"What is the Fedora Project?"

Colin Walters walters at verbum.org
Thu Oct 22 13:36:10 UTC 2009

2009/10/21 Máirín Duffy <duffy at fedoraproject.org>:

> 1) Fedora is a community that builds software, a set of projects on
> fedorahosted.org, a set of spins on spins.fedoraproject.org - it's
> basically a development platform for creating free & open source
> software and applying free & open source software towards solving
> specific problems.

Sounds good.  But next, we mention just one specific problem:

> 2) Fedora is a desktop distribution.

I really don't like elevating the desktop to this level.  Fedora is an
*operating system*, which the desktop is built on.  In short maybe,
"Fedora has a desktop", not "is".

I've said before that we need to be producing a server spin.  Why?
Because if we want to be a community where you help develop the future
of the Linux operating system, we can't omit the server (and other
more specialized areas).

What if say you're an IBM employee who wants to optimize power
consumption on PowerPC.  You take a look at everything from the kernel
up to typical server apps (Samba, whatever).  You likely want to first
do this work on the *latest* versions of all of this software, from
the kernel on up.

It's crazy to tell people to start hacking from say the CentOS source
RPMS, because a) hacking from source RPMS really, really sucks and b)
what if some of your optimizations are already in the latest upstream
kernel/glibc/samba etc.?

After you've done the work there, then maybe you look at backporting
it into a release stream.

Another example; say you're Richard Jones from the Red Hat virt team,
and you really want to reduce the disk space consumed by the minimal
image install (
http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/why-minimal-is-225-mb/ ).

How do you prevent someone from coming along later and adding some
really large dependency to the minimal set?  You do it upstream.  In

I don't mean that on the get-fedora page, we start listing "minimal
Amazon EC2 image" or whatever right next to the desktop.  But we
should be producing images for servers, we should be doing some kind
of tests on them (disk space as above, etc.), and they should be
linked somehow from the get-fedora page.

This doesn't mean that we expect a lot of people to necessarily run
those specific images, and maybe Fedora should make its relationship
with some of its more prominent derived operating systems clear here,
and at least mention them.  But we should also be clear that we expect
people to do development with us, and join the larger FOSS community
(including the server) through us.

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