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Is there a free edition of Red-Hat for home desktops?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes, it's called Fedora.

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Is it fully compatible with VirtualBox? Is there a single CD ISO file for a complete installation in VirtualBox? – RPK Dec 31 '10 at 22:50 . No reason why it shouldn't run as a guest in VirtualBox, but I haven't tried it. Try it and see, and report back. :-) – Keith Dec 31 '10 at 23:01
According to VirtualBox's Guest OS documentation, Fedora and CentOS are both fully supported, including with virtual box VM additions. – nhinkle Dec 31 '10 at 23:24
Works just fine in VirtualBox -- I've tested the last 3 versions of Fedora in VirtualBox on my Macbook and have never had an issue. – bedwyr Jan 1 '11 at 22:22

There is also CentOS if you are still looking for a server environment. CentOS is compiled from Red Hat's source, and is essentially the same, just without any Red Hat branding. There are some minor differences, but the distro attempts to maintain 100% binary compatibility with Red Hat. You can download the latest release online for free.

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Take directly from CentOS's Wiki Page: CentOS is a community-supported, mainly free software operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. – SgtOJ Dec 31 '10 at 23:05
CentOS is also perfectly usable as a workstation OS, provided you're willing to either settle for older versions of some apps, or find/build them yourself. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 31 '10 at 23:58

Fedora is free Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat. I think it's the closest you'll find.

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Scientific Linux is another RHEL clone similar to CentOS, maintained by Fermilab and CERN for the High-Energy Physics community but usable by anyone.

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