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Fedora Glossary

There are a few common terms used in relation to Fedora that might be unfamiliar. Here, we try to explain some of them.

General Terms

Open Source

Open Source :: The term "open source" is very general. It refers to software for which programmers around the world can get the source code. It usually refers to software that these programmers can modify and give to others. All of the programs in the Fedora Package Collection are open source. Refer to for more information.

Free Software

Free Software :: Free software is software that gives you the user the freedom to share, study and modify it. We call this free software because the user is free.

What is free software?

Source Code

Source Code :: A program's "source code" is the code that computer programmers write to tell computers what to do. This is a special, human-readable form that can be understood by people. Special computer programs called compilers turn this code into the binary code that is understood by computers.


Binary :: A "binary" is a program that has been compiled to run on a particular type of machine and operating system. It is relatively difficult for a programmer to read or modify a binary program. This is why source code and open source software are often aligned with freedom.


Proprietary :: Programs which are only distributed in binary form are often referred to as "proprietary" or "closed source" programs. Some proprietary products are provided free of charge, but only to those who agree to the restrictions included in the user license. The licensing terms and availability of source code differentiate proprietary software from "commercial" software. Proprietary software may also have patent or copyright restrictions attached that further reduce the freedom of users to study, copy, or modify the software.

The Fedora Terms


Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is open and anyone is welcome to join. The Fedora Project is out front for you, leading the advancement of free, open software and content.

Fedora Project

Fedora Project :: The Fedora Project is the the collective effort that produces and markets the Fedora Linux distribution. This includes Fedora Packaging, Documentation, Marketing, Bug Triaging, and other subprojects.

Fedora Project

Fedora Core

Fedora Core :: Fedora Core is the heart of the Fedora Linux distribution. This is what users will first install to begin using the Fedora distribution.Fedora Core and Fedora Extras have been merged since Fedora 7.

Fedora Core

Fedora Extras

Fedora Extras :: Fedora Extras is an extension of Fedora that provides many additional packages for users of the Fedora distribution. Fedora Core and Fedora Extras have been merged since Fedora 7.

Fedora Extras

Fedora Legacy

Fedora Legacy :: The Fedora Legacy project provides limited additional support to Red Hat Linux and Fedora versions that are no longer supported by Red Hat. This subproject is now closed due to lack of contributors.

Fedora Legacy

Fedora Modularity

Fedora Modularity :: Building a modular Linux OS with multiple versions of components on different lifecycles.

Modularity (formerly, Modularization) is an ongoing initiative in Fedora to resolve the issue of divergent, occasionally conflicting lifecycles of different components. A module provides functionality (for instance a web server) and includes well-integrated and -tested components (for instance Apache httpd and the libraries on which it depends). It can be deployed into production in various ways, for instance as "classic" RPM packages or a container image, and is updated as a whole. Different modules can emphasize new features, stability, security, etc. differently.

Fedora Modularity


Packages and Programs


Repository :: A repository (sometimes called a rep) is an online collection of packages and programs for the Fedora distribution. The tools in Fedora use these when looking for packages and updates for your computer.


yum :: yum is a tool for users to manage software on the Fedora distribution. It can be used to install, update, or remove packages from your computer. Many other programs use yum to do their work.


RPM :: RPM is the format that packages for Fedora are distributed in. It is also the name of the underlying software management layer in Fedora. When you add software on the Fedora distribution, your computer may download and install some of these RPMs to make it work. These are the binary form of the programs.


SRPM :: Much like RPMs, SRPMs are packages, but instead of being in a form that your computer can immediately install, this kind of package can be used by the computer to create the RPMs. These packages contain the source code of the program. These are usually used by programmers and other developers.

See Also