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


4 Answers 4


Yes, it's called Fedora.

  • Is it fully compatible with VirtualBox? Is there a single CD ISO file for a complete installation in VirtualBox?
    – RPK
    Dec 31, 2010 at 22:50
  • fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora-options . 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, 2010 at 23:01
  • 3
    According to VirtualBox's Guest OS documentation, Fedora and CentOS are both fully supported, including with virtual box VM additions.
    – nhinkle
    Dec 31, 2010 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, 2011 at 22:22
  • 2
    RHEL is an enterprise-oriented, LTS, stable distribution built from a collection of the short-lived, non-stable Fedora distributions that have gone through extensive testing. CentOS is RHEL without the branding, the free home version of RHEL. It's nearly identical while Fedora isn't.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 17, 2016 at 1:17

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.

  • 1
    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, 2010 at 23:05
  • 2
    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. Dec 31, 2010 at 23:58
  • CentOS claims to be 100% binary compatible with RHEL. That's what I'd go with if you're looking for a server OS. For a home desktop, Fedora would be a better choice. Sep 17, 2016 at 1:28

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


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

  • 1
    No, Fedora is a test bed for what eventually goes into RHEL. CentOS is nearly identical to RHEL.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 17, 2016 at 1:20

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