Fedora Fishing for a Fresh Appellation

The naming conventions for Linux distributions are a many-splendored thing: Ubuntu's names are perhaps most well-known, owing to their ear-pleasing alliteration and the sheer number necessitated by the frequency of releases. Debian, too, is well known for naming the versions inhabiting the multi-tiered release system after characters from the Toy Story franchise — even down-to-business Gentoo is in on the games, with the 2008.0 release bearing the codename "It's got what plants crave." Now it's Fedora's turn at bat, with entries open on the nom de plume for Fedora 11.

Any member of the Fedora community is welcome to submit a suggestion for consideration, provided it follows the naming convention and meets the release name guidelines. Fedora's scheme is a quite interesting one, different from most others we've seen — each name follows the formula "X is a Y, and so is Z," where X is the previous release's name, Z is the new release's name, and Y is some characteristic they share in common, preferably a particularly creative one. Interested parties have until Monday, December 8 to enter their submissions, after which the Fedora Board will take up the list to trim off anything undesirable or uncreative before passing it to the legal team for an in-depth vetting for trademark status and other problematic qualities. The final list is expected to be ready for a community vote starting January 5 and ending January 9, with the final choice to be announced the following day.

Anyone considering submitting should be sure to run a preliminary search on the proposed name in order to ensure it is not trademarked, as well as to determine if there are other undesirable qualities, for example, if the name or its translation is offensive in another language. (A thorough search engine check is considered sufficient.) Additionally, one must show/explain that the name meets the "is a" standard, particularly important as the preference is for highly creative submissions that are not immediately obvious. Submissions can be made on Fedora's name suggestion page, which appeared to have several dozen suggestions already as of press time. The curious sort can also find the history of previous Fedora release names on the Fedora Project website.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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I love the numbers

zaine_ridling's picture

Interesting, and I did notice the Cambridge moniker for the first time this release. However, given the frequency of Linux distro versions, who can remember what Ubuntu 6.04 was? Does it matter? Do people really care about these names?

Maybe, if for no other reason, it's playful.