Fedora (operating system)

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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).
Fedora logo and wordmark.svg
Fedora 21
Fedora 21 with GNOME 3.14
Developer Fedora Project (owned by Red Hat)
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release November 6, 2003; 11 years ago (2003-11-06)[1]
Latest release 21 (9 December 2014; 3 months ago (2014-12-09)) [±]
Available in Multilingual
Update method Yum (PackageKit)
Package manager RPM Package Manager
Platforms IA-32, x86-64, ARM, PowerPC, s390x, ARM AArch64[2]
Kernel type Linux
Userland GNU
Default user interface GNOME
License Various free software licenses, plus proprietary firmware files.[3]
Official website getfedora.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.[4][5]

Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel, uses Fedora on all of his computers.[6]


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.[7] 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.[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 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.[11]


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. 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.[13]


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.


Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins or editions.[14] These are built with specific sets of software packages, offering alternative desktop environments or targeting specific interests such as gaming, security, design, scientific computing[15] (that includes SciPy, Octave, Kile, xfig and Inkscape) and robotics.[16][17] Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.[14]


Intel x86 and ARM are the primary architecture supported by Fedora. Pidora[18] is specialized Fedora distribution for the Raspberry Pi. As of release 20, Fedora also supports PowerPC and s390 as secondary architectures.


The Fedora Project was created in late 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued.[19] Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat's only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution.[19] Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.[20]

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.[21] Fedora Linux was eventually absorbed into the Fedora Project, carrying with it this collaborative approach.[22]

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.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25]


For releases of Red Hat Linux, see Red Hat Linux#Version history.

The current release is Fedora 21, which was released on 9 December 2014.

Fedora Core 1 with GNOME
Fedora 15 and the GNOME Shell
Project Name Version Code name[26] Release date[26] End-of-life date[27] Kernel version[28][a]
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
Old version, no longer supported: 19 Schrödinger's Cat 2013-07-02 2015-01-06 3.9
Older version, yet still supported: 20 Heisenbug 2013-12-17 3.11
Current stable version: 21 -[30] 2014-12-09[31] 3.17
Future release: 22 - 2015-05-19[32]
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release
  1. ^ At the time of release. Supported releases are often updated to the latest stable version.[29]


Fedora family tree

Some notable Fedora derivative Linux distributions are:[33]

  • 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.
  • Tizen – for embedded devices.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nottingham, Bill (6 November 2003). "Announcing Fedora Core 1". Fedora Project announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Architectures". Fedora Project. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about Fedora Licensing". Fedora Project. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Spevack, Max (18 August 2006). "Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack Responds". Slashdot. Retrieved 17 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Objectives". Fedora Project. Retrieved 12 February 2007. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Linus Torvalds from Linux Format 163". TuxRadar. Linux Format. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Fedora Release Life Cycle". Fedora Project. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "FedUp". Fedora Project. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Linder, Brad (29 May 2012). "Fedora 17 now available for download". Liliputing. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Brodkin, Jon (15 January 2013). "How to install the MATE and Cinnamon desktops on Fedora 18". Ars Technica. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Spenneberg, Ralf (August 2006). "Security Hardened - Mandatory Access Control with SELinux" (PDF). Linux Magazine, Issue 69. Linux New Media USA. Retrieved 7 October 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c "Fedora 20 Installation Guide". Fedora Project. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Fedora Copr". Fedora Project. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Fedora Spins". Fedora Project. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Fedora Scientific". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Fedora Robotics Edition". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Fedora Robotics Wiki". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Pidora - Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix". pidora.ca. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Johnson, Michael K. (22 September 2003). "Fedora Project: Announcing New Direction". Fedora development (Mailing list). Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  20. ^ Burke, Tim (August 2006). "The Fedora Project and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, part 4". Red Hat Magazine, Issue #22. Red Hat. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  21. ^ Barr, Joe (1 October 2003). "Warren Togami on the new Fedora Project". Linux.com. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  22. ^ Togami, Warren (February 2006). "Why Fedora?" (ODP). Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  23. ^ "Releases/7". Fedora Project. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  24. ^ Becker, David (21 November 2003). "Red Hat, researchers in name tiff". CNET News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "Fedora Repository Project History". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Releases/HistoricalSchedules". Fedora Project. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "End of life". Fedora Project. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  28. ^ "Fedora". DistroWatch. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "KernelRebases". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  30. ^ Boyer, Josh (2 October 2013). "Release Name process ended". Fedora community advisory board mailing list. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  31. ^ "Releases/21/Schedule". Fedora Project. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  32. ^ "Releases/22/Schedule". Fedora Project. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  33. ^ "List of Fedora derived Linux distributions". DistroWatch. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 

External links[edit]