any one version of fedora only has 13 months of support , not 18 ( suse has 18 month)
and it has never been supported doing a upgrade skipping a version
so say installing fedora 19 then trying to upgrade to 21 ,then trying to upgrade to 23
is not going to work out well
and to add; each new version of fedora can be VERY different from the last one
mysql being replaced by maria db ...
system v being replaced by system D...
the introduction of pulse audio( way back) ...
a new reinstall every 6 months is still recommended way to upgrade fedora
or using "fedup" to move to the next version but NOT skipping a version
I would switch to a different version other than Fedora 17 if not for the fact that the organization that supports it is not that familiar with ubuntu. This is all very new to me and I would prefer a common platform in which I can learn from one in which the other parties are intimately acquainted. It would appear that with the onslaught of constant change much of what was meant to facilitate a learning environment including my kit is evaporating.
then fedora is NOT a good idea for you to use
Fedora BY DEFINITION is a VERY FAST passed "Research and Development " distro
One that CHANGES VERY VERY VERY FAST
so fast in fact that a lot of software will not yet build with the VERY NEW versions of software included in fedora
most programs will need hacking just to build with the very new software
You might want to have a look at a long term support OS like CentOS 6.5
Cent is a FREE rebuild of RedHat