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Fedora (operating system)

Fedora (formerly Fedora Core) is an operating system based on the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. Fedora contains software distributed under a free and open source license and aims to be on the leading edge of such technologies.[1][2]

Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, uses Fedora on all of his computers.[3][4]

Contents

  • Features 1
    • Software 1.1
    • Distribution 1.2
    • Products and Spins 1.3
    • Architectures 1.4
  • History 2
  • Releases 3
  • Derivatives 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Features

Fedora has a reputation for focusing on innovation, integrating new technologies early on and working closely with upstream Linux communities.[5] Making changes upstream instead of specifically in Fedora ensures that the changes are available to all Linux distributions.

Fedora has a relatively short life cycle: version X is supported only until 1 month after version X+2 is released and with approximately 6 months between most versions, meaning a version of Fedora is usually supported for approximately 13 months.[6] Fedora users can upgrade from version to version without reinstalling.[7][8]

The default desktop in Fedora is the GNOME desktop environment and the default interface is the GNOME Shell. Other desktop environments, including KDE, Xfce, LXDE, MATE and Cinnamon, are available and can be installed.[9][10]

Fedora 22 with KDE

Fedora uses the RPM package management system.

Security is also important in Fedora with one specific security feature being Security-Enhanced Linux, which implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, and which Fedora adopted early on.[11]

Software

Fedora comes installed with a wide range of software such as LibreOffice and Firefox. Additional software is available from the software repositories and can be installed using the Yum or DNF package managers with graphical interfaces, such as GNOME Software, also being available.

GNOME Software, Fedora's default package manager front-end

Additionally, extra repositories can be added to the system, so that software not available in Fedora can be installed.[12]:Section 9.8.1. Third party repositories exist that distribute software not included in Fedora either because they don't meet Fedora's definition of free software or because their distribution may violate US law. Popular third-party repositories include RPM Fusion and negativo17. Fedora also provides users with an easy-to-use build system for creating their own repositories called Copr.[13]

Distribution

Fedora is distributed in several different ways:[12]:Section 2.1.3.

  • Full Distribution on DVD – a DVD image with all major Fedora packages at the time of release;
  • Live Image – a DVD image that can be used to create a Live DVD or Live USB drive and optionally install to a hard disk;
  • Minimal Boot Media – used for installing directly over the network.

A Live USB drive can be created using Fedora Live USB creator or the dd command.[12]:Section 3.2.

Products and Spins

Beginning with Fedora 21, Fedora Linux is available as three distinct primary products: Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation.[14] Fedora also provides a Fedora Atomic Host image for Project Atomic, which is Red Hat's solution for deploying Docker-based containerized applications.[15]

Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins or editions.[16] These are built with specific sets of software packages, offering alternative desktop environments or targeting specific interests such as gaming, security, design, education,[17] robotics,[18][19] and scientific computing[20] (that includes SciPy, Octave, Kile, Xfig and Inkscape). Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.[16]

Architectures

Intel x86 and ARM are the primary architecture supported by Fedora. Pidora[21] is a specialized Fedora distribution for the Raspberry Pi. As of release 20, Fedora also supports PowerPC and s390 as secondary architectures.

History

The Fedora Project was created in late 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued.[23] Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat's only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution.[23] Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.[24]

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 fedora hat used in Red Hat's "Shadowman" logo. Warren Togami began Fedora Linux in 2002 as an undergraduate project at the University of Hawaii,[25] intended to provide a single repository for well-tested third-party software packages so that non-Red Hat software would be easier to find, develop, and use. The key of Fedora Linux and Red Hat Linux was that Fedora's repository development would be collaborative with the global volunteer community.[26] Fedora Linux was eventually absorbed into the Fedora Project, carrying with it this collaborative approach.[27]

Before Fedora 7, Fedora was called Fedora Core after the name of one of the two main software 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 had been included since Fedora Core 3, was community-maintained and not distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs. Upon the release of Fedora 7, the distinction between Fedora Core and Fedora Extras was eliminated.[28]

Fedora is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat's application for trademark status for the name "Fedora" was disputed by Cornell University and the University of Virginia Library, creators of the unrelated Fedora Commons digital repository management software.[29] The issue was resolved and the parties settled on a co-existence agreement that stated that the Cornell-UVA project could use the name when clearly associated with open source software for digital object repository systems and that Red Hat could use the name when it was clearly associated with open source computer operating systems.[30]

Releases

The current release is Fedora 22, which was released on 26 May 2015.

Fedora Core 1 with GNOME
Fedora 15 and the GNOME Shell


Derivatives

Some notable Fedora derivative Linux distributions are:[31]

  • Korora – a complete and easy to use system for general computing that “just works” out of the box.
  • OLPC OS – for the One Laptop per Child laptops.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux – enterprise Linux offering from Red Hat, which branches from the current Fedora baseline.

See also

References

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External links

  • Fedora Magazine


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