When I talk about the Fedora Project, I’m talking about you: the community. The Linux distribution we make is great, but the community is the key. When people say “Fedora” without a qualifier, I’d like them to think “Fedora Project”, not the bits we produce. What’s more, we make more than just one thing — EPEL, for example, plus artwork, documentation, websites, and tools which aren’t tightly tied to the OS itself.
Over the years, we haven’t done a great job of drawing this distinction. Now, let’s be more intentional with our language.
I recently asked the Fedora Magazine editors to start using “Fedora Linux” in places where we mean the operating system. For example: “Using mycoolpackage on Fedora Linux” instead of “Using mycoolpackage on Fedora”. The Fedora Program Manager has updated the schedules and the Change proposal template to use “Fedora Linux” where appropriate. And for Fedora Linux 35, I submitted a Change proposal to set the NAME to “Fedora Linux” in /etc/os-release.
To be clear, this isn’t a “well, actually” interjection thing. If someone says the “wrong” thing, let’s not make a habit of correcting. Old habits can take time to correct. We don’t need to solve this in one day. Instead, let’s build this habit by example in our official communications and publications.
You probably have some questions. Here are my answers to what I think you’ll ask:
- What about Editions and other variants? Keep using “Fedora <thing>” like we’re already doing. For example: “Fedora Workstation”, not “Fedora Linux Workstation”.
- Why not use “Fedora GNU+Linux” or some similar name? We want to be easy to say. The more words we add, the harder that is. And while GNU is an important part of Fedora Linux, there are many other packages that make Fedora Linux what it is. “Linux” is, for better or worse, the commonly-understood phrasing, so let’s just use that.
- Should I abbreviate releases FL<N>? I don’t think this is a big deal. For consistency with everything since F7, let’s just keep using F<N> to talk about releases. For example, “Fedora Linux 35” is “F35”. (Though, as an aside, in writing for external audiences, let’s say “Fedora Linux” instead of “F” when we can. We are not a Vin Diesel movie franchise.)