Introduction: A brief history of Fedora
Founded in 2003 by Red Hat, Fedora is an online community dedicated to providing a free, open-source software platform. The Fedora operating system is flexible enough to use, modify and distribute among one another. Some of the key values this vast online community shares in common include:
- Freedom: Content freedom is a key objective when it comes to Fedora. The ability to provide 100% redistributable code is what makes Fedora accessible to a large community. This implies restricting patented code on the project but it also means that the code can be copied partially or in whole without any external concerns or dependencies.
- Features: Fedora’s feature development is done openly and anyone is welcomed to participate. This quality has given room to a more flexible, usable, and powerful Linux. The changes are developed in accordance with upstream software communities. The upstream of a program is the project that develops that program. This means that the project emphasizes not getting deviated from the upstream in the software. The goal is to take advantage of the central codebase while reducing unnecessary maintenance at the same time. Note that Fedora does grant exceptions. For more information, visit here.
- First: Fedora’s rapid release cycle is a contributing factor to its innovation. The community orchestrates two major releases annually. While it does not follow a strict deadline policy, one can still expect these updates to be out around May and October each year. To get more insight into Fedora’s release life cycles, check out a full list of their release dates and development cycles. The experience of an end-user sitting on their desktop to that of a business executive will be the same in terms of what the operating system represents. This implies that the future direction of Fedora is evident in the operating system centrally.
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As mentioned earlier, Fedora releases two versions annually at a gap of six months. The community also provides maintenance to these releases for about 13 months. This allows a user to skip a release while still being able to receive updates.
Before an official release, Fedora releases a beta-version as one of its milestones. For each milestone, Beta or Final (GA), testing is carried out to see if the update meets certain requirements. The documentation on the overall approach and procedure involved is available on Fedora’s official website. The current and latest milestone available online is Fedora 34.
Fedora follows a release criteria for each milestone to ensure that the end product meets certain pre-decided requirements. While there is no strict date for the releases, Fedora still puts a high priority on scheduled releases. The three key values of utmost priority are as follows:
- Target schedule date
- Release quality
- New release features
Nonetheless, there is a basic release criterion common to all the versions of Fedora. The specific release criteria for Fedora version 34 (Final) can be found here.
Features and Advantages
What makes Fedora a game-changer is that it is dedicated to providing free and flexible software. The community has made sure to put forward a redistributable software platform. This has been possible because all the tools used in the development of Fedora are free and open-source. Moreover, volunteers are welcomed to contribute as well as participate in the beta-testing of the software. See how you can join and start contributing.
Rapid Release Cycle
As Fedora releases two milestones annually, this gives room for frequent updates and rapid innovation. The release criteria itself includes clearly specifying the details of a public release, documenting the requirements for the target audience, and establishing the information in a way that is comprehensive to everyone involved and wants to involve. The most recent release notes on Fedora version 33 are available here.
With such rapid releases, it can be overwhelming to keep track. Not with Fedora. The Fedora Project and Red Hat have made sure to provide extensive documentation on the release cycle, specific features, basic and specific release criteria. Version-specific documentation along with user guides on other Fedora products can be found here.
The latest version in the Fedora toolbox available is Fedora 34 Beta version. Official Fedora 33 version along with the Beta 34 version can be found below:
- Fedora Workstation: https://getfedora.org/en/workstation/download/ (Available for Windows, MacOS, Linux Operating System. Can also be downloaded as an ISO file)
- Fedora Server:https://getfedora.org/en/server/download/ (Available for x86_64 and ARM architecture)
- Fedora IoT: https://getfedora.org/en/iot/download/ (Available as raw images and installer ISOs)
- System Administrative Guide: https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fedora/f33/system-administrators-guide/
The user guide mentioned above covers Fedora 33 installation on 64-bit AMD and Intel Systems. Advanced installation options such as automated Kickstart installations, remote access to the installation system, or booting the installation from a network location are also included in the guide.
The System Administrative guide contains information regarding the deployment, configuration, and administration of Fedora and is therefore intended for system administrators.
Every operating system has its advantages and disadvantages. While Fedora provides a vast open-source platform, it can sometimes be overwhelming to set up the whole operating system. Here’s a list of the top 3 alternatives for Fedora to help you find what you need.
- Ubuntu: https://ubuntu.com/
- Centos: https://www.centos.org/
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