Just like any Linux distribution, we get a lot of questions. Some are asked regularly, and we try to answer some of these Frequently Asked Questions here. You might also be interested in the FedoraMyths page, which details the facts behind a few common myths about Fedora. If this FAQ doesn't answer your question, refer to the Fedora Resources listed at the bottom of the page.
- 1 Getting Started
- 1.1 Why should I be using Fedora?
- 1.2 Who is Fedora suitable for?
- 1.3 Where can I get Fedora? Can I redistribute Fedora or make derivatives from it?
- 1.4 Is my hardware compatible with Fedora?
- 1.5 How can I install Fedora?
- 1.6 What are the differences between Live CD/DVD images and regular installation images ?
- 2 Using Fedora
- 2.1 How do I configure network connections? How does Fedora support wireless connections?
- 2.2 How do I install new software on Fedora? Is there anything like APT?
- 2.3 How do I keep Fedora systems updated?
- 2.4 Can Fedora update itself automatically?
- 2.5 How can I get notices of new software releases?
- 2.6 Does Yum or Add/Remove programs (PackageKit) support installing from CD/DVD media?
- 2.7 Why doesn't Fedora include support for proprietary formats like MP3 or MPEG?
- 2.8 Why doesn't Fedora include DVD video playback support?
- 2.9 Why doesn't Fedora include proprietary software like Adobe's Acrobat Reader, Adobe's Flash Player, or RealPlayer?
- 2.10 Does Fedora include Java?
- 2.11 What is SELinux, and where can I read more about it?
- 2.12 What is Virtualization? Where can I learn about using it?
- 2.13 When is the next release of Fedora? What is the release schedule?
- 2.14 How long is each release of Fedora maintained?
- 2.15 Where can I find information on Fedora security updates?
- 2.16 What is the errata or updates policy for The Fedora Project?
- 2.17 I have a pre-release version of Fedora. Can I upgrade to the final release?
- 2.18 I have an older Fedora release. Can I upgrade my existing installation?
- 3 Help
- 3.1 Where can I find help?
- 3.2 I hear all of these terms that are unfamiliar, what do they mean?
- 3.3 Where can I report bugs or request features for software packages existing in Fedora?
- 3.4 Where I can learn more about security features and status in Fedora? How do I report a security bug?
- 3.5 I'm experiencing a problem, and I think it might be my hardware. Where should I look?
- 3.6 Where can I request a newer version of a package in Fedora?
- 3.7 I have a question that isn't in this list. Where else can I find help?
- 3.8 Can I donate to the Fedora Project?
- 4 About Fedora
- 4.1 What is Fedora?
- 4.2 What are the objectives of Fedora?
- 4.3 Why a project instead of a product?
- 4.4 What are the primary benefits of this change?
- 4.5 Will Red Hat provide formal technical support for The Fedora Project?
- 4.6 How will The Fedora Project be made available to the public?
- 4.7 Will Fedora be sold in retail?
- 4.8 What is the difference between "Fedora distribution", "The Fedora Project", and "Fedora"?
- 4.9 Whom can I contact in the individual Fedora sub-projects?
- 4.10 How is the Fedora Project organized and governed?
- 4.11 What kind of project management method does each Fedora sub-project use?
- 4.12 Does the Fedora Project assign tasks to contributors, or do the contributors decide what to do?
- 4.13 Is there a partnership program between schools or non-profits and Fedora?
- 4.14 Is there a partnership program between LUGs and Fedora?
- 4.15 Can schools and non-profits reference the "Fedora Project" name and other Fedora marks if they are interacting with the Fedora community?
- 4.16 Is there a certification program for third-party applications running on Fedora?
- 4.17 Is there a certification program for hardware that works with Fedora?
- 4.18 Is the Fedora Project independent of Red Hat, Inc.?
- 4.19 What is the difference between Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ?
- 5 For Fedora Contributors
- 5.1 Why should I help?
- 5.2 I'm interested in contributing to Fedora, where can I get started?
- 5.3 What are some interesting new project ideas that are important to Fedora?
- 5.4 How can I package software for Fedora users? Where can I find information for contributing to Fedora Package Collection?
- 5.5 Where can I find information for contributing to the Fedora Documentation Project?
- 6 Where else can I find answers?
Why should I be using Fedora?
You should be using Fedora because it includes the best, latest, and most robust collection of free and open source software available. The Overview details many of Fedora's strengths:
Who is Fedora suitable for?
We target the following broad sets of users:
- Voluntary Linux consumer
- Likely collaborator
- General productivity user
Fore more details, refer to User_base
Where can I get Fedora? Can I redistribute Fedora or make derivatives from it?
You can download, use and redestribute Fedora and we strongly encourage you to do so. The Free and open source licenses (such as the GPL) governing the source code allow you to redistribute or modify Fedora but any use must comply with the Fedora Trademark Guidelines . Details are available at
Is my hardware compatible with Fedora?
Linux is able to support every class of component and peripheral. Fedora includes all of the drivers provided by the projects that are responsible for Linux hardware support. The Fedora installation process automatically detects the supported hardware on your computer.
Some specific models of hardware are not yet supported under Linux, or require proprietary drivers from the manufacturer. If Fedora does not automatically detect a device, you may need to install additional drivers or firmware.
The following websites provide more detailed information on Linux support for various types of hardware:
- Graphics adapters - http://wiki.x.org/wiki/FAQ
- Audio adapters - http://www.alsa-project.org/
- Printers - http://www.linuxprinting.org/
- Digital cameras - http://www.gphoto.org/
- Scanners and imaging devices - http://www.sane-project.org/
- Modems - http://linmodems.org/
- PCMCIA cards - http://prism54.org/newdrivers.html, http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/wiki/index.php/Hardware, http://ralink.rapla.net/, http://zd1211.ath.cx/
The Fedora Release Notes document known issues with specific device models:
For more information on the Fedora hardware policy, refer to the question on hardware certification .
How can I install Fedora?
Fedora provides a very user-friendly installation system, with both graphical and text interfaces. Read the Fedora Installation Guide for step by step details:
What are the differences between Live CD/DVD images and regular installation images ?
- Live images provide a subset of packages available in the regular CD/DVD images. Both connect to the same repository that has all the packages.
- Live image installations do not allow any package selection or upgrade capability since they copy entire the filesystem from media to hard disk or USB disks. After the installation is complete and booted into, packages can be added and removed as desired with PackageKit or yum.
- Live images do not work on i586 architecture and require i686 architecture at minimum
How do I configure network connections? How does Fedora support wireless connections?
By default, Fedora configures the network cards on your computer to automatically obtain the correct network settings with DHCP. If your computer connects to a wired network or DSL router, no further configuration is required.
For other types of connection, you can use Network Manager which is installed and enabled by default in Fedora. This new system provides automatic networking and wireless configuration, as well as an interface for VPN connections. Laptops may switch seamlessly between networks with NetworkManager.
Fedora also provides the system-config-network utility, which allows you to manually configure most networking options. To run system-config-network, choose System > Administration > Network.
Also refer to the Fedora Wireless Guide at docs.fedoraproject.org to learn more about wireless, and its implementation in Fedora.
How do I install new software on Fedora? Is there anything like APT?
yum utility helps you manage the software on your system. The
yum utility accesses Web sites, known as repositories, to download and install the latest versions of software packages. Fedora systems also include a graphical interface to
yum, which appears on the Main Menu under Applications > Add/Remove Software.
Fedora currently includes over 12,000 packages.
Refer to this page for more information on
Apt is also in Fedora repository but not as the default package manager. See the APT page for details:
How do I keep Fedora systems updated?
Fedora includes PackageKit that provides desktop notifications to automatically inform you whenever updates are available. To perform a system update manually on Fedora, select System > Administration > Update System. This utility updates all of your system's software that is provided by
To start a full system update from the command-line, enter the following at the prompt:
su -c 'yum update'
root password when prompted.
Can Fedora update itself automatically?
Yes, although automatic updates may not be appropriate for all systems. Refer to AutoUpdates for more details on whether and how to use this feature on your Fedora system. You can use set the preferences in System > Preferences > System > Software Updates.
How can I get notices of new software releases?
Fedora includes PackageKit to automatically inform you whenever updates are available. To receive notification of new and updated software as it is made available, you may subscribe to either the announcements mailing list, or the RSS feeds:
- Fedora Project package announcements mailing list : https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-package-announce-list
- Fedora Project RSS feeds: http://fedoraproject.org/infofeed/
Other major announcements can be received by subscribing to the Fedora Project announcements mailing list
- Fedora Project announcements mailing list: https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-announce-list
Does Yum or Add/Remove programs (PackageKit) support installing from CD/DVD media?
Support for this is work in progress in PackageKit. Refer to the PackageKit FAQ for more details. For using media as a yum repository, refer to http://www.city-fan.org/tips/SubsetRepositories.
Why doesn't Fedora include support for proprietary formats like MP3 or MPEG?
The MP3 and MPEG formats are covered by patents, and the patent owners have not released the technologies under licenses which are compatible with Fedora's requirements.
Fedora only supports and includes free and open source software. Technologies under stringent copyright or patent restrictions are not included in Fedora. For more information about multimedia support in Fedora, including more about MP3 and MPEG support, see the Multimedia section:
Why doesn't Fedora include DVD video playback support?
The DVD video formats are covered by patents, and the patent owners have not released the technologies under licenses which are compatible with Fedora's requirements. Many DVD videos also use a copy protection technology, and the code necessary to play those videos may violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a copyright law of the United States.
Fedora only supports and includes free and open source software. Technologies under stringent copyright or patent restrictions are not included in Fedora. For more information about multimedia support in Fedora, including more about DVD video support, see the Multimedia section:
Why doesn't Fedora include proprietary software like Adobe's Acrobat Reader, Adobe's Flash Player, or RealPlayer?
Fedora only supports and includes free and open source software. No proprietary programs are included in Fedora. Many of these programs are available for Fedora, and you are free to obtain them from another vendor. For more information, see the ForbiddenItems page:
Does Fedora include Java?
Yes. Fedora includes OpenJDK which is Sun Java under a free and open source license. Please refer to our JavaFAQ page for information regarding Java and Fedora:
What is SELinux, and where can I read more about it?
Fedora is the first mainstream operating system in the world to provide a Mandatory Access Control (MAC) security system by default, using the SELinux framework. The SELinux configuration in Fedora provides enhanced security by restricting the privileges of processes running on a Fedora system. These restrictions drastically reduce the impact of security vulnerabilities, since services have only limited access to the rest of the system. SELinux in Fedora also has a 'strict' policy, which is useful for very security-sensitive environments. There are other security systems enabled through the SELinux framework, such as MLS, MCS and RBAC.
Refer to the following document for more information on the SELinux implementation in Fedora:
What is Virtualization? Where can I learn about using it?
Fedora includes extensive support for virtualization. This enables multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on the same machine with little reduction in overall performance. Each operating system is allocated some of the resources of the host computer. Administrators may also move a running operating system between machines without disrupting or shutting down services.
The Virtualization page can help you get started.
When is the next release of Fedora? What is the release schedule?
See the Fedora Project Releases Schedule page.
How long is each release of Fedora maintained?
Fedora Project maintains any particular release of Fedora for a month after two subsequent releases. The Fedora release lifecycle is explained in more detail:
Where can I find information on Fedora security updates?
See Fedora Security Advisories page.
What is the errata or updates policy for The Fedora Project?
Security updates, bugfix updates, and new feature updates will all be available, through Red Hat and third parties. Updates may be staged (first made available for public qualification, then later for general consumption) when appropriate. In drastic cases, we may remove a package from The Fedora Project if we judge that a necessary security update is too problematic/disruptive to the larger goals of the project. Availability of updates should not be misconstrued as support for anything other than continued development and innovation of the code base. Some updates that are too disruptive to include in a general release will be made available only in the development branch and included in the subsequent general release. Merely continuing to update won't lead to a next release and you need to explicitly do a distribution upgrade if desired. Updates are available for every release for the period denoted in the LifeCycle page.
Red Hat will not be providing an SLA (Service Level Agreement) for resolution times for updates for The Fedora Project. Security updates will take priority. For packages maintained by external parties, Red Hat may respond to security holes by deprecating packages if the external maintainers do not provide updates in a reasonable time. Users who want support, or maintenance according to an SLA, may purchase the appropriate Red Hat Enterprise Linux product for their use.
I have a pre-release version of Fedora. Can I upgrade to the final release?
Yes. Refer to Upgrading from pre-release to final for details.
I have an older Fedora release. Can I upgrade my existing installation?
Yes. For more information on upgrading options, refer to the DistributionUpgrades page:
Where can I find help?
You can find documentation and get help through forums, IRC, or mailing lists from others in the Fedora community. See the Communicate page for more information:
Please do not contact Fedora developers directly, or use the special developer channels, for end-user support. The developers are very busy writing and maintaining Fedora software and do not have much spare time for these issues.
I hear all of these terms that are unfamiliar, what do they mean?
For definitions to many of the most common terms, refer to the Glossary .
Where can I report bugs or request features for software packages existing in Fedora?
Refer to the BugsAndFeatureRequests page for guidance on this.
Where I can learn more about security features and status in Fedora? How do I report a security bug?
Refer to the Security page for all of this information.
I'm experiencing a problem, and I think it might be my hardware. Where should I look?
Check the HardwareProblems page before posting bugs that might be known hardware problems.
Where can I request a newer version of a package in Fedora?
File a request in http://bugzilla.redhat.com against the particular package you would like to have a update. Providing more details on why you want that particular update would be useful information for the package maintainers.
I have a question that isn't in this list. Where else can I find help?
See the links for Fedora Resources at the bottom of this page.
Can I donate to the Fedora Project?
Yes, you can donate your time to Fedora Project by contributing to Fedora, or to free and open source software in general. You can also donate money but that requires a bit more creativity! Refer to Contribute for more details.
What is Fedora?
Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is open and anyone is welcome to join. The Fedora Project is out front for you, leading the advancement of free, open software and content.
Refer also to the Overview page.
What are the objectives of Fedora?
Why a project instead of a product?
A global steering committee at Red Hat decided that Red Hat Linux was suffering from too many compromises as a retail product, and that the company should redirect efforts toward creating a community-based project. Rather than being subject to retail product delivery schedules, Fedora is released on schedules set by a decision-making process that is open, and influenced by the community.
What are the primary benefits of this change?
Changing the product to a project will:
- Ensure that users can get the latest bits as quickly as possible.
- Create new opportunities for developers and users to participate in The Fedora Project development by opening up the full development process for anyone to see and join if they'd like.
- Allow us to use The Fedora Project to develop and mature the latest, greatest technologies.
- Speed up the development process, taking better advantage of the inherent strengths of the open source model.
Will Red Hat provide formal technical support for The Fedora Project?
No, no formal Web or phone support for The Fedora Project will be available from Red Hat. Red Hat's supported product line will be based in part on a recent release of Fedora, and our development will be done externally as part of The Fedora Project as much as possible.
How will The Fedora Project be made available to the public?
Fedora releases will be available as ISO images for both CDs and DVDs, and will also be available through other channels such as third-party online sales of physical media; distribution at Linux User Groups, included in magazines and in books, and maybe even handed out at trade shows. The bits may be actively pushed into content sharing networks such as BitTorrent. (Not all mechanisms will be used for each release, except that ISOs will be freely available for each release.)
Will Fedora be sold in retail?
Fedora will not be sold through the retail channel as a shrinkwrapped box. There is no list price for Fedora. The rapid development pace we expect for Fedora doesn't suit retail distribution — it is a lot of work to get a box product in and out of the channel, and retail isn't set up to efficiently handle software that is updated as often as every six months. Also, the creation of packaging and other materials that are necessary for retail significantly slows down the time to market, which means that users can't get the freshest bits when they are still truly fresh. Further information on Red Hat's retail product line is available at the Red Hat website.
What is the difference between "Fedora distribution", "The Fedora Project", and "Fedora"?
The Fedora Project is a collection of sub-projects. The Fedora distribution is the central project, which aims to provide a platform with the best in free and open source software. Fedora generally refers to the Fedora Project as a whole, and is sometimes used to refer to Fedora or a system running a collection of software from the Fedora Project.
Whom can I contact in the individual Fedora sub-projects?
Try the project's mailing list first, which gives the project leads and other community members the chance to help you. You can find information for the various projects on the Communicate page.
How is the Fedora Project organized and governed?
The Fedora Project is managed by a board of community members and Red Hat employees, with Red Hat providing significant funding and other services such as bandwidth and hosting, broad direction, engineering, and marketing.
The Fedora Project is a collection of many smaller projects , working together to produce the platform and build the supporting community. These different sub-projects are independent of one another, but work together to achieve common goals and coordinate efforts.
Each of the sub-projects has leads or a Steering Committee to organize and guide that project's development. The Fedora Project operates as a meritocracy , where responsibility and power are granted based upon ability and effort. The people who lead Fedora are selected because they have proven they are willing and able to do so.
What kind of project management method does each Fedora sub-project use?
Each project has either leads or a Steering Committee to guide it. Individual contributors are given a great deal of freedom to work on whatever they choose, but they are asked to follow the guidance from the project's committee for processes and approval for new initiatives.
Like other responsibilities in the Fedora Project, committee membership is based largely upon merit, but all voices are welcome, and new ideas and opinions will be given due attention. Innovating and leading new ideas is a great way to earn recognition within the community.
Contributors can join committee members in regular IRC meetings. The meetings are open, and minutes are made publicly available and usually posted to the appropriate mailing list. Raw IRC logs are also sometimes available.
Most sub-projects keep a schedule of tasks on this wiki. Check the Projects page for links to individual sub-project pages. From those individual pages, you can find all of the available information for that project.
Does the Fedora Project assign tasks to contributors, or do the contributors decide what to do?
Interested volunteers are encouraged to take up the tasks they would like to contribute towards. You can avoid redundant tasks by posting to the relevant project list and coordinating with other interested community members. If you're not sure where you want to contribute, see the join page for different areas that can use your help. The Fedora Mentors project can guide you if you need further help.
Is there a partnership program between schools or non-profits and Fedora?
Not at present. If you have any ideas or suggestions to create such a program, please bring it to the attention of Fedora Marketing . Interested schools and non-profits are welcome to join us for discussions.
Is there a partnership program between LUGs and Fedora?
We attempt to work with Linux User Groups in whatever ways we can. Our list of LUG contacts is on our LinuxUserGroups page. If you would like to represent your LUG, please add your LUG to that list. We also encourage our Ambassadors to engage their local LUGs.
Can schools and non-profits reference the "Fedora Project" name and other Fedora marks if they are interacting with the Fedora community?
Yes, as long as they make it clear whether or not they are representing the Project. If they would like to represent the Project, they can approach and coordinate with the Fedora Marketing team. This and other uses of Fedora marks are subject to the terms of the Trademark Guidelines .
Is there a certification program for third-party applications running on Fedora?
No. The Fedora Project is dedicated to providing the best in free and open source software. Fedora leads in open solutions, and is developed with a rapid release cycle. Fedora Package Collection allows a vast array of additional Free and open source solutions to be contributed by the community and maintained for Fedora. Beyond these projects, the Fedora Project does not certify any third-party applications.
Formal ISV certification is available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which shares many of Fedora's features, but is provided on a longer release cycle and is commercially supported for 7 years.
Is there a certification program for hardware that works with Fedora?
Fedora runs on a large variety of hardware, and the list of working hardware is constantly growing larger. Because Fedora improvements occur very rapidly and consistently, including hardware support, a Hardware Compatibility List was deemed too time-consuming and not worthwhile. Alternative methods of tracking working hardware have been suggested, but the consensus is that manually maintaining a complete list is unfeasible.
We are collecting hardware information directly from the users anonymously in a opt-in method, through the smolt project. We are always trying to find ways to improve Fedora's hardware support, and welcome constructive feedback.
A compatibility list is maintained for Red Hat Enterprise Linux at http://bugzilla.redhat.com/hcl. It will closely parallel Fedora's compatibility.
Is the Fedora Project independent of Red Hat, Inc.?
The Fedora Project is a community project, separate from Red Hat, but Red Hat sponsors the Fedora Project and provides a great deal of valuable management and resources to the Fedora Project. Red Hat uses the material that the Fedora Project produces to develop its enterprise platform offerings. Red Hat has a strong interest in Fedora, and the success of the Fedora Project has been thanks to the great contributions of Red Hat.
What is the difference between Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ?
Fedora has the latest and greatest software and new releases every six months. Fedora is the upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Red Hat Enterprise Linux has a conservative release and update cycle and is commercially supported by Red Hat.
Refer to Red Hat Enterprise Linux for more details.
For Fedora Contributors
Why should I help?
Your name in lights, an online CV, and maybe a trip to a FUDCon.
First, contribute to Fedora and you may get your name in the distribution. Hey, fair is fair.
Second, if you're a Fedora contributor, you don't need a fancy resume; you can just tell potential employers to 'Google' your name.
Third, top Fedora contributors can receive travel stipends to attend the Fedora Users and Developers Conference nearest them. You will have the opportunity to meet some of the giants of the open source movement in person, as their peers and equals.
And last, you'd be playing with this stuff anyway. Spend your time doing stuff that you will enjoy and that others will use. What more incentive do you need? Join us.
I'm interested in contributing to Fedora, where can I get started?
What are some interesting new project ideas that are important to Fedora?
See the FedoraBounties page for project ideas important to Fedora.
How can I package software for Fedora users? Where can I find information for contributing to Fedora Package Collection?
The Package Maintainers category will point you to all kinds of help.
Where can I find information for contributing to the Fedora Documentation Project?
Some good links for help can be found on the DocsProject page.
Where else can I find answers?
- Release Notes - You should always read the release notes for the versions of Fedora you use.
- Red Hat's Bugzilla - Search for information about your problem here
- Fedora Documentation - Several helpful documents are published here.
- Red Hat Magazine - Red Hat online magazine is a free resource that provides various informative articles on Fedora.
- See Fedora Community Websites for more Fedora Resources.