In the Fedora Project community, we look at open source as not only code that can change how we interact with computers, but also as a way for us to positively influence and shape the future. The more hands that help shape a project, the more ideas, viewpoints and experiences the project represents — that’s truly what the spirit of open source is built from.
But it’s not just the global contributors to the Fedora Project who feel this way. August 2021 saw Fedora Linux recognized as a digital public good by the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA), a significant achievement and a testament to the openness and inclusivity of the project.
We know that digital technologies can save lives, improve the well-being of billions, and contribute to a more sustainable future. We also know that in tackling those challenges, Open Source is uniquely positioned in the world of digital solutions by inherently welcoming different ideas and perspectives critical to lasting success.
But, we also know that many regions and countries around the world do not have access to those technologies. Open Source technologies can be the difference between achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 or missing the targets. Projects like Fedora Linux, which represent much more than code itself, are the game-changers we need. Already, individuals, organizations, governments, and Open Source communities, including the Fedora Project’s own, are working to make sure the potential of Open Source is realized and equipped to take on the monumental challenges being faced.
The Digital Public Goods Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative, endorsed by the United Nations Secretary-General. It works to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs in low- and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods (DPGs). DPGs are Open Source software, open data, open AI models, open standards, and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices, and do no harm. This definition, drawn from the UN Secretary-General’s 2020 Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, serves as the foundation of the DPG Registry, an online repository for DPGs.
The DPG Registry was created to help increase the likelihood of discovery, and therefore use of, DPGs. Today, we are excited to share that Fedora Linux was added to the DPG Registry! Recognition as a DPG increases the visibility, support for, and prominence of open projects that have the potential to tackle global challenges. To become a digital public good, all projects are required to meet the DPG Standard to ensure they truly encapsulate Open Source principles.
As an Open Source leader, Fedora Linux can make achieving the SDGs a reality through its role as a convener of many Open Source “upstream” communities. In addition to providing a fully-featured desktop, server, cloud, and container operating system, it also acts as a platform where different Open Source software and work come together. Fedora Linux by default only ships its releases with purely Open Source software packages and components. While third-party repositories are available for use with proprietary packages or closed components, Fedora Linux is a complete offering with some of the greatest innovations that Open Source has to offer. Collectively this means Fedora Linux can act as a gateway, empowering the creation of more and better solutions to better tackle the challenges they are trying to address.
The DPG designation also aligns with Fedora’s fundamental foundations:
- Freedom: Fedora Linux was built as Free and Open Source Software from the beginning. Fedora Linux only ships and distributes Free Software from its default repositories. Fedora Linux already uses widely-accepted Open Source licenses.
- Friends: Fedora has an international community of hundreds spread across six continents. The Fedora Community is strong and well-positioned to scale as the upstream distribution of the world’s most-widely used enterprise flavor of Linux.
- Features: Fedora consistently delivers on innovation and features in Open Source. Fedora Linux 34 was a record-breaking release, with 63 new approved Changes in the last release.
- First: Fedora leverages its unique position and resources in the Free Software world to deliver on innovation. New ideas and features are tried out in the Fedora Community to discover what works, and what doesn’t. We have many stories of both.
For us, recognition as a digital public good brings honor and is a great moment for us, as a community, to reaffirm our commitment to contribute and grow the Open Source ecosystem.
This is a proud moment for each Fedora Community member because we are making a difference. Our work matters and has value in creating an equitable world; this is a fantastic and important feeling.
If you have an interest in learning more about the Digital Public Goods Alliance please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.