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Old 03-25-2009, 12:48 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2006
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Should I use CentOS or Fedora Linux?

I am thinking of using one of the Red Hat type systems and I'm relatively new to Linux but have heard how Fedora and CentOS are in a sense Red Hat based or their features are implimented into Red Hat in the future.
All I have heard is that Fedora is very cutting edge. I have tried Mandriva, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu in the past.
What is the difference between these 2 distros and is there a reason why I should go with one over the other?
Old 03-25-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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Yes, Fedora is very cutting edge. It usually has the latest stuff available. If I remember correctly Fedora was the first to ship KDE 4.0, and I think also the first to now offer KDE 4.2.
And yes, it's sort of Red Hat's playground for new stuff which may or may not end up in Red Hat Enterprise.

CentOS is an enterprise-distribution. It is a free rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise and thus offers pretty much the same experience RHEL does. Software isn't absolutely new, but it's properly tested and you have longtime support, unlike Fedora, which cuts support after 2 releases (current release is 10, thus everything up to and including 8 is not supported anymore).

It depends on what you want to use the machine for. Personally I'd say that CentOS makes the better server and in a company-environment (for the regular user) probably the better desktop.
For people who don't care if maybe something doesn't work 100% but want/need all the latest bells and whistles Fedora is the way to go.
Old 03-25-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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RedHat Enterprise Edition and CentOS are aimed for companies or professional users, where stability and reliability are top priorities. On company servers you usually don't have many nifty GUI tools available - often enough there is not even a GUI desktop installed. Installation of packages is restricted to a core set of tools specific for the given business.

Fedora on the other is aimed to the community, where people with very different IT skills and working concepts are gathered. Even a Fedora default installation provides a lot of tools, and it is up to the user to make the choice among these.

The core UNIX concepts and tools are basically the same, and the often mentioned 'bleeding edge' applies more to those tools that are not installed on company servers anyway. In the end you can configure RHEL or CentOS to be like a bleeding edge Fedora, or trim Fedora to be similar to RHEL or CentOS.

For private users I suggest Fedora, because it's more fun. Doing a full install (ALL packages) will give you a lot to evaluate, test and play with.

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Last edited by JaksoDebr; 04-02-2009 at 05:14 AM.
Old 03-25-2009, 03:47 PM   #4
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The biggest thing with Fedora is probably that any one version is only supported for 13 months. After that there is no official updates of any kind. Since the official advice of Fedora is to always do a clean install, this means you do a clean install every 13 months.

Centos/RHEL supports each version for at least 5 years. In the past they have been very slow to bring in updated major versions of any software but this now seems to be slowly changing. Centos/RHEL 5.0 was released with FF1.5 but by 5.2 it was using FF3.0. Prior to the 5.X release virtually all apps were only patched not upgraded.

If you just want to use the system, go with Centos/RHEL. If you want an education about Linux and the Linux community go with Fedora.


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