My Experience with Fedora Linux and How It Compares to Ubuntu

Hello, everyone! In this blog post, I want to share with you my experience with Fedora Linux, a popular and powerful distribution of the Linux operating system. I have been using Ubuntu for a long time, but recently I decided to try something new and switch to Fedora. Here are some of the differences, challenges and benefits that I encountered along the way.

What is Fedora Linux?

Fedora Linux is a community-driven project that aims to provide a free, open-source and innovative platform for users, developers and researchers. Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat, a leading company in the software industry, but it is not a commercial product. Fedora releases a new version every six months, which means that it always has the latest features and technologies available.

Why did I choose Fedora Linux?

I have been using Ubuntu for some months, and I was quite happy with it. Ubuntu is a user-friendly, stable and widely supported distribution of Linux, which makes it a great choice for beginners and experts alike. However, I also wanted to explore other options and learn new things, so I decided to give Fedora a try. I was curious about how Fedora would perform on my laptop, and how it would differ from Ubuntu in terms of user interface, package management, security and customization.

What are the main differences between Fedora and Ubuntu?

Fedora and Ubuntu are both based on the Linux kernel, but they have different approaches and philosophies when it comes to developing and delivering their operating systems. Here are some of the main differences that I noticed:

  • User interface: Fedora uses GNOME as its default desktop environment, while Ubuntu uses its own customized version of GNOME called Ubuntu Desktop. GNOME is a modern, sleek and minimalist interface that focuses on simplicity and usability. Ubuntu Desktop adds some extra features and tweaks to GNOME, such as a dock, a global menu bar and a different theme. Both interfaces are customizable, but I found that Fedora offers more options and extensions to change the look and feel of GNOME.

  • Package management: Fedora uses DNF as its primary tool for installing, updating and removing software packages, while Ubuntu uses APT. DNF and APT are both command-line tools that work with repositories of software sources. DNF stands for Dandified Yum, which is a successor of Yum, a package manager that was used in previous versions of Fedora. APT stands for Advanced Package Tool, which is a widely used package manager in Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu. Both DNF and APT are powerful and reliable tools, but they have different syntaxes and options. For example, to install a package called foo in Fedora, you would type sudo dnf install foo, while in Ubuntu you would type sudo apt install foo. To update your system in Fedora, you would type sudo dnf upgrade, while in Ubuntu you would type sudo apt update followed by sudo apt upgrade.

  • Security: Fedora has a strong focus on security and privacy, which is reflected in its features and policies. For example, Fedora uses SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux), a security module that enforces mandatory access control policies on the system. SELinux can prevent unauthorized access or modification of files, processes and resources by applying rules and labels. Ubuntu does not use SELinux by default, but it has other security features such as AppArmor, FirewallD and Snap packages. AppArmor is a security module that limits the capabilities of applications based on profiles. FirewallD is a firewall management tool that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. Snap packages are self-contained applications that run in isolation from the rest of the system.

  • Customization: Fedora offers more flexibility and freedom when it comes to customizing your system. You can choose from different editions of Fedora that cater to different needs and preferences, such as Fedora Workstation (for general use), Fedora Server (for servers), Fedora IoT (for Internet of Things devices), Fedora Silverblue (for immutable desktops), etc. You can also choose from different spins of Fedora that come with different desktop environments pre-installed, such as KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXQt, Cinnamon, etc. You can also create your own custom version of Fedora using tools such as Kickstart or Fedora Remix. Ubuntu has fewer editions and flavors than Fedora, but it still offers some variety. You can choose from Ubuntu Desktop (for general use), Ubuntu Server (for servers), Ubuntu Core (for IoT devices), etc. You can also choose from different flavors of Ubuntu that come with different desktop environments pre-installed, such as Kubuntu (KDE Plasma), Xubuntu (Xfce), Lubuntu (LXQt), etc.

What are some of the challenges that I faced with Fedora Linux?

Switching from Ubuntu to Fedora was not without its challenges. I had to learn new ways of doing things, and I encountered some problems that I had to solve. Here are some of the issues that I faced and how I fixed them:

  • No minimize and maximize buttons: By default, Fedora does not have minimize and maximize buttons on the window title bars. This is a design choice of GNOME, which encourages users to use keyboard shortcuts or gestures to manage windows. However, I was used to having those buttons, and I wanted to restore them. To do that, I installed a GNOME extension called Window Buttons, which adds the buttons to the title bars. You can install GNOME extensions from the GNOME Extensions website or from the GNOME Software application.

  • Dash to dock: Another feature that I missed from Ubuntu was the dock, which is a panel that shows your favorite and running applications. Fedora does not have a dock by default, but it has a dash, which is a similar panel that appears when you open the Activities overview. To make the dash behave like a dock, I installed a GNOME extension called Dash to Dock, which makes the dash visible at all times and adds some customization options. You can install Dash to Dock from the GNOME Extensions website or from the GNOME Software application.

  • DNF vs APT: As I mentioned before, Fedora uses DNF as its package manager, while Ubuntu uses APT. This means that I had to learn new commands and options to manage software packages in Fedora. Fortunately, DNF and APT are not very different, and many online resources and guides explain how to use them. For example, this cheat sheet compares some common DNF and APT commands: https://dnf.readthedocs.io/en/latest/cli_vs_yum.html

  • Dependencies: One of the advantages of Fedora is that it comes with many dependencies pre-installed, which means that you don’t have to install them separately when you want to run or compile a program. For example, Fedora comes with tmux, a terminal multiplexer that allows you to run multiple terminal sessions in one window. However, this also means that Fedora takes more disk space than Ubuntu, which can be an issue if you have limited storage capacity. To free up some space, you can remove some packages that you don’t need or use with the sudo dnf remove command.

    What are some of the benefits that I enjoyed with Fedora Linux?

    Despite the challenges, I also enjoyed many benefits from using Fedora Linux. Here are some of the things that I liked about Fedora:

    • Speed: Fedora is fast and responsive, both in booting up and running applications. Fedora uses systemd as its init system, which is a modern and efficient way of managing services and processes. Fedora also uses Wayland as its default display server protocol, which is a newer and more secure alternative to X11. Wayland improves the performance and quality of graphics and animations on the screen.

    • Innovation: Fedora is always at the forefront of innovation and technology in the Linux world. Fedora is often the first to adopt new features and software versions, which means that you can enjoy the latest and greatest developments in the open-source community. For example, Fedora was one of the first distributions to support Btrfs as its default file system, which is a modern and advanced file system that offers features such as snapshots, compression and encryption.

    • Community: Fedora has a large and active community of users, developers and contributors who are passionate about the project and its goals. You can find help and support from the community through various channels such as forums, mailing lists, IRC channels, social media platforms, etc. You can also contribute to the project in various ways such as testing, reporting bugs, writing documentation, translating, packaging software, etc.

      Conclusion

      Fedora Linux is a great distribution for anyone who wants to experience a free, open-source and cutting-edge operating system. It has its differences and challenges compared to Ubuntu, but it also has its advantages and benefits. I have learned a lot from using Fedora Linux, and I plan to stick with it for now. However, I also appreciate Ubuntu for what it offers and what it taught me. In the end, both distributions are excellent choices for Linux users.

      I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and found it informative. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!

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