Latest Change Proposed For Fedora Linux 35

While Fedora 34 will be out around the end of next month, there are already change proposals being filed for Fedora 35 that will come in the autumn. One of those early changes for that next release cycle is referring to the OS as “Fedora Linux” within its OS release information.

Arguably most users refer to this Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution as “Fedora” and have been doing so since the original “Fedora Core” days for the distribution prior to merging of the Core and Extras repositories. But as the Fedora Project technically provides a distribution (Fedora Linux) as well as related efforts like the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL), moving ahead they are looking at ensuring the OS is branded as Fedora Linux.

Setup today was “Fedora Linux” in /etc/os-release as a feature proposal for F35. Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller, who is also employed by Red Hat, wrote up the proposal. “”Fedora” is the name of our project. Our general-purpose Linux distribution is “Fedora Linux”. Let’s refer to it that way in the OS itself.” So as such the subtle but significant change is renaming “Fedora” to “Fedora Linux” within the /etc/os-release file that is widely relied upon for parsing the operating system release information. It’s a small change but could potentially pose problems for those parsing the name / pretty name fields and explicitly looking for just Fedora, to which they will need to adapt to the change or use the ID field that will be left as Fedora.

The “pretty name” field would reflect the edition/spin and in turn be called “Fedora Linux Workstation”, “Fedora Linux Server”, etc.

From that tentative change proposal:

The distinction between our project and our output is important, because as a project and a community we are more than the bits we produce — and, we produce more things (including software bits!) from that included in the Fedora Linux distribution.

We make EPEL, ELN, and thousands of packages in Copr. These are all part of Fedora — but aren’t Fedora Linux. We also make artwork, music, documentation, videos, websites, tools, and more. These things too are part of our project, but aren’t part of the Fedora Linux distribution. The habit of calling just one thing we make “Fedora” makes it hard to talk about the project and all of the things we do within our mission.

Of course, years of colloquial usage can’t be changed overnight, but changing the place where we officially identify the operating system name is an important start. Rather than a big education campaign, let’s fix our own usage and go from there.

On the mailing list are mixed reactions over calling the OS as “Fedora Linux”, including why not Fedora GNU/Linux.

So for now the “Fedora Linux” name change for /etc/os-release is still open for discussion while in time will be taken up by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee to see if they agree with the change.