Chapter 1. An Overview of Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

In This Chapter

  • Introducing Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • What is Linux?

  • Linux's roots in UNIX

  • Common Linux features

  • Primary advantages of Linux

  • What is Fedora?

  • Why choose Fedora?

  • The culture of free software

Linux was a phenomenon waiting to happen. The computer industry suffered from a rift. In the 1980s and 1990s, people had to choose between inexpensive, market-driven PC operating systems from Microsoft and expensive, technology-driven operating systems such as UNIX. Free software was being created all over the world, but lacked a common platform to rally around. Linux has become that common platform.

For several years, Red Hat Linux was the most popular commercial distribution of Linux. In 2003, Red Hat, Inc. changed the name of its distribution from Red Hat Linux to Fedora Core (later changing the name to simply Fedora) and moved its commercial efforts toward its Red Hat Enterprise Linux products. It then set up Fedora to be:

  • Sponsored by Red Hat

  • Supported by the Linux community

  • Inclusive of high-quality, cutting-edge open source technology

  • A proving ground for software slated for commercial Red Hat deployment and support

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, on the other hand, became the basis for Red Hat's fully supported product line, geared toward big companies with the need to set up and manage many Linux systems. After taking its software through about a year or two of Fedora releases (about once every six to nine months), a new ...

Get Fedora® 11 and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® Bible now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.