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Hi, I am new to this forum. I would like to know whats the difference between Fedora and Red Hat since all of them are free. From what I heard, ...
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  1. #1
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    Smile whats the difference between Fedora and RedHat


    Hi,

    I am new to this forum. I would like to know whats the difference between Fedora and Red Hat since all of them are free.

    From what I heard, for Red Hat, you need to pay money for support but not for Fedora. Is this correct?

    Also, I am thinking of building my own server for hosting a web sites. what could be the best linux distribution to use?

    Alot of people said that Red Hat is the right choice for servers.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and Weclome !

    I would like to know whats the difference between Fedora and Red Hat since all of them are free. From what I heard, for Red Hat, you need to pay money for support but not for Fedora. Is this correct?
    Check here.

    Also, I am thinking of building my own server for hosting a web sites. what could be the best linux distribution to use?

    Alot of people said that Red Hat is the right choice for servers.
    You can use any distro. If you want to use RedHat based distro only then CentOS is a best choice.
    Check this Poll on Fav distro for Server. Check the link in my signature too.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    The difference can be up to $2,500(US). Take a look here.

    The biggest difference is that RHEL is built to be stable - it only uses mature packages and keeps away from the 'latest and greatest'. Fedora is supposedly cutting edge, so it embraces these things.

    Red hat is a good choice for servers. You might want to look at CentOS as a community branded version of RHEL with no support. Check the link that casper provided for some ideas for other alternatives.
    Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/

  4. #4
    oz
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    Here's a Red Hat / Fedora article that describe them a bit:

    redhat.com | Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    oz

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    hi ,

    Refined version of fedora is red hat linux with license fees .

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    Quote Originally Posted by still learning View Post
    Hi,

    I am new to this forum. I would like to know whats the difference between Fedora and Red Hat since all of them are free.
    DISCLAIMER: I work for Red Hat. I loved Red Hat's technology and their commitment to the community long before I became an employee, though.

    RHEL is a distribution targeted at commercial users. It is relatively slow moving, with a support lifespan of 7 years and a release cycle of about two years between releases. That's seven years of kernel API/ABI compatibility, so it makes it much easier for third party software vendors to certify their software with it. Also, you get a distro from Red Hat which is hardened, tested, updated and new software features are backported to it for much of that seven year lifecycle. RHEL is boring in exactly the way that corporate users want their software to be boring. Red Hat offers a number of subscription levels. A subscription entitles a user to bug fixes, product enhancements and bug fixes, product upgrades (for free - when a new version of RHEL comes out, you just download the install CD images and go to town, no need to pay for new versions) and unlimited instances of technical support. That support can range from web only with a 2-day response time guarantee to 24x7 support with a 4 hour response time guarantee. It is strictly a matter of what your needs are.

    Fedora is a community driven, Red Hat sponsored distribution that is very much out on the bleeding edge. It has a very rapid life cycle (about 6 months between releases) and really frequent updates - typically a few updates every day, and frequent kernel upgrades during the life cycle of the release. Fedora is insanely cool for everyone from Linux newbies to experts - as long as they don't mind keeping up with rapid change. Most corporate environments do not want rapid change, so Fedora is not usually the best choice for enterprise computing. Not because of quality, just the rate of change.

    Both RHEL and Fedora are Free Software - that is, the source is freely available. You can get an eval version of RHEL for no cost (here) and the source is at ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/enterprise/, but you don't get access to the abovementioned updates after 30 days. Hey - we keep the doors open by selling support. If you want commercial support, I think it's reasonable that it be paid for. My wife and I have this funny need to put food on the table for our daughters, you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by still learning View Post
    From what I heard, for Red Hat, you need to pay money for support but not for Fedora. Is this correct?
    You pay for support, updates, etc. as described above. But be aware that Red Hat also employs a ton of the key developers of the Linux kernel, the Samba team, the gcc and glibc projects and the like. So you're not just paying some faceless corporation, you're making it possible for Red Hat to pay developers to contribute back to the Linux and F/OSS communities. You might be interested to know that we do pretty much all of our development in the Fedora world, which means that the vast majority of the features that we develop are freely given to the community and to upstream projects like the kernel and Samba and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by still learning View Post
    Also, I am thinking of building my own server for hosting a web sites. what could be the best linux distribution to use?
    Well, I am obviously biased - I have loved Red Hat technologies for many many years, which is why I came to work at Red Hat. I would say that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the best choice. You can get it for as little as $349 (see https://www.redhat.com/wapps/store/catalog.html), which is less than a dollar per day over the year long subscription.

    Quote Originally Posted by still learning View Post
    Alot of people said that Red Hat is the right choice for servers.
    I would tend to agree not just for technical reasons but also for community reasons. Red Hat does more for the community than any other distribution (see this paper I wrote and Who wrote 2.6.20? [LWN.net] - specifically the section titled "Who paid them" for details). So buying from Red Hat is a great way to put resources back into the Linux community.

    Hope this is helpful. As I said, I am obviously biased, but I truly believe that RHEL is the best distro on the market for corporate users and Fedora is the best distro in the world otherwise.

    Warm regards,
    Thomas Cameron
    tcameron at redhat dot com

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    Post

    First, Thank you all for the reply. Special thanks for the Admin for not blocking my thread

    - I won't do it again.

    I did some reading in the given links and it seems there is no silver bullet in answering the question.

    The reason behind asking this question is that I will install the distrbution chosen and start learning it. It would take a while to learn all things in one distrbution and I tried to shorten the time to choose the best distribution for servers.

    I think we all agree that realibility, seucirty, stability and having a free updates are the most important factors for servers.

    I limited my choices in: CentOS, Debian and OpenBSD.

    I will do my best to read in the forum about these three.

    For those who used different server distributions from the ones mentioned here, are these distributions are totally different. Or if u learn one, u can manage with another?

    Cheers

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    In the spirit of disclosure, I should note I've met thomascameron, actually had an interview with his team this last week.. He did a great job pointing out the differences. I should also note I'm familiar with one of the guys associated with the CentOS project.

    The reason behind asking this question is that I will install the distrbution chosen and start learning it. It would take a while to learn all things in one distrbution and I tried to shorten the time to choose the best distribution for servers.
    This puts a bit of a different light on the issue. What is your purpose for learning it? Is it for the purpose of enhancing your career, is it part of your educational path (CS major?), or are you just wanting to learn about operating systems in general?

    I think we all agree that realibility, seucirty, stability and having a free updates are the most important factors for servers.
    For the most part I'll agree with you, if I'm understanding your context correctly. It sounds like you want to learn linux and or unix, and since you're talking about realibility, security, stability and updates I'll assume you're talking about learning Systems Administration. Since you're stated purpose is to learn, I'll share some experience with you. The primary goal of systems administration is to guarentee the integrity, confidentiality and availability of the systems for which you are responsible. Now, the "free updates" part is where I have some issues. If you are running your server for commercial purposes, then "free updates" may not matter so much to you as the stability you get with paid support for an enterprise stable OS.

    I limited my choices in: CentOS, Debian and OpenBSD.

    For those who used different server distributions from the ones mentioned here, are these distributions are totally different. Or if u learn one, u can manage with another?
    Since I addressed a couple issues above, I'll try to bring it together to get you an answer:

    I've used all the above, and also RHEL4 and RHEL5 as a subscription user. You initially mentioned running some websites, and you also noted learning was your goal. Since these are not necessarilythe same thing, my answer is going to be different for each.

    If you are going to be running a commercial site hosting server, I personally would recommend RHEL. Since you are still in the learning process, having support a phone call/trouble ticket away can be the difference between happy paying customers and eventually selling your server on eBay.

    That said, it sounds like you're primary goal is to do some learning. With that in mind, as I said, I've used the OS's you named above, I've used CentOS, ubuntu which is a debian based distro, and OpenBSD. It should be noted these are all very different from each other, with the OpenBSD being the most dissimilar.

    OpenBSD is not a linux. OpenBSD is a UNIX variant. I happen to love it. It is rock solid with a heavy emphasis on security and stability. I have used it for many a firewall. I do not however recommend it for learning purposes, at least not initially.

    That takes us to CentOS or debian. Personally, I used ubuntu every day on the desktop. It's so far my favorite for a Linux based desktop. The multimedia is fairly painless. I had tried Fedora before I moved to ubuntu and found it not quite as multimedia friendly, which for my desktop was a big deal. Before the Fedora folks flame me, please note this may be better now. But regardless, I don't recommend either for learning purposes for a server.

    Debian may be a valid choice, there are quite a few sites using it, and I understand it to be a solid distro. But I don't recommend it either, it just doesn't have the commercial exposure that RHEL does.

    Which brings us to CentOS.

    I've used CentOS both at home and commercially. CentOS is essentially RHEL with the RH proprietary/copyrighted bits removed. Learning to use CentOS is nice for several reasons. Since it is so close to RHEL, you're essentially learning a commercial Linux. CentOS has great community support and some incredibly talent people running the show.

    Now, once you have CentOS installed and up and running, you can do some more experimenting. I have vmware server installed and then installed various other OS into vmware so I can test them. I currently have a OpenBSD firewall, a Solaris 10 x86 and several other OS instances for testing purposes. If you have the disk space this is a great way to learn a lot of different OS's at once. It's very nice to be able to tab between windows and look at the output of a netstat in OpenBSD compared to the output in CentOS. If the server you're running this on has the horsepower to do it, it's pretty cool to have multiple OS's up and running and doing things like automated kickstarts, yum repositories, Solaris jumpstart testing, package building and automated distributions etc.

    That said, and Thomas will probably smack me for mentioning this, but I'd be remiss if I didn't. I mentioned Open Solaris 10 x86 above. This is another excellent OS to learn. It is essentially the same Solaris as the commercial OS. I would do as I mentioned, install CentOS, and then get the free vmware server and install Open Solaris 10, order a 30 day eval of RHEL and install it, install OpenBSD, etc. The possibilities opened up by vmware for the new SA still in the learning process is amazing. Used to be you would need to spend LOTS of $$ to have a testing environment with multiple OS instances, now you can do it for the cost of a single x86 box with some decent horsepower.

    Now. All that said, if you really, REALLY want to dive into learning Linux and doing it from the ground up, here's a couple things I recommend to everyone:

    Go follow the "Linux From Scratch" howto. Even if you don't end up using the distro you build, it is an excellent learning process. There is also a book titled "Securing and Optimizing Linux, the Hacking Solution", it's out of print, but you can still find it on Amazon. It is a GREAT step by step guide to building a Red Hat box from the ground up. Since it's out dated you'd have to adjust a bit as you followed it, but it does an excellent job explaining how to build a secure linux server.

    Welcome to the world of *nix. It's fun country.

    -nd
    Last edited by empereor; 03-06-2008 at 06:21 PM. Reason: added sig

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