I have distrohopped for a long time. Its likely the basic state of most Linux users. We’re all chasing that perfect distro. That distro that runs just a little smoother, that has a prettier command line, better effects, that’s freer than free, and so on.
There’s no small list of distros to try either. Many are independent creations not based on any other distro. Most others are variations on Debian/Ubuntu, Red Hat/Fedora, and Arch. There’s numerous charts showing the Linux family tree so I won’t delve into that here.
In the last year, I have used OpenSUSE, K/Ubuntu, Elementary, Deepin, MX, and Pop!_OS. OpenSUSE was a thousand paper cuts. Ubuntu quickly stalled out with the Snap mess. Elementary was very limited. MX was fun to play with live but wouldn’t install on two different computers. Pop didn’t cause any problems surprisingly with Ubuntu as its base. I have concerns about Pop’s longevity as a project of System76.
So why Fedora Linux?
Hardware support. Fedora is the first and only distro I tried that fully supported my Thinkpad T540p out of the box. The NVidia graphics card just works. The fingerprint reader just works. Literally everything just works. This is the biggest sole reason.
Authentication. I can swipe my fingerprint to login. I can swipe it for sudo in the terminal. I can swipe my fingerprint for the Software Center. I can swipe my finger all day long with Fedora and it keeps working. My one caveat… A password is required to unlock the keyring. It is the only time I have to type a password for the system.
Flatpak. Linux package management is evolving from DEBs and RPMs to Snap and Flatpaks. While I don’t believe the old packages will ever be completely gone, most software will eventually be packaged in these new formats. Most of the Linux world is throwing its support behind Flatpaks. Red Hat is the main sponsor of Flatpak development. I can get Flatpak support on Ubuntu or Elementary. Or I can get Flatpak on Red Hat’s own Fedora.
Red Hat. Speaking of the big daddy of Linux, Red Hat sponsors Fedora and works with CentOS. Red Hat is one of the largest contributors to the Linux kernel. Red Hat also sponsors or significantly contributes to Gnome, LibreOffice, and other smaller projects. Red Hat, now owned by IBM, is the de facto standard in the server space.
Bleeding edge. Fedora is up to date. It gets the latest packages and gets them fast. Fedora was the first to use systemd and Wayland. With the contributions to Gnome and other projects, Fedora receives quick updates.