Wikipedia Migrates from Fedora to Ubuntu

The admins running Wikipedia are almost complete in migrating their servers from a mix of RedHat and Fedora to Ubuntu. The primary reasons behind the switch, according to Brion Vibber (Wikimedia CTO), were personal preference, Ubuntu availability on the desktop and better support/stability compared to Fedora. As a server, one might think that an enterprise option like RHEL or CentOS might make for a better choice, however both of these lack the appeal of Ubuntu and the flexibility in support.

Regardless of the reasons for the switch, this is another opportunity for people to question Fedora’s fast moving development pace (i.e. “bleeding edge”). Fedora user know that Fedora requires constant updating/upgrading and Fedora developers are obviously quite accustomed this and welcome it. An interesting thread on the Fedora development mailing list raised this topic and spawned a great deal of discussion. Some users/developers think that if Fedora provided a LTS stable release then perhaps situations like Wikipedia’s could have been avoided. Jesse Keating, Fedora Release Engineer, chimed in with a very well worded point:

Given the amount of churn we allow maintainers to introduce into our
“stable” releases, I highly doubt Fedora would be suitable for any
situation where a “LTS” was desired. There is just too much major
version upgrading
, behavioral changes, massive amounts of updates,
rapidly invalid documentation, and high chance of regression in the
“stable” updates. We should address *that* problem before ever thinking
about extending the life.

Even if Fedora could address that problem, big organizations most likely won’t change their opinions. However if those issues could be addressed, many users probably wouldn’t be migrating away, and more importantly they would just have a much better operating system!

(As a personal point, I no longer use Fedora as a server. I recommend CentOS.)


  1. lg

    While I don’t discount faults in Fedora releases, every distro has faults. As the saying goes, the grass is greener on the other side and Ubuntu is the flavour of the month/year right now.

    So what will everyone migrate to in 2009?

  2. Traveller

    I would appreciate something like LTS for fedora, I’m using F. as a desktop. The new versions of F. i found unstable too, and the “old” versions are supported for too short time. I think I have to migrate from F. [im considering centos 5.2 or ubuntu LTS 8.04] – im not happy because I have been using F. for about 3 years… I will left F. on PC for fun, experiments… Its a pity because I find F. as a ideal distro – the appearance, blue, config… if only it has longer support like fedora legacy was.

    It is my first post on this website, I would like to say, I find this web helpful, cause Im not computer expert. And I enjoy the blog, good work, dont stop :-) (excuse my english pls)

  3. tecpatl

    I also like Fedora, and of course I tried other distros also, but I agree that our loved Fedora needs to be improoved, maybe those problems I have are because my linux knowledge is not enough to fix them. Anyway Iĺl keep trying.

  4. Duane

    I second his emotion on Fedora in terms of the desktop screen. I prefer the Fedora desktop over Ubuntu. As I am a new user also, I don’t know 100% of the advantages of one from the other.

    Regarding the shift from Fedora to Ubunto on the server version that Wikipedia is using, it’s not for me to decide. Use what is necessary. I just hope that this does not trigger the end of Fedora’s popularity in the future.

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