Fedora is a community; Fedora Linux is our OS

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.)

Categories: Fedora Project Community

Comments

  1. This is great! Thanks very much!

  2. I just love my “Fedora <thing>”.

  3. I’m not very enthusiastic about how it comes together with the naming of editions. I can imagine questions like this:

    So Fedora Workstation is not Linux?
    Well, it is, just Fedora Linux Workstation doesn’t look that good, so we kept it as Fedora Workstation.

  4. Now, it would be wieldy to say that I contribute to and got friends at Fedora :stuck_out_tongue:

  5. This change makes sense to me. Often times, if I was talking to an engineer or project manager who doesn’t know much about either Fedora or Linux, I used “Fedora Linux” to be clear so they knew what Fedora is when I talk about it. It makes it an easier habit to adopt. :grinning:

    I also dropped a friendly ping to the Fedora Telegram admins to consider renaming the user support group to “Fedora Linux” to be clear. I think it will happen. :slightly_smiling_face: Let’s see if we can get other communities on board.

  6. I’ve been using Fedora Linux to reference the OS for quite a while, as most of my casual communication does not involve folks that know what linux is in general, saying I use Fedora as an OS gave funny looks.

    So I like this :slight_smile:

    I suppose I also say more wordy “I use Fedora Silverblue, a Fedora Linux OS” then go on a tangent of different Fedora OS spins and uses.

  7. I was thinking about this for while now, including the latest mindshare meeting. The problem is that the Fedora “products”, meaning all the parts that involve the “bits” or the OS-related technical parts, have their own names:

    • Fedora Workstation
    • Fedora Server
    • Fedora CoreOS
    • Fedora Silverblue
    • Fedora IoT
    • Fedora Spins
    • Fedora Labs

    Even, the use of “Fedora Project” can be misleading, since the non-technical parts and the non-OS-releated parts have their own names too:

    • Fedora Magazine
    • Fedora Podcast
    • Fedora team
    • Fedora Badges
    • Fedora Wiki

    So my feeling is that the “Linux” part doesn’t fit anywhere. I will explained like this:

    When you refer to “Fedora Linux”, What are you referring to?

    And possible answers are:

    • Fedora Workstation
    • Fedora Server
    • A Fedora Spin
    • Fedora Silverblue

    So, basically the Linux wording creates just one more word that doesn’t clarify anything, since the exactly same question and possible answers are valid if you put just “Fedora”.

    I saw it like this:

  8. Yeah, I think we could have just as well put “Fedora Product” instead of Fedora Linux. Or “Fedora OS”. In the end, my proposal is for “Fedora Linux” basically because people know what Linux is.

    I do think there’s something missing here, though: Copr and Epel, which are in some ways “Fedora Product” but not Fedora Linux. So it does give us a useful distinction that was harder to express before.

  9. I don’t mind what you say informally, but note that many of those actually do have Linux as part of their name formally.

    As for natural, though: as with any name, say it a couple of hundred times and it’ll seem normal. It just takes some adjustment.

  10. I think that this is the point of this discussion.

    For instance. Many people just say “I use Red Hat on that server” and it is perfectly fine. BTW Red Hat, the company, produces a thing formally called Red Hat Enterprise Linux, that is what such people are referring to. Red Hat is the company, Red Hat doesn’t release only RHEL, but other products as well, and it is behind other projects.

    Similar things. Other examples that come to my mind (maybe they are a bit different). “I use an HP server”. Actually, formally, what you bought is an HPE server. Informally you can call it HP.
    Or the Raspberry. Actually its name is Raspberry Pi, but we call it Raspberry for simplicity and all we know what we are talking about.

Continue the discussion at discussion.fedoraproject.org

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  1. I like the change to Fedora Linux. It’s going to take a bit of time to get used to the change. I just posted earlier today that I am eagerly anticipating the next release of Fedora. Hmm, maybe they have an edit button, and i can go back and change it.

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