A 2020 love letter to the Fedora community

[This message comes directly from the desk of Matthew Miller, the Fedora Project Leader. — Ed.]

When I wrote about COVID-19 and the Fedora community all the way back on March 16, it was very unclear how 2020 was going to turn out. I hoped that we’d have everything under control and return to normal soon—we didn’t take our Flock to Fedora in-person conference off the table for another month. Back then, I naively hoped that this would be a short event and that life would return to normal soon. But of course, things got worse, and we had to reimagine Flock as a virtual event on short notice. We weren’t even sure if we’d be able to make our regular Fedora Linux releases on schedule.

Even without the pandemic, 2020 was already destined to be an interesting year. Because Red Hat moved the datacenter where most of Fedora’s servers live, our infrastructure team had to move our servers across the continent. Fedora 33 had the largest planned change set of any Fedora Linux release—and not small things either. We changed the default filesystem for desktop variants to BTRFS and promoted Fedora IoT to an Edition. We also began Fedora ELN—a new process which does a nightly build of Fedora’s development branch in the same configuration Red Hat would use to compose Red Hat Enterprise Linux. And Fedora’s popularity keeps growing, which means more users to support and more new community members to onboard. It’s great to be successful, but we also need to keep up with ourselves!

So, it was already busy. And then the pandemic came along. In many ways, we’re fortunate: we’re already a global community used to distributed work, and we already use chat-based meetings and video calls to collaborate. But it made the datacenter move more difficult. The closure of Red Hat offices meant that some of the QA hardware was inaccessible. We couldn’t gather together in person like we’re used to doing. And of course, we all worried about the safety of our friends and family. Isolation and disruption just plain make everything harder.

I’m always proud of the Fedora community, but this year, even more so. In a time of great stress and uncertainty, we came together and did our best work. Flock to Fedora became Nest With Fedora. Thanks to the heroic effort of Marie Nordin and many others, it was a resounding success. We had way more attendees than we’ve ever had at an in-person Flock, which made our community more accessible to contributors who can’t always join us. And we followed up with our first-ever virtual release party and an online Fedora Women’s Day, both also resounding successes.

And then, we shipped both Fedora 32 and Fedora 33 on time, extending our streak to six releases—three straight years of hitting our targets.

The work we all did has not gone unnoticed. You already know that Lenovo is shipping Fedora Workstation on select laptop models. I’m happy to share that two of the top Linux podcasts have recognized our work—particularly Fedora 33—in their year-end awards. LINUX Unplugged listeners voted Fedora Linux their favorite Linux desktop distribution. Three out of the four Destination Linux hosts chose Fedora as the best distro of the year, specifically citing the exciting work we’ve done on Fedora 33 and the strength of our community. In addition, OMG! Ubuntu! included Fedora 33 in its “5 best Linux distribution releases of 2020” and TechRepublic called Fedora 33 “absolutely fantastic“.

Like everyone, I’m looking ahead to 2021. The next few months are still going to be hard, but the amazing work on mRNA and other new vaccine technology means we have clear reasons to be optimistic. Through this trying year, the Fedora community is stronger than ever, and we have some great things to carry forward into better times: a Nest-like virtual event to compliment Flock, online release parties, our weekly Fedora Social Hour, and of course the CPE team’s great trivia events.

In 2021, we’ll keep doing the great work to push the state of the art forward. We’ll be bold in bringing new features into Fedora Linux. We’ll try new things even when we’re worried that they might not work, and we’ll learn from failures and try again. And we’ll keep working to make our community and our platform inclusive, welcoming, and accessible to all.

To everyone who has contributed to Fedora in any way, thank you. Packagers, blog writers, doc writers, testers, designers, artists, developers, meeting chairs, sysadmins, Ask Fedora answerers, D&I team, and more—you kicked ass this year and it shows. Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll meet again in person soon.Oh, one more thing! Join us for a Fedora Social Hour New Year’s Eve Special. We’ll meet at 23:30 UTC today in Hopin (the platform we used for Nest and other events). Hope to see you there!

Fedora Project community


  1. William Whinn

    I’ve been a Fedora user for just over two years – in that time it’s single-handedly helped me get a master’s in data science and I’m currently on my way to another in bioinformatics. Without hyperbole, I owe a lot to this distro and the team who make it.

    I’m a recent Silverblue convert as well and when my laptop died and I needed another, I didn’t think twice – there was only one option and that’s Fedora. I no longer distro hop, I no longer break things, and I can just get working.

    Fedora is a name I trust and it stands for quality, stability, freedom, and even simple elegance.

    So when I say “thank you all”, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate the work that goes into each release and I’m always excited for the next.

  2. svsv sarma

    Hearty Congratulation to Fedora, Team, Forum, Community, Contributors and Users for the successfully valiant completion of the year 2020. We all are eagerly and hopefully looking forward to 2021, yet another equally challenging and suspicious year.
    I wish you all A Very Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year 2021….

    The peculiarity I find in Linux is that it never lighted my HPNotebook Wifi key as it is always Red, but it works for deactivate/activate!
    Thank you Folks.

  3. russ w baker

    Glad tidings to Mr. Miller and everyone at Fedora. It has been a great year. Have learned much from Alter Schwede and others on youtube who push 33 to the limits. My learning experience is continuing on three Thinkpads, a de-militarized GD6000, and a MediaVue D1, all using Rawhide, KDE, and other spins. So, on to 2021 for more work, less pay, and the rewards which result from a job well done.


  4. I love fedora workstation for bringing with every new edition the gnome-shell pure desktop experience.

  5. Leslie Satenstein, Montreal,Que,Canada

    Without a doubt, 2020 was a great year for Fedora. Congratulations to the contributors and employees that made it so fantastic.
    It has been my daily distribution since Fedora core (2005). I have never wavered from being a Fedorian. In a future release, without a doubt, we can expect some new features and technical challenges solved.

    In particular I want to congratulate the QA team and release QA team, who, were preoccupied with catching the last minute buglets.

    I am sure that 2021 will be resulting in even the next two better Fedora versions. (Fedora 34 around in March and Fedora 35 around October).

    Happy New Year Fedorains, keep safe, keep smart, don’t take health chances, and keep us notified about your birthdays and celebrations.

  6. Roberto

    I love Fedora Silverblue. Thanks to everyone who made this incredible distribution possible.

  7. Lee Isaacson

    A little bit off topic. Fedora is a great distro but I am reluctant to use it with CentOS not being there anymore and CentOS is now the development branch for RHEL. Where does this put Fedora within Red Hat?

    • Totally no need to worry. Fedora is still the upstream for RHEL major releases. It’s just now that instead of going inside the Red Hat black box after branching from Fedora, the RHEL development process for minor releases will be the open via CentOS Stream. I wrote about this last year on Fedora Magazine: Fedora and CentOS Stream, and Stef Walter wrote an article on the CentOS blog with a nice diagram which should make things clear.

    • Topher

      Fedora Core was my first distro, before I knew what Linux was. The first Linux book I owned was how to use Fedora Core 2. I compiled my first kernel on Fedora 7. I ran my first 64-bit OS on Fedora. I used pulse audio, systemd, Wayland, cgroups v2, and now pipewire for the first time in Fedora. I’ve done plenty of distro hopping (and I love many of them), but I didn’t realize until now how central Fedora has been in my entire experience of the FLOSS ecosystem. All that to say, thank you, Matt. Thank you to all of the contributors and volunteers who I cannot name. I really mean it. I say without hyperbole, you guys are changing the world.

  8. Maurizio Mileto

    Hi Matthew and congratulations on Fedora because it really is one of the best if not the best Linux distro around. I tell you from an alternative world to the classic X86 eco system. I tell you from the Power system world of which I am proud and of which I have always been a supporter. My only regret is that of the impossibility of using the Kernel from version 5.7 onwards as there is unfortunately some conflict between the files of these new Kernel and AMD Navi 10 drivers that even today after months, no one has been able to fix .. . Which forces me to use either custom Kernel or Kernel 5.6.19, the last one actually working … I have talked to many people, I have talked to Fedora project but unfortunately nothing to date … I just hope that in 2021 finally, we can to be able to solve this ugly problem and also be able to be the updated Kernels of this fabulous Linux distro … Happy New Year, best wishes to all the Fedora staff and its supporters, always come on Fedora! Hello from Maurizio from Italy!

  9. Ade Malsasa Akbar

    Thank you very much, Matthew Miller!

  10. Thank you Matthew and all of the Fedora contributors and community for their incredible work and kindness. Fedora continues to exhibit excellence like none other. お疲れ様です!🙇‍♂️

  11. Peter V Daniels

    Peace Lov Back to all the Fedora/Redhat Crew Happy Holidays Too.
    Peter V. Daniels ( Just Gotta Love Fedora It fits me too.)

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