From Fedora Project Wiki

Not sure what personas are or how they are going to be used? Check out this FAQ.

What are personas meant to accomplish?
To help us think of specifically 'typical' user groups and their needs, so we can decide what we want to ship and can think about how it affects the various groups. We'd have a representative cross section of our target user base represented by the personas, so when we make decisions in the PRD we can go through each persona and make sure we're not hindering any of our target users with a given decision. Later on, it really helps marketing and design figure out the best way to present things to the users. For the Server working group, they are mainly for decision-making. E.g., "Is a change going to help or harm the following groups?" If users were hardware, personas are like a hardware testing matrix.
Is there an order or priority to personas?
There can be. We could have a couple of primary personas, a few secondary (maybe 3-4), and we can define anti-personas too. We don't need to define every possible anti-persona, but if there's one type of user that causes communication issues / conflation of issues, it might be worth defining an anti-persona to help document that.
What is the purpose of "age", "location" and "profile" in the personas?
  • Profile is kind of the laymen's way of referring to a particular person. For example, in anaconda we have a set of users who like customizing every single thing and combine technologies in weird ways - just for the sake of playing with the tech. We called them 'pokemon' (you know gotta catch them all. gotta try all the things!) So profile is kind of a nickname for the persona that's easier to bandy about than the fake person name we come up with, especially when talking to someone who isn't familiar with our specific personas. "MacGuyver" is someone who accomplishes a lot with very little to work with.
  • Age and location just helps a bit understanding where the person is coming from. Does it add anything that "Experience" and "Preferred tools" doesn't have? It might. For example, if they're in an urban area in the US vs a remote location in Africa - this might remind you of their network situation or even serious power outage issues. Without the location to ground it (and location does help with branding considerations too) it seems like a random factoid in frustrations. Age helps more with the branding work than anything else. E.g., if you're trying to appeal to 20-30 year olds then Github's octocat is probably a good bet. If the person is in their early 20's they might not be as critically concerned about 'late night pages' as a 30 something parent! This is versus someone who's close to retirement age who's concerned about making a clean break and not leaving people high and dry in their wake. Maybe this person has seen tech come and go so they need extra convincing. You want the persona to have a story behind it, be a plausible narrative. The age could be stated as range if needed. Having a range of ages across the personas makes sure you're representing a wide cross-section of potential users - without the information people might fill in their own details and/or assume each persona is just like them demographically.
What exactly are "Referrals"? "Ways they learned about Fedora Server"?
Exactly. That, again, is more interesting for marketing and branding. What newspaper or blogs do they read in the morning? How are they going to hear about our product and be convinced to try it? How do we win them over?