When I look at Ubuntu’s website and other Online material, its desktop version is depicted as being for all users & people (“Linux for human beings”). When I look at Fedora’s website and other material, it often advertises itself primarily to software developers (see screenshot of most recent Fedora Workstation web page, below). My question for discussion is: with Fedora having just as many benefits to the non-developer user base as Ubuntu (in my opinion) why isn’t Fedora marketing its workstation edition for all people?
Why is Fedora Workstation primarily marketed towards software developers when it's capable of being a mainstream OS for everyone?
Is it because Linus Torvalds use Fedora ?
It would be a great time to market fedora as desktop and game station !
Get on Valve bandwagon as they will drop Ubuntu !
I’ve been in Marketing & Advertising for over 16 years, now, and I’ve also been an open-source software enthusiast for that long. I see a lot of potential for Fedora to gain traction as a desktop/laptop operating system for everyone, not just programmers and software developers. I would encourage the Fedora team to consider a different marketing strategy if their goal is to have more users utilize the hard work put into Fedora. Many people will read a lot of the content on Fedora’s website and be led to think, “This operating system is for programmers; it’s not for me.” I’d encourage the following:
- Revise the workstation content to include everyone, focusing on common uses (e.g. “from personal web browsing and every day use, to production, design, development, Fedora is a free operating system for everyone!”) Something like that.
- Give more presence and ease of access to Fedora spins, letting people choose the desktop for them, include a brief 90-second video overviewing Fedora running each desktop so users can get a feel for how it runs, letting them choose the best experience for them (as a KDE Plasma user, it’s difficult to navigate and even find where to download the Fedora KDE spin)
Just a few marketing suggestions to help broaden Fedora’s user base and gain more traction as a mainstream choice in desktop/laptop operating systems.
I agree whole-heartedly. Very surprising news that Valve intends to drop official support for Ubuntu. This would absolutely be the time to advertise to a wider user base, especially if the Fedora team can get Valve on board with publicly declaring official support for Fedora! That could cause a large shift in marketshare!
I can’t quite remember why developers are chosen as the target audience. Maybe @mattdm could remind us.
I think one of the reasons (probably my own, so I wouldn’t say this is a community reason) may be that we don’t simply want to provide a Linux Distribution for users as an alternative to an OS that they have to pay for, we want people to join the community and in that way learn about and contribute to Free/Open source. Our mission statement is to promote FOSS, and the distribution is only one way of doing so.
In any case, I completely agree that Fedora is fit to be used by non devs (my family uses it, but I didnt give them much of a choice ). If you think that the wording can be improved to reflect so, please discuss this with the website team by filing an issue here. They’re always looking for ways to improve the content on getfedora.org
I agree to what @jeduri suggests, I’m not a developer but a regular user with some knowledge about OSes and such, but after distro-hopping between OpenSuse (the first distro I was introduced back in 2000, called just Suse), Mandriva (Until its cancellation), and Fedora (I’ve never used Ubuntu), I finally decided to stay with Fedora and I’ve been using it for the last 5 years, I really don’t want to “hop” to something else, but approaching a wider user base (regular users) wouldn’t hurt at all.
We’re already doing that. The posts on the fedora magazine are not limited to developer focussed content, for example.
If anyone has more ideas on reaching out to userbases, you should get in touch with the mindshare team and see what their plans are and what you can do:
Thanks for the feedback. The reason I ask is because most of the Online material I read from Fedora almost exclusively centers around software developers, and if that’s the goal that Fedora has, to primarily gain more developers, then good on you all. But if you’re trying to establish any kind of user base outside of coders, then you’re shooing yourselves in the foot with a lack of marketing to a general audience. That was my only point. I have family that I’ve moved to open-source as well, but they won’t go to Fedora because if a problem goes wrong, they want a “people solution” to the issue, instead of being told to tweak a config file or a source line, somewhere. It’s one of the reasons Ubuntu & Linux Mint has such a large user base, because they market thsemselves as the “Free Software Desktop OS for Everyone.” I wasn’t sure if the Fedora team desired Fedora Workstation to be a more popular distro with a wider user base; hence, my question.
Thanks for that. Fedora is mostly community driven, and quite a large share of the community is devs. I expect that’s what makes it slightly more developer focussed. If more “non dev” folks joined the community, that would change.
The solutions depend on the problem and the tool in use. It doesn’t matter what distribution is in use, if the solution requires the change of a config file then it must be done. Ubuntu or Mint cannot magically abstract that bit away. It’s the same for bugs—it doesn’t matter what distribution is in use, a bug requires change to source code. I’m too much in the FOSS bubble to see this, but maybe it’s just that Fedora openly says “it’s a bug and needs this tweak”? I can’t say.
I find it a bit disappointing that Fedora still has this reputation. After all, gnome-software, flatpak + flathub, lvfs, and lots of other tools that are aimed at non-dev users have come from the fedora community. (So have systemd and other bits)
I wanted to add that the main teams that function as the “face of Fedora” are the ambassadors and marketing teams. So, if any one would like to help change Fedora’s perception outside the community, please join them and help:
All of this now comes under the Mindshare umbrella:
After reading all this, and after being contacted by one of the repliers here, I have several stuff to say:
- We, as a project, promote Fedora as a cutting edge distribution. That normally leads to be seen as a distro for developers and sysadmins.
- We do our best effort to don’t compare and don’t be compared with any other distro, since we have our own mission and objectives.
- Any idea is well received. Also is important to note several things:
- Devs also browse the web
- Devs also play movies and music in their computers
- Devs also read emails
- Believe it or no, Devs are also people
- The Valve new (and this is my personal opinion) is not necessarily a good fit for Fedora, since we are planning to retire 32-bits as well.
To finish this post, thanks for being there, thanks for your time and thoughts. I want to encourage you to join the marketing team and help to reach as much people as we want.
Personal thought, with my Fedora representative hat off, Ubuntu and Linux Mint solutions ‘for people’ is what make them broke all the time an unusable and unstable with the pass of time. A complex fix that works forever is better than an easy workaround that will broke the system sooner than later
Appreciate your reply and your thoughts. My comments were by no means intended to criticize. I only believe in constructive feedback that leads to a positive outcome. You guys are doing a terrific job making great products. I see a lot of potential for them to be even bigger, but I didn’t want know if the team actually wanted to branch out beyond developers.
And I’m with you 100% about devs, and I would absolutely say keep on motivating them to join. I was only mentioning a larger part of the digital consumer/end-user market doesn’t code or use PC’s for software, and the website and marketing material doesn’t seem to communicate at all that Fedora “is and could be for them, too.” I think all PC demographics matter: devs, end-users, and everyone in between.
Yeh. Unfortunately, we’re all volunteers here and neither @x3mboy nor me have the cycles to take on this discussion either in the marketing or the website teams. What time we can squeeze out from our jobs and lives is already earmarked for other parts of Fedora (like here). So, if you (or other new contributors) could step in and make these suggestions directly to marketing and websites instead of us acting as middlemen, that’ll be much more likely to result in meaningful changes.
There’s always a lot that can be done in the community. We’re mostly just limited by the resources: people who will do the required work—manpower.
There is no such plan. The discussion is currently about dropping 32-bit kernels and images. 32-bit libraries are not being removed or disabled, which was the controversy in Ubuntu.
You’re totally right, it was my mistake and also personal takeaway of the readings, sorry for the confusion. Also, I read that valve is working with the Wayland team to help keeping the games running in Linux. Great news
Thanks, I’ll contact them using the links you provided.
Everything about Fedora/RedHat is business desktop hostile. I’ve been using a Linux business desktop, as an end-user for almost 20 years. But Fedora for only a couple of those years; and while I really like Fedora, I’m probably going to KDE-Neon before long. Here’s why:
- Red Hat / Centos releases are too infrequent for keeping current. I installed Centos 7.6 when it was current, it came with some 6 year old version of KDE, and I wasn’t going to figure-out where the unsupported newer repo’s were.
- Fedora is too frequent, businesses don’t want to risk breakage every 6 months.
- Gnome is a GUI desktop environment, written by developers who don’t like a GUI desktop environment–with predictable results. All the things that end-users expect to see in a context menu, have to be done at a command prompt, or by massive changes to the default DE (think Cinnamon).
- The small business world doesn’t have an I.T. department. They are only going to keep a system that will “just work” without needing a command prompt.
Can I use Fedora for a business/cubicle desktop? Of course I can! But there are easier & safer ways to get a desktop Linux running. KDE is designed for end-users in a business environment; to a lesser degree, so are XFCE and Cinnamon. Combine that with medium-term-support Fedora (not 6 months, not 6 years) and you’d have a great small office system. For the big business market, you’ll need company-wide deployment and provisioning; but that’s another topic.