Interesting facts about Fedora Linux

On September 22nd this year, Fedora turned 10 years old. Since the historic announcement ten years ago, the Fedora Project has remained massive volunteer-driven community effort that complements the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and has led to several popular spin-offs such as CentOS and Scientific Linux.

To celebrate its 10th birthday, I would like to share several interesting tidbits about Fedora Linux.

1. Fedora Linux started out as an undergraduate project by Warren Togami at the University of Hawaii in 2002. The goal of Fedora Linux was then to provide a single repository with well-tested packages for Red Hat Linux.

2. Fedora release names are suggested and voted on by the community. Name suggestions are solicited through a Fedora wiki page, and the final release name is decided through a community vote. A suggested name for release N must have the same "is-a" relationship as the name for release N-1. For example, given the release name "Schrödinger's Cat" for Fedora 19, the name "Heisenbug" passes "is-a" test for Fedora 20; Schrödinger's Cat is a paradox where the object changes state when studied, and so is a Heisenbug.

3. Fedora consists of 100% free and open source software (FOSS). Items classified as content (e.g., fonts, package documentation, clipart, background images) must also be freely distributed without restrictions. A notable exception is binary-only firmware and driver files, in which case those files must not be able to run on their own in Fedora.

4. The Fedora Board is composed of a mix of community-elected seats and Red Hat-appointed seats.

5. Fedora logo symbolizes three elements combined: "infinity", "freedom" and "voice". This symbol signifies the voice of the community that drives infinite freedom and innovation.

6. Unlike other major distros such as Debian, Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora does not offer a long-term support (LTS) version. Instead, Fedora commits to "release early, release often" principle (e.g., six month release schedule) to focus more on innovation and lead the progress of FOSS.

7. According to DistroWatch, there are 94 distributions based on Fedora, of which 27 are currently active.

8. When estimated by counting the distinct IP addresses connected to Fedora repositories, the total number of Fedora users per release is in the range of 1 to 7 millions.

9. The total number of contributors at the Fedora Project is over 25,000.

10. Fedora is the pre-installed operating system of XO laptops, famously known as $100 laptops developed by the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non-profit organization. Fedora Linux is also used on IBM Roadrunner, a supercomputer built by IBM for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Subscribe to Xmodulo

Do you want to receive Linux FAQs, detailed tutorials and tips published at Xmodulo? Enter your email address below, and we will deliver our Linux posts straight to your email box, for free. Delivery powered by Google Feedburner.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of Xmodulo.com. He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.
Your name can also be listed here. Write for us as a freelancer.

8 thoughts on “Interesting facts about Fedora Linux

    • They don't share the same goals.
      CentOS is a free (as in free beer) clone of RHEL, while Fedora is the sandbox & testing zone of future RHEL functionalities.
      Consequence: what you don't like in Fedora that's staying (= considered as a good idea) will pop up sooner or later in RHEL, and therefore in CentOS too.

    • I totally agree that Fedora is simply unusable!
      Back in 2008, I had to use it as my desktop OS, starting with version 7. Few months later, it was upgraded to version 8, and troubles began, with very erratic environment and things that stopped working.
      My next upgrade was a total disaster, where I got a very nice copy of the notorious "Windows Blue Screen of Death." This time, I put Fedora down in the drain, switched to the "less sexy" Ubuntu" and never had such trouble.
      A year ago, I decided to give it a try on a new machine, and after playing with its Live CD, I understood that things are too sophisticated for my 10 years of Linux background, and reverted back to Ubuntu.
      Regarding to CentOS - it's my #1 choice for a stable, reliable and modern OS!

  1. I have been using it since F14, and it's actually pretty easy to handle, as long as you don't run out and buy a brand new computer / laptop! Sometimes the drivers aren't there, and aren't available, unless you have the skills to compile your own package with your drivers, (funny enough, while I can move around and manipulate Linux, I haven't learned how to "code", so a lot of stuff goes over my head unless I can find a tutorial online or something.) Besides the few bugs and glitches I've run into here and there, I can say it's a pretty decent OS, and I like it more than Ubuntu or openSuSE, I actually installed Cinnamon on it because the default Gnome was a little too C'lunky". My only gripe?..is just what the author stated, I wish they offered an LTS...but I guess that's what the Scientific and CentOS offerings are for!

  2. When I started using GNU/Linux back in 2003 I used Fedora mostly. It's important to know that Fedora is the test-box for Red Hat, and that it's not designed for 'production' use. Meaning it is perpetually in beta so it is expected to have mild to serious bugs from time to time.

  3. I guess I must have overlooked the part in the comments where people say "Thank You" for giving us a free OS that actually sticks to their goals and keeps their users up to date on the RHEL releases. This makes us WAY better admins and allowing us to weigh in on features that we'll be supporting in the enterprise. One size definitely doesn't fit all and If you really want a next-next-finish OS there's plenty of distros made for children,

  4. Replying to comments:
    "Back in 2008, I had to use it as my desktop OS, starting with version 7. Few months later, it was upgraded to version 8, and troubles began, with very erratic environment and things that stopped working."

    A lot has changed since then. The upgrade process has been much easier and smoother than ever starting from Fedora 17 using FedUp officially or yum unofficially.

    "My only gripe?..is just what the author stated, I wish they offered an LTS…but I guess that’s what the Scientific and CentOS offerings are for!"

    Main issue with LTS: manpower. In fact, one of early LTS before the term became a new trend was Fedora Legacy: fedoralegacy.org.

    "It’s important to know that Fedora is the test-box for Red Hat, and that it’s not designed for ‘production’ use. Meaning it is perpetually in beta so it is expected to have mild to serious bugs from time to time."

    Incorrect. Fedora is the upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and perfectly usable as workstation

  5. Fedora has always been a moving target. Works just fine for me. Quit yer bitchin and move on if it's not for you.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *