Thursday, June 14, 2012

Comparison of Linux Giants: Fedora 17 "Beefy Miracle" Vs Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin"

5th July, 2012: With a new machine in my possession and booting both the distros in my VirtualBox, I could make a fair comparison of both the OSs. Now Gnome 3 would load for Fedora and Unity 3D for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

I had the 32-bit OS of Fedora 17 and hence, though I had 64-bit of Ubuntu, but compared with the 32-bit only.

Fedora's Gnome 3 interface looks really great and on clicking the activities section you get to see an interface with the most common applications as well as an exhaustive list of apps available.

CPU usage of Ubuntu (10%) is far lower than Fedora (44%) and RAM usage is almost identical in VB (300 MB).

Both are really smooth to operate and looks complementary to each other. Wish one day there would be a Linux OS integrating the goodness of both!

My old post:
To begin with, well it's a difficult comparison of course. And to be fair my system is P4, 1.5 GB RAM DDR. So, definitely neither Gnome 3.0, nor Unity 3D would load - it would be Gnome fallback and Unity 2D for Fedora and Ubuntu respectively.

Currently I use Debian Squeeze on daily basis and boot the other OSs from pen-drive. Both Ubuntu Precise and Fedora Beefy Miracle results are from usb booting only.

Given my system limitations, my comparison would be on Booting time and ease, CPU & RAM usage at steady state, default software bundle provided and finally performance as an user.

Distro Size:

Fedora 17 has a smaller iso file (646 MB) whereas the Ubuntu Precise has around 850 MB file. But Ubuntu has a complete LibreOffice suite provided by default whereas Fedora doesn't have any office suite, by default.

So, ISO size-wise, it's all square.

Booting time:

Fedora Beefy booted in less than 5 minutes whereas Ubuntu Precise took about 7-8 min. Both Gnome 3 and Unity 3D failed to load in my system.

For booting time, Fedora is the winner.

Note: The longish boot time is due to failure of Gnome 3 to load. Else, both boot within 30 sec. and hard to choose between the two.

Desktop Interface:

Again it depends on personal preference. I liked both and it's square one for me. Unity looks beautiful where Fedora gave me a Gnome fallback look.

Ubuntu Precise:

Fedora Beefy:

CPU & RAM Usage:

At steady state, from USB booting, following are the RAM and CPU usage:

Fedora: CPU 23%, RAM 237-240 MiB
Ubuntu: CPU 17-18%, RAM 340 MiB

Again it is a deadlock - Fedora uses more CPU but less RAM than Ubuntu.

For Ubuntu visit one of my previous post.

Softwares Bundled with the ISO:

Both have similar kind of software - Firefox 12.0, chat clients like Empathy, Basero, Cheese Webcam booth, Rhythmbox, shotwell, etc. Even the file managers are similar for both (Nautilus).

However, Ubuntu provides LibreOffice suite along with Thunderbird and is a clear winner here as even if you don't have an active internet connection, straight away you can start using Ubuntu for daily needs. But, to install Ubuntu, either you need a DVD or an USB - Fedora can squeeze in a CD as well. Again all square to be fair to both the distros. And these days who doesn't have an internet connection?

Fedora has more updated linux kernel - at least that is my observation. Ubuntu shows linux kernel of 3.2 whereas Fedora 17 has 3.3. Not sure which one offers better security or smoother usage though.

A list of Ubuntu bundled softwares are in this post

Software Repository

Almost similar software repositories for both, covering almost all the softwares one would need. Of course, Ubuntu Software repository looks prettier! But, content-wise more or less the same set of apps that one uses daily.

File:PackageKit on Fedora.png

Somehow, my experience with Fedora 17 was much smoother than Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. My computer is not the most updated one and specs are minimal. But, Fedora 17 with Gnome fallback didn't make me feel so and I could multitask with ease. However, in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, it was difficult to work with even 3-4 tabs of Firefox open.

But, Ubuntu Precise has some plus points as well. HUD effects and video lens which Fedora lacks.

However, my user experience in Fedora was better than Ubuntu.


Fedora's support ends somewhere in mid-2013 and Fedora doesn't have any LTS. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS support, on the other hand, continues till 5 years. Ubuntu is a clear winner here for those users who doesn't like to tinker with their systems much.


Overall, as everyone will agree, both the OSs have pros & cons. My judgment is biased by the system I am using and to me Fedora looks to be a less resource hungry distro and better user experience than Ubuntu. However, if you have a modern system, Ubuntu would be a better choice as an eye-candy. Functionality-wise I didn't note any difference between the two distros. Community-wise, both have very strong support of linux users and you can find instant help. Unity looks stunning in Ubuntu and gives it a different appeal, whereas Fedora is more Gnome 3 look which you see in OpenSUSE as well. For looks, it is Ubuntu 12.04 but for efficiency, it is Fedora 17. Unity is still evolving and with every passing release, getting better. I hope by Ubuntu 13.04, the developers will get their act together and it will be an interesting comparison with Fedora 18.

10th Feb 2013:
For my latest comparison between Fedora 18 vs Ubuntu 12.10, please click hereIn this article, I have compared across the desktop flavours, viz., Gnome, KDE, XFCE and LXDE between the two most famous distros in the Linux world.


  1. "Wish one day there would be a Linux OS integrating the goodness of both!"

    Well, there actually is a distro which aims to do so: Fuduntu. I can't comment on whether it achieves this aim or not, as I haven't seen or used it, but I'd just read about it somewhere.

    1. I tried Fuduntu. It neither Fedora nor Ubuntu but different. Hopefully these two biggies will come up with something very path-breaking someday! Hope! :)

  2. Hi Darshak: I downloaded Fuduntu latest OS. Will check if it really combines the goodness of both Ubuntu and Fedora and post in my blog :).

  3. I'm a newbie in linux and want to give it a shot.. my system is P4 2.8GHz 512MB RAM.. which distro would u advice. the windows xp currently on my system has become too slow and so i wanna try linux.. i tried ubuntu 12.04LTS from live cd but it didnt work was too slow and the pc hanged couple of times.
    Can u help me select the appropriate distro?

    1. Hi, given your system's low RAM, I guess Ubuntu or Fedora won't work. You can try out the following distros:

      1. Antix: Very lightweight and won't run superfast on your system.

      2. Rosa Marathon LXDE: LTS distro with 5 years of support, and very zippy even on low resource environment

      3. Peppermint 3: Based on Lubuntu, has LXDE desktop and perfect for beginners

      4. Porteus: KDE desktop but very lightweight - looks similar to Windows 7 with transparent menu.
      There are other distros as well but considering you a newbie, I am not advocating them right now. All the above mentioned distros would work for you right out the box. You can find their reviews in my blog, links are given below:

      Peppermint 3:

      Of these AntiX is the most lightweight followed by ROSA. Read my reviews and install whichever appeals to you and you are comfortable with.

      Please let me know finally what you installed.

    2. I would say go for Lubuntu, it uses a very small lightwieght desktop known as LXDE. Its simular to how Windows XP functions as well.

    3. thanks arindham,
      i've swithced to porteus...nd m liking pc suddenly got a new life!!
      but i'm unable to open .chm files (hav few ebooks)...can u suggest ny app for them?

    4. Great that you liked Porteus. There is an app Ebook reader in Porteus 1.2. If it doesn't work for you, please follow the guidelines given in the Porteus forum to download xCHM or kchmviewer.

      Hope these help you.

  4. nice review ....
    i have a old computer , i installed both, fedora was much quicker and smoother than ubuntu :)

  5. I have 1 GB RAM and I'm using Ubuntu 12.10 now. It's good but gets sluggish after a few weeks. I'll try Fedora now.

    1. Yup, you can try Fedora. But, with 1 GB RAM, my recommendation would be to go for Linux Mint XFCE or Xubuntu.

  6. I'm using ASUS n46vm-i5, and i want to use linux, i've tried to use both. In your mind, which OS would be almost like Mac? or do you have any idea how to install Mac on Windows laptop? I actually want to learn how to use all kind of Software, at least i can operate that

    1. Try Pear Linux ( It is the closest Linux I have seen to Mac. Please visit to learn how to install Mac in Windows laptop.


  7. Look at this Ubuntu Gnome Remix

    Like it?

  8. You can also use the Gnome environment on the ubuntu distro after adding the gnome repositories and installing gnome-shell. At login, you can choose between ubuntu's default 'unity' desktop and the Gnome desktop.

    1. I guess you meant Gnome fallback mode. Yes, it is there in both Ubuntu & Fedora.

  9. Boot times 5-8min? Is your harddisk broken? What is your system configuration?
    Good post, by the way.

    1. Actually, Gnome 3.4 failed to load for both Fedora & Ubuntu and hence, longish boot time. Otherwise, both boot within 30 seconds, with Gnome 3.

  10. I f I was going more for gaming which would you recommend Fedora or ubuntu? And I am talking more modern game like skyrim, ac3, dragon age 2, spec ops the line, Working with a really new and modern quad-core notebook that is currently running windows 8 and I cannot stand it at all. Also which os would it be easier to install these games on?

    1. None. New and modern games don't run on linux. There are like 20 modern games on linux, and they are all indie titles.

      You could try any distro, install PlayonLinux and try, but good luck. If gaming is your thing, stick with windows.

  11. i have window 7 home basic installed in hp notebook (without drive partition). i tried many times with disk shrinking option but with no result. neither i am able to boot ubuntu 12.10 live dvd. my dvd is in good, so can anyone help me with my problm.....?

    1. I haven't created a DVD yet of Ubuntu, normally use pendrive to boot Ubuntu. If you have a 2 GB pendrive, you can give it a shot. Please use the USB 123 software from - create a persistence of about 100 MB and you are ready to rock with Ubuntu. Actually it is a lot simpler.

      Please let me know if you are able to create your Ubuntu. Also, you can try the Ubuntu Windows installer (Wubi), it comes with the Ubuntu ISO itself. Download any ISO host for Win7 and host as a virtual drive or any ISO extractor to extract the content. You won't need to worry about partitioning and all - wubi will do it for you! I guess for you wubi can be an easier option - it started my experiments with Ubuntu with wubi only.


  12. Try puppy Linux, <150MB, really impressive in quite old systems and full of fun, also possible later to download plenty of features and apps. You can even try it booting from an USB and then make some changes in configuration and save them for the next time meanwhile deciding which one matches best your needs. Best regards and wishes to all.