This is probably a very dumb question but I have been a little while into the world of Linux for regular PC's and if I know something is that if something "runs" on Linux, little does the flavor matter, be it Fedora, Debian, Suse, etc.; however, this doesn't seem to be the case on the Raspberry as the official OS is Debian-based but Fedora (25) has still very, very basic support for it. I am aware of licensing and freeware related issues, but there doesn't seem to even be "community" answers to this stuff. I was thinking of stuff like "just copy this stuff here, apply this patch and compile, etc." but I can't seem to find anything. Why is this so and what, as regular users, can do about it?

Edit: Just to be a bit more clear on the main matter of the question: Why you can't just e.g. pull the firmware modules from Raspbian and make them work with Fedora just as you would do with a regular binary (compiled for ARM, of course).

  • This is my first question on the site and I did a quick search on the matter first, but feel free to downvote if you think this is way too dumb. – arielnmz Apr 30 '17 at 2:52

I think you're looking for FedBerry. This is a Fedora Remix — a third-party alteration of Fedora mixing Fedora software and... other stuff. This isn't an official Fedora subproject — but is an active and ongoing downstream project of its own.


As you note, standard Fedora ARM will run on the Pi 2 and Pi 3 as well, but with some limitations. Our ARM team is working on removing those limitations as much as we can, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation does not have a strong commitment to free software or open source, which ties our hands. Hopefully, as time goes on, this situation will become better.

  • The claim that the foundation has no commitment to FLOSS is disingenious. Pixman , gstreamer , Webkit , Wayland , Mesa , LXDE and Linux are projects which they paid and still pay people to work on. The point is they have a lot of custom projects and can only maintain a single distro with them. – flakeshake Apr 30 '17 at 17:42
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    I don't think it's disingenuous at all. It's good that they support existing open source projects which enable what they want to do, but they also have no compunction about making special deals with proprietary software companies if it gets them there. (See for example this from just the other day on this site.) I'm not saying this is wrong or anything — it just ties our hands at Fedora. I think "not a strong commitment" is entirely fair. – mattdm Apr 30 '17 at 18:23
  • Sorry , what i meant is saying that a lack of commitment to FLOSS from the foundation is what has been holding Fedora-based distros back is disingenious. – flakeshake May 1 '17 at 19:20
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    Can you give an example of something that does not work in Fedora for a reason other than license, patent, or upstreaming issues? (Leaving aside the ARMv6 architecture of the original Pi, which was supported by Pidora rather than Fedora proper.) – mattdm May 1 '17 at 19:26

The Foundation decided to use Debian as OS, even though Raspbian is an independent development.

NOTE the Pi and/or Raspbian are NOT supported by Debian.

There is a significant effort and cost in supporting a distribution. (If you were interested in donating a few million to the Foundation to hire a development team they could build a Fedora distribution.)

Currently Raspbian has a single stream for the ARM6 processor. There are very few OS which run on ARM6.

There are user generated and supported versions of Ubuntu and Arch for ARM7, which run on Pi2/3. There are also other OS with Pi ports. These are all customised because of the Pi boot code, which is totally different to other Linux distributions and require proprietary code.

If Fedora users are sufficiently interested to develop a Pi version it could happen.

  • Well thank you, but I now think this question might be better suited for superuser or even unix/linux as I was more interested in the how's rather than the why's; like, how you can't just pull the firmware binaries for the bluetooth from raspbian to use on a fedora installation, for example. I'd be glad to delete the question but it has answers, so... – arielnmz Apr 30 '17 at 4:56
  • Fedora users are sufficiently interested. – mattdm Apr 30 '17 at 17:10
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    Also note that the official Fedora ARM images boot the Pi 2/3 without modification, even with the unique boot process. – mattdm May 1 '17 at 17:12

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