Switching to Ubuntu From Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora

It's easy to apply your existing knowledge of Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora to Ubuntu. The key differences between them are covered in this guide.

Administrative Tasks

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora by default, each administrative user needs to know the root password, in addition to their own password.

In Ubuntu, each user only has one password. Users in the admin group can run command line and graphical applications with elevenated priveleges. Graphical admin tools prompt for this password when run, and command line tools can be run with root-privileges using [RootSudo sudo].


Ubuntu has one of the largest ranges of packages available to it, so you'll have more chance of finding what you want in the repositories. Graphical apps will put a link into Ubuntu's Applications menu.

Graphical Tools

You'll find Synaptic to be an excellent tool for finding, fetching and installing packages.

Command Line Tools

Ubuntu uses apt-get instead of yum / up2date / urpmi etc. to find, download, and install packages (and their dependencies).

Note that unlike yum, apt-get is only for packages available in repositories - it cannot handle packages you've already downloaded. dpkg is used instead.


Using RHEL or Fedora

Using Ubuntu

Refresh list of available packages

Yum refreshes each time it's used

apt-get update; apt-file update

Fetch and install a package (and any dependencies)

yum install package

apt-get install package

Get information about an available package

yum search package

apt-cache show package

Show available packages

yum list available

apt-cache dumpavail

List all installed packages

yum list installed OR rpm -qa

dpkg --list

Get information about an installed package

yum info packagename OR rpm -qi packagename

dpkg --status packagename

List files in an installed package

rpm -ql pkgname

dpkg --listfiles pkgname

Get information about a package file

rpm -qpi package.rpm

dpkg --info package.deb

List files in a package file

rpm -qpl package.rpm

dpkg --contents package.deb

Extract files in a package

rpm2cpio package.rpm |cpio -vid

dpkg-deb --extract package.deb dir-to-extract-to

Install a package file

yum install package.rpm OR rpm -i package.rpm

dpkg --install package.deb

Remove a package

rpm -e pkgname

dpkg --remove pkgname

Find package that installed a file

rpm -qf filename

dpkg --search filename

Find package that provides a particular file

yum provides filename

apt-file search filename

More technical information about Debian style packaging can be found at [WWW] http://www.debian.org/doc/FAQ/ch-pkg_basics.en.html and [WWW] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/maint-guide/index.en.html


Graphical Tools

Services can be configured by clicking System -> Administration -> Services

There's also [WWW] Boot-Up Manager.

Command Line Tools


Red Hat Enterprise / Fedora example (with Apache HTTPd)

Ubuntu example

Starting/stopping services immediately

service httpd start

/etc/init.d/apache start or service apache start (from sysvconfig package) or use sysv-rc-conf

Enabling a service at boot

chkconfig httpd on

sysv-rc-conf apache on or update-rc.d apache defaults

Disabling a service at boot

chkconfig httpd off

sysv-rc-conf apache off or update-rc.d apache purge

Note: whereas Red Hat and Fedora's servers boot into runlevel 3 by default, Ubuntu servers default to runlevel 2.

last edited 2007-03-02 05:28:23 by MikeMaccana