Fedora’s Paul Frields
Red Hat’s Fedora distribution is name after one hat but it wears many: It is among the most world’s most popular Linux distributions, it is Red Hat’s closer contact to the open source community (as opposed to its business-oriented Enterprise Linux products) and with its short upgrade cycles, it also is something of a test bed for Red Hat. While most operating systems can’t afford to be too bleeding edge, Fedora boldly goes where no one has gone yet. That’s a tough task to manage. We learned how they do it.
TORONTO — With over 20 million installations, Fedora is among the most world’s popular Linux distributions. While that kind of success has been due to a rapid base of supporters, the distro originally launched by Red Hat as a community Linux project is having to bridge the divide between targeting a mass audience and keeping hardcore enthusiasts in the fold.
That’s no easy task, but for Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields, it’s key to the distro’s continued growth.
“I’m not interested in a shotgun approach where we reach every single person on the planet, though that wouldn’t be a bad thing,” Frields said during a session at the FUDCon Fedora conference here this weekend. “At Fedora, we’re not interested in ‘fanboy’-ism. What we’re interested in is people that want to contribute.”
Speaking before a standing-room-only audience of users and developers, Frields described his vision of what the Fedora project is and what it isn’t. And to Frields, it’s not about cultivating a purely fanatical following.
Instead, the distro relies on what he described as a sustainable community — as much about code as about collaboration. And it needs to continue being that sort of community to keep growing, he added.