Fedora Core is the new name for the Red Hat Linux (RHL) series of distributions. Once Red Hat Linux reached version 9 (code-named "Shrike"), Red Hat decided that it was time to split their core product into two directions:
- Fedora, which would become a community-developed cutting edge R&D distribution where the latest and greatest Linux technologies would appear first. It focuses on the hobbyist and developer desktop (desktop Linux). An operating system built exclusively from free software and is available for free download.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is a less cutting-edge, more stable, better supported version of Linux based on snapshots of Fedora taken every so often (typically once every year or so). It is not free but is available at a cost of over $150.
Fedora continues Red Hat's tradition of building a super-modern, if slightly unstable, Linux desktop, and it is extremely popular. It is an excellent distro for newbies as long as they're willing to rough and tumble it with the Linux developers.