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Revision as of 21:57, 7 February 2010 by Pfrields (talk | contribs) (Update page with more info)


Can there be a different default offering for Fedora, other than the current (GNOME-based) Desktop spin?


Before the advent of Live distributions, the default Fedora product was a DVD with many software choices available. By default, a user who did not choose to customize the packages installed would end up with a GNOME Desktop environment along with some other best-of-breed applications. Because the Fedora DVD originally branched off from the Red Hat Linux product, it inherited these choices.

With Live images, installation becomes marginally simpler because the package complement is transferred as-is, directly from the Live image to hard disk or some other installation target. The user is then free to change that complement as desired. (In practice, most Live spins do not differ significantly from one another in any crucial way that prevents these changes from happening smoothly.) Currently different spins are found through Each Spin producer can customize the pages for the Spin site to help users decide whether that Spin is of interest.

Currently, the Fedora Project's default distribution offering is the Live Desktop spin, owned by the Desktop SIG.

Possible actions

  • Default offering stays the same.
  • Change the default offering to some other spin.
  • Rotate the default offering on a regular basis.
  • Do not choose a default offering, and offer all possible spins together.

Risk/benefit analysis

Change default from Desktop spin to something else


  • No other spin-producing group in the Fedora Project contains as many developers originating new code, in hardware driver,,, GNOME, and other upstream communities. Since the Fedora Project's mission is to lead the advancement of FOSS, de-prioritizing the work of contributors creating such a large codebase runs counter to our mission. (High)
  • Brand confusion. Fedora has been associated with a GNOME default for many years, and a change would tend to confuse users who expect a specific default. (Low)
  • Loss of code-originating developers to other communities. It is hard to imagine paid Red Hat developers with a strong devotion to free software ideals leaving the Fedora community, but we must consider the possibility. If code is king, it entails some risk to reject new upstream code. (Low-Medium)


  • Could attract additional developers into Fedora community. However, many developers already closely aligned with other community distros would not be affected. (Low-Medium)

Minimal benefits for substantial risk.

Rotate the default offering


  • As above, plus:
  • More substantial risk of brand confusion. A constantly changing default would be more confusing to users than a one time change. (Medium)


  • As above.

As above, minimal benefits for substantial risk.

No default, offer everything together


  • New users confused as to which choice is the "correct" one. (Medium)
  • Insufficient real estate on main download page to explain all offerings in addition to important information such as prerequisites, explanation of Live media, and help links. (High)
  • Devaluates the new spins.fp.o site, since users would be empowered to simply download a disc without any background information about the responsible producers/SIGs and how to get involved (Medium)


  • Boosts promotion of all community contributors (High)
  • Associates Fedora more closely with remixability, although knowledgeable users would not be expected to use the main download page (Low)

Provides substantial return for Fedora contributors, but to the detriment of the inexperienced users least likely to value choice highly in an initial download.