Fedora 10 has been gaining new users at impressive rates. This past week alone Fedora 10 has picked up over 100,000 more. This puts the total number of Fedora users somewhere around 12-13 million, higher than any other Linux distribution. (If you disagree, please direct me to numbers.) At last count, Fedora 10 has a 15% gain in users over Fedora 9. This measurement was taken before this impressive week so the total gain might even be more than that.
Why is this? I can think of at least 3 reasons:
1. An unparallelled commitment to innovation: While some communities have adopted ‘feature stagnation’ as their method of innovation, Fedora has been relentless in bringing new features to the Linux forefront. I have already blogged about how Fedora 11 may possibly be the most innovative Linux release ever. And, like always, these features are the kind that other distros get very excited about adopting. This is the ultimate acknowledgment that your feature set is full of great ideas.
2. Increased quality of release: Paul Frields recently articulated how release quality has become a major goal of the Fedora project. Fedora has shown it is possible to be a very innovative Linux distribution while at the same time giving users a solid experience. To quote the media: “The best thing of all [these features] is that they all work smoothly and seamlessly together. Fedora 10 is what a cutting edge Linux distribution should be. You don’t have to take my word for it. You can download this free community Linux distribution today from the Fedora download site. ”
3. Fantastic community: Fedora’s commitment to community can be seen at all levels. In time where many companies are distributing layoffs Red Hat continues to hire established community leaders, projects like fedora-community and the Mokhsa are in full force, and new ambassadors are joining the project literally every day. (Statistically) The Fedora Project not only produces great software, but has built a community people are excited to be a part of. That makes a difference.