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I want to dive into the open source world and start using a Linux distro while learning to program. I've looked over the options and it pretty much boils down to Fedora or CentOS. The reasoning behind it is I'm hoping to kill two birds with one stone...

Redhat seems to be "the choice" for servers, so I figure as I learn to program, I can also learn my way around Linux... or Redhat more specifically... and get that under my belt too.

I want to use Fedora, and be on the frontier of new software (since I'm not doing anything critical), but if it's completely different than Redhat I'd rather just use CentOS.

So is it? Or can I use one and know the other?

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migrated from Oct 16 '10 at 3:30

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Fedora, Redhat and CentOS are not programming languages. – donroby Oct 15 '10 at 22:32
I know, but it's the OS I'll be using while learning to program (in C). Edit I see you were referring to my tag, sorry. – Matt Untsaiyi Oct 15 '10 at 22:36
BTW, I'd say Debian is "the choice" for servers.... just being picky. – alpha123 Oct 15 '10 at 22:36
Debian vs Redhat is subjective. My question still remains... – Matt Untsaiyi Oct 15 '10 at 22:37

Absolutely. These days, RHEL (and indirectly, CentOS) derives almost directly from Fedora, so learning Fedora will help give you an edge in future technologies in RHEL.

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Thank you! Just wanted to make sure :). * starts downloading Fedora * – Matt Untsaiyi Oct 15 '10 at 22:39

Honestly, learning ANY Linux will teach you your way around ANY UNIX operating system, to a first approximation. The differences between them are subtle, even with outliers like Solaris 10.

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For open source; Servers - CentOS & Desktop - Fedora

Closed Soure = RHEL6 (where RHEL6 is almost identical with Fedora 12 onwards except for the support on RHEL6 which you need to pay for it).

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No, RHEL is mostly open source. The differences are the binaries, the support, the presence of Red Hat trademarks, and the extras from other ISVs thrown in. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 30 '10 at 23:53

If they both use the same desktop environment (GNOME, KDE, etc) they will be very similar.

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As alpha points out, it really kind of depends on what you mean by learning the OS. Will you be doing application/userland development or delving into modules and the kernel? Either way you are better off with Fedora for newest kernels and ease of package management. You really can't go wrong

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Yes, they're not exactly the same of course, but both are Linux and have a lot in common.

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