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Why does Distrowatch state that Red Hat is Fedora based and Fedora is independent when Fedora's history page indicates that's not the case? Am I misunderstanding, or is Distrowatch wrong?

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Your question assumes you know the answer and everybody else is wrong. First try to figure out what people mean by terms like "independent" and "based on", then the usage on distrowatch might make more sense. There is always the possibility of a mistake being made, but first understand the terminology yourself. – Caleb May 28 '11 at 10:40
What exactly do you don't understand? Red Hat is based on Fedora and Fedora isn't based on any other distribution. – Let_Me_Be May 28 '11 at 11:10
@LEt_Me_Be: did you read what had I posted?: fedoraproject.org/wiki/History – LanceBaynes May 28 '11 at 11:35
@LanceBaynes: It's not a typo, it's actually legitimate. Yes I read what you posted and yes I know the history. Having a history of connections is not what distrowatch means by being based on! See my answer. – Caleb May 28 '11 at 11:40
The word "based" in this regard references its current design. It is not in reference to its history. – mvario May 28 '11 at 21:41
up vote 5 down vote accepted

These statements are not contradictory, both of them are true. You are either mixing up the names of distros or the definition of the terms involved.

You are probably mixing up RH with RHEL. The old days of RedHat and the current lineup of Fedora and Redhat Enterprise Linux are very different.

RedHat Enterprise Linux is basically a professionally rehashed version of Fedora with a support contract. CentOS is basically a RHEL copy-cat without the support contract offering.

Fedora is independent of any other current distribution. In fact it is one of the leading independent distros. Independent means that it's development is a free-standing operation. Dependent or in Distrowatch's language "based on" distros are ones that are only modifications of other distros and are reliant on the other distros work to continue to move forward.

An example of a dependent distro would be CentOS, which relies on repackaging stuff from RHEL. RHEL in turn relies on the development work done on Fedora in order to continue. Mint relies on Ubuntu's development process and just layers on their own changes.

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+1 ... made sense and I learnt a bit... – Thomas Jul 23 '11 at 7:50

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