Fedora 12 vs Ubuntu 9.10

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This is the most frequently asked question by a linux noob, just like the question of Canon vs Nikon for upcoming photographers. I would try to answer it from a regular user’s perspective without getting in too much detail. Remember we are talking about two linux distributions, so they are fairly equivalent in most respects.

I used to be a Fedora lover for quite a while. Fedora is geared more towards the Tux faithfuls, the experienced linux users, and hence Fedora distribution is always the first one to bring down the cutting edge Linux technology to their distribution, e.g. they were first to use Grub 2, they were the first to release ext4 as standard for their stable release. Further through yum Fedora offers an easy way of installing and managing packages. But being adventurous can have its side-effects too. New linux technology means more bugs which translates to more crashes. My personal experience with the recent Fedora releases have not been the greatest since Fedora 10.

On the other hand, Ubuntu is targeted more towards the upcoming Linux lovers and noobs, so they are more careful in integrating new stuff to the distribution and try to keep the user friendliness on top of their priority list. But this doesn’t mean that it cannot satisfy the needs of a linuxphile. It had probably one of the most comprehensive distribution of pre-compiled linux packages available through its canonical repository. Aptitude is a very matured and  fast package management utility, to my understanding a tad bit faster than yum.

Let me list out the pros and cons for both Fedora and Ubuntu and you can decide for yourself what you want.

Fedora 12.0


  • Up-to-date  cutting edge linux distribution.
  • Catering to linux experts, might involve some learning for noobs.
  • Lot of additional packages and drivers available through linuxrpm and livna repositories.
  • Better support for proprietary ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards (this is my personal experience, may not be absolutely true for all the cards out there).


  • New release can be a bit buggy and usually takes a while for most bugs to get addressed.
  • Yum tends to  be a bit sluggish, its GUI version yumex though better than before continues to be slow.
  • Some popular software packages are not available as pre-compiled packages and compiling them can be a huge hassle.
  • Upgrade to next release is a hassle, you have to download and burn a DVD to upgrade.

Ubuntu 9.10


  • Slick  and fast and usually more stable.
  • Good for noobs as well as experts.
  • Vast and probably most comprehensive package base.
  • apt-get is very fast.
  • Upgrade to next release is much simpler and streamlined, software updater can handle it own its own, all you need is a fast internet connection.


  • To maintain  the user friendliness and sturdiness, they are slow in bringing forth the cutting edge linux tech.
  • Support for old graphics card is a bit questionable, e.g. I could never get full resolution with Ubuntu on an old Alienware laptop with ATI based graphics, while Fedora was up to the task, even their older version.

Now its up to your to decide what you want!

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About the Author

has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

One Comment on “Fedora 12 vs Ubuntu 9.10”

  • *** wrote on 29 May, 2010, 13:15

    for fedora upgrade to next version you can use the “preupgrade” command, no need to download & burn the DVD.

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