Fedora Or Red Hat?
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11.5 years ago
Lee Katz ★ 3.1k

My IT guy gave me a choice of Fedora or Red Hat for an operating system. Is there any advantages or disadvantages for either operating system when considering bioinformatics applications? They seem very similar. Thanks for the feedback.

linux • 7.1k views
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What type of work do you anticipate doing on this system? Is it a desktop or a server? Are you going to be installing older existing packages, compiling bleeding edge software, and/or developing new software?

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I will be developing, mostly in Perl. I would also like to install bleeding edge software but also standard software (BLAST, Clustal, muscle, etc). It will probably not be used as a server.

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11.5 years ago
User 59 13k

What do you want to do on the system? Most commercial software is certified on RedHat for support etc. If this isn't a matter of concern, use whatever you're interested in.

If it's a desktop, I'd head towards Fedora. If it's a server, and you want to pay RedHat for the privilege, it's definitely more likely to be a better server platform (no I don't have experience of running Fedora on servers). But why not just use CentOS or Scientific Linux instead. They are free, RedHat derived, Linux OS's.

Your concerns with bioinformatics software will be a) will it be packaged for my system b) will it be in a repository my system can pull in c) is it 64bit compatible..

Additional relevant threads on Biostar here and here

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Another vote for CentOS. If you must use RedHat, CentOS is your best choice. It's binary compatible with RedHat and battle tested. You can't really go wrong with Fedora either, but it's likely to have a few more edge features.

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I don't recommend CentOS if you need bleeding edge packages. We are using it here and I found that the versions of packages like R or compilers are quite old, often dated. If you want something really stable use FreeBDS or OpenBSD. Anyway, none of these were options given to Lee.

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Michael, I agree that CentOS will leave you at the mercy of R packages/releases that are outdated - this is a serious issue for power R users, we deal with it at work on the RHEL platforms, and its the reason I run Ubuntu on my servers. I can't however for a moment condone running a *BSD system for bioinformatics. I have many friends in network infrastructure jobs that swear by BSD, and I've used Free, Net and OpenBSD myself, but I warrant using any of them for bioinformatics would be frustrating for most people due to lack of support.

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And for the next person whose finger is itching to leap in with a comment about MacOS X. I have Mac desktops all over the place, I love them, and their shiny BSD underparts, but I wouldn't dream of deploying a cluster of it (again ;)).

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+1 to Scientific Linux. It's suppose to be 100% compatible with Red Hat, and so far I've had a very good experience with it.

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11.5 years ago
Ian 5.8k

I suspect you are just going to get people telling you what their favorite and most used OS is. I personally use Fedora because everyone else in my office does. Sounds like a weak reason, but it means problems can be solved easily. Who else uses these OSs in your area?

I have used both OSs and think Fedora is 'better' because it is consistently developing, there is a great open source community and i have not had any problems with any out of date libraries being for newly developed bioinformatics software. I did previously come across this problem with RH.

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11.5 years ago

I am not using either one of those, but have experience with a lot of different OS

After a look here given only these choices, I would choose Red Hat Enterprise for a server and Fedora for a bioinformatician/scientific programmers workstation.

There are only very few differences between these linux distributions, so I wouldn't waste a lot of time arguing (even though I believe the debian package management system apt is superior to yum...).

Main aspects of OS that are relevant always (in my personal priority):

  • Compatibility with hardware
  • Support
  • Ease of administration
  • Availability vs. stability of software packages

Fedora has more and newer packages and RHEL has commercial support and stability.

None of these points are likely to be relevant for you as a perl programmer, but go and check if the required software you use is available as a recent version packaged in the repo, that's a little advantage (and a reason why I wouldn't use CentOS because they always so much behind)

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11.5 years ago
Biomed 4.8k

RadHat would be my choice as a lot of bioinformatics research groups (government,Industry,Academia) use CentOS which is very similar to RedHat. This will result in better chances in compatibility and support from user groups.

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8.6 years ago
jackuser1979 ▴ 890

To my exprience, I have seen many people use Fedora for Personal PCs and Red Hat Enterprise edition for a server.

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