Debian is considered the most stable Linux distribution of all time, and it is the go-to choice of intermediate-level users, or for the people who want to create a server out of their old PC or laptop. That being said, it can be also used as a desktop Operating System.
Fedora, on the other hand, is designed as an ‘upstream’ or, in layman’s terms, a testing ground for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and therefore it is designed to be being up-to-date with all the latest packages and software. Both the distributions are made for completely different purposes. In this article, we are going to compare both distributions and help you figure out which one you are going to pick.
|Release Cycle||~6 months||2 years|
|Hardware Support||Only 64-bit systems||Can run on almost anything|
|Minimum RAM required||1 GB (Recommended – 2 GB)||1 GB (Recommended – 2 GB)|
|Minimum Processing power||64-bit 1 GHz (2 is recommended)||1 GHz|
|Package Manager||dnf & yum||apt & dpkg|
Fedora is a rolling release distribution, that is, packages and software programs are updated regularly and roughly every 6 months, a version update is released. For Debian, however, a new version is released roughly every two years, and therefore most of the packages are out of date.
But this drawback is also a boon to many because people don’t have to bother updating their Operating System for a long time. The developers test each and every package, and they only allow the stable packages to be in the latest release, making it optimal for servers. Don’t worry, you still can get the latest software packages once you add the PPAs of the respective programs from their official site.
Note: Adding PPAs from unofficial sources can be dangerous as someone can install unwanted software programs on your PC. Only add PPA repositories from trusted sources.
If you wish to install a 3rd party application on Debian which is not listed in the official repositories, you either have to add the PPA of that software manufacturer or they provide a .deb package of their application. And similarly, if you want to install a 3rd party application on Fedora which is not in the official repositories, you either add a new repository or install a .rpm package of that software. However, many companies offer .deb packages rather than .rpm packages of their software, so please check if the software programs you are going to use have .deb or .rpm packages.
Debian supports most of the hardware out there. It supports multiple architectures and processors, whereas Fedora dropped support for 32-bit CPUs a while ago, but other than that, their hardware support is great too. Fedora, by default, does not ship with proprietary drivers and that can cause problems for some people. However, they can be easily enabled and installed at the time of installation or anytime later.
Debian and Fedora both require 1 GB RAM (but 2 GB is recommended). The minimum processor requirement for Debian is 1GHz dual-core processor, whereas, for Fedora, it is 64-bit 1 GHz processor, although a 2 GHz processor is recommended.
Ease of Use
Debian’s official download page might confuse beginners as it has a lot of different ISOs for a different architecture, however, they have simplified the installation a little by providing an online Installer. Fedora Workstation, however, is a lot easy to install and use.
Documentation and Support
Both the distributions have excellent comprehensive documentation as Debian is developed by the community itself whereas Fedora is developed by the tech giant Red Hat. Any bugs are patched via updates, but you do not get any tech support for both of these distributions, you will have to fix the problems by yourself by reading the documentation.
There is no ‘Best Linux Distribution’, everyone has a different taste and therefore everyone prefers a different Linux Distribution. We hope you have figured out which distribution to pick for your Server/Personal Computer by analyzing all the data points mentioned above. What do you prefer? A bleeding Edge distribution with all the latest features and components, or a stable distribution that you have to update and maintain rarely?