What is Fedora?Edit
Fedora is a GNU/Linux distribution - it is an operating system comprised of the Linux kernel, the GNU Core Utilities, a desktop environment, configuration tools, and other software. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Linux or GNU/Linux distributions.
The Fedora Project page says it best.
"In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence."
Things to keep in mindEdit
First, you should determine whether giving Linux a try is a good idea for you. If you've already decided to try out Linux, and are seeking a distribution, keep in mind the following about Fedora:
- Fedora is considered to be cutting edge or bleeding edge. It, as such, has a reputation even among its more loyal users of being a bit unstable and, on occasion, "breaking" with updates. People moving to Fedora should keep this in mind.
- Fedora moves fast. At any given time, the last two stable releases of Fedora are supported with official software updates. As of this writing, versions 8 and 9 are the currently supported versions. The "older" of the two supported versions is often more stable than the "newer" version - at this time, many Fedora users agree that Fedora 8 is far more stable and usable than Fedora 9.
- Fedora sometimes requires troubleshooting. Some people come to Fedora expecting that it will "just work." While this is sometimes the case - and while Fedora's hardware support is impressive - getting Fedora (or any Linux distribution, for that matter) to work properly with your hardware may require investigation and troubleshooting. Similarly, since Fedora is somewhat "bleeding edge," updates may sometimes "break" a Fedora installation.
- Some people come to Linux expecting it to simply be "Windows I don't have to pay for." This is simply not true - and you will find that out quite quickly from using it.
Who develops Fedora?Edit
Red Hat, Inc. provides the main corporate support, and many of the Red Hat development team also do some development work for Fedora as well. The main developers Fedora has are volunteers, as is the case for most "free beer" Linux distributions. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that, though Fedora is affiliated with and supported by Redhat, Fedora follows a more community-centered development model.
Where can I find support in the form of documentation, tutorials, and guides?Edit
- Official Fedora Documentation
- Fedora FAQ
- Fedora Solved
- mjm wired: Fedora 8, Fedora 9
Where can I get interactive support?Edit
- Fedora Forum
- Fedora IRC channel at #fedora
- Mailing List
- LinuxQuestions.org has a Fedora-specific forum
Fedora and End of LifeEdit
Fedora 17 and Fedora 18 are the current supported versions of Fedora. After a certain time period, any given version of Fedora will reach a status referred to as End of Life. After a version is given this status, you may no longer update Fedora using the official package manager, yum.
The rule of thumb is that a given release of Fedora is "supported" for about 13 months. Each new version is released every 6 months - with slight variations due to any development snags that delay release - and the last two versions are always supported. A one-month grace period exists to allow people running the discontinued version to upgrade or reinstall, giving the total of about 13 months of official support for a given version from its release date.
Where can I obtain Fedora?Edit
Fedora can be downloaded free of charge from several sources and then burned to install media (CDs or DVDs). Typically, raw images for creating your own CDs and DVDs are downloaded from public http or ftp sources, or transferred over BitTorrent.
- Download locations can be found on the Fedora Project website
- Torrent files are also provided by Linux Tracker
You can obtain physical installation media pre-made from some sources - usually these resources charge a nominal fee to cover shipping and production, but some of them are provided free on request.
- Online Vendors (to buy pre-made media) can be found on the Fedora Project site
- Local Vendors can also be found on the Fedora Project site
Version X of Fedora has been out for awhile. Can I obtain updated installation media?Edit
The Fedora Unity project does precisely this. If you have trouble installing a certain version of Fedora to particular hardware because of what appear to be installer bugs, obtaining the latest Unity respin for that Fedora release may help you get around any problems you may be having.