Blue Flower

Differences Between Fedora, Red Hat, and CentOS


I and others were confused about the relation between Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS, and thus the birth of this article.  All 3 of these Linux OSs are related, and essentially based on the OS of Fedora, which is controlled and operated by Red Hat, Inc (aka Redhat Linux) but community driven.

Please note that I do not get paid to write these articles.

Two Are Free.

Both Fedora and CentOS are free.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux (aka RedHat Enterprise Linux; but incorrect) is a paid for OS that comes with support of various levels, and external features and services related to the OS; such as tracking of all the machines, and upgrading remotely and simultaneously.

Development, And Distribution Flow.

Availability and distribution of the OSs have the following flow:  [Fedora] --> [RHEL] --> [CentOS]

The below chart shows the relationship between the OSs, and things to be noted about each.

  1. Free.
  2. Fedora trademark owned by Red Hat, Inc.  Serial Numbers: 78296509, 78978338.
  3. Operated by Red Hat, Inc., but driven by community.
  4. New Features/functions/ideas explored and tested here.
  5. Regular and frequent new releases.
  6. No support other than community.
  7. Domain of owned by Red Hat, Inc.

  1. Paid (Commercial/Enterprise/Industrial).
  2. RedHat trademark owned by Red Hat, Inc.  Serial Number: 77254744.
  3. This is Red Hat, Inc.
  4. Less frequent releases; focused on longer period stability and less frequent changing.
  5. Thus, the latest features or functions not available immediately.
  6. Only ports from Fedora fully stable functions and features.
  7. Full Support and various levels of support, and additional services available.
  8. Domain of owned by Red Hat, Inc.

  1. Free (for the most part, a free version of the commercial RHEL OS)
  2. Centos trademark owned by Red Hat, Inc.  Serial Number: 86014936.
  3. Operated by Community and controlled by a governing board made up of community and Red Hat personnel. 
  4. No support other than community.
  5. Domain of owned by Red Hat, Inc.


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