Fedora (operating system)
Fedora 20 (Heisenbug) with GNOME 3.10
|Company / developer||Fedora Project,
(owned by Red Hat, Inc.)
|Source model||Open source (with exceptions)|
|Initial release||6 November 2003|
|Latest stable release||20 (Heisenbug) (December 17, 2013[±])|
|Update method||Yum (PackageKit)|
|Package manager||RPM Package Manager|
|Supported platforms||i686, x86-64, ARM|
|Default user interface||GNOME 3|
|License||Various free software licenses, plus proprietary binary blobs.|
Fedora // (formerly Fedora Core) is 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. Fedora uses the RPM package management system.
Fedora contains software distributed under a free and open source license and aims to be on the leading edge of such technologies. 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.
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. 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.
The Fedora Project is governed by a board whose majority is elected by the Fedora community.
The Fedora Project was created in late 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued. Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat's only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution. Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.
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, 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. Fedora Linux was eventually absorbed into the Fedora Project, carrying with it this collaborative approach.
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. 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.
The Fedora Project distributes Fedora in several different ways:
- 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.
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.
Software package management is primarily handled by the yum utility. Graphical interfaces, such as pirut and pup are provided, as well as puplet, which provides visual notifications in the panel when updates are available. 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. Additionally, extra repositories can be added to the system, so that packages not available in Fedora can be installed.
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 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.
Also prior to the release of Fedora 7, 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 packages not included in Fedora either because they don't meet Fedora's definition of free software or because their distribution may violate US law. One of the most popular third-party repositories is RPM Fusion.
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. 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. In Fedora 18 both the MATE and Cinnamon desktops were made available in the package repositories.
Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins. These are built with specific sets of software packages, offering alternative desktop environments or targeting specific interests such as gaming, security, design, scientific computing and robotics. Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.
Security is an important feature in Fedora. One specific security feature in Fedora is Security-Enhanced Linux, which implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSM) in the Linux kernel. Fedora adopted SELinux early on: it was introduced in Fedora Core 2 and enabled by default in Fedora Core 3.
The current release is Fedora 20, codenamed "Heisenbug", which was released on 17 December 2013.
|Project Name||Version||Code name||Release date||End-of-life date||Kernel version|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1||Yarrow||2003-11-05||2004-09-20||2.4.22|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2||Tettnang||2004-05-18||2005-04-11||2.6.5|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3||Heidelberg||2004-11-08||2006-01-16||2.6.9|
|Old version, no longer supported: 4||Stentz||2005-06-13||2006-08-07||2.6.11|
|Old version, no longer supported: 5||Bordeaux||2006-03-20||2007-07-02||2.6.15|
|Old version, no longer supported: 6||Zod||2006-10-24||2007-12-07||2.6.18|
|Fedora||Old version, no longer supported: 7||Moonshine||2007-05-31||2008-06-13||2.6.21|
|Old version, no longer supported: 8||Werewolf||2007-11-08||2009-01-07||2.6.23|
|Old version, no longer supported: 9||Sulphur||2008-05-13||2009-07-10||2.6.25|
|Old version, no longer supported: 10||Cambridge||2008-11-25||2009-12-18||2.6.27|
|Old version, no longer supported: 11||Leonidas||2009-06-09||2010-06-25||2.6.29|
|Old version, no longer supported: 12||Constantine||2009-11-17||2010-12-02||2.6.31|
|Old version, no longer supported: 13||Goddard||2010-05-25||2011-06-04||2.6.33|
|Old version, no longer supported: 14||Laughlin||2010-11-02||2011-12-08||2.6.35|
|Old version, no longer supported: 15||Lovelock||2011-05-24||2012-06-26||2.6.38|
|Old version, no longer supported: 16||Verne||2011-11-08||2013-02-12||3.1|
|Old version, no longer supported: 17||Beefy Miracle||2012-05-29||2013-07-30||3.3|
|Old version, no longer supported: 18||Spherical Cow||2013-01-15||2014-01-14||3.6|
|Older version, yet still supported: 19||Schrödinger's Cat||2013-07-02||3.9|
|Current stable version: 20||Heisenbug||2013-12-17||3.11|
- Notable Fedora derivative Linux distributions:
- Berry Linux – a medium-sized Fedora based distribution that provides support for Japanese and English.
- 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 Linux – made by Taiwanese company Linpus Technologies for the Asian market.
- 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.
- Not active (no release for over 12 months):
- BLAG Linux and GNU – a stripped down 1-CD Fedora.
- Fuduntu – Optimized for netbooks, development headed by Jupiter creator Fewt.
- Moblin – a distribution mainly for MIDs, netbooks and embedded devices.
- MythDora – based around MythTV's media center capabilities.
- Yellow Dog Linux – for the PowerPC platform.
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