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What are some good reasons to choose Fedora as a workstation instead of Ubuntu?

asked 2016-10-20 23:35:11 -0500

prahladyeri gravatar image

A lot of people have stuck with Ubuntu (myself included) from the good old days when their driver support was excellent and Fedora's was not so good.

But presently in 2016, I guess that Fedora should have improved the driver support too. In any case, hardware support isn't a very big issue for me right now as I'm a freelance web developer and all I need is an OS to run on my Dell Laptop. But I feel that I'm stuck so much with the Ubuntu way of doing things (sudo apt-get, Dash screen to look for any apps, nice Ambiance theme and left launcher bar, etc.)

I need a very strong motivation to try out Fedora and what can that be?

I think one motivation could be the DevOps side. I haven't done any actual DevOps project, but suppose if I get one, which skill is more suited as a server side? From what I know, Amazon AWS instances have CentOS by default and so do Digital Ocean, so does that mean Fedora (yum/dnf) is a more useful to know to get into server side of things?

Please provide me the motivation/inspiration that I'm looking for switching from Ubuntu to Fedora!

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Very subjective question here. I don't see how someone else could answer that for you in terms of motivation. Boot a Fedora Live system and check it out. Or install Fedora as virtual machine.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-10-21 10:33:25 -0500 )edit

It is subjective but it is an important question to answer as objectively as possible as users consider migrating to fedora. Perhaps a community answer with the best possible explanation

Panther gravatar imagePanther ( 2018-11-01 09:27:35 -0500 )edit

6 Answers

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answered 2016-10-21 03:15:47 -0500

jake gravatar image

Puhh, this is some kind of "religion question" mostly answered by personal and very subjective preference. With Fedora you are always state-of-the-art (new kernel versions within one cycle, etc.), this comes with pros and cons.

If you want to run a reliable server, Fedora may not be the best answer, cause of the very up to date and so far not always very well tested software base. But - as mentioned - you can consider CentOS, which comes with many of Fedora's features. In the server world most people are more interested in long term stability and rely on Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) versions.

For me personally, Fedora is the way to go because i love Gnome3 since its first release and prefer it over all other available desktop environments. Furthermore, with Fedora most programs are always up to date and perfectly integrated out of the box (in the meaning of notifications and all that little bits and bytes) which makes that whole package so comfortable.

I believe the only way to really answer this question for yourself, is to try it out. Don't be afraid of changes, give it some time and have fun!


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Thanks. Are you aware of any way to backup the dnf cache of rpms to a personal repository (the way its possible on Ubuntu to create repo out of /var/cache/apt/*.deb files)? Or do I have to create a separate question for that?

prahladyeri gravatar imageprahladyeri ( 2016-10-23 00:56:12 -0500 )edit

You can create a list of all packages installed by the user with sudo dnf history userinstalled > ~/mypackages.txt, and use it to restore them later.

jake gravatar imagejake ( 2016-10-25 00:49:14 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-11-01 08:21:53 -0500

ervinfdine gravatar image

Ok. I have used both so I can compare. Now my judgment is based on my experience, experiences can vary. 1) In Fedora you usually get the latest packages. In the Ubuntu LTS version they stop updating many packages. 2) Gnome Boxes, an excellent virtualization tool works best in CentOS and Fedora. I have tried it in Ubuntu, openSUSE and I have had issues. For instance it was almost impossible to get the virtual machine to recognize a usb in the version of gnome boxes for these distros. 3) Fedora defaults to free as in freedom software only with the exception of certain non-free firmware. Ubuntu includes flash player, openSUSE includes opera, they don't have such a firm policy. And also by including the non-free firmware, I don't have to edit the sources list file like in Debian and the hardware of my computer gets recognized right away. 4) Fedora is setup to go to work right after installation. It includes the latest stable linux kernel with all the advantages of the newest most recent kernel. 5) Certain periferals have worked best for me in Fedora than other distros. For instance a nicon camera was recognized best by Fedora. 6) Fedora gives you Gnome or any other desktop environment in a pristine condition without any bloatware. 7) Fedora is at the forefront of new technologies and CentOS, which is very similar to Fedora in it's design is one of the most stable distros with a very long term support time, ten years. 8) Fedora has never served any ads the way Ubuntu did a few years ago with the dash search lense sending local queries (search terms) to Amazon servers which sent back ads for products. Now what I said is not black and white, Ubuntu also contains a lot of free software and you can avoid the non-free software. Having the latest software could also introduce new bugs and sometimes a package available for Ubuntu is not available for Fedora, but based on my experience I have not lacked anything in Fedora.

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answered 2016-10-21 09:00:33 -0500

snowolfe gravatar image

With Live USB/DVDs it is easy to try out a new distro. As @jake has indicated, this is often a "religious question", but for me, I find the Ubuntu way of doing things not very community friendly (not that the Ubuntu community is not friendly), i.e. they seem to regularly try and go their own way (e.g. Unity and their Wayland equivalent), and often initial development is done in a closed/private way, along with having to sign over copyright for development code (at least it used to be - haven't looked recently).

Fedora is very much developed in the open and Red Hat uses it as the basis of its distro every four years or so. If you want a heavily demanded 'enterprise grade' Linux, then Red Hat is the market leader by a long way - CentOS, Scientific Linux, Oracle Linux and several other variants are all downstream distros from Red Hat, which as I said uses Fedora as its basis. The 'Server' job market is dominated by demand for Red Hat experienced Admins and Dev-ops engineers and their certifications are some of the most valuable and respected in the industry.

So for me this is the best way to go - Fedora gives me a great desktop to use day to day (most of the time), is the upstream for Red Hat which I use all the time at work, and I am certified as an RHCE, so it makes sense that I use it.

Your mileage will vary!

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answered 2018-11-01 09:11:23 -0500

Panther gravatar image

updated 2018-11-01 10:09:37 -0500

I commend you for considering alternates to your usual OS.

Historically, ubuntu was founded at a time when linux, even debian, was difficult to install and use and catered to new users and thus rapidly became a popular OS.

BUT fast forward to modern times and ubuntu has faltered for a variety of reasons I will not go into here and other os, including fedora, have matured.

Fedora is not so difficult to install, 3rd party repos are easily available, documentation is much better than ubuntu, and support is available.

Same can be said of many distros. The advantages of rhel / centos / fedora are, IMHO

  1. Fedora is much more closely aligned with the major open source projects than ubuntu including, but not limited to gnome and the kernel.

  2. Security. Fedora fully supports selinux while in ubuntu apparmor is a bolt on, less developed than selinux, and the end user is left to write policy. As with all of fedora selinux and the tools to manage policy has matured.

  3. Features of dnf / yum. The package manager has superior features including history and roll back and confirmation of installed packages.

  4. Fedora is on the cutting edge of linux and is the first, or one of the first, to roll out new features such as wayland, systemd, etc. Ubuntu is years behind the curve.

Be warned, new features have growing pains too.

  1. Business. IMHO RHEL is far superior to ubuntu in the business sector and I predict ubuntu is in decline in this aspect.

If those features appeal to you, try fedora. If not stay with ubuntu.

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answered 2016-10-21 10:33:57 -0500

florian gravatar image

Is the fact that Fedora is free motivating enough?

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and Ubuntu isn't?

The question was why choose or switch to Fedora vs. Ubuntu. Ultimately it is personal choice - if you like the packages that ship and the 'feel' of the interface, then you are likely to stick with it. For most people, using either as a workstation is going to boil down to the above.

Personally, if you want a job using your Linux skills, I think Fedora/Red Hat offer the greatest opportunities, particularly in the enterprise server space and increasingly in the cloud/docker space. If you are a developer, both offer a superb range of tools for development use. Take your pick!

snowolfe gravatar imagesnowolfe ( 2016-10-21 17:58:22 -0500 )edit

I'm referring to free as in Freedom here, not to free as free beer.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-10-21 18:11:19 -0500 )edit

While I agree Freedom is a definite selling point for many of us, I am not sure that matters to many others (even if it probably should).

Also, I am not sure that the Ubuntu community would agree that they are not free; although I personally think that Fedora is freer than Ubuntu, but freedom is often a personal definition also.

snowolfe gravatar imagesnowolfe ( 2016-10-21 19:05:58 -0500 )edit

Please add to this post. It is perhaps both free as in freedom but it is also free as in private, no hardware reporting to Canonical by default or hijacking user searches

Panther gravatar imagePanther ( 2018-11-01 09:45:49 -0500 )edit

Fedora doesn't report back to the development community (and never Red Hat) without your knowledge and it certainly doesn't hijack searches - unless you install a browser that does that (or tracks you!).

Ubuntu may or may not (I haven't used it recently enough and don't follow the development of the project nowadays) - one difference is that although Red Hat supports Fedora with developers and various infrastructure it is not a Red Hat 'owned' (for want of a better way of saying this) Linux. Ubuntu is very heavily influenced and managed by the Ubuntu company - or it used to be.

snowolfe gravatar imagesnowolfe ( 2018-12-18 03:32:16 -0500 )edit

answered 2019-02-01 23:49:30 -0500

im not a programmer so i can't give you any facts. just personal experience. i couldn't get windows to reinstall so i distro hopped for a few months. i played with everything on the top 20 in distrowatch. fedora was the only one that wouldn't freeze and then be gone on reboot. it may have something to do with my computer or my abuse of it... also, i can throw this in. shark linux (virtual), mx linux (cool tools) , parrot os (hacks) were the only ones that were different. all the others seemed to be from the same cookie cutter with different icing on top. i finally figured out that i could use fedora for stability and play with all the other stuff on virtualbox

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Asked: 2016-10-20 23:35:11 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 01 '18