What is Fedora?
Fedora is a Linux based operating system that provides users with access to the latest free and open source software, in a stable, secure and easy to manage form. Fedora is the largest of many free software creations of the Fedora Project, a partnership of free software community members from around the globe. Because of its predominance, the word "Fedora" is often used interchangeably to mean both the Fedora Project and the Fedora operating system.
The Fedora Project's mission is to lead the advancement of free and open source software and content as a collaborative community.
The three elements of this mission are clear:
- The Fedora Project always tries to lead, not follow.
- The Fedora Project consistently seeks to create, improve, and spread free/libre code and content.
- The Fedora Project succeeds through shared action on the part of many people throughout our community.
Our Core Values
We strongly believe in the bedrock principles that created all the components of our operating system, and because of this we guarantee that Fedora will always be free for anybody, anywhere, to use, modify and distribute.
Fedora is more than just software, though. It is a community of contributors from around the world who work with each other to advance the interests of the free culture movement. Everyone is invited to join, and no matter what your skills are, we have a place for you in our community! The Fedora community includes software engineers, artists, system administrators, web designers, writers, speakers, and translators -- all of whom will be happy to help you get started.
Fedora is a center for innovation in free and open source software, and creates a community where contributors of all kinds -- developers, documenters, artists, system administrators, and other free software and open source enthusiasts -- come together to advance the ecosystem for the benefit of everybody. The Fedora community contributes everything it builds back to the free and open source world and continues to make advances of significance to the broader community, as evidenced by the regular and rapid incorporation of its features into other Linux distributions. Regardless of which Linux distribution you use, you are relying on code developed within the Fedora Project.
Who uses Fedora?
- Linus Torvalds, the creator and primary maintainer of Linux does
- NASA systems
- Roadrunner, the number one Supercomputer in the world
- Evo Smart Console gaming console
- Over a hundred Derived distributions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OLPC
- Even some robots do
- Millions of other users
Is Fedora for me?
The Fedora distribution is not for everyone, although the Project works hard to make it as usable as possible for the widest possible audience. Fedora is a fast moving distribution that stays innovative by developing and integrating the latest free and open source technologies. By including only free and open source applications, we enable collaboration with a very large community of developers and users. Following the "release early, release often" methodology, Fedora has a short lifecycle to enable upstream projects to get feedback from a large number of users, enhance features further, close gaps, and fix issues rapidly -- thereby furthering our mission of progress of free and open source software.
To understand better whether Fedora is suitable for you, ask yourself the following:
- Do you want the latest stable software, produced and maintained by a growing community of FOSS contributors?
- Do you want a platform that features technologies that use or become the next generation of standards?
- Are you OK with moving your computer's OS a minimum of about once a year to use these technologies?
- Do you care about sustainable progress in software freedom and innovation?
- Are you interested in becoming part of a community of contribution and helping drive innovation in FOSS by contributing code, documentation, translation, administration, or otherwise participating?
If the answer to any or all of these questions is "yes," you should consider Fedora as your operating system. We feature the latest in free and open source technologies, and much of this innovation is driven primarily by contributors in the Fedora Project. Because of our dedication to working continuously with upstream software communities, your involvement with Fedora -- whether to file a bug or to maintain part of the distribution -- is a direct help to all FOSS users worldwide, not promoting a single distribution at the cost of others. This is why the work done in Fedora is used in so many other Linux distributions. By the same token, we actively take an interest in all vital upstream projects to promote good engineering practices and a smooth user experience across distributions.
If instead you are looking for a distribution that moves slower and has a longer lifecycle with commercial support, there are other choices within the Fedora family of distributions, including derivatives like Red Hat Enterprise Linux. If you are looking for something free of cost, a community rebuild might be more suitable for you. The Fedora community enables and supports this freedom of choice by providing infrastructure and maintaining packages in the EPEL add-on repository for Enterprise Linux.
What makes Fedora different?
We try to always do the right thing, and provide only free and open source software. We will fight to protect and promote solutions that anyone can use and redistribute. With this in mind, all of our developers are focused on working closely with upstream, so everyone can benefit from our work and get access to our changes as soon as possible. Due to the huge amount of innovation that Fedora drives, this focus has had significant and long lasting effects. Some of the recent developments in free and open source software that Fedora has driven include:
The reverse is also true: by sticking close to upstream development teams, Fedora often gets the latest software before anybody else. Not only does this benefit our community, but it also benefits the upstream teams by providing a much larger audience and more feedback for them.
Another striking difference of Fedora is our goal to empower others to pursue their vision of what a free operating system should be like. Fedora now forms the basis for derivative distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the One Laptop Per Child XO, and Creative Commons' Live Content DVDs.
And that's not all. It is just as easy for individuals to create their own distribution, thanks to Fedora's easy remixing tools. These tools allow you to quickly select the packages you want, and create live images for CD/DVD or USB, or installation discs. Some official versions, or what we call "spins," of Fedora have grown up this way, including:
- Fedora Electronic Lab (installable Live DVD)
- Fedora Xfce Spin (installable Live CD)
- Fedora Games Spin (installable Live DVD)
We believe software patents are harmful, a hindrance to innovation in software development, and are inconsistent with the values of free and open source software. While tightly integrating proprietary and patent encumbered components might superficially improve ease of use, this practice does not benefit the community in the longer run. The Fedora community prefers approaches that benefit the progress of free software in the future over those that emphasize short term ease of use.
How do I get Fedora?
Easy, just visit this page and download it. You can try it without installing anything on your computer, thanks to our Live images on CD or USB - in fact, you can even create a Live USB stick from within Windows!
If you have a slow internet connection, or no internet connection at all, then you can still get Fedora thanks to our volunteer Free Media program.
How do I join Fedora?
Like what you see and want to help out? That's easy too! This page has all the information you need, and don't forget that all our contributors get access to some awesome tools to help them get their work done:
- Fedora People provides free webspace for hosting Fedora related content
- Fedora Planet is an aggregation of contributor blogs so you can see what everyone is up to
- Fedora Hosted is the perfect location for hosting your free and open source projects
- Fedora's own Gobby server, so we can collaboratively work on documents in real time
- Fedora Build System to build your software across multiple architectures
- The skills and experience of hundreds of fellow Fedora contributors!