Comparing Fedora Linux and Ubuntu: A Complete Guide

What Is Fedora?

  Have you heard that someone uses “Fedora” on their computer and aren’t sure what it is? Taking a look at Fedora, and its history, we’ll see what it is and why it was named after a stylish hat.

Red Hat sponsors Fedora, a Linux distribution that was first released in 2003. Open-source software and services are distributed by Red Hat to businesses.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, a licensed operating system that uses open-source components for storage, applications, and much more, is another Red Hat product. Unlike Linux distributions that are open-source, Fedora is completely free.

In essence, Red Hat Enterprise Linux uses the Fedora community edition, as features from Fedora are forked directly into Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The Fedora operating system is one of the most popular alternatives to Windows and Mac.  

History of Fedora

Fedora’s history is inextricably linked to Red Hat’s. Before settling on just Fedora, the distribution used to be called Fedora Linux, then Fedora Core.

The Linux distribution Fedora is a third-party repository for Red Hat Linux, whereas Fedora Core is a free community-maintained Linux distribution. As a preview of the Workstation version of Fedora to come, Fedora is upstream from Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Why Should You Use Fedora?

Over the past few years, Fedora has become quite user-friendly, as well as an original distro. Neither Arch nor Debian are user-friendly, and Arch just added a graphical installer two years ago.

Fedora offers an up-to-date version of vanilla GNOME, which is the only major distro to do so. The GNOME desktop may also appeal to Mac users and those who grew up with mobile devices. With Wayland touchpad gestures, laptop users can control their workspace with ease.

Fedora vs. Ubuntu head-to-head

Managers of packages

Installing software on Fedora and Ubuntu is done through different package managers. Ubuntu uses apt, dpkg, and snap, while Fedora uses dnf, rpm, and flatpak. Canonical maintains Ubuntu’s Snap universal package system, but Flatpak is not dependent on any particular distribution. With GNOME’s GUI Software app store, users can easily install software on both desktop distributions.

Run as root

The default user – whom you create during installation – is also added to the admin group in Fedora and Ubuntu. Fedora has a wheel admin group, while Ubuntu has a sudo admin group.

There is one similarity between the two distributions: neither allows the root user to log in. The command sudo su changes your user to the root user in Fedora, while sudo -s changes your user to a shell with administrative permissions in Ubuntu.

The release cycle

Each Fedora version is supported for 13 months, and a new version is released every six months. For Ubuntu, there are two different release cycles: LTS and regular. Each LTS (Long Term Support) release receives five years of support. Every six months, the regular version is released, and it is supported for nine months.

Updating and releasing software

Over time, Fedora has changed from being a bleeding-edge distribution to a more mainstream one. LibreOffice ( is included in both latest releases of each. While Fedora ships with version 99.0.1 of Firefox, Ubuntu ships with version 101.0.

Another difference between the two is that Fedora sometimes takes a Windows approach to upgrades, requiring a reboot after an update has been installed. When upgrading the kernel, Ubuntu only requires a reboot if the user is logged in.

Releases of server software

The Ubuntu Server operating system is one of the most widely deployed server environments on the market, especially for cloud-native applications. If you’re looking for an environment similar to RHEL, Fedora’s server release is a solid option. For most administrators, Fedora server requires a reboot every nine months, which can be a deterrent.

Ubuntu vs. Fedora: Key Differences

The two are popular choices in the market; let’s examine some of their differences:

  • Among Linux distributions, Ubuntu is the most popular, followed by Fedora. Debian is the basis for Ubuntu, while Red Hat Linux is the basis for Fedora.
  • Fedora and Ubuntu distributions use different software binaries. The latest version of Ubuntu and Fedora is released every six months, but there’s a difference in their long-term support models — Ubuntu offers 18 months of support after a new version is released, while Fedora releases LTS versions every two years for five years. In contrast, Fedora only offers 13 months of support. As a result, Fedora developers are freed from some backward compatibility restrictions; however, Fedora is a poor product development option (e.g., embedded systems). In addition to bundled apps, the desktop environment, and the size of the distribution, there are other differences between Ubuntu and Fedora.
  • GNOME is the default desktop in Fedora, while Unity is the default desktop in Ubuntu. Despite some similarities, both offer quite different user experiences.
  • Here, there is a significant distinction between Red Hat Linux and Debian, with the former dividing into Fedora and RHEL, while Ubuntu uses packages from one of Debian’s branches.
  • There are spins for both Ubuntu and Fedora. The KDE desktop is available on Fedora and Ubuntu, for example. In Fedora, desktop environments are separated in a similar manner to KDE, while in Ubuntu, these tasks are managed by others.

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