pirut and pup are provided, as well as puplet, which provides visual notifications in the panel when updates are available.[21] apt-rpm is an alternative to yum, and may be more familiar to people used to Debian or Debian-based distributions, where Advanced Packaging Tool is used to manage packages.[22] Additionally, extra repositories can be added to the system, so that packages not available in Fedora can be installed.[23]

Software repositories

Fedora comes installed with a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, and Empathy. Additional software that is not installed by default can be downloaded using the package manager.

Before Fedora 7, there were two main repositories – Core and Extras. Fedora Core contained all the base packages that were required by the operating system, as well as other packages that were distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs, and was maintained only by Red Hat developers. Fedora Extras, the secondary repository that was included from Fedora Core 3, was community-maintained and not distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs.

Also prior to Fedora 7 being released, there was a third repository called Fedora Legacy. This repository was community-maintained and was mainly concerned with extending the life cycle of older Fedora Core distributions and selected Red Hat Linux releases that were no longer officially maintained. Fedora Legacy was shut down in December 2006.

Third party repositories exist that distribute more packages that are not included in Fedora either because it does not meet Fedora's definition of free software or because distribution of that software may violate US law. One of the most popular third-party repositories is RPM Fusion.

Desktop environments

The default desktop in Fedora is the GNOME desktop environment, with Fedora offering the GNOME Shell as its default interface since the release of Fedora 15.[24] Other desktop environments are available from the Fedora package repositories, and can also be installed from the Fedora installer, including the KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce, and LXDE desktop environments.[25] In Fedora 18 both the MATE and Cinnamon desktops were made available in the package repositories.[25] In addition, specialized "spins" are available offering these alternative desktops custom configured and offered by default. Other spins are also available targeting specific niche interests, such as gaming, security, design, and robotics.


A concept similar to Debian blends is Fedora spins.

Security features

Security is one of the most important features in Fedora. One of the security features in Fedora is Security-Enhanced Linux, a Linux feature that implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSM) in the Linux kernel. Fedora is one of the distributions leading the way with SELinux.[26] SELinux was introduced in Fedora Core 2. It was disabled by default, as it radically altered how the operating system worked, but was enabled by default in Fedora Core 3 and introduced a less strict, targeted policy.[27][28]


Main article: List of Fedora versions

The current release of the operating system is Fedora 19, codenamed "Schrödinger's Cat", which was released on 2 July 2013.

Some of the features of Fedora 19 include:

  • Further improvements to the new Anaconda installer
  • A new initial setup application
  • New support allows users to checkpoint and restore processes
  • Default desktop upgraded to GNOME 3.8
  • Updated to KDE 4.10 and MATE 1.6
  • MariaDB has replaced MySQL
  • GCC has been updated to version 4.8
  • RPM Package Manager has been updated to version 4.11
  • Includes the new Developers Assistant tool
  • Numerous upstream improvements to firewalld and systemd
  • Improved cloud support, including better compatibility with Amazon EC2

Version history

Project Name Version Code name Release date[29] End-of-life date[30] Kernel version
Fedora Core Template:Version Yarrow 2003-11-05 2004-09-20 2.4.19
Template:Version Tettnang 2004-05-18 2005-04-11 2.6.5
Template:Version Heidelberg 2004-11-08 2006-01-16 2.6.9
Template:Version Stentz 2005-06-13 2006-08-07 2.6.11
Template:Version Bordeaux 2006-03-20 2007-07-02 2.6.15
Template:Version Zod 2006-10-24 2007-12-07 2.6.18
Fedora Template:Version Moonshine 2007-05-31 2008-06-13 2.6.21
Template:Version Werewolf 2007-11-08 2009-01-07 2.6.23
Template:Version Sulphur 2008-05-13 2009-07-10 2.6.25
Template:Version Cambridge 2008-11-25 2009-12-18 2.6.27
Template:Version Leonidas 2009-06-09[31] 2010-06-25 2.6.29
Template:Version Constantine 2009-11-17[32] 2010-12-02 2.6.31
Template:Version Goddard 2010-05-25[33] 2011-06-04 2.6.33
Template:Version Laughlin 2010-11-02[34] 2011-12-08 2.6.35[35]
Template:Version Lovelock 2011-05-24[36] 2012-06-26[37] 2.6.42[38]
Template:Version Verne 2011-11-08[39] 2013-02-12[40] 3.1.0[41]
Template:Version Beefy Miracle[42] 2012-05-29[43] 2013-07-30[44] 3.3.4[45]
Template:Version Spherical Cow 2013-01-15[46] Early 2014 3.6.0
Template:Version Schrödinger's Cat[47] 2013-07-02[48] 3.10[49]
Template:Version Heisenbug[50]


See also List of Fedora-based Linux distributions
  • Notable Fedora Derivative Linux Distributions:
Source: list of Fedora derived Linux distributions
Source: Fedora WIKI list of derived distributions.
    • Berry Linux – a medium-sized Fedora based distribution that provides support for Japanese and English.
    • BLAG Linux and GNU – a stripped down 1-CD Fedora.
    • Hanthana Linux – from Sri Lanka
    • Korora – is a complete and easy to use system for general computing that "just works" out of the box.
    • Linpus – made by Taiwanese company Linpus Technologies for the Asian market.
    • MythDora – based around MythTV's media center capabilities.
    • Ojuba Linux – an Arabic Linux distribution.
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux – enterprise Linux offering from Red Hat, which branches from the current Fedora baseline.
    • Russian Fedora Remix – version of Fedora, adapted for Russia. Contains proprietary drivers and software.

See also


External links

    • International Fedora Project sites
  • DistroWatch