Fedora is a Linux-based operating system, a collection of software that makes your computer run. You can use Fedora in addition to, or instead of, other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows™ or Mac OS X™. The Fedora operating system is completely free of cost for you to enjoy and share.
The Fedora Project is the name of a worldwide community of people who love, use, and build free software. We want to lead in the creation and spread of free code and content by working together as a community. Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, the world’s most trusted provider of open source technology. Red Hat invests in Fedora to encourage collaboration and incubate innovative new free software technologies.
One of Fedora’s main objectives is not only to contain software distributed under a free and open source license, but also 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.
In 2008, Linus Torvalds, author of the Linux kernel, stated that he used Fedora because it had fairly good support for the PowerPC processor architecture, which he had favoured at the time.
What’s the difference between Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux?
Community vs. Enterprise
Developers and Linux enthusiasts flock to Fedora for the latest features and the opportunity to directly collaborate with Red Hat engineering. Banks, stock exchanges, hospitals, and businesses that run the world’s leading websites choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the platform’s performance, stability, and security, which lets them implement mature and well-organized IT infrastructures across the enterprise.
Mutually beneficial relationship drives innovation
Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship that ensures rapid innovation. Fedora benefits from the sponsorship and feedback from Red Hat. In turn, Red Hat can bring leading-edge innovation to the broader community for collaboration, enabling a rapid maturation of the technology.
The size and expertise of the Fedora community make Fedora an ideal incubator and proving ground for features that eventually get incorporated into Red Hat Enterprise Linux. To meet the quality and reliability requirements that make Red Hat Enterprise Linux the choice for mission-critical applications, Red Hat puts Red Hat Enterprise Linux through its own set of tests and quality assurance (QA) processes that are separate and distinct from those of Fedora.
Fedora—fast development of the latest technology
The Fedora community has thousands of users, contributors, and supporters, who interact through various online forums, email lists, and wikis to support each other. With a rapid development and release cycle, Fedora provides the latest technology on current hardware platforms.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux—stable, supported open source platform
When you choose to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you have a relationship with the leading provider of open source solutions. Not only do you get a robust and stable platform with as much as a 10-year lifecycle, you also get the benefits of global engineering, consulting, and support organizations. A Red Hat Enterprise subscription gives you access to high-quality software and maintenance along with information and support services that span your entire application infrastructure lifecycle and architecture.