What is Fedora's update philosophy?

I haven’t used Fedora in a few years (at least), and typically use rolling releases (and KDE). However I was installing a computer for someone else and installed vanilla Fedora and was surprised to see several upgrades and even an update to kernel 5.19.x. Then I saw that maybe plasma 5.25.x was also in updates?

This seems different from the last time I used Fedora which I thought was a distro that provided security updates and not much else (maybe I had the wrong impression?).

Anyway, obviously it’s not a rolling release, but it also looks like it isn’t a fixed or stuck release that doesn’t do significant upgrades except for major releases. I tried searching for more information, but just found lots of posts on how to update Fedora, so I was hoping someone from the community could inform me or point me to a doc to look over. There are a couple of systems I might want to use it for.

Thanks

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Welcome to ask.fedora @xdevnull

The Doc you can find here:
Fedora Linux Releases :: Fedora Docs

About the kernels you can follow the schedule of kernel.org. Fedora Linux not uses the LTS (longterm) versions just the stable* ones.

Current supported Fedora Linux releases:

Fedora provides approximately 13 months of support for each release. The N-2 release reaches End of Life four weeks after Fedora Linux N is released. See the sidebar for information about the current releases.

5.18.x kernel got EOL. Thats why Fedora changed to 5.19.x

*Stable (see kernel.org)

After each mainline kernel is released, it is considered “stable.” Any bug fixes for a stable kernel are backported from the mainline tree and applied by a designated stable kernel maintainer. There are usually only a few bugfix kernel releases until next mainline kernel becomes available – unless it is designated a “longterm maintenance kernel.” Stable kernel updates are released on as-needed basis, usually once a week.

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Hello there
I’m new to fedora, and I would like to read/hear/know an answer to your post <3

There is also, Updates policy :: Fedora Docs

Thanks

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Thanks Joe. I also found this from your link: KDE Update Policy
It starts with this line which implies I think that plasma will get one major update per Fedora release. So since Fedora syncs with gnome and not KDE, that would tend to be between major Fedora releases, hence 5.24 - 5.25.

We will be shipping one major update for Plasma Workspaces, Applications, and Platform/Frameworks per Fedora release. This update will include not only bug & security fixes but new features as well. The general Fedora updates policy is at Updates_Policy

I know there are a lot of things in flatpaks now which seems to not just impact how apps are distributed to distros but how they can stand independent of update policies because there is no need for full integration.

I was trying to find a pkg list of what F36 shipped with and what current versions are, but hard to track down a simple list these days…

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You can look for packages at, https://src.fedoraproject.org

You could probably also do something like:
sudo dnf repoquery --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=fedora \*
sudo dnf repoquery --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=updates \*

And compare the lists or use grep to narrow down the packages you’re wanting to look at.

I don’t know what fedora 36 was released with but dnf list plasma* shows me that the current version is 5.25.4

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Use --showduplicates to find out

[root@newbox ~]# dnf list --showduplicates  plasma-desktop.x86_64
Last metadata expiration check: 0:24:47 ago on Thu 08 Sep 2022 04:32:15 CEST.
Available Packages
plasma-desktop.x86_64      5.24.3-1.fc36              fedora 
plasma-desktop.x86_64      5.25.4-1.fc36              updates
[root@newbox ~]# 

In Fedora you get updates for any bug fix the maintainer of a given package chose to release. Some packages will get an update whenever upstream releases a new minor update, and some don’t.

The linux kernel usually follows the latest stable version, so all current Fedora versions will use almost the same kernel version.

Since the relase of Fedora 36 about a third of the packages have been updates at some point, and you usually get updates almost every day.

This is different from what RHEL and Centos does as these distributions mostly only gets security updates. This means that third party software can be built for for exampel RHEL 8 and will remain compatible for a long time. This is not necessarily so for Fedora.

One can see the update frequency for different Fedora releases here:

https://bodhi.fedoraproject.org/releases/F36

The updates policy document is the definitive guide for us package maintainers, but of course, the final decision rests on us maintainers for each package. In some cases, we will discuss with FESCo to request an exception to the policy. E.g.:

https://pagure.io/fesco/issue/2848

To get a list of what Fedora shipped with, limit your query to the fedora repository. Any updates only got to the updates/updates-testing repositories. The fedora repository does not change after release:

sudo dnf list all --repo=fedora

...
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Thanks for the replies and while I don’t have Fedora installed nearby, the links were helpful. I was surprised to see how far one of my Manjaro systems have lagged behind key updates compared to Fedora. I’ll definitely get a few systems running and check it out, though I’ll probably keep my main system rolling with Arch.

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