I used to work with Fedora until F15 and later I saw there were three different flavors (workstation, server and atomic(?)). These versions are mutually exclusive? What are their differences and purpose?

3 Answers 3


The difference is in the packages that are installed.

  • Fedora Workstation installs a graphical X Windows environment (GNOME) and office suites.

  • Fedora Server installs no graphical environment (useless in a server) and provides installation of DNS, mailserver, webserver, etc.

  • Fedora Atomic is designed around Kubernetes and containers.

  • 1
    I see no point in doing this types of versions , after all that's why you work with linux, since you can select what software to use, well just my opinion; but still, can you install server packages in a workstation?, it is possible to setup a graphical environment in a server, if necessary?
    – riccs_0x
    Jul 18, 2017 at 13:31
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    Yes, you can. Flavors are a simple way of defining the purpose of your machine, but you can afterwards install any package you want (provided there are no conflicts).
    – dr_
    Jul 18, 2017 at 13:45
  • 2
    Note that out-of-box configuration also differs ­â€” the firewall configuration is different, and different services are enabled by default. Additionally, Fedora Atomic Host uses rpm-ostree, which is sort of like git for system binaries; it's designed for immutable infrastructure, and system updates are done entirely differently, and while you can install individual packages onto the host system, the intention is that you just do that for debugging purposes.
    – mattdm
    Jul 18, 2017 at 18:40
  • 1
    @mattdm Good point -- it'll need also some config as well ;)
    – dr_
    Jul 19, 2017 at 8:34
  • 4
    It would be great if someone could provide some URLs. Or God forbid, did they really release several different editions without even documenting the differences? Jan 14, 2018 at 21:33

Since Fedora 32, workstation flavour will by default install enable user-space OOM killer - named -> earlyoom.

Nothing can stop you from installing earlyoom on Fedora Server, or any other Linux distributions if you want ;-)

As per the Fedora 32 release notes

Faster recovery from low-memory situations in Fedora Workstation

The earlyoom service is now enabled by default in Fedora Workstation.

The earlyoom service monitors system memory usage. If free memory falls below a set limit, earlyoom terminates an appropriate process to free up memory. As a result, the system does not become unresponsive for long periods of time in low-memory situations.

The following is the default earlyoom configuration:

If both RAM and swap go below 10% free, earlyoom sends the SIGTERM signal to the process with the largest oom_score.

If both RAM and swap go below 5% free, earlyoom sends the SIGKILL signal to the process with the largest oom_score.

For more information, see the earlyoom man page.

GitHub - earlyoom

Fedora 32 release notes - Distribution wide changes


One note worthy difference is the Repos that are available. You cannot use RPM Fusion or EPEL with Fedora server. This limits what is available package wise

  • There's nothing stopping you from enabling those repos on Fedora Server.
    – Herohtar
    Nov 24, 2021 at 20:49
  • Feel free to try it and see how well it works 😂 Nov 25, 2021 at 21:58
  • Works like a charm! 😃️
    – Herohtar
    Nov 27, 2021 at 5:14
  • Nice. I wonder if that has changed since I made the comment 2 years ago. At the time, it would say something like "you can't install these packages on the server OS". Otherwise I wouldn't have said something flat out incorrect Nov 28, 2021 at 6:06

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