Top Linux Distros: Fedora
Desktop Training - Desktop Reviews

 Lesson 3 / Lesson 5

Fedora is a multipurpose Linux operating system which is RPM based and sponsored by Red Hat. The Fedora mission statement is: "Fedora is about the rapid progress of Free and Open Source software". Fedora has focused on containing only free and open source software and staying in front of cutting edge technology related to open source software. This has given Fedora an advantage making it one of the most popular Linux distributions around that is used by everyone from high school kids to Linux Torvalds.

After Red Hat Linux was discontinued in 2003, Fedora was born through the Fedora Project. Fedora is available in a few different formats including Fedora DVDs, which provide all the major Fedora packages at shipping time. Live CD or DVD Images which can be used to make a live CD or install Fedora on a USB drive. Minimal Images can be used to install over HTTP, FTP or NFS. A Rescue Image is also available if part of the system needs to be fixed after failing. The community also releases "spins" which are aimed and providing a custom setup for specific users and user needs. Many other Linux distributions are based on Fedora, a few popular ones are Berry, Blag, Fox, Linpus, Mythdora, and Yellow Dog Linux.

Fedora belongs in the general category because that is where the distro development is aimed. Fedora is more cutting edge than most general distributions but still maintains great stability for everyday desktop use. A wide assortment of applications on Fedora make it a general purpose distribution that features an application for everything you need.

Desktop Screenshot
One thing about Fedora that will catch your eye right away is the great blue color scheme and Solar Theme. The Gnome desktop environment appears by default providing a very easy-to-use menu and interface. KDE can also be added to the current version of Fedora.  After getting past the attractive theme and background Fedora is very functional and provides quick access to most important features.

Help Resources
Fedora has many help resources including books, manuals, courses (on and offline), forums, wikis, training CDs and more. A good place to start is at the main Fedora website, This site gives you instant access to the community resources that power this popular Linux distribution. Another place to go for free information is the Unofficial Fedora FAQ or if you want to ask a question head over to The last place I ran into while using Fedora was which is a site dedicated to helping beginner Fedora users. The site includes a few links, repository information, and information about how to get help using Fedora.

YUM is the Fedora default package manager and can be easily used from the terminal to install or remove packages along with a lot of other things. Pirut and Pup serve as the graphical interfaces available. An alternative to YUM is apt-rpm which may be easier to use for users familiar with Debian. For Linux beginners YUM is pretty easy to use right in the terminal and allows some beginners to become comfortable with the terminal faster. Here are some YUM commands and descriptions of what they do:

yum install <packagename> - Installs a new package
yum remove <packagename> - Removes your old package
yum update <packagename> - Updates your package
yum check-update - Checks if any new updates are available for my installed packages
yum search <keyword> - Find packages using a specific keyword

Many more yum commands are available but these are a few that really got me going on the terminal, because they're so easy to use.

My Feeling
Fedora is a great operating system for what I need it for. I do basic graphic design, multimedia and office related work. Sometimes I play a DVD, Music or browse photos. While using Fedora, I found it to be clean, solid, stable and most of all up to date. Fedora is a great mix between cutting edge stuff and something you can depend to work day after day without having any significant hiccups. The Fedora application selection is excellent too providing great options for Office, Multimedia, and Web applications. Some of my favorites that appear in Fedora are OpenOffice, Brasero, GIMP, and Rhythmbox. One thing that got me hooked on Fedora was how easy new packages could be added via the command line by using YUM. (yum install packagename) That's it. Highly recommended for beginners as adequate support is also available.


After inserting the Fedora 11 DVD I selected the Install or Upgrade and Existing System option upon booting the CD. I was immediately brought to the Fedora Installation Wizard which I found quite easy to use. The wizard first walked me through setting up and selecting the language I wanted to use. After clicking the Next button at the bottom I selected my keyboard layout and continued on again. The next screen lets the  computer name be adjusted. Choose your location from the map or manually and click the Next button. Next set up the root password and verify it. Partition options allows drive partition options to be adjusted. Create users on the next window. Next set the date and time and you're done.. When finished I ejected by CD restarted and was brought to the main Fedora login where I used my new root password and continued on to the beautiful Fedora desktop. The Installation of Fedora was just as easy as any of the distros I've installed so far while using Linux. It was quick and to the point while gathering just enough information from me to complete a successful installation. Fedora is a great desktop that allows easy customization of the initial installation by adding and removing packages and setting system preferences.