Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Red Hat and Fedora are Poles Apart

redhat and fedora are poles apart
While Fedora is too bleeding edge, Red Hat (and Centos) is too conservative. Both are poles apart. Red Hat and its community bandwagon, Fedora don't offer anything in between. Of Course, there are Blag, Scientific Linux, StartCom, but the leading flavors of Red Hat Camp are still Red Hat Enterprise Linux (Centos) and Fedora.

While most of the people in Linux World know what to use, the rest of the world has no exact idea. For example seasoned Linux Administrators will never deploy Fedora as Server or Desktop, they will stick with RHEL or Centos. However, they might backport some packages from Fedora to get something done in RHEL or Centos.

There is nothing wrong if an enterprise distribution is somewhat conservative and its backed community distribution is bleeding edge. But the situation becomes grim if some people consider both to be somewhat same. I have witnessed many such unfortunate situations.

My previous employer wanted to replace the entire Windows platform with Linux. To ensure the transition smooth, he hired a Linux consultant. On his first day in office, the consultant configured on Web and Data Server Centos 5.2 (It is running seamlessly). Next day, after some discussion with the CEO, he installed Fedora 10 on the desktops. (Reason: The consultant convinced our CEO that Fedora is backed by Redhat, the most trusted name is corporate world) And here is where all the pleasure ended. For next 10 days the office was chaotic with heated Fedora bashing. That Consultant was again called in. This time he tried Centos on desktops but could not succeed. The new and shiny desktops and laptops just refused to Centos. Reason? Centos is really very old and our hardware is too new.

Blame it on the yesteryears and the popularity of Redhat, most of the people even today mean Linux by Redhat. Still worse, they equate Fedora with Redhat and proceed deploying Fedora as an alternative to Red Hat only to fall into trouble.

PS: We have installed PCLinuxOS 2007 and 2009.1 in our office desktops after the disappointing experience with Fedora. There has been no glitches so far.


Anonymous said...

I have wondered if it wouldn't be better to use something like Fedora 8 which has been out awhile as sort of a middle ground.

Marcus Moeller said...


I cannot fully agree on that. CentOS may be a bit conservative but it just works (and it works for a long time as you receive updates for about 7 years).

Also Red Hat / CentOS contains backported drivers in the minor release version (e.g. Nehalem in 5.3).

On the other hand I personally try to choose Linux compatible hardware, first - allowing me to install whatever I want.

Best Regards

manmath sahu said...


"... Fedora 8 which has been out..."

I found no version of Fedora to be really ready for mass consumption. Fedora seems to be like a perennial beta.


"... Centos may be a bit conservative..."

Bit conservative with Kernel 2.6.18, Xorg 7.1 and Gnome 2.16? No Way!

Drew said...

I've wondered if there should be a stable distribution in-between Red Hat and Fedora.

Something that has more up-to-date packages than Red Hat but is more stability and integrated than Fedora and made easy to maintain.

I haven't tried PCLinuxOS but it sounds to be the most similar in-between.

This is one advantage, to some degree, Novell and Ubuntu maintain. Their desktops and servers are not-so-far-behind and their desktops are about the same.

manmath sahu said...

Thank Drew,

I am also looking for a Distro that's nearly in between Fedora and Red Hat. As you have noticed PCLinuxOS as much or perhaps more stable than Redhat, and is a good choice. But I am looking for a distro that is not so conservative but still gives long term support like Red Hat.

Anonymous said...

No doubt.

How about this