Should "Fedora Workstation" name be changed?

Fedora is much better than Ubuntu. Its desktop environment is also great. But ordinary people think that “Fedora is for only servers and it is hard to use”. “Fedora Workstation” sounds something like this. There might be a different appealing name for ordinary people. There are other versions of Fedora. But Fedora Workstation is Fedora’s flagship.

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While it may sound real formal, it does tell you what it is intended to do. At the risk of sounding elitist, I see a workstation as something that is not just for developers and designers, but also for power users. Whereas, general computers and operating systems are for everyone else.

It is good. I recommended this change for marketing purposes. Fedora might be the most used Linux distro for also the desktop users.

This is a target for the next 5 years I guess … That you can download a .rpm package instead of just .deb ones when you want it for your Hardware etc.

It was already ugly when on Websites just was win and mac to download. And now under Linux you mostly find drivers/software tested on Ubuntu.

If I wanted to download Opera, by default I get a deb. If I want a rpm, I have to get it manually, but where is it? You need to google to find it.

Whereas the other major Chromium browsers, namely Chrome, Edge, Brave and Vivaldi make it easy to get RPMs.

Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server are quite self-explanatory names in my opinion.
What is less self-explanatory are Fedora Silverblue and CoreOS.


Personally I agree that “Workstation” says it all, especially when compared to “Server”. But I’ve been using Linux for the longest part of its existence, both personally and professionally. For me there’s no need to change.

For people new to the scene, often without much clue (we can debate about this, but in my experience that really is how it is), I expect that “Workstation” reads more “heavy” and/or “technical” than e.g. “Desktop” (this is an example, not a proposition). It raises questions like “Is my pc or laptop a workstation?”, whereas e.g. “Desktop” is easier to relate to a normal pc or laptop. I can think of more questions that the name “Workstation” can raise for potential new users. And this is often when they move on, maybe to something easier to the ears, or maybe they stick with what they already know.

Technical sounding names used for whatever, not just Linux or Fedora, scare a lot of people away, even by just reading it, and whether consciously or unconsciously. So after having said all of this, I think that having a nice, non-technical sounding name works if you want to attract more Fedora users.

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At the risk of sounding elitist, I see a workstation as something that is not just for developers and designers, but also for power users. Whereas, general computers and operating systems are for everyone else.

This does not really align with our goals of Fedora, I quote: “Fedora is for everyone”. At least this is how I understand our “Guiding Star” strategy for 2028. I am not a native speaker, so maybe it’s because of that, but for me Workstation sounds like something really powerful and also something intended for work, but not for fun (e.g. gaming) and daily stuff.

Also on the website this is written for Workstation: "The leading Linux desktop

Fedora Workstation is a polished, easy to use operating system for laptop and desktop computers, with a complete set of tools for developers and makers of all kinds."

To me it does not sound inclusive, at least when I don’t think that I am a maker of any kind, it’s not for me, which is sad because it is really the best Linux Desktop.

While I am reluctant to oppose anyone in the community from suggesting something, I am also reluctant (and maybe moreso) to just agree because someone makes a statement like the one by the original poster. Fedora Workstation is as much a brand now as it is a name we give it. To make a name change with our core release offering is a marketing disaster, just check on the results of the recent name change of twitter, and it’s result to an actual for profit company. Still I think you quote something from the mission statement that does point to what we already have, which is Fedora in a lot of different flavours, in the form of spins, labs, up and coming release variants (Silverblue etc…) and if that isn’t enough for you, there is an everything install where you can basically build any Fedora version you choose from basic to, well everything if you have the capacity.
Also, I did preface my comment with a “tongue firmly planted in my cheek”, but subtlety is lost when the conversation is not face to face alas.

Can you use Fedora Workstation as a server? Sure, just install the server packages which you need.
Can you use Fedora Server as a desktop? Sure, just install a desktop environment.

And this shows the imbalance between “Workstation” and “Server” names. What our “Workstation” really is is a package selection which provides a default desktop environment. In order to be a workstation, you will have to install whatever work you want to do - it does not even come with a typical development environment, does it?

So, our main offering is not quite named aptly, and this has been discussed in other places, especially in the context of “server/core os/IoT” as well as the creatively named ostree variants.

I do understand that “Workstation” might be a household name, though I doubt that it is outside of Fedora circles. Any renaming should be done taking our whole “landscape” into consideration, and might involve something like “Fedora Desktop Workstation” along the way to “Fedora Linux Desktop”.

Possibly, but it has been for some time, like since fedora core 1, so there is inertia there already from a recognition POV.

This can be said for almost any use case of a PC there is.

Well the future is already being pointed to … server >>> coreos, workstation >>> Silverblue

Not installed but a adequate repository is active. as an example for Python IDE.
And vi, vim & nano etc. is preinstalled :slight_smile:

I think to rename the flagship is not really needed.

What probably could be a compromise is that we name it in hostnamectl:

Instead of

Operating System: Fedora Linux 38 (Workstation Edition)
changing to:
Operating System: Fedora Linux 38 (Gnome Workstation)

So everyone can recognize that it is “Just” with a Gnome Desktop.
And, how knows probably in near future, when we do have a preinstalled Laptop with KDE, also appears as

Operating System: Fedora Linux 38 (KDE Workstation)
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My point was, that it should be easy for newcomers to identify which version of Fedora fits them by reading only the name and the short description (at least for the official versions like Workstation). For someone non technical and totally new to Linux who just want to start they adventure into Linux, it is hard enough to decide between all that versions and spins. Coming from the world of MacOS and Windows Home and Pro, there should be an official versions that’s sounds like an obvious choice to pick. Later on they can pick maybe something else like Fedora Silverblue or others.

This is only how I see it, it’s okay for me if you see it differently and disagree :). I do understand that it’s not easy to change the name, because people who already know it has to adopt and may be confused, but sometimes it’s necessary to change stuff, not for us, but for those who come after us, even when we have the pain :).

In my opinion you cannot compare Twitter changing to X with Fedora Workstation changing to say “Fedora Desktop”, because X does not set any expectations when you read it (at least not for me) and I do not say we should change “Fedora” to something else.

There is, it’s called Fedora Workstation. There is also an official server edition called … Fedora Server, and an official IoT edition not surprisingly called Fedora IoT.

My point was that the name is established. It has gravitas already.

It can be confusing I suppose, especially when you have been accustomed to being spoon fed by the OS provider. Linux is great, it truly is. However, let’s not kid ourselves that it is even the same type of beast as the commercial counterparts. If you are venturing in it you are already dissatisfied/disillusioned with what you are currently using. The multitude of spins and labs are great examples of what you can do with this linux (Fedora). Also, what you have pointed to is a known pain point in the community that needs community volunteers to help fix. There are discussions on this site about how to fix it, and it is being worked on. But this is a community driven project, and volunteers are always welcome to help.

Thats a sage point. If Fedora’s naming convention were to be as simplistic as possible, it’d have to focus on the major defining features (e.g., primary=desktop type, secondary=usage). Of course, this is done with Fedora spins and editions, but if simplified to the maximum level it would produce a flat list of:

Fedora GNOME Desktop
Fedora GNOME Immutable Desktop
Fedora KDE Desktop
Fedora KDE Immutable Desktop
Fedora Sway Desktop
Fedora Sway Immutable Desktop
Fedora i3 Desktop
Fedora XFCE Desktop
Fedora Cinnamon Desktop
Fedora Mate-Compiz Desktop
Fedora LXQT Desktop
Fedora LXDE Desktop
Fedora SOAS Desktop
Fedora Budgie Desktop
Fedora Phosh Mobile
Fedora IoT
Fedora Server
Fedora CoreOS
Fedora Cloud
Fedora Fedora

I’m not sure if such a large list would actually make it easier to navigate, but it does look pretty :slight_smile:

As an aside, I really do like the word “workstation” as it relates to my workflow nicely:
A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk, I have a workstation :wink:


And… if I have a Laptop? :smile:

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Sounds like a job for regular expressions :superhero:

Fedora GNOME (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora GNOME Immutable (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora KDE (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora KDE Immutable (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora Sway (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora Sway Immutable (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora i3 (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora XFCE (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora Cinnamon (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora Mate-Compiz (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora LXQT (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora LXDE (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora SOAS (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora Budgie (Desk|Lap)top
Fedora Phosh Mobile
Fedora IoT
Fedora Server
Fedora CoreOS
Fedora Cloud
Fedora Fedora

The list looks really good :blush:. The only thing I don’t like about it, is that as an newbie I have to know all the Desktop Environments to be able to pick one of them (again only by reading the name).

What I like is Fedora IoT and Fedora Server, it’s really easy to pick what you need. Fedora CoreOS and Fedora Cloud are not so obvious to me.

I do understand that the strength of Linux is also to have a choice and I am not for removing it but to simplify it by providing a “default” choice, I personally use Fedora Silverblue + Sway on my daily job. But as you described to keep the stuff simple I would rather tweak the list like this:

Fedora Desktop
Fedora Desktop (KDE)
Fedora Desktop (Immutable)
Fedora Desktop (Immutable KDE)

I also do think that, sooner or later the immutable versions will be the “default” variants and the “mutable” would be the one that can be chosen if someone prefers them. So later the list will change to:

Fedora Desktop
Fedora Desktop (KDE)
Fedora Desktop (mutable)
Fedora Desktop (mutable KDE)

About the Desktop vs Laptop stuff, it’s funny but Gnome and KDE and others are also called Desktop Environments I am not aware of Laptop Environments and still it works on laptops :laughing:.

Which we already have with Workstation.
Other spins provide alternative desktops but workstation has provided gnome from the beginning.

Fedora Desktop
Fedora Desktop (KDE)
Fedora Desktop (Immutable)
Fedora Desktop (Immutable KDE)

This type of list would actually complicate things since it would imply that instead of using

Fedora Desktop

it should actually be

Fedora Desktop (Gnome)

Fedora Desktop (KDE) seems much more complicated than the current Fedora KDE.
Similarly for Fedora Desktop (immutable KDE) vs the current Fedora Kinoite.