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Ubuntu 16.04 vs Fedora 25 – Which One To Install?

When you’re installing a Linux distribution for the first time or if you still have not decided your favorite among Ubuntu and Fedora, then I’m going to tell you which one should you choose and why. What are the pros and cons of either and the most suited application for the two.

Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu App Store
Ubuntu App Store

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution now, one of the main reason for which is that it focuses on complete Linux newbies. Ubuntu wants you to migrate you from Windows to itself and hence tries to make things as user-friendly as possible. However it doesn’t mean that Ubuntu ignores developers. Linux kernel at its core is obviously same and everything works pretty fine like other distributions.

Ubuntu is backed by Canonical and derives its source code from Debian, one of the oldest distributions. Ubuntu has a 6-month release cycle. New versions are released every year in April and October. Ubuntu is not just for desktops, but also for phones and servers.

Default Browser – Firefox

The default desktop environment in Ubuntu is Unity created by Canonical for Ubuntu. The default font is called Ubuntu and is a free font family available on Google Fonts designed by Dalton Maag and released under Ubuntu Font License, 1.0. Ubuntu is highly customizable and has a number of useful apps in the package manager.

Ubuntu is widely regarded as first step into Linux world of newbies. It was also my step into the Linux world. While Linux was ignored by the corporate desktop and laptop sellers for long, Ubuntu is changing this mindset with laptops coming out with pre-installed Ubuntu.

Fedora 23

Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat Inc. one of the oldest and respected players in this market. While Fedora is also highly user-friendly and is a matter of common sense to use, it is regarded as for the users with an intermediate to advanced level of experience in Linux.

Firefox uses GNOME Desktop Environment as Default
Firefox uses GNOME Desktop Environment as Default

Fedora for desktop is called Fedora Workstation. It’s also available for cloud and servers. Fedora Workstation, as the official website states, supports a wide range of developers from hobbyists and students to professionals in corporate environments.

Default desktop environment is GNOME 3, which is a very neat and easy-to-use DE with sleek and highly productive interface. One of the major advantage of GNOME is the availability of GNOME extensions that make life of a developer very easy and increase productivity many folds. Default font is Cantarell designed by Dave Crossland and is available under SIL Open Font License, 1.1.

Fedora Software Store
Fedora Software Store

I’ve used Ubuntu and Fedora for a considerable amount of time. From my personal experience, I’ve always found Fedora faster than Ubuntu. The one tap search for the entire computer system, GNOME themes and extensions, elegant desktop environment and no-nonsense apps have always forced me to give Fedora extra points.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux OS, so it has a bigger community and more answers on forums and solutions on blogs to help if you run into an issue. But, Fedora is equally powerful because anyways I would recommend it to those who are really excited to try something as bleeding-edge as Fedora 25 Linux OS.

  1. This is a very general overview. I guess it would be great if you add some examples of default softwares and some differences like installation of a new software. Personally I always preferred fedora over ubuntu. I tried to use ubuntu and always went back to fedora. As per my experience installing and configuring things on fedora much more easier.

  2. Another point in Fedoras favor: old a$$ machines (came with windows XP, 32-bit, no PAE) that you can forget about running a supported version of Ubuntu on.

  3. I have used fedora in past on my old desktop which I no longer possess. I tried to install fedora 25 on my laptop which has 6 th generation core i5 and amd graphics. Initially it lagged very much after installing intel gpu tools it worked fine still Wi-Fi was not working . After that I could not login it never started reson I don’t know. Then I downgraded to fedora 23 which is now on my system. In fedora 23 i didn’t have to install extra graphic drivers. But laptop is getting very hot and battery backup is very poor. I googled for it and found this problem lies with Linux. There are few tools like Powertop, tlp , thermals. And much more. I tried powertop but could not understand much then tlp. Tlp helps up To some extent but I feel still battery backup can be improved. Now comes cpufreq. One more tool. Which can be used from applet on ubuntu. While in fedora I can use it only from command line.I am not aware of fedora also have ubuntu like applet. I use fedora to run seismic unix, Madagascar like software’s. Can I use same softwares on ubuntu with same performance If ubuntu have batter battery life then I think it is time to switch. Please suggest.
    Ajay

    • It’s true that Fedora needs power management to run efficiently on certain machines due to lack of hardware support. Issue that you’re facing with WiFi again is a issue of proprietary drivers. I’ve used the tools you’ve mentioned but they have their limits. Battery backup and heating problem are, in my view highly dependent on Graphics. I don’t think you’ll be able to run proprietary GPU tools easily and effectively on Linux distributions and things may break due to updates/upgrades.

      While I don’t think Ubuntu will improve your battery backup but the thing is that you’ll find more resources to troubleshoot if anything breaks as Ubuntu is more popular among end users. Additionally in my experience, if your battery backup remains poor even with Ubuntu – it will deteriorate day by day. I don’t have such an experience with Fedora however. You can try installing Ubuntu on your machine and run the software you use. You should see if your GPU works better with Ubuntu. Try switching to proprietary ones on a development machine – NOT on production. One thing about using unofficial patches for drivers like WiFi is that in many cases you’ll have to reinstall them if you update Ubuntu.

      If by “Can I use same softwares on ubuntu..” you meant software like Seismic Unix and Madagascar – I think they’re available online for Ubuntu. You should Google for tutorials on how to install them on Ubuntu.

      As a last suggestion, try out Ubuntu for a few days and check if all the required drivers work, and if they do then make a decision. Additionally if you want light-weight distributions – try Lubuntu or Xubuntu.

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