Fedora (operating system)

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Fedora logo and wordmark.svg
Fedora 20 GNOME Shell Desktop
Fedora 20 (Heisenbug) with GNOME 3.10
Company / developer Fedora Project (owned by Red Hat)
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release 6 November 2003 (2003-11-06)[1]
Latest release 20 (Heisenbug) (December 17, 2013; 4 months ago (2013-12-17)) [±]
Available in Multilingual
Update method Yum (PackageKit)
Package manager RPM Package Manager
Supported platforms i686, x86-64, ARM
Kernel type Linux
Userland GNU
Default user interface GNOME 3
License Various free software licenses, plus proprietary firmware files.[2]
Official website fedoraproject.org

Fedora /fɨˈdɒr.ə/ (formerly Fedora Core) is an operating system based on the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and owned 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.[3][4]

Linus Torvalds, author of the Linux kernel, uses Fedora on all his computers.[5]


Fedora has a reputation for focusing on innovation, integrating new technologies early on and working closely with upstream Linux communities. 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 and with approximately 6 months between versions this means that a version of Fedora is supported for approximately 13 months.[6] 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, which usually requires long-term vendor-support. Fedora users can upgrade from version to version using FedUp.[7]

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.[8][9]

Fedora 20 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.[10]


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.[11] 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. One of the most popular third-party repositories is RPM Fusion. Fedora also provides users with an easy-to-use build system for creating their own repositories called Copr.[12]


Fedora is distributed in several different ways:[13]

  • DVD/CD set – a set of DVD or CD images with all major Fedora packages at the time of release;
  • Live images – CD or DVD images that can be used to create a Live CD or Live USB drive and optionally install to a hard disk;
  • Minimal CD – used for installing over the network.[14]

A Live USB drive can be created using Fedora Live USB creator or the dd command.[15]


Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins.[16] 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.[16]


The Fedora Project was created in late 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued.[17] Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat's only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution.[17] Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.[18]

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.[19] Fedora Linux was eventually absorbed into the Fedora Project, carrying with it this collaborative approach.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]


The current release is Fedora 20, codenamed "Heisenbug", which was released on 17 December 2013.

Fedora Core 1 with GNOME
Fedora 15 and the GNOME Shell
Project Name Version Code name Release date[24] End-of-life date[25] 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[26] 2010-06-25 2.6.29
Old version, no longer supported: 12 Constantine 2009-11-17[27] 2010-12-02 2.6.31
Old version, no longer supported: 13 Goddard 2010-05-25[28] 2011-06-04 2.6.33
Old version, no longer supported: 14 Laughlin 2010-11-02[29] 2011-12-08 2.6.35[30]
Old version, no longer supported: 15 Lovelock 2011-05-24[31] 2012-06-26[32] 2.6.38[33]
Old version, no longer supported: 16 Verne 2011-11-08[34] 2013-02-12[35] 3.1[36]
Old version, no longer supported: 17 Beefy Miracle[37] 2012-05-29[38] 2013-07-30[39] 3.3[40]
Old version, no longer supported: 18 Spherical Cow 2013-01-15[41] 2014-01-14[42] 3.6[43]
Older version, yet still supported: 19 Schrödinger's Cat[44] 2013-07-02[45] 3.9[46]
Current stable version: 20 Heisenbug[47] 2013-12-17[48] 3.11[49]
Future release: 21 -[50] 2014-10-14[51]
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Releases of Red Hat Linux are listed here.


Some notable Fedora derivative Linux distributions are:[52]

  • 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.
  • Yellow Dog Linux – for the PowerPC platform.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Red Hat (2003-11-06). "Announcing Fedora Core 1". Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about Fedora Licensing". Fedora Project. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  3. ^ Max Spevack. "Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack Responds". Retrieved 2006-12-17. 
  4. ^ "Fedora Project Objectives". 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Linus Torvalds from Linux Format 163". TuxRadar. Linux Format. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Fedora Release Life Cycle - FedoraProject". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  7. ^ "FedUp - FedoraProject". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  8. ^ "Fedora 17 now available for download". Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  9. ^ "How to install the MATE and Cinnamon desktops on Fedora 18". Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  10. ^ "Mandatory Access Control with SELinux" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  11. ^ Stuart Ellis. "Using Repositories". Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  12. ^ "Fedora Copr". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  13. ^ Fedora Project. "New Users – How Do I Download Installation Files?". Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  14. ^ Fedora Project. "Alternative Install Methods". Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  15. ^ "Fedora 20 Installation Guide". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  16. ^ a b "Custom Spins". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Fedora Project: Announcing New Direction". 2003-09-22. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  18. ^ "The Fedora Project and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, part 4". 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  19. ^ "Warren Togami on the new Fedora Project". Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  20. ^ "Why Fedora? (.odp presentation)". Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  21. ^ "Releases/7 - FedoraProject". Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  22. ^ Becker, David (21 November 2003). "Red Hat, researchers in name tiff". CNET News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Fedora Repository Project History". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  24. ^ Fedora Project. "Releases". Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  25. ^ "End of life". FedoraProject. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  26. ^ "Fedora 11 Release Schedule". The Fedora Project. 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  27. ^ "Releases/12". FedoraProject. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  28. ^ "Releases/13/Schedule". FedoraProject. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  29. ^ "Releases/14/Schedule". FedoraProject. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  30. ^ "Fedora 14 Release Schedule and Codename - Softpedia". News.softpedia.com. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  31. ^ "Releases/15". FedoraProject. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  32. ^ "Reminder: Fedora 15 end of life on 2012-06-26". FedoraProject. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  33. ^ "kernel". Admin.fedoraproject.org. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  34. ^ "Releases/16/Schedule". FedoraProject. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  35. ^ Gilmore, Dennis. "Reminder: Fedora 16 end of life on 2013-02-12". lists.fedoraproject.org. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  36. ^ "Fedora 16 Release Notes". Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  37. ^ "Fedora Project Wiki". FedoraProject. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  38. ^ "Releases/17/Schedule - FedoraProject". FedoraProject. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  39. ^ Gilmore, Dennis. "Reminder: Fedora 17 end of life on 2013-07-30". lists.fedoraproject.org. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  40. ^ "Fedora 17 Release Notes". 
  41. ^ "Releases/18/Schedule - FedoraProject". FedoraProject. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  42. ^ Gilmore, Dennis. "Reminder: Fedora 18 end of life on 2014-01-14". lists.fedoraproject.org. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  43. ^ "Fedora 18 Release Notes". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  44. ^ "Results of Fedora 19 release name". FedoraProject. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  45. ^ "Releases/19/Schedule - FedoraProject". FedoraProject. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  46. ^ "Fedora 19 Release Notes". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  47. ^ "Results of Fedora 20 Release Name Voting ". FedoraProject. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  48. ^ "Releases/20/Schedule - FedoraProject". FedoraProject. 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  49. ^ "Repoview info for Fedora 20's kernel package". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  50. ^ "Release Name process ended". 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  51. ^ "Releases/21/Schedule - FedoraProject". 2014-02-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  52. ^ "List of Fedora derived Linux distributions". 

External links[edit]