Fedora’s Mission and Foundations
What is Fedora?
The Fedora Project is a community of people working together to build a free and open source software platform and to collaborate on and share user-focused solutions built on that platform. Or, in plain English, we make an operating system and we make it easy for you to do useful stuff with it.
What is Fedora all about?
The Fedora community includes thousands of individuals with different views and approaches, but together we share some common values. We call these the “Four Foundations”: Freedom, Friends, Features, and First.
We are dedicated to free software and content.
Advancing software and content freedom is a central community goal, which we accomplish through the software and content we promote. We choose free alternatives to proprietary code and content and limit the effects of proprietary or patent encumbered code on the Project.
Sometimes this goal prevents us from taking the easy way out by including proprietary or patent encumbered software in Fedora. But by concentrating on the free software and content we provide and promote, the end result is that we are able to provide:
We are a strong, caring community.
The Fedora community is made up of people from all walks of life, working together to advance free software. There is a place in Fedora for anyone who wants to help, regardless of technical skill level, as long as they believe in our core values.
Like any friends, we occasionally disagree on details, but we believe in finding an acceptable consensus to serve the interests of advancing free software. We believe in a strong partnership between Red Hat and our enormous volunteer community, since they both provide essential contributions that help the Fedora Project succeed.
We care about excellent software.
The Fedora community creates many of the technical features that have made Linux powerful, flexible, and usable for a wide spectrum of millions of users, administrators, and developers worldwide. We recognize the status quo is worth changing to empower additional end-users, or to create a more flexible and powerful environment for building new solutions on the free software we provide.
We also believe that these changes are best developed in direct concert with the upstream software communities whose work is part of the Fedora distribution. We work with the upstream in cases where we find opportunities for improvement, so all free software users benefit — even if they don’t use Fedora directly. Our feature development is always done openly and transparently, and anyone may participate.
We are committed to innovation.
We are not content to let others do all the heavy lifting on our behalf; we provide the latest in stable and robust, useful, and powerful free software in our Fedora distribution.
At any point in time, the latest Fedora platform shows the future direction of the operating system as it is experienced by everyone from the home desktop user to the enterprise business customer. Our rapid release cycle is a major enabling factor in our ability to innovate.
We recognize that there is also a place for long-term stability in the Linux ecosystem, and that there are a variety of community-oriented and business-oriented Linux distributions available to serve that need. However, the Fedora Project’s goal of advancing free software dictates that the Fedora Project itself pursue a strategy that preserves the forward momentum of our technical, collateral, and community-building progress. Fedora always aims to provide the future, first.
The Fedora Project envisions a world where everyone benefits from free and open source software built by inclusive, welcoming, and open-minded communities.
As a project, we want everyone to live in a universe of free and open source software; the user should be in control of their computing. But it’s not enough that the software is there, waiting to be used. It has to be accessible and usable. This vision also reflects our community approach — the Friends foundation. Fedora isn’t bits and bytes. Fedora is our people, and we want the statement to include our vision of a healthy community.
Fedora creates an innovative platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users.
At the operating system level, we don’t just integrate. We do new things — we build a platform, not just a distribution. The Features and First foundations drive us to innovate. We do all of this as a transparent, collaborative community of Friends, and entirely as open source and free software — Freedom.
The Fedora Project is a center for innovation in free and open source software. In our community, contributors of all kinds come together to advance the ecosystem for the benefit of everyone. The Fedora community contributes everything it builds back to the free and open source world and continues to make advances of significance to the broader community, as evidenced by the regular and rapid incorporation of its features into other Linux distributions. Regardless of which Linux distribution you use, you are relying on code developed within the Fedora Project.
We believe software patents are harmful, a hindrance to innovation in software development, and are inconsistent with the values of free and open source software. While tightly integrating proprietary and patent encumbered components might superficially improve ease of use, this practice does not benefit the community in the long run. The Fedora community prefers approaches that benefit the progress of free software in the future over those that emphasize short term ease of use.
Fedora is more than just software. It is a community of contributors from around the world, including volunteers and Red Hat employees, who work with each other to advance the interests of the free culture movement. Everyone is invited to join. No matter what your skills are, we have a place for you in our community! We are software engineers, designers and artists, system administrators, web designers, writers, speakers, translators, and more — and we are happy to help you get started.
We believe that all contributors should be excellent to each other. By creating an environment for constructive contribution, we can more effectively and successfully compare and challenge different ideas to find the best solutions for advancement, while building the size, diversity, and strength of our community.
Leadership and Governance
The Fedora Council is responsible for stewardship of the Fedora Project as a whole, and supports the health and growth of the Fedora Community. As in any large project, there are many different levels of responsibility, accountability, and decision-making. As a general rule, we want people working on a Fedora subproject to be make meaningful decisions about their areas of interest and expertise. More details are available on our page on Fedora Leadership.
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