Fedora is an RPM-based, general purpose collection of software including an operating system based on the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. The Fedora Project's mission is to lead the advancement of free and open source software and content as a collaborative community.
One of Fedora's main objectives is not only to contain software distributed under a free and open source license, but also to be on the leading edge of such technologies. Fedora developers prefer to make upstream changes instead of applying fixes specifically for Fedora — this ensures that their updates are available to all Linux distributions.
Fedora has a comparatively short life cycle: version X is maintained until one month after version X+2 is released. With 6 months between releases, the maintenance period is a very short 13 months for each version. This can lead to trouble should one wish to use a particular version of Fedora for product development (i.e., embedded systems) where long term support is more important than maintaining leading edge revisions of software.
In 2008, Linus Torvalds, author of the Linux kernel, stated that he used Fedora because it had fairly good support for the PowerPC processor architecture which he favored at the time.
According to DistroWatch, Fedora is the second most popular Linux-based operating system as of July 2010, behind Ubuntu.
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