Return to Level1Techs.com

Why Fedora Wendell? (not a flame starter)

This is a general question for Wendell or even other users that have chosen Fedora as their Linux distribution for daily use. Why?

I have not used RedHat/Fedora for many years. I always had issues with RPM and yum with rpm-based distributions. After falling for Debian/Ubuntu and playing with Gentoo over the last decade, I have found myself simply enjoying the somewhat simple nature of Arch and Arch-based distros. While I believe desktop and software choices matter to individuals, the underlying architecture matters to me (my desktop choice varies from month to month, favorites being Mate and Gnome).

So… basic question why are Fedora users using it over the more “popular” Ubuntu, Arch, Debian distros?

2 Likes

I think its because the desktop/workstation of choice of the most successful open source business ever. They have the budget to spend and improve stuff.

5 Likes

Fedora is a great distro and one of my personal favorites. It provides a more “bleeding-edge” experience than most Debian/Ubuntu based distros while maintaining stability. I’ve actually found many packages to be updated just as quickly as Arch.
As @regulareel mentioned it’s aimed at a workstation experience. Many of the included package decisions are based on this e.g. including Golang by default, etc. In addition to this you get flatpak support out of the box and a ~six month release schedule. Also, Fedora moved away from Yum in favor of DNF, which improved speed amongst other things a while ago.

Edit: Welcome to the forum!

6 Likes

dnf isnt so bad. I like fedora for its approach to being up to date but not running the ragged edge as arch does. Debian itself gets on my nerves because of how they keep creating solutions looking for a problem… Ubuntu pushing snap is getting pretty old quickly. mint is alright, especially since they remove snap entirely from the ubuntu base. I wonder how long we have until ubuntu forces mint to ditch it as a base and go full debian.

I think SUSE is the only other thing in the space that kinda fits in that same niche, but I cant really comment on it since I’ve never used it long term.

If you havent used fedora in a while, I’d recommend trying it out again. Theres a good bit to like about it.

3 Likes

Because it’s basically running upstream.

1 Like

My thoughts are the same as LinuxForYou: It’s reasonably up to date on the things I want, without being unstable. For whatever reason it strikes a fantastic balance of the two.

I’m old and my time and mental space is a lot more limited now. I know arch works great for a lot of people and can get fixed pretty easily, but I don’t want to add that to my already long list of shit to do or troubleshoot.

Manjaro has been my Arch lite choice, I have found it requires very little maintenance.

2 Likes

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried Fedora. But I know when I had my GTX 970 it was the best distro in terms of like the drivers working properly and stuff.

With the Ubuntu types I always had to do the nomodeset thing and all that and it was just too much of a process for me to be bothered by.

With Manjaro the updates would break it and I’d reboot to a black screen.

Fedora was the “it just works” distro.

3 Likes

Back in the day (Redhat 5.0, not RHEL 5.0) I would somehow always manage to hose up the rpm database. This was frustrating and destructive, so I gave up on Red Hat, Fedora and any rpm-based distro.

But about 2 or 3 years ago, I decided to give Fedora another try because I was tired of the old software delivered by Debian & Ubuntu. And so far the experience has been pretty positive, with no bad reminders of rpm database corruption at all.

Some things have not been stable, the Cinnamon desktop environment and Optimus quirkiness in particular. But otherwise it’s been a pretty smooth experience.

Wendell appears to use lots of distros in different videos: Fedora, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS (mainly those), he used Arch once or twice and I think he showed off Manjaro?

In any case, here’s my ramble. I only use Fedora on my work laptop because I got stuck with it. Long story short, Arch borked completely because of a hardware failure, but wouldn’t start even on other laptops, so I tested my favorite, Void, couldn’t get something to run, managed to make it run on Fedora first (after a few tries with both Void and Fedora), then since it was working, I had to go back to work and didn’t try the same thing on Void further.

From using both Ubuntu and Fedora long-term on my work laptop(s), I must say, Fedora did not annoy me quite as much as Ubuntu or Manjaro (this one on my home PC, nuked it I think more than a year ago, I’m not the kind of guy to jump distros just because I really like them, only if the distro I am using is really pissing me off). Fedora just worked. I did not have systemd timeout issues when rebooting or shutting down, like I did on the aforementioned 2 (and neither on CentOS for that matter). Software availability was ok, no issues there, software stack stability was great! Ubuntu and Manjaro had times when Xorg and Wayland froze (and for the former, quite often). I did had some issues with Arch, but I can’t blame it too much, because I think it may be hardware failure there too (although I did have systemd long timeouts from time to time and it didn’t help that I was rebooting at most every 3 days after every update).

So, although not my first choice, I can vouch for Fedora for stability (heck, it even worked on the same laptop with the hardware failure where Arch borked itself). I can keep talking about my crashes experience with the above mentioned OSes, but that’s not the topic of the day. I will however honorary mention Void and Alpine, which I feel are distros that do deserve more attention. Alpine is smaller and can be made to run from RAM, but doesn’t have as much software availability (but what it has is rock solid), while Void has a lot of software in the main repo, is simple enough and very lightweight, also very stable. Void is rolling-release, but it is not bleeding-edge like Arch. Void also gives you the freedom to update whenever you want (like Fedora, Debian, etc.), here’s a live update of a 2 yo installation (try doing that with Arch): Michael Was Here
While Void doesn’t have the latest and greatest (ie not bleeding edge), it does update its packages quite often and you get pretty much the latest stuff, just not as soon as commit has been hit on github.

Just to be clear, I’m not evangelizing for any distro, the above and below are just my opinions about software and why I use or not use said software. Except for Fedora on my work laptop (which I won’t be using anymore for long), I primarily use Void (main PC, raspberry pis and even on my home server VMs) and I’m also trying to get acquainted with OpenBSD, because some of the stuff I use came from it, like doas and oksh, with LibreSSL being removed from Void due to lack of adoption (so far, I like OpenBSD).

For me, again, stability, reliability, software availability are the main driving points. There is also the fact that I got some beef with Ubuntu (mainly because of stability, but again, I’m not just switching unless it pissed me off, I still got it on 1 VM and 1 RPi 4), I get annoyed by Arch’s constant updating and Manjaro was pretty unstable for me if I had a long uptime (I am not sure, I can’t remember, if I had longer than 3 weeks uptime on it without it crashing). Plus I was even more annoyed by Manjaro’s 2+ GB of updates every week or 2 weeks, than I was annoyed by Arch’s constant updates.

The same things said about Fedora also apply to Void, but it gets bonus points from me for being simpler (I like simplicity), more portable and because it offers more choice than Fedora (like musl variants instead of glibc, but that’s probably a superficial choice, but choice nonetheless), which is why it is my main distro of choice. Still, I suggest you give Fedora a spin again, you probably won’t be too disappointed. If you also got interested in Void or Alpine, you may also try those, but again, I’m not evangelizing and since you asked about Fedora, that’s all I can suggest.

I use Windows 10 for gaming, MacOS for my work, and linux for coding. I am still not sold on the Snap/Flatpak “solution” for package delivery. Personally I do not understand why creating an RPM or DEB package is so “hard” that we had to find the “solution” of Snap/Flatpak. Are you forced to use Flatpak on Fedora for most updated stable packages or are the repository RPMs the same stable versions? (and thank you for not turning this into a flame war – I appreciate that on this forum)

I used RedHat 3 way back when (gawd am I old) and liked it well enough until I found Debian. I kept Debian when I found Gentoo for my compiling lines of code visual addiction. But the stability factor in Gentoo is a bit irritating. I am simply looking for a distro that can be stable and current to use as my main desktop, turning my Windows 10 and MacOS installations into VMs to be spun up when needed. If I can ever get Cisco Jabber SIP to work in linux or find a suitable alternative that can connect with my company’s network, I may just dump MacOS entirely for work. (That is a whole other story about hardware selection in my company that is unsatisfactory.)

Ubuntu has been annoying me, somehow replacing SnapD when I upgrade. Also Unity/Gnome is a bit annoying out of the box from a personal aesthetic view. Arch is a pain in the buttocks for getting set up, which results in my using Manjaro for my Arch fix. I don’t know really what I want other than Mate for a desktop and stability. Seems Fedora may be worth a review.

1 Like

@mpsii - For server use I’ve had Debian testing work well, switching to, or installing testing gets you basically a rolling release Debian.

How it works is that for most package maintenance, version bumping and building in any distro is done automatically, and Debian is no exception. When upstream checks in changes to rev a new version, Debian puts it in unstable within 24h typically. There spends 5 days there for various enthusiasts running unattended upgrades on unstable to try out and scream, and then it moves to testing. I’ve never [successfully] used a Debian stable release in the last 20years - it was always too old.

I don’t have recent experience with newer Fedora, Gentoo, Suse . I’ve mostly been using Arch and Debian (testing).

@mpsii - btw, if you do mostly backend/web development (not qt/gtk/…), you may want to look at code-server.

1 Like

Blockquote
if you do mostly backend/web development (not qt/gtk/…), you may want to look at code-server
Blockquote

Thanks for the tip on code-server. I was unaware of that item. Does it save the files locally or on the server where it is running?

Nope, it’s entirely optional.

Arguing about operating systems is for noobs :wink:

Only the truly ascended sysadmin uses anything and everything.

2 Likes

code-server - It’s basically a vscode instance running remotely and serving its whole UI over http/https/websockets as a web app. (You’d open it in a browser and get vscode - regardless of the client OS, if you move it to window mode all your keyboard shortcuts work too).

That way you get all the benefits of doing Linux development on a large powerful server, but you can do it with a keyboard/mouse/monitor attached to e.g. your gaming or work machine where you have things setup for ergonomic comfort.

2 Likes

I run visual studio code on my laptop running windows 10 where I have access to epic games and my free of cost grand theft auto v.

I have an old dell optiplex with an i3-2100, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB Samsung Evo 860 running fedora. With dnf automatic, I don’t have to worry about keeping my “server” updated. The only pain point has been the Realtek Ethernet which for some reason loses connection for some reason… but a reboot “fixes” my problem.

Anyways, the reason I replied is I can connect visual studio code on my laptop running windows 10 to ssh into my desktop and write my code there. It is pretty good and would probably be even better had I had the foresight to buy a laptop with an Ethernet port.

You have node version manager for node, the same one we know and love from macOS. dot net is available out of the box with fedora now. It is great!

Another perk about Linux or Mac OS for writing code is gpg. you can get that verified check mark on GitHub for signing your commits.

2 Likes

I will only speak on Flatpaks because it’s what I know, package and use…

Flatpaks came out of trying to accommodate a couple of ideas and morphed from there.
1.What we wanted = Sandboxed applications for use in systems like CoreOS, Fedora Silverblue and other atomic OS running from a OS-Tree.
2. Sandboxed applications to accomadate “Finished Software” and “Legacy Software” so you can keep libraries that have been deprecated, out of development without harming the rest of the system with conflicts of libs etc.
3. Universal package management = Speaks for itself. Work on any distro running flatpak.
4. SECURITY !!! = plays nice with SELinux and can run like policycoreutils-sandbox abstracting the app from the system entirely.

You are not forced to use flatpak on fedora, although it is encouraged and more and more applications are packaging this way, eventually i think it will be the preferred way, and in my opinion, that’s Ok !

Why is it Ok if it’s eventually the preferred way to package applications? many of the reasons i mentioned above will only help you the user/consumer have applications that are just safer to use, easier to update, and have overall less conflicts with a “cutting edge” distro.

There are more things to cover on flatpak. How the environments interact/restrict access to the underlying OS and directories, terminals, d-bus and now AUDIO and VIDEO with Pipewire and Wayland !!!

I’d say 85%-99% of what flatpak does can be done by statically compiling your applications, or just shipping libraries as .so’s with your application. Having a portable environment, a single-file application that just runs on most Linux distros can be easily archived in other ways.
I don’t think flatpak will replace regular package managers, at least not for most packages. I have about 3500 packages installed, very few of them user-facing in a way where flatpak makes sense(2000+ are just libraries).

And remember kids, never download untrusted binaries, even if they’re a flatpak, and those are sometimes called “secure”.

I switched from Ubuntu to Fedora when a manager a previous company required Fedora as the distro installed on our workstations. I have systems with both, I’d say I’m 60/40 Fedora/Ubuntu system usage.

Ubuntu and Fedora are both really solid distros though. Actually, Ubuntu is pretty cool now. I noticed on the new 20.04 release it uses yaml files as configs for it’s network configs. And uses cloud-init out the gate.

Super cool.

Reliability and polish while still being on the forefront of development. I’m a mostly casual user, so I really appreciate a machine that I can trust to not fuck things up so much even as I crave all the shinies.

I, for one, always use a lot of extensions because I want my desktop to look a certain way and THAT is often unstable especially on an older machine. It annoys me when I need to hard reset my machine while doing work - so Fedora being able to know when the system hangs (usually gnome-shell crash), logging me out, and the just auto-reporting it with ABRT making me lose very little time endeared the distribution to me. It helps that to begin with, it was more stable than PopOS last time I use it (20.04 up to early weeks 20.10).

At the same it has most of the shinies. It has wayland, it has pipewire, it has most of the things that Ubuntu has, if lacking in certain packages that are only offered in .deb like Hypnotix, but they are more keen to try on new things while having it mostly stable most of the time. With it poised to be the distro that will be one of the first major distro to have GNOME 40, which will make me not need a lot of the extensions in the first place, I am pretty much committed to using it up until at least the end of the year on my work laptop.

It’s essentially like the perfect blend of Manjaro and Ubuntu that I can actually use for work and can reasonably expect that nothing is going to fuck up most of the time, and if things fuckup recovery is quick, and that it offers all the shinies I want as a casual user. That’s why I use Fedora.