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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Wed, 05 Feb 2014

Fedora 20 is looking kind of mature these days

With the release of Fedora 21 delayed by at least three months due to the ramping up of the Fedora.Next initiative, the project's current release, Fedora 20, is likely to be the closest thing users will ever get to a "long-term support" release from the Red Hat-sponsored community project.

And I plan to enjoy it.

The way Fedora generally works, the project releases twice a year, generally in May and November. And once a distribution is released, it is supported for the period of the next two releases plus one month following the second release date. That means Fedora 18 was supported until a month after Fedora 20 went live. And Fedora 20 will be supported until a month after Fedora 22 goes live. That's usually 13 months. But now we're looking at 16 months of support for F20. Here's why:

Fedora 21, which used to be expected in May 2014, is now being scheduled for three months after that date, which is August 2014 to you and me. I'd also say that plans for Fedora 22 remain unsure. Will it appear six months after F21, or nine months after?

What this means is that users of Fedora 20 who are so inclined can settle in for a good, long period of support.

Already I'm seeing the frequency of updates for Fedora 20 slow down a bit. It's not quite Debian Stable-level quiet, but it's quiet nonetheless.

In terms of what's going into F20 at this stage of the release, I expect the 3.13.x kernel any day now, though I've had little to no trouble with 3.12.x. And a new Firefox should make its way into the updates in the next few days.

I ran Fedora during the F13-14 cycle, and now I've been with it from F18 through 20. I'm much happier this time around. I recall that in the F13-14 era, PulseAudio was new, and that caused a bit of trouble. In the F18-20 era, UEFI booting and systemd are new. Those haven't caused me too much trouble. Fedora really is on the leading/cutting edge when it comes to new technologies and ideas in Linux. Luckily those who work on development for Fedora are really good about clearing up bugs. Yes, even after a release.

Fedora really does push a lot of new code, and it's a fairly effortless way to keep up with the latest packages. You pretty much get new software throughout the release. It's not at all like Debian, where new packages generally don't enter a stable release at all and only security patches and bug fixes are allowed. Fedora is all about the new. But for me anyway, things really haven't broken much. OK, maybe a little, but nothing that I haven't been able to handle. There was a messy update recently that required users to turn off SELinux temporarily, but help was right there in the forum and on the mailing lists.

I turned to Fedora because it had the best support at the time (May 2013) for dual-booting Linux and Windows 8 with UEFI on my particular hardware (HP Pavilion g6). I've been able to solve every problem I've run into except for one (and I blame HP for not properly supporting its lousy, cheap USB printers in Linux), and that's enough to keep me in Fedora.