Is "Container Linux", "Red Hat CoreOS" and "Fedora CoreOS" basically the same? What are the differences in between?


I understood that "CoreOS" was renamed to "Container Linux by CoreOS". And then "Container Linux" and CoreOS' developers were acquired by Red Hat.

But I'm confused between "Container Linux", "Red Hat CoreOS" and "Fedora CoreOS".

First, they announced that "Container Linux" will be reborn as "Red Hat CoreOS", which I thought the name will be "Red Hat CoreOS".

But, then, they announced to launch "Fedora CoreOS" and they intend to maintain Container Linux at least into 2020.

So, currently, there are 3 types of "CoreOS" I think. The original "Container Linux", and "RedHat CoreOS" and "Fedora CoreOS".

I don't understand well what the ECO system of Red Hat they say are.

Is "Use it free with NO support" and "Fare-paying services with professional support"? Such like CentOS vs Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

If so, are the below right understanding? or am I fundamentally miss understanding?

  1. Container Linux
    • For general users. Free of charge but no professional support. Soon'll be deprecating.
  2. RedHat CoreOS
    • For corporate users. Charged for support and etc.
  3. Fedora CoreOS
    • For general users. Post Container Linux. Free of charge but no professional support.
  • I dont think we can answer this question. Contact CoreOS, RHEL, and / or IBM regarding use / support
    – Panther
    Dec 26, 2018 at 2:06
  • @Panther Yea. I forgot that RedHat was acquired by IBM a few months ago. So, it might take time to settle things, maybe... I feel docs are varying wildly with names. Aren't people get confused using CoreOS?
    – KEINOS
    Dec 27, 2018 at 9:31

2 Answers 2


I called the RED HAT agent in Japan and got the answers below.

  • Because of the other day's IBM acquisition, everything is not concrete, and anything might be changed.
  • They also have not much information what's going on. (to announce)
  • "Container Linux" will become "Fedora CoreOS".
  • "Container Linux" will end at least in 2020 or a year after the Fedora CoreOS' official release announcement.
  • "Fedora CoreOS" will be opensource, and will be maintained and supported by the Fedora community.
  • "Red Hat CoreOS" is for company usage and is the upper stream of "Fedora CoreOS".
  • The know-how, skills, and etc that "Fedora CoreOS" got, will reflect to "Red Hat CoreOS".
  • The basic echo system of Red Hat is:
    • To financially support the open source community and the changes made, some of them, mostly the security patches, will reflect their commercial products. Not all the feature made will reflect.

Therefore it might be said:

  • "Container Linux" IS "Fedora CoreOS" (or will be)
  • "Container Linux" and "Fedora CoreOS" are NOT "Red Hat CoreOS" but part of it.

Update as of 2021:

This question/answer was two years old(asked in 2018) and things changed later that. Here are the series of events happened so far,

  • Red Hat acquired CoreOS in early 2018 and later shared plans for the product and project integration.

  • On May 26, 2020, CoreOS Container Linux reached its end of life and will no longer receive updates.

  • 2020 update: End-of-life announcement for CoreOS Container Linux and Introducing Fedora CoreOS

  • Fedora CoreOS is the official successor to CoreOS Container Linux. Fedora CoreOS is a new Fedora Edition built specifically for running containerized workloads securely and at scale. It combines the provisioning tools and automatic update model of Container Linux with the packaging technology, OCI support, and SELinux security of Atomic Host.

  • Still, Fedora CoreOS has not fully replaced Container Linux for all use cases. Migration is going on.

  • On or after September 1, 2020, published resources related to CoreOS Container Linux will be deleted or made read-only. OS downloads will be removed, CoreUpdate servers will be shut down, and OS images will be removed from AWS, Azure, and Google Compute Engine.

Reference: https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/cloud-computing/openshift/what-was-coreos

  • 1
    > things changed Indeed. Clear enough. Thank you!! I will switch this to the accepted answer from my old one.
    – KEINOS
    Sep 17, 2021 at 3:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.