Red Hat website should rewrite their relationship with Fedora

When one visits Red Hat website to view the relationship with Fedora it says:

Red Hat is the project’s primary sponsor, but thousands of developers—unaffiliated with Red Hat—contribute to the Fedora project, making it the ideal testing ground for features that eventually get incorporated into Red Hat Enterprise Linux

While in Fedora docs, it is just perfect, it shows that Fedora is not an “ideal testing ground”, but just forked or branched for a new version of Red Hat. I am not going to quote the Fedora docs page, since it will have a lot of paragraphs.

The reason I created this topic, is the clear evidence that Fedora is secure and reliable, from the choice that Amazon is now using it as Amazon Linux, and also this video from Fedora’s Youtube Channel that Fedora Server is being used at an University. (I may be mistaken, but that is what I understood from the professor speaking about the importance to revitalize the Fedora Server SIG, since english is not my native language.)

I am not trying to create any kind of flamewar or such things. But I believe that Fedora Docs has a better approach on what Fedora is about, than Red Hat page just saying Fedora is a testing distro.

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Disclaimer: I work in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux business unit.

That said… I don’t believe the two statements are contradictory. I believe both stories to be true. AWS has its use case for Fedora Linux. However, for companies that need 10-year reliability and government certifications and such Fedora is not going to be a place they choose to land, except to see what could be coming in future versions of RHEL.

So, I don’t feel the two stances are mutually exclusive.

I am not saying that Fedora is better or can replace Red Hat as enterprise distro. My issue is the word testing as the sole feature or property of Fedora written at the website.

When I read Fedora Docs about the relationship between Red Hat and Fedora, it looks like a sound distro to use for developers, or other purposes, that will rely on local staff. And Red Hat for companies that need RH support. But on RH website it just says that is a testing ground, it can be interpreted as something not ready or just a hobby for enthusiasts.

Lenovo started shipping laptops with Fedora installed, if it was a testing ground, Lenovo would never made that decision.

I think that Red Hat’s site reflects their business strategy, as the target audience for the site is customers, and the main source of income is RHEL.
While RHEL is stable enough to make the SLA model profitable, Fedora releases have a short lifespan and include too many changes.
As such, Red Hat does not provide commercial support for Fedora, and over-promoting it will simply mislead and disperse customers.


I don’t think the issue is in promoting or overpromoting Fedora to customers. I think its in how it contributes to how people view Fedora.

I also don’t think that Fedora should be sold as a solution to anyone from a commercial standpoint. Red Hat sells Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I don’t think there’s disagreement.

However, calling Fedora a testing ground for RHEL contributes to the idea that Fedora is a glorified beta of RHEL. That in turn makes some people think that Fedora is too unstable for them to use on personal hardware (same market that Linux Mint, PopOS, or Ubuntu Server play in). That’s not the image we want for Fedora, I don’t think.

A few days ago I ran a poll asking about this on Mastodon. Wanted to see how many people thought of Fedora as it’s own distro vs just being a test bed for RHEL (and therefore not something you’d want to use because it’s not ready). Most people did view Fedora as a standalone distro, but 22% of respondents felt that Fedora should be viewed as a test bed for RHEL.

There is clearly nuance here, but it would be better if folks though for our relationship more like Debian and Ubuntu, where neither distro is viewed as a simple derivative or beta and both have their unique value propositions. It would also be nice to emphasize the community aspect of the distro so that it doesn’t look like we just do everything Red Hat wants. Personally I think Red Hat’s got good ideas, but this isn’t CentOS Stream.

With all that said, I don’t think this throwaway line will change anything and I don’t think it’s a big deal. Where it would help, assuming it’s even a problem, is to just be conscious of the messaging so that folks aren’t spooked away from Fedora based on stability concerns.

Here is the link to the spot I @rodtes is referring to:

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It’s about communication. A friendlier and nevertheless more accurate formulation would be:

Fedora is the project that develops new software and upcoming system evolution into a stable distribution on a regular basis. Regularly, a release becomes the basis for the next RHEL version.


@pboy That’s it! This is what I was trying to explain, and you said it perfectly well put. Thank you!


Red Hat’s content team has updated the language. I think it’s much better — let me know what you think.


I like that it highlights Fedora as it’s own community distro and that Red Hat is one of several contributors that come together to make happen. This wasn’t the most urgent thing, but I appreciate them adjusting this anyway!


This is much better. For years, there’s been a small but vocal group of people who I’ve heard reductively refer to Fedora as Red Hat effectively exploiting the open source community for free labor in testing/developing RHEL. While there is a very obvious business value to Fedora for Red Hat, as both a RHEL and Fedora user, the experience is quite different from that paradigm (especially since Core and Extras were merged). Fedora is primarily about community and if that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t have things like btrfs by default when RHEL doesn’t even ship btrfs support. To some extent, the profitability downstream from Fedora feels like mostly a happy little byproduct - a happy little byproduct that I’m thankful for in my dayjob where I use RHEL. And I do advise people that if they want to administer RHEL in the future that they run Fedora on their machines today so changes in RHEL hit more gradually and that they might learn Linux more incrementally and deeply by using it daily.

I can also say that the Fedora community is a big part of why I’ve stuck around. It’s users helping users and figuring out how to do cool stuff and be creative together. It’s fundamentally a distro by the users, for the users. As a Fedora user, that is far more valuable to me than what happens downstream.