Last updated: October 22, 2019
How Fedora Compares To Other Open Source Operating Systems
One of the great things about using Linux servers is the power of choice you have when selecting your operating system. If your hosting provider does support Fedora and you also have access to your server for manual upload, you probably also know there are several other open source OS options on the marketplace. If you are having trouble deciding between Fedora and other open source OS’s like CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise, or even the widely popular Ubuntu, check out our brief comparisons below:
- Fedora vs. CentOS: CentOS is more comparable to Red Hat Enterprise (more on that below), but it’s free like Fedora. Unlike Fedora and Red Hat, however, it’s support comes entirely from its community of users – not Red Hat. So if stability is what you’re looking for in an OS solution without any subscription costs, CentOS might be a good solution. If centralized distribution of support, more features and quicker releases are your preference – its Fedora all the way.
- Fedora vs. Red Hat Enterprise: Red Hat Enterprise is a commercial product released by the developers behind Fedora. While Fedora is free, community-driven project, Red Hat Enterprise is a commercial project which is funded by a subscription fee for each user. Fedora releases are much more frequent (every 6 months as opposed to every few years) with a wider range of software packages and updates. Fedora is more feature-rich with greater functionality than Red Hat, while Red Hat is a more stable OS.
- Fedora vs. Ubuntu: Ubuntu is the most popular OS running on Linux servers today, but Fedora is generally considered to be a more stable and better-performing platform, making it more ideal than Ubuntu for running a server. More ideal, that is, assuming you’re comfortable with the learning curve that comes with Fedora. Both systems can be installed with Windows-esque ease, but Fedora does not have the option of integrating for-profit software, so don’t think about integrating anything into your system if it’s not open source.
System Requirements For Fedora
VPS hosting should be available with Fedora installations, since a KVM hypervisor is included in its package. By comparison to other operating systems, Fedora is very light in its requirements to install. You will need a minimum of 6GB of disk space, 2GB of RAM and two processors – one for Fedora, one for the KVM. Make sure your hosting provider can accommodate these requirements within your budget before committing to Fedora as your preferred OS.
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Fedora Frequently Asked Questions
- There are a number of Linux distributions out there. Why should I use Fedora? Will it cost me more, or save me money?
Fedora is a free operating system based on the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat.
Fedora contains software distributed under a free open source license and aims to be on the cutting edge of such technologies.
Fedora has a reputation for focusing on innovation, integrating new technologies early on and working closely with upstream Linux communities.
- What about alternatives like Red Hat and CentOS? How is Fedora different?
Fedora is community driven and free while Red Hat is a commercial release that has been officially supported by Red Hat for 7 years.
CentOS is also based on Red Hat releases, but it’s a free community project.
However, there is no professional support for CentOS or Fedora, although they both have big and dynamic communities.
- Will Fedora hosting cost me extra? Will I need to pay for additional features?
Fedora is a free release, so there are no license or subscription fees. On shared hosting plans, you will use the host’s Fedora, and there is no additional cost. Also, you will not have to pay for additional open source features found on alternative Linux distributions.
- How many people use Fedora?
The Linux market is dominated by Mint, Ubuntu and Debian distributions, with Fedora ranking in fifth place (roughly). The enterprise market is still dominated by Microsoft, while in the Linux space, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has twice the market share of all other Linux distributions combined.
- Isn’t Fedora basically the same as RHEL?
Not really. Fedora is supported by Red Hat, but there are a few significant differences.
Fedora is the upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and is often used as a proving ground for technologies that later appear in Red Hat.
RHEL is certified by governments and can be deployed on more products. Since it’s a commercial product, it also has professional support, unlike Fedora.
- Can I use cPanel on Fedora? What about alternative control panels?
Yes, you can use cPanel and WHM on Fedora servers, as long as they meet the hardware requirements. Most major control panels should have no trouble working in a Fedora environment.
- What programming languages are supported on Fedora? What about scripting languages?
Bearing in mind that Fedora is a Linux environment, so Microsoft Windows specific languages and frameworks are not supported. However, Fedora supports virtually all common programming and scripting languages that can run on Linux, including Ruby, PHP, Perl, Python and many others.
- Are there any downsides to Fedora? Anything I should worry about?
There aren’t any obvious disadvantages compared to other Linux distributions. However, Fedora is a free release, so you do not get paid technical support. If you don’t feel the need for quality technical support, you could use it (or any of a number of alternatives). It all depends on your needs and skills.
- I am currently on Ubuntu – is there a reason I should move to Fedora?
Not really, most enterprises no longer use Ubuntu – they have moved to Red Hat or CentOS for development. If you are a professional, Red Hat provides more stability, superior support, updates and more. If you are a hobbyist, you could try Fedora first, just in case it meets all your needs.
- How many companies use Fedora?
Fedora has not typically been closely associated with the business world, a market segment that’s typically dominated by Red Hat. Business users should be aware that Fedora is meant for cutting-edge power users interested in the latest features.
On the other hand, there are no reasons not to use Fedora and there is also a server distribution of Fedora now available.
- What about the Fedora life cycle and updates?
The Fedora Project releases new versions of Fedora approximately every 6 months and provides updated packages to these releases for approximately 13 months.
When a release reaches the point where it is no longer supported nor updates are created for it, then it is considered End of Life (EOL).
New packages in the SCM are not available for distribution X after the Fedora X+2 release, and new builds are no longer available.
- Which hosting companies use Fedora?
The list is simply too long – Fedora VPS hosting is still popular because it is affordable (100% free open source), offers loads of new features, but also because of its close relationship with its commercial counterpart, RHEL. Fedora gets many latest features directly from its relationship with RHEL.
- What is the main drawback in using Fedora in a server environment?
The biggest issue is the lack of a long time support distribution, like Ubuntu LTS. Currently available Fedora 21 Server (first Fedora Server release) distribution should have a lifespan of 18 months, while current Ubuntu LTS and Ubuntu Server LTS distributions both have a lifespan of 5 years.
- How do I install Fedora on my server?
It depends on what sort of server and hosting plan you want to use.
If you are interested in a shared or VPS hosting plan, then you can’t change the OS and must stick to the options provided by your host.
If you are setting up your own server or installing Fedora on dedicated hardware, many guides are available online and you should have no trouble setting it up.
- What about Microsoft support? What if I need MS SQL, or MS Access?
Fedora cannot support proprietary Microsoft technologies, standards and languages. In case you absolutely need specific Microsoft technologies, your only option is to get a Microsoft hosting plan.