Which Linux is right for you?

Product or project: choose for yourself

A few years ago there was just one Red Hat Linux. As acceptance grew and Linux reached further into enterprise computing, one Red Hat Linux product could no longer be all things to all users. That's why in 2002 Red Hat created what's now known as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Stable, supported, certified—Red Hat Enterprise Linux has become the Linux standard.

The Fedora Project was introduced in late 2003. Built for and with the help of the open source community, the Fedora Project is for developers and high-tech enthusiasts using Linux in non-critical computing environments. Which Linux is right for you? See for yourself.

I am a: Business, government, or other user looking for stable, supported, and certified Linux Developer or highly technical enthusiast using Linux in non-critical computing environments  
Recommended operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux Fedora Project Red Hat Linux
History Launched in 2002 as Red Hat's enterprise-class Linux operating system Launched in 2003 and designed to be the development forum for new Linux and open source technology Red Hat's legacy Linux operating system, launched in 1994. Predecessor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Fedora Project. Last version available was Red Hat Linux 9.
Status Available now Available now No longer available
Primary benefits Stable, reliable, and broadly supported. Easy to deploy and manage. Many certified applications available. Industry-leading combination of server performance/scalability and desktop features. Bleeding edge technology released early and often General purpose, low-cost solution that provided a combination of leading-edge technology and limited support. Attempted to be all things to all people.
Primary developers Red Hat Developer community, with contributions from Red Hat Red Hat Linux development effort refocused on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Project
Development model Open source Open source Open source
ISV certifications More than 300 supported applications, including BEA, CA, IBM, Oracle, VERITAS None Few, not standardized. No new certifications.
Hardware certifications Many, including Dell, HP, Fujitsu, IBM, Hitachi, NEC, Sun None Few, not standardized. No new certifications.
Architectures Intel x86-compatible & Itanium; AMD64; IBM iSeries, pSeries, zSeries, S/390 Intel x86-compatible: Subject to change (community driven) Intel x86-compatible
Industry benchmarks Several, including ECperf and TPC None No current benchmarks
Red Hat support options Many, including 24x7 with one hour response None Installation and configuration
Red Hat training options Many, including classroom, on-site, e-learning None Converting to Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Training certifications RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) and RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician) None Converting to Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Release interval 12-18 months 4-6 months Was 6 months. Last version released Spring 2003.
Testers Red Hat, partners, and extensive beta team Developer community Red Hat and beta testers through April 2004
Package selection criteria Best balance of maturity and features selected based on their appropriateness for commercial deployment Latest open source community packages. Selected to meet the needs of the open source community and drive rapid technology development. Packages selected to provide a general purpose environment with no specific focus. Limited maturity/quality controls.
Maintenance and updates Complete update, management, and monitoring capabilities available via Red Hat Network Updates only from developer community Updates via Red Hat Network, FTP, and web.
Update lifetime Five years 2-3 months Last updates end April 2004
Where to buy Red Hat (1-866-273-3428), redhat.com, and partners Not available for sale from Red Hat or partners. Available via download or third-party CD replicators only. No longer available for sale
Price Multiple offerings starting at $179 Free download Was $39.95 to $149.95. No longer available for sale.

Copyright 2003