Fedora Core

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Fedora Core

Fedora Core 6 running GNOME
Website: fedoraproject.org
Fedora Project
OS family: Linux
Source model: Open source
Latest stable release: Core 6 / October 24, 2006
Update method: Yum
Package manager: RPM Package Manager
Supported platforms: i386, AMD64, PowerPC
Kernel type: Monolithic kernel
Default user interface: GNOME
License: Various
Working state: Current

Fedora Core is an RPM-based Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. The name derives from Red Hat's characteristic fedora used in its "Shadowman" logo. However, the Fedora community project had existed as a volunteer group providing extra software for the Red Hat Linux distribution before Red Hat got involved as a direct sponsor.

Fedora aims to be a complete, general-purpose operating system containing only free and open source software . Fedora is designed to be easily installed and configured with a simple graphical installer and the 'system-config' suite of configuration tools. The installation system includes an option to use GNU GRUB, a boot loader, facilitating the use of Fedora in conjunction with another operating system. Packages and their dependencies can be easily downloaded and installed with the yum utility. New releases of Fedora come out every six to eight months. Fedora ships with GNOME and KDE, and spans 5 CDs or a single DVD (although only the first two CDs are required). Network installations are available from a single small 6 MB boot.iso image. The installer supports installation via HTTP, FTP, and NFS, and remote installation progress can be monitored via VNC.

The name Fedora Core distinguishes the main Fedora packages from those of the Fedora Extras project, which provides add-ons to Fedora Core.

Fedora was derived from the original Red Hat Linux distribution. The project envisages that conventional Linux home users will use Fedora Core, and intends that it replace the consumer distributions of Red Hat Linux. Support for Fedora comes from the greater community (although Red Hat staff work on it, Red Hat does not provide official support for Fedora).

Fedora is sometimes called Fedora Linux and Fedora Core Linux, though this is not actually the official name.


  • Fedora Core uses GNOME as its default desktop environment. The Fedora developers' attention to usability improvements in the GNOME codebase has meant that they have on occasions backported improvements such as the no-focus-steal feature in GNOME, for Fedora Core 4.
  • Fedora Core has many GUI configuration tools (written in PyGTK) for things such as firewall, printing, and user management.
  • Fedora Core and Fedora Extras combined has over 7000 packages. There is a list of major packages.


Compiz- AIGLX support in Fedora Core 6
Compiz- AIGLX support in Fedora Core 6

Stable releases

On October 24, 2006, The Fedora development Team released Fedora Core 6 (FC6, release name Zod)

Fedora Core
Version Name Date
6 Zod October 24, 2006
5 Bordeaux March 20, 2006
4 Stentz June 13, 2005
3 Heidelberg November 8, 2004
2 Tettnang May 18, 2004
1 Yarrow November 6, 2003

Test releases

As a Fedora development cycle progresses, a series of test releases are delivered, giving users a preview of what is coming, and allowing for testing and feedback. Fedora Core 6 included three such test releases.

Development releases

Development versions of distributions such as Red Hat are often referred to as the "bleeding edge" . In Red Hat and Fedora, this refers to the repositories known by their codename Rawhide. New packages that end up in Fedora (and later, Red Hat Enterprise Linux) are first added to Fedora development tree. Fedora development is very rapid and may break at any time, but some developers and testers do use it as their main distribution.

Maintained by Fedora Legacy

The Fedora Legacy project is a community project that handles releases after Fedora Core team has stopped maintaining updates for those who do not wish to or cannot upgrade.

Fedora Core 4 (FC4, release name Stentz) was released on June 13, 2005 for the i386, AMD64, and PowerPC architectures, and was transferred to Fedora Legacy on August 7, 2006. It included GNOME 2.10 and KDE 3.4, GCC 4.0, a gcj-compiled version of the Eclipse IDE, and version 2.6.11 of the Linux kernel.

Fedora Core 3
Fedora Core 3

Fedora Core 3 (FC3, release name Heidelberg) was released on November 8, 2004 for the i386 and AMD64 architectures, and was transferred to Fedora Legacy on January 16, 2006. It included GNOME 2.8 and KDE 3.3.0, X.Org Server 6.8.1, the Xen virtualizer, and version 2.6.9 of the Linux kernel.


Fedora Core 2 (FC2, release name Tettnang) reached release on May 18, 2004, and was transferred to Fedora Legacy on April 11, 2005. It included version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, GNOME 2.6, KDE 3.2.1, and SELinux. This version also replaced XFree86 with the X.Org Server. This release occasioned many complaints because of its problems with installation while dual-booting with Windows XP (actually caused by an issue with the 2.6 kernel's handling of partitions).

Fedora Core 1 (FC1, internal codename Cambridge, release name Yarrow) was released on November 6, 2003, and transferred to Fedora Legacy on November 20, 2004. Improvements over Red Hat Linux 9 included automated updates with yum, improved laptop support with ACPI and cpufreq, and prelinking for faster program start time. An AMD64 version appeared in March 2004.

Fedora Legacy support for both Fedora Core 1 and 2 ended on August 7, 2006, on the day that legacy support for Fedora Core 4 began.

Repositories of extra software

Fedora Core only includes a core set of packages. For downloading and installing programs or codecs not distributed with Core, there are several repositories available. Packages are generally compatible between third-party repositories, though this has not always been the case. There are also occasional overlaps or packaging errors that cause one package to negatively affect packages distributed from different repositories.

Official repositories

Fedora Core, Fedora Extras and Fedora Legacy are official repositories in this project. Fedora Core is maintained by Red Hat. Fedora Extras is maintained by a group of volunteers and affiliated with the official Fedora Project. Fedora Extras is currently included in the base distribution as a default repository and no extra configuration is required to enable it. Fedora Legacy repository is also included in Fedora Core 5 and above versions but it is not enabled by default.

Unofficial repositories

These repositories are designed to be compatible with Fedora Core although they may not be compatible with each other. Some of the repositories have discontinued active support for earlier versions of Fedora Core but keep the repositories around for the convenience of users with previous versions.

  • Livna, a third-party repository maintained by a group of packagers, supporting Fedora Core 1 through 6.
(Must use with Extras. Not compatible with RPMForge repositories.)
  • RPMforge, containing the packages of Matthias Saou, Dag Wieers and Dries that were previously available in three different repositories, supporting Fedora Core 1 through 5. RPMforge is compatible with Fedora Extras, similar to Livna.
    • FreshRPMS, maintained by Matthias Saou, supporting Fedora Core 1 through 6
    • Dag, maintained by Dag Wieers, supporting Fedora Core 1 through 3
    • Dries, maintained by Dries Verachtert, supporting Fedora Core 1 through 6
    • PlanetCCRMA, maintained by Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, supporting Fedora Core 1 through 5
  • kde-redhat, Excellent source for KDE support in Fedora Core maintained by a group of packagers that support Fedora Core. Has updated KDE desktop RPMS, general KDE applications such as Bluetooth support.
  • The Grey Sector, containing mostly MPlayer related packages and binary packaged codecs (which have some legal issues). The repository is maintained by MPlayer developer.
  • fedora-xgl, containing packages required to enable Xgl on Fedora.
  • dribble, containing packages with a focus on fun software (multimedia, games, emulators). It is recommended that this repository be used with Livna.
  • ATrpms, maintained by Axel Thimm and supporting Fedora Core 1 through 6.
  • Updates base packages ahead of Core. Some administrators consider it a bad idea to update base packages outside of their official channel.
  • ATrpms is also used extensively by Fedora Myth(TV)ology - a popular how-to resource for installing MythTV on Fedora Core, maintained by Jarod Wilson.

Legal status

Fedora Core, Fedora Extras and Fedora Legacy projects follow the same packaging guidelines in the Fedora project, and they all only maintain packages that are Free, open source software and legally distributable anywhere in the world. Other repositories may have different policies. For example, the Livna project maintains packages that may have legal issues within the United States or can be downloaded only by the end user.

Some repositories also maintain "source-only" packages that require the user to download pre-built binaries that may not be available to the public. The package script then unpacks and repacks the binaries in a format more suitable for deployment on RPM-based systems.

Software update utilities

The main tool to install software from repositories is the command yum. A graphical tool called pirut (available in the upper menu bar with the name "Package Manager") is, together with the update program pup ("Package Update"), part of the standard installation since Fedora Core 5. Yumex and Synaptic are two graphical alternatives preferred by some reviewers, and are available in Extras. Kyum is also a nice graphical frontend for those who use KDE.

Software updates from the installation CDROM are not possible directly with yum or pup in FC5. Pup will die at startup if you are not connected to the network. A workaround is possible defining in the yum configuration file a new installation source that points to the local mounted cdrom (file:///media/cdrom). Using this functionality should be also possible to dump a repository onto a DVD and actualize the computer from there.

Up until Fedora Core 4, maintainers of some of the extra repositories advocated the use of apt-rpm for update management - being written in C, it uses fewer CPU cycles and is therefore suitable for older computers, too. For Fedora Core 5 a new version of apt is included in extras which is capable of using native yum metadata and is multi-lib capable. Refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Tools/Apt for more information.

Another useful tool to work with repositories is Fedora Helper . It installs and configures the "missing codecs" - MP3 support, for example. It uses the livna.org repository. Another tool that helps to mix repositories is Fedora Frog.

Off-line repositories

If a machine needs to be updated that is not connected to the network, a repository can be created and updated from there. To create such a portable repository do :

  • make the directories ./yum, ./yum/base and ./yum/updates. (if you want your local apache to serve as repository of your intranet, do it inside /var/www/html)
  • copy all RPMs of your distribution inside ./base
  • create the headers of the packets with the command createrepo ./base (use /var/www/html/yum/base if you did set it for Apache)
  • Download the updates. To do that, look for a real mirror (there is a list of them here ) and rsync with it to pick up changes (they will be stored in the ./updates repository). To rsync use the command rsync -avrt rsync://repository --exclude=debug/ /your-path/yum/updates

Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Fedora came about as a result of a new business strategy which Red Hat implemented late in 2003 - Red Hat now positions Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a business-oriented Linux distribution, and all official support is for that distribution. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) releases are branched off Fedora Core, which has led some critics to observe that Fedora Core users are in effect beta testers for RHEL.

See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux page for the versions of Fedora Core and their corresponding Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions.

Trademark dispute

Red Hat has been tangled in disputes with the creators of the Fedora repository management software over the name, on which Red Hat has attempted to secure trademark rights.


  • Linux's website is powered by Fedora Core.
  • The servers that run Wikimedia are mostly powered by Fedora Core.
  • Sony's PlayStation 3 supports Fedora (Fedora is the only OS besides Yellow Dog Linux to work on the PS3 yet.)

Distributions based on Fedora Core

  • Berry Linux—A medium-sized Fedora Core-based distribution that provides support in Japanese and English.
  • Fox Linux—A Fedora Core-based distribution made in Italy, designed for basic home computing tasks such as browsing the Web, writing and printing documents, using multimedia and burning discs.
  • Linux Mobile System—A Fedora Core-based distribution designed to boot from USB Mass Storage devices, such as keydrives.
  • LinuxTLE, a Thai distribution produced by NECTEC
  • RAQTweak's RackStar Appliance Server
  • Yellow Dog Linux—A Fedora Core-based distribution for the PowerPC platform.
  • Aurora SPARC Linux—A Fedora Core-based distribution for the SPARC platform.

Fedora's wiki also has a list of derived distributions.

Commercial and community distributions by the same vendor

Red Hat's release of Fedora Core started a popular trend amongst commercial Linux distribution vendors, that of creating a community distribution closely related to a commercial distribution, with the community distribution acting as a open development lab leading to the commercial distribution.

See Commercial and community Linux distributions by the same vendor.

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