by Max Spevack, Fedora Project leader

The Fedora OS: Free, Stable and Customizable

Nov 16, 20073 mins

A stable, robust operating system fit for use on millions of business computers worldwide.

The Fedora Project builds a world-class Linux operating system, consisting of entirely free (meaning both zero-cost and full source code available) software, that is used by companies, organizations and individuals worldwide.

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The Fedora OS: Free, Stable and Customizable

Free and Open Is Better

The entire Fedora tool chain is composed of free software; every step in the distro creation process uses free software and can take place on hardware that is accessible both to Red Hat employees and the general Fedora community.

And Fedora emphasizes the importance of transparency at all levels of hierarchy. From top-level decision making to the source code that goes into our packages and build systems, we continue to ensure that Fedora is as open as possible.


Innovation Is Key

Within the Fedora Project, we provide a development environment that allows people to innovate and experiment with new ideas. Not only does the Fedora Project produce a Linux distribution, but it also serves as an upstream for a variety of other software projects—build systems, translation systems, software updating tools, etc.

Customizable for Your Needs

Fedora 7 was released in May last year, and Fedora 8 was released this month. The primary goal of Fedora 7 and 8 was the complete rebuilding of all of Fedora’s infrastructure, which improves the manner in which all future Fedora releases are made, and also provides the ability for users to create custom spins of Fedora (sometimes called appliances). The business application here is quite simple. Any competent system administrator will tell you that a machine should have on it the least amount of software necessary for it to serve its purpose, and nothing more. By creating tools that allow system administrators to specifically select every package that is installed on the machine, versions of Fedora that are customized in this manner are easier to debug, and easier to support.

What It Means to Business

Fedora Project contributors ensure that it is a stable, robust operating system fit for use on millions of computers worldwide.

Also, engineers and product managers who are responsible for Red Hat Enterprise Linux use Fedora as an open research and development lab that allows them to try new technologies quickly, and get them into the hands of many users early in the development cycle.

Red Hat customers can use Fedora—and even contribute directly to Fedora if they so desire—and as a result there are no surprises. Fedora releases twice a year, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases once every 18 to 24 months. As such, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux user who pays attention to the most recent versions of Fedora will know what technology will be included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux far in advance of the release, and have opportunities to gain experience in deploying and using that technology far sooner than would be possible if he waited for the release of a closed-source product.

Since Fedora serves as the upstream for all of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux products, Fedora users are able to leverage all of this technology in the form of custom spins or appliances that allow them to create customized versions of the operating system to serve specific needs.

Max Spevack is Fedora Project leader.