Fedora (operating system)

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Fedora
Fedora logo and wordmark.svg
Fedora 26 gnome shell.png
Fedora 26 Workstation with GNOME 3.24
Developer Fedora Project (sponsored by Red Hat)
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release 6 November 2003; 14 years ago (2003-11-06)[1]
Latest release 27[2] / 14 November 2017; 5 days ago (2017-11-14)
Marketing target Desktop, Workstation, Server, Cloud
Update method 0.5 years per release
Package manager dnf, based on the .rpm binaries
Platforms i686, x86-64, ARM-hfp, ARM AArch64, PPC64, PPC64le, IBM Z, MIPS-64el, MIPS-el, RISC-V[3]
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
Userland GNU
Default user interface GNOME
License Various free software licenses, plus proprietary firmware files[4]
Preceded by Red Hat Linux
Official website getfedora.org

Fedora /fɪˈdɒr.ə/ (formerly Fedora Core) is an Unix-like operating system based on the Linux kernel and GNU programs (a Linux distribution), developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by the Red Hat company.[5] Fedora contains software distributed under various free and open-source licenses and aims to be on the leading edge of such technologies.[6][7][8] Fedora is the upstream source of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.[9]

Since the release of Fedora 21, three different editions are available: Workstation, focused on the personal computer, Server and Cloud for servers, and Atomic being the edition meant for cloud computing.[10]

As of February 2016, Fedora has an estimated 1.2 million users,[11] including Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.[12][13]

Features[edit]

Fedora has a reputation for focusing on innovation, integrating new technologies early on and working closely with upstream Linux communities.[8][14] Making changes upstream instead of specifically for Fedora ensures that the changes are available to all Linux distributions.

Fedora has a relatively short life cycle: each version is usually supported for at least 13 months, where version X is supported only until 1 month after version X+2 is released and with approximately 6 months between most versions.[15] Fedora users can upgrade from version to version without reinstalling.[16][17]

The default desktop environment in Fedora is GNOME and the default user interface is the GNOME Shell. Other desktop environments, including KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXDE, MATE and Cinnamon, are available and can be installed.[18][19]

Package management[edit]

Fedora uses the RPM package management system, using DNF as a tool to manage the RPM packages.[20] DNF uses libsolv, an external dependency resolver.[20] Flatpak is also supported by default, and support for Ubuntu's snaps can also be added. Fedora uses Delta RPM when updating installed packages to provide Delta update. A Delta RPM contains the difference between an old and new version of a package. This means that only the changes between the installed package and the new one are downloaded reducing network traffic and bandwidth consumption.

Security[edit]

Fedora uses Security-Enhanced Linux by default, which implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, which Fedora adopted early on.[21] Fedora provides hardening wrapper, and does hardening for all of its packages by using compiler features such as position-independent executable (PIE).[22]

Software[edit]

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 DNF package manager or GNOME Software.

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 easily.[23] Software that is not available via official Fedora repositories, either because it doesn't meet Fedora's definition of free software or because its distribution may violate US law, can be installed using third-party repositories. Popular third-party repositories include RPM Fusion free and non-free repositories. Fedora also provides users with an easy-to-use build system for creating their own repositories called Copr.[24]

Editions[edit]

Beginning with Fedora version 21, it is available as three distinct primary editions:[25]

  • Fedora Workstation – It targets users who want a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system for their laptop or desktop computer. It comes with GNOME by default but other desktops can be installed or can be directly installed as Spins.
  • Fedora Server – Its target usage is for servers. It includes the latest data center technologies. This edition doesn't come with a desktop environment, but one can be installed.
  • Fedora Cloud – It provides a minimal image of Fedora which includes just the bare essentials. It is meant for deployment in cloud computing. It also provides Fedora Atomic Host images which are optimized minimal images for container uses.

A Live USB drive can be created using Fedora Media Writer or the dd command.[26] It allows users to try Fedora without making changes to the hard disk.

Spins[edit]

Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins or editions.[27] These are built with specific sets of software packages, offering alternative desktop environments or targeting specific interests such as gaming, security, design, education,[28] robotics,[29][30] and scientific computing[31] (that includes SciPy, Octave, Kile, Xfig and Inkscape). Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.[27] Fedora also provides a Fedora Atomic Host image for Project Atomic, which is Red Hat's solution for deploying Docker-based containerized applications.[32]

The Fedora AOS (Appliance Operating System) is a specialized spin of Fedora with reduced memory footprint for use in software appliances. Appliances are pre-installed, pre-configured, system images. This spin is intended to make it easier for anyone (developers, independent software vendors (ISV), original equipment manufacturers (OEM), etc.) to create and deploy virtual appliances.

Architectures[edit]

AMD x86-64 and ARM-hfp are the primary architectures supported by Fedora.[3] Pidora[33] and FedBerry[34] are specialized Fedora distributions for the Raspberry Pi. As of release 26, Fedora also supports ARM AArch64, IBM Power64, IBM Power64le, IBM Z, MIPS-64el, MIPS-el, RISC-V and Intel i686 as secondary architectures (with i686 being primary until release 25).

History[edit]

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,[35] 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.[36] Fedora Linux was eventually absorbed into the Fedora Project, carrying with it this collaborative approach.[37]

Fedora Linux was launched in 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued.[38] Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat's only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution.[38] Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.[39]

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.[40]

Since the release of Fedora 21, as an effort to modularize the Fedora distribution and make development more agile,[41][42] three different versions are available: Workstation, focused on the personal computer, Server and Atomic for servers, Atomic being the version meant for cloud computing.[10]

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.[43] 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.[44]

Development and Community[edit]

The core values of the Fedora community

Development of the operating system and supporting programs is headed by the Fedora Project, which is composed of a community of developers and volunteers, and also Red Hat employees.[45] The Council is the top-level community leadership and governance body. Other bodies include the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee, responsible for the technical decisions behind the development of Fedora, and Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee, which is responsible for the promotion of Fedora Linux worldwide.[46]

Releases[edit]

Fedora Core 1 with GNOME version 2.4 (2003)
Fedora version 15, the first release with GNOME Shell

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 at least 13 months, possibly longer.[15] Fedora users can upgrade from version to version without reinstalling.[16][17]

The current release is Fedora 27, which was released on 14 November 2017.


Version (Code name)[47] Release[47] End-of-life[48] Kernel[49][a] GNOME[49]
Old version, no longer supported: 1 (Yarrow) 2003-11-05 2004-09-20 2.4.22 2.4
Old version, no longer supported: 2 (Tettnang) 2004-05-18 2005-04-11 2.6.5 2.6
Old version, no longer supported: 3 (Heidelberg) 2004-11-08 2006-01-16 2.6.9 2.8
Old version, no longer supported: 4 (Stentz) 2005-06-13 2006-08-07 2.6.11 2.10
Old version, no longer supported: 5 (Bordeaux) 2006-03-20 2007-07-02 2.6.15 2.14
Old version, no longer supported: 6 (Zod) 2006-10-24 2007-12-07 2.6.18 2.16
Old version, no longer supported: 7 (Moonshine) 2007-05-31 2008-06-13 2.6.21 2.18
Old version, no longer supported: 8 (Werewolf) 2007-11-08 2009-01-07 2.6.23 2.20
Old version, no longer supported: 9 (Sulphur) 2008-05-13 2009-07-10 2.6.25 2.22
Old version, no longer supported: 10 (Cambridge) 2008-11-25 2009-12-18 2.6.27 2.24
Old version, no longer supported: 11 (Leonidas) 2009-06-09 2010-06-25 2.6.29 2.26
Old version, no longer supported: 12 (Constantine) 2009-11-17 2010-12-02 2.6.31 2.28
Old version, no longer supported: 13 (Goddard) 2010-05-25 2011-06-24 2.6.33 2.30
Old version, no longer supported: 14 (Laughlin) 2010-11-02 2011-12-08 2.6.35 2.32
Old version, no longer supported: 15 (Lovelock) 2011-05-24 2012-06-26 2.6.38 3.0
Old version, no longer supported: 16 (Verne) 2011-11-08 2013-02-12 3.1 3.2
Old version, no longer supported: 17 (Beefy Miracle) 2012-05-29 2013-07-30 3.3 3.4
Old version, no longer supported: 18 (Spherical Cow) 2013-01-15 2014-01-14 3.6 3.6
Old version, no longer supported: 19 (Schrödinger's Cat) 2013-07-02 2015-01-06 3.9 3.8
Old version, no longer supported: 20 (Heisenbug) 2013-12-17 2015-06-23 3.11 3.10
Old version, no longer supported: 21[51] 2014-12-09 2015-12-01 3.17 3.14
Old version, no longer supported: 22 2015-05-26 2016-07-19 4.0 3.16
Old version, no longer supported: 23 2015-11-03 2016-12-20 4.2 3.18
Old version, no longer supported: 24 2016-06-21 2017-08-08 4.5 3.20
Older version, yet still supported: 25 2016-11-22 4.8 3.22
Older version, yet still supported: 26 2017-07-11 4.11 3.24
Current stable version: 27 2017-11-14[52] 4.13 3.26
Future release: 28 2018-05-01[53]
Legend:
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 of the Linux kernel.[50]


Rawhide[edit]

Rawhide is the development tree for Fedora.[54] This is a copy of a complete Fedora distribution where new software is added and tested, before inclusion in a later stable release. As such, Rawhide is often more feature rich than the current stable release. In many cases, the software is made of CVS, Subversion or Git source code snapshots which are often actively developed by programmers. Although Rawhide is targeted at advanced users, testers, and package maintainers, it is capable of being a primary operating system. Users interested in the Rawhide branch often update on a daily basis and help troubleshoot problems.[54] Rawhide users don't have to upgrade between different versions as it follows a rolling release update model.

Derivatives[edit]

Some notable Linux distributions derived from Fedora are:[55]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nottingham, Bill (6 November 2003). "Announcing Fedora Core 1". Fedora Project announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Announcing the release of Fedora 27". Fedora Magazine. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Architectures". Fedora Project. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about Fedora Licensing". Fedora Project. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Fedora Sponsors". Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Spevack, Max (18 August 2006). "Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack Responds". Slashdot. Retrieved 17 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "Objectives". Fedora Project. Retrieved 12 February 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Serdar Yegulalp (22 November 2016). "Fedora 25 stakes out leading edge, not bleeding edge". Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  9. ^ "Red hat + CentOS". Red Hat. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  10. ^ a b Scott Gilbertson (16 January 2015). "Fedora 21 review: Linux's sprawliest distro finds a new focus". ArsTechnica.com. 
  11. ^ Hoffman, Chris (26 February 2016). "Fedora project leader Matthew Miller reveals what's in store for Fedora in 2016". PC World. International Data Group. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Linus Torvalds from Linux Format 163". TuxRadar. Linux Format. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Torvalds, Linus (30 December 2014). "The merge window being over, and things being calm made me think I should try upgrading to F21". Google+. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Staying close to upstream projects". Fedora Project. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Fedora Release Life Cycle". Fedora Project. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "FedUp". Fedora Project. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Fedora 23 Release Notes: 3.2.4. System Upgrades with DNF". Fedora Project. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  18. ^ Linder, Brad (29 May 2012). "Fedora 17 now available for download". Liliputing. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Brodkin, Jon (15 January 2013). "How to install the MATE and Cinnamon desktops on Fedora 18". Ars Technica. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Edge, Jake (2014-01-15). "DNF and Yum in Fedora". LWN.net. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  21. ^ Spenneberg, Ralf (August 2006). "Security Hardened - Mandatory Access Control with SELinux" (PDF). Linux Magazine, Issue 69. Linux New Media USA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2007. 
  22. ^ "Harden All Packages". Fedora Project. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  23. ^ "Adding, Enabling, and Disabling a DNF Repository". Fedora Project. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  24. ^ "Fedora Copr". Fedora Project. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  25. ^ "Fedora 21 Release Notes: 2. Fedora Products". Fedora Project. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Preparing Boot Media". Red Hat. Retrieved 2017-07-30. 
  27. ^ a b "Fedora Spins". Fedora Project. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  28. ^ "Sugar-on-a-Stick Linux". Fedora Project. 
  29. ^ "Fedora Robotics Edition". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Fedora Robotics Wiki". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Fedora Scientific". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "Project Atomic: Create and Run Applications in Linux Containers". Project Atomic. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  33. ^ "Pidora - Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix". pidora.ca. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  34. ^ "FedBerry". fedberry.org. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  35. ^ "Warren Togami". fedoraproject.org. 
  36. ^ Barr, Joe (1 October 2003). "Warren Togami on the new Fedora Project". Linux.com. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  37. ^ Togami, Warren (February 2006). "Why Fedora?" (ODP). Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  38. ^ a b Johnson, Michael K. (22 September 2003). "Fedora Project: Announcing New Direction". Fedora development (Mailing list). Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  39. ^ 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. 
  40. ^ "Releases/7". Fedora Project. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  41. ^ Matthew Miller (19 March 2014). "Fedora Present and Future: a Fedora.next 2014 Update (Part I, "Why?")". Fedora Magazine. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  42. ^ Jonathan Corbet (16 March 2016). "Modularizing Fedora". LWN.net. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  43. ^ Becker, David (21 November 2003). "Red Hat, researchers in name tiff". CNET News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  44. ^ "Fedora Repository Project History". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  45. ^ "Overview - Fedora Project". Fedora Project wiki. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  46. ^ "Leadership - Fedora Project". Fedora Project. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  47. ^ a b "Releases/HistoricalSchedules". Fedora Project. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  48. ^ "End of life". Fedora Project. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  49. ^ a b "Fedora". DistroWatch. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  50. ^ "KernelRebases". Fedora Project. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  51. ^ Boyer, Josh (2 October 2013). "Release Name process ended". Fedora community advisory board mailing list. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  52. ^ "Releases/27/Schedule". Fedora Project. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  53. ^ "Releases/28/Schedule". Fedora Project. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  54. ^ a b "Releases/Rawhide". Fedora Project. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  55. ^ "List of Fedora derived Linux distributions". DistroWatch. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 

External links[edit]