Differences to Ubuntu

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Introduction to Fedora for Ubuntu users

Although looking familiar, Fedora does some things differently to Ubuntu. This page tries to explain the major differences to Ubuntu in day-to-day use and to introduce former Ubuntu users to the Fedora tools.

The root account

The biggest difference for users coming from Ubuntu to Fedora is that the root account is the account for the system admin. This account is disabled in Ubuntu. In Ubuntu, you perform actions that require root privileges using sudo, while in Fedora, sudo is not the default method of gaining administrative permissions. In Fedora, root access can be gained with


su will ask for your root password, not your regular user password. The root password is the password you entered while installing, not the password you entered when creating a user account after your first boot.

After you logged in successfully as root, you have administrative rights ending when you close the terminal or log out with
Using sudo
If you want to use sudo anyway, have a look at the Configuring Sudo article.

Package Management

Fedora uses different tools for package management to Ubuntu. Here is a quick overview of how to accomplish common tasks in Fedora:

Ubuntu command Fedora command Notes
apt-get update dnf check-update You don't need to do this as dnf updates its cache automatically before performing transactions
apt-get upgrade dnf upgrade -
apt-get dist-upgrade dnf system-upgrade Distro upgrades with dnf are possible as of Fedora 22+, refer to DNF system upgrade for more information
apt-get install dnf install -
apt-get remove dnf remove -
apt-get purge N/A -
apt-cache search dnf search -

Updating software

If you want to keep your system updated, the PackageKit update applet will help you. It will notify you about updated packages and security updates. Its settings can be changed at System > Preferences > Software Updates. If you want to update your system manually, open the GNOME Software application or run

dnf upgrade
as root.

Installing / Removing software

If you want to install or remove software, open the GNOME Software application. To install or uninstall packages, click the Install or Remove boxes. To install packages on the command line, simply type:

dnf install package1 package2 package3

To remove packages:

dnf remove package2

dnf shell

The dnf shell functionality is not yet available. It is a future consideration. dnf must be executed by a user with root privileges. You must use one line per command. Each command requires a confirmation, which may be given on the same line or when dnf prompts for the y/n response.

In dnf-shell's place, you would execute individual dnf commands as

dnf update 
dnf -y install firefox emesene        # -y means yes. Proceed as confirmed action,
dnf remove pidgin                     # dnf will ask you to confirm y/n

If you want to add and remove packages at the same time, or trigger mass transactions like updating your system, then installing firefox and emesene, and then removing pidgin, you can use the dnf shell.

Open the dnf shell (as root) with:

dnf shell

Once inside the shell, you can type dnf commands directly, such as:

install firefox emesene
remove pidgin
transaction run
You can use any valid dnf command in the dnf shell. To see what it will do, type
transaction list
To accept the changes, type
transaction run

For more information about the dnf shell, have a look at the dnf-shell manual page.

man dnf-shell

Searching software

You can search software in the graphical GNOME Software application by entering search terms in the search box or on the command line by typing

dnf search searchterm1 searchterm2

Getting the restricted stuff

If you are looking for the equivalent of the Ubuntu restricted and multiverse repositories, that include patented and closed-source technologies and programs, consider enabling the RPMFusion repository. free is the equivalent of universe and contains potentially patent-encumbered software like gstreamer-plugins-bad or the VLC media player , while nonfree includes non-free software like proprietary 3D graphics drivers.

These repositories can easily be enabled by typing (as root):

su -c 'rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm'
RPMFusion and the law
Using software from RPMFusion may be illegal in your country.

Using apt anyway

If you still like apt better than dnf, you can also use apt on Fedora. Install apt with the following command:

dnf install apt

Note that apt won't be able to access the RPMFusion repositories. After that, you can use apt-get as usual (don't forget to log in as root).

Life cycle

Unlike Ubuntu's 18 months, Fedora only offers 13 months of updates per release. That means that you have to upgrade to the latest Fedora at least every second release. Fedora also doesn't offer a LTS version. Regular Fedora releases happen every six months, but be sure that you're able to at least upgrade your system every 13 months. If you want to know when the next Fedora is going to be released, have a look at the Release Schedule.