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ailijic's avatar

Ubuntu vs. Fedora: advantages, disadvantages?

Asked by ailijic (5points) July 30th, 2009

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these two OS’s?
I am studying to be in IT systems/networking. I know its important to know Linux and Unix.

What do I need to know about these two OS’s?

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11 Answers

patg7590's avatar

I’m pretty sure Fedora incurs some sort of cost- maybe only to corporate users or something

I’m a long time fan of Ubuntu- so much so that I never looked into Fedora.

styfle's avatar

No fedora is free just like 99% of distros. Honeslty it’s personal preference. Fedora is based off of red hat while ubuntu is based off of debian. As a née user, I suggest ubuntu because it has a larger community so it’s easier to get answers.

Ivan's avatar

Never used Fedora, but it’s Red Hat based, so it depends on whether you prefer Debian or RPM packages. I’ve never used RPM, but I find Debian to be really simple. Ubuntu has the largest community of any distro and it has very extensive documentation.

dUc0N's avatar

As an Ubuntu user, the biggest advantage seems to be that it has a wider userbase, and so help can sometimes be easier to come by.

For more information, you might want to have a peek at the list of major Linux distributions.

Another useful piece of advice or two, since it’s for learning:
– They say that you can learn Ubuntu, or learn Fedora… but when you learn Slackware, you actually learn Linux. This is because Slackware is the oldest full-featured distro that’s still widely in use.
– Gentoo Linux is another great “toss yourself in the deep end” option. In order to get it installed, you’ll actually compile your own custom kernel, and hand pick every part of your system. The result? Your installation will be precisely suited to your machine.

madbax's avatar

On the Unix side of things check out OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. They’re both free downloads. Unix tends to be less user friendly than Linux, but alot of businesses use Unix-based servers. You’ll notice similarities between Linux/Unix so chances are good that if you can use one of them you won’t have too much trouble using the other. I’ve worked at an all Unix company for a decade and I’ll never go back to Windows…except for gaming!

upholstry's avatar

Ubuntu is run more like a foundation (perhaps that’s exactly what it is) while Fedora is run by Red Hat. As such, Ubuntu has a much broader community, probably more frequent ‘distro upgrades’ and its package management is supposed to be one of the best, though that’s not saying a whole lot.

YYAAPP's avatar

Go for Ubuntu.
It has the most support in the area of networking and hardware.
I think securuty wise they are comparable.

Vincentt's avatar

My authority comes from reading a lot of Linux-related articles, not from using Fedora. I have used Ubuntu and Xubuntu though.

First of all, Fedora is definitely free for everybody to use. It is more at the forefront of including new technologies, for the fun of playing with them and to give them some audience so they can be tested. Think PulseAudio (which broke audio for a lot of people – Ubuntu’s done that too though), PackageKit (a new unified package manager, can’t recall major problems with that). So a slightly higher risk of a broken system but with newer developments to play with.

Ubuntu has a larger community though, and when somebody developers some software that runs on Linux, an installer for Ubuntu is most likely to be available because it’s more popular. Oh, and it can ship CD’s to you for free even if you don’t really need it ;-)

Joe_Freeman's avatar

Fedora and Ubuntu are both excellent free distros. The advantage of Ubuntu is its popularity, though Fedora is also very popular. The advantage of Fedora is its similarity to Red Hat, thus if you’ll be working on a Red Hat system at your job, you’ll be much more comfortable with Fedora than Ubuntu – but CentOS is even closer to Red Hat than is Fedora. The main difference between Ubuntu and Fedora is that they use different package managers, Debian vs RPM respectively. If you’re new to Linux, I suspect you’ll be less overwhelmed by Ubuntu.

koanhead's avatar

Ubuntu is aimed toward new and less-experienced users, while Fedora is a “bleeding-edge” distribution. Fedora makes an effort to keep its packages in close sync with the developers’ newest releases. This means that new features will generally be available in Fedora (or Red Hat) first and much of the early testing will be done in Fedora. The downside is that things are less likely to “just work” in Fedora.
There are a number of technical differences between the two, but I think they are fairly trivial.
TBH, if I had to pick one distro and stick with it forever, it would be either Debian or Gentoo. Luckily I don’t have to do that. I can run an arbitrary number of virtual machines and test out whatever I like- or I can do the same thing via multibooting. So can you.
If you are going to work in IT you are definitely going to need to know them both; they are ubiquitous.

dabbler's avatar

Frankly I went with Fedora on this box because Ubuntu did not find all my hardware and Fedora did.
It took less time to try another distro than it would have to get whatever I was going to need to make ubuntu work.
I have an ancient laptop that has puppy linux on it for the same reason. The hardware discovery in puppy linux is phenomenal and the rest of it was adequate for what I wanted to do on that laptop.

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