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An Introduction to Fedora Linux

Fedora Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements for the current (20) release of Fedora are:

  • 1GHz Processor
  • 1 GB
  • 10 GB free disc space
  • DVD drive or USB port (-for installation media)

The Advantages of Fedora

The Fedora Desktop

Fedora is a great choice for the more experienced Linux hand but it is not, perhaps, the most user-friendly for the novice..

In our opinion, Linux Fedora has two main strengths (-over and above the usual Linux ones):

  • It champions new technologies: Red Hat uses it as a vehicle for testing and proving technologies for release in it's market-leading commercial RHEL release

  • Reliability: in our experience Fedora 15 is extremely robust: it seems to cope well with flakey hardware and any application failures are confined to that application, rather than affecting the whole operating system (-unlike, in our experience, Ubuntu 11.04)

The superb robustness, as well as slick desktop, makes Fedora the distro of choice for the Linuceum's own computers.


The Disadvantages of Fedora

The main drawbacks of using Fedora are:

  • Fedora is a great choice for the more experienced Linux hand but it is not, perhaps, the most user-friendly for the novice, with the user often having to resort to the the command line to complete common tasks. Particular issues we've had are:

    • If the Software Updater has two packages from different sources, it can be difficult to track down the offending package (-if you have a lot of updates pending) and to fix it without resorting to yum on the command line, which is confusing to most newcomers
  • There are nowhere near as many applications available for Fedora as for Ubuntu - and those that are often need to be installed via the command line or by adding custom repositories (-such as RPM Fusion)

  • Fedora is quite large and requires a reasonably capable machine to run effectively (-see the minimum requirements). If your machine is particularly old (-and you can't upgrade it) then you may be better off with something like Puppy instead

  • Fedora 18 in particular is, by default, quite locked-down security-wise. This means the user may need to spend time tweaking the security in order to run certain applications

  • Fedora lacks support for any proprietary formats (-such as Flash, MP3, MP4, etc) meaning that the user will have to enable a secondary repository (-such as RPMFusion and install and configure all these things manually

If you are adventurous, or you have previous Linux experience, then Fedora should be high on your list.


Fedora Applications

Fedora ships with a minimum of installed applications: please see our Useful Linux Applications to see which applications it ships with - and where to go to install others.


Video Tours of the Fedora Desktop

We have created a 15 minute video of the Fedora desktop in action in our Video Section: click here to take a tour of Fedora 15!

The user desktop in Fedora 16 is very close to that of Fedora 15: the changes are mostly transparent to the end user, affecting mostly in the inner workings. See our video review of Fedora 16.

The user desktop in Fedora 17 is indistinguishable from that of Fedora 16: again the changes are mostly behind the scenes. See our video review of Fedora 17.

The user desktop in Fedora 18 is similar to that of Fedora 17. See our video review of Fedora 18.

You can also view a 6 minute video of how to install an application in Fedora.


Fedora Releases

There are two Fedora releases a year. Fedora releases do use a codeword for the release during development, but this is invariably dropped following release, in favour of an integer release number. Here are the codeword and versions for the last few releases:

CodenameReleaseRelease DateEnd of Support
Lovelock15May 201120th June 2012
Verne16November 20112nd February 2013
Beefy Miracle17May 201230th July 2013
Spherical Cow18January 201314th January 2014
Shroedinger's Cat19May 2013N/A
Heisenbug20December 2013N/A
N/A21November 2014N/A

The user will not notice much difference in the desktops between using Fedora 15 and Fedora 20. This is probably a good thing, as most users prefer continuity to radical overhauls.

The current Fedora 20 desktop is subtly different from that of Fedora 18 - collapsing the options on the User menu into just three. In general, Fedora 20 does not seem to be locked down quite so heavily by SELinux by default.

Note: following the release of Fedora 20, Fedora abandoned the convention of assigning codewords to releases.


Different Versions of Fedora

Fedora is available in several different versions - either using different desktops or slanted towards a particular type of user. These are known as Fedora Spins and include the following:

Ubuntu VariantDesktopDescription
StandardGnomeGnome edition
KDE SpinKDEKDE edition
Xfce SpinXfceXfce edition
LXDE SpinLXDELXDE edition

See the following link for a comprehensive list of Fedora Spins.


Installing Fedora

Fedora can be installed by doing the following:


Links to Fedora Linux Articles

We have created several short articles to allow you to familiarise yourself with Fedora. This should help you decide if this is the Linux distribution for you - before you take the plunge and download it! Here are a selection of the main pages you may want to review:

ArticleDescription
Installing Fedora 15How to install the Fedora 15 O/S
Installing Fedora 17How to install the Fedora 17 O/S
Patching the O/S and ApplicationsHow to update and patch the Fedora O/S
The Fedora DesktopAn introduction to desktop and how to use it
Fedora Multimedia SupportHow to configure support for proprietary multimedia formats (-for example, Adobe Flash, MP3, MP4) in Fedora
Installing ApplicationsHow to install and remove application


Further Reading:


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