Fedora Server vs Ubuntu Server: Comparison for Enterprise Applications

Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server have long been key players in enterprise applications, offering robust functionality for web and application servers. Each has a unique blend of features and benefits that make them suitable for various uses.

Choosing a suitable Linux server version can be difficult. This guide focuses on the version for business use cases in hosting enterprise and business applications rather than the desktop version for home users.


In this head-to-head comparison, we will explore their similarities, differences, and unique features and delve into technical aspects such as performance, stability, and reliability. This article aims to provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of both server operating systems, helping you make an informed decision for your business needs.

Understanding Fedora Server

Strengths of Fedora Server

Fedora Server is renowned for its cutting-edge technology and regular updates, providing the latest and greatest features. It is highly regarded for its security because it includes SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) in the default installation. Fedora’s modularity is another strength; you can opt to install just what you need, thereby minimizing system overhead and potential attack vectors.

Weaknesses of the Fedora Server

The bleeding-edge nature of Fedora Server can also be a double-edged sword. The constant updates may lead to instability, especially for long-term projects. Furthermore, Fedora’s life cycle is relatively short, approximately 13 months, which could lead to more frequent upgrades than businesses may prefer.

Fedora Server in Enterprise Applications

Fedora Server may be suitable for businesses seeking the latest technologies and valuing security. It performs particularly well in web and application servers, thanks to its lightweight and highly configurable nature. However, its short life cycle may not align well with long-term enterprise projects, leading to more system upkeep than other options.

Understanding Ubuntu Server

Strengths of Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server offers stability and predictability, making it a solid choice for enterprise applications. It comes with LTS (Long Term Support) releases, guaranteeing five years of security and general maintenance updates. Ubuntu Server also boasts a comprehensive software repository and robust support for cloud and container technologies, further enhancing its versatility.

Weaknesses of the Ubuntu Server

Some critics point out that Ubuntu Server is less up-to-date than Fedora regarding the latest packages. Additionally, while its support is well-regarded, it is sometimes criticized for being overly commercialized.

Ubuntu Server in Enterprise Applications

Ubuntu Server can be an excellent choice for long-term projects requiring stability and predictability. It handles web and application servers efficiently, thanks to its vast software repository and support for cloud technologies. However, businesses seeking the latest features might find Ubuntu Server a bit lacking compared to Fedora.

Fedora Server vs Ubuntu Server -- Things to Know

When comparing Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server, several key topics and features should be considered. These include:

1. Installation and Configuration:

Fedora Server provides an easy-to-use Anaconda installer with a clear interface that simplifies installation. It also supports kickstart installations for automated setups. On the other hand, Ubuntu Server uses the Debian installer. It provides both a standard and a minimal installation, allowing for either a complete setup or a bare-bones system to be built up as required.

2. Package Management:

Fedora Server uses the DNF package manager, renowned for its excellent dependency resolution and speed. Ubuntu Server utilizes the APT package manager, which is highly regarded for its reliability and straightforward usage.

3. Security Features:

Security is a key strength of Fedora Server, which includes SELinux enabled by default. This provides advanced access control and security policies. Ubuntu Server incorporates AppArmor for similar purposes, although it’s generally considered less complex to manage compared to SELinux.

4. System Performance:

Both Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server deliver strong performance and are capable of handling heavy workloads. Fedora’s performance can be slightly more unpredictable due to its rapid update cycle, while Ubuntu’s performance is generally considered more stable due to its emphasis on tested, stable packages.

5. Software and Application Support:

Fedora Server, being on the cutting edge, often supports the latest versions of software. Ubuntu Server also supports a wide range of applications, although it prioritizes stability over having the latest versions in its LTS releases.

6. Update Policy and Release Cycle:

Fedora has a relatively fast release cycle, with new versions released approximately every six months and maintained for thirteen months. Ubuntu Server, however, offers LTS releases every two years, with support for five years, providing a more stable and predictable environment for long-term projects.

7. Hardware Requirements:

Both Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server can run on a wide variety of hardware, including older machines. However, the specific requirements will depend on the workload and applications running on the server.

8. Community and Support:

Both Fedora and Ubuntu have vibrant, active communities providing excellent resources and support. Fedora’s community is known for its open-source advocacy and innovative mindset, while Ubuntu’s community is recognized for its user-friendliness and extensive documentation.

9. Compatibility:

Both Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server offer wide compatibility with numerous software applications and hardware devices. However, some proprietary software or drivers may have better support in Ubuntu due to its larger user base and focus on user-friendliness.


10. Cloud and Virtualization Support:

Both Fedora and Ubuntu servers have robust virtualization and cloud services support. Ubuntu has a slight edge in this department, with extensive tools and support for cloud computing, notably its own Ubuntu Cloud infrastructure and strong integration with popular services like AWS and OpenStack. Fedora also supports cloud computing and virtualization but is generally considered more suited to smaller or more specific use cases.

Is Fedora Good for Servers to Host Business and Enterprise Applications?

Yes, Fedora is certainly good for a server environment. However, whether it’s better or worse than Ubuntu depends on your specific needs and context.

Compared to Ubuntu Server, Fedora’s quicker release cycle means it often has more up-to-date software and features, making it a potentially better choice for those who want to stay on the cutting edge of technology.

As mentioned earlier, this rapid update cycle can be a drawback for some. Constant updates can lead to instability, particularly for complex, long-term projects, and this might make Fedora Server less desirable than Ubuntu Server, which emphasizes stability and predictability with its Long-Term Support (LTS) releases. 

Recommended Hardware Comparison

While the specific hardware requirements for Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server can vary based on the specific use case and load, below is a comparison of the general recommended hardware requirements for each.

HardwareFedora ServerUbuntu Server
Processor2GHz or faster dual-core2 GHz dual-core processor
Memory (RAM)2GB or more2GB or more
Disk Space20GB or more25GB or more
Network Interface1 Gigabit Ethernet controller1 Gigabit Ethernet controller
GraphicsNot requiredNot required
Additional HardwareDVD drive for media installDVD drive for media install

Please note that these are general recommendations. The specific requirements can be much higher depending on the specific applications and workload you will run on the server. 

More to Know -- Fedora Server vs Ubuntu Server

Real-World Applications

Real-world usage reveals similar trends. Fedora is favored by businesses seeking the latest features and high security, such as tech startups and security-focused firms. Ubuntu is preferred by businesses that prioritize long-term stability and comprehensive software options, such as established corporations and cloud-focused companies.

Server Releases: Fedora vs. Ubuntu

Understanding the concept of server releases is crucial when comparing server operating systems like Fedora and Ubuntu. The release cycle can greatly influence the stability, support, and feature set available in the system, impacting enterprise applications’ overall functionality and operation.

Impact of Upgrade Frequency

The frequency of upgrades can significantly impact server environments. On the one hand, regular updates, like Fedora’s, provide access to the latest features and security patches. This can be a major benefit in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. On the other hand, frequent upgrades can disrupt operations, introduce instability, and increase maintenance overhead. Ubuntu’s longer support periods between upgrades offer a counterpoint, providing a stable environment with less maintenance but potentially lagging behind in terms of the latest features.

Therefore, choosing between Fedora’s rapid release cycle and Ubuntu’s LTS approach will largely depend on your specific needs: whether you prioritize having access to the latest features or value stability and predictability over time.

Use on Servers: Ubuntu Server vs. Fedora Server

Regarding server use, both Ubuntu Server and Fedora Server provide a robust, flexible platform for various applications. Their open-source nature and enterprise-grade features make them a favorite choice among system administrators.

In terms of popularity, Ubuntu Server generally enjoys a larger share in the server community thanks to its user-friendly nature, comprehensive software availability, and strong support from Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. It’s often preferred for its long-term support (LTS) releases, which provide a stable and predictable environment for long-term projects.

Ubuntu Server is compatible with various hardware architectures, including x86-64 (AMD64), ARMv7, ARM64, POWER8, POWER9, IBM System z (s390x), and more. This broad compatibility makes Ubuntu Server a flexible choice for various server deployments, from old hardware to the latest server-grade machines.

Ubuntu Server caters to small businesses and large enterprises for deployment options. It can host websites, manage networks and users, run complex applications, and more. Furthermore, Canonical provides enterprise-grade support services through its Ubuntu Advantage program. This offers businesses access to expert technical assistance, extended security, and the Landscape systems management tool, ensuring they can operate their Ubuntu Server installations professionally, securely, and efficiently.


On the other hand, Fedora Server is often favored by users seeking the latest open-source technologies. It has a smaller server community footprint than Ubuntu, but it’s admired for its cutting-edge features and strong focus on security. Fedora Server is often seen as a testing ground for new technologies that may eventually make their way into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), making it a preferred choice among users who wish to stay at the forefront of technology.

Performance/Speed: Fedora vs. Ubuntu

The performance and speed of a server operating system can greatly influence the efficiency and productivity of business operations. When comparing Fedora and Ubuntu, both are designed to deliver robust performance, but there are some distinctions to consider.

The performance and speed of both Fedora and Ubuntu are highly dependent on the hardware used. Both operating systems are designed to run efficiently on various hardware configurations. However, with more powerful hardware, both Fedora and Ubuntu will naturally perform better.

Benchmark tests provide a more detailed comparison of Fedora and Ubuntu’s performance. Various tests can be conducted, from CPU-intensive tasks and memory speed to disk read/write speed. Generally, in these tests, Fedora and Ubuntu tend to perform very closely, with neither having a consistent significant advantage.

Regarding boot and shutdown times, Fedora traditionally boots slightly faster than Ubuntu due to its aggressive use of systemD and other optimizations. On the other hand, Ubuntu has a slight advantage in shutdown time.

So, Fedora and Ubuntu offer comparable performance. The choice between them often comes down to whether you value the stability and predictability of Ubuntu, or the cutting-edge technology and potential performance advantages of Fedora.

It would be best to decide on the correct Linux server OS which is highly compatible and recommended by the application/software you will host in your business environment.


Choosing between Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server depends largely on your enterprise needs. Fedora Server’s focus on security and up-to-date features might be appealing if you’re on the cutting edge of technology, while Ubuntu Server’s stability and long-term support could be more attractive for long-term projects and applications requiring a steady and predictable operating environment.

Both Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server have their unique strengths and weaknesses and have carved out their niches in the enterprise market. Choosing between them requires careful analysis of your business requirements, technical needs, and strategic goals.

At the end of the day, both Fedora Server and Ubuntu Server offer robust, flexible, and powerful solutions for enterprise-level web and application servers. No matter which you choose, both are built on the foundation of open-source software and come with strong community support. This provides a wealth of resources, solutions, and the freedom to customize and optimize your server environment to best suit your business needs.


Why use Fedora Server?

Fedora Server offers the latest technologies and robust security features, making it suitable for businesses seeking cutting-edge solutions and high security. It’s also highly customizable, allowing for a lean and efficient server setup.

Which is better, Fedora or Ubuntu?

It depends on your specific needs. Fedora might be a better choice if you prioritize having the latest features and a highly secure environment. On the other hand, if you prioritize long-term stability and comprehensive software options, Ubuntu could be the better option.

What are the weaknesses of Fedora Server?

One potential downside of Fedora Server is its rapid update cycle, which can lead to instability for some applications. Additionally, its relatively short life cycle (about 13 months) might require more frequent upgrades than businesses prefer.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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