Fedora Core Archive
Two major Linux distributions released major new versions this week. First, Ubuntu: There’s a big user experience uplift courtesy of GNOME 44 and enhancements, and a brand new Ubuntu installer helps improves the onboarding experience. Foundationally, Ubuntu 23.04 runs on the latest Linux kernel 6.2 release, ships Mesa 23.0 graphics drivers (with in-distro access to proprietary NVIDIA drivers for those who need them), plus updates all of the requisite tooling, toolchains, and programming packages developers need. I’m curious to try the new installer if someone else adopts it (I have no need for Ubuntu), but other than that, this is a fairly small release that won’t rock the boat too much. Second we have Fedora: Fedora Workstation focuses on the desktop experience. As usual, Fedora Workstation features the latest GNOME release. GNOME 44 includes a lot of great improvements, including a new lock screen, a “background apps” section on the quick menu, and improvements to accessibility settings. In addition, enabling third-party repositories now enables an unfiltered view of applications on Flathub. With this release, we’ve shortened the default timeout when services shut down. This helps your system power off faster — important when you need to grab your laptop and go. Fedora is, in my view, the best desktop Linux distribution, and I use it myself on two of my three main PCs. So far, Fedora 38 doesn’t feel like a major new release either, but just more of what you already know.
Red Hat and Fedora engineers are plotting a path to supporting Unified Kernel Images (UKI) with Fedora Linux and for the Fedora 38 release in the spring they are aiming to get their initial enablement in place. Unified Kernel Images have been championed by the systemd folks for better securing and trusting Linux distributions. Unified kernel images are a combination of the kernel image, initrd, and UEFI stub program all distributed as one. This seems like a fairly no-brainer move, and I’m sure there will be agreement and jolly cooperation on this step forward from all involved in the Linux community.
Fedora 36 is releasing this morning as what is yet another release in recent times of being a very robust and bleeding-edge yet stable and reliable Linux distribution. I’ve already been running Fedora Workstation 36 and Fedora Server 36 snapshots on various systems in my benchmarking lab and this release has proven to be quite solid while adding new features and polish on top of the excellent Fedora 35. I have no reservations about stating that Fedora is by far the best desktop Linux distribution you can get today (assuming you prefer GNOME, that is). It’s polished to an insane degree, not afraid to both develop and implement new technologies that bring the Linux desktop forward – kicking and screaming, lots of kicking and screaming – and sports excellent community support through things like RPM Fusion. Linux Mint if you prefer less bleeding edge, Fedora if you want the best the Linux desktop has to offer.
With Fedora 36 working its way towards release later this month, more developer attention and planning is turning to Fedora 37 that will be released this autumn. One of the changes being talked about this week is for signing RPM contents for a means of trusting the files that are executed. The Fedora 37 change proposal is for adding IMA-based signatures to the individual files that are part of shipped RPM packages. This will allow for enforcing run-time policies by system administrators to ensure the execution of only trusted files or similar policies. This is a good idea, and it’s important to underline that this is entirely optional – nothing will change for regular end users who are not interested in such policies. This won’t limit your ability to install whatever rpm you want, nor does it lock down anything any further than it is today – it just gives administrators more options.
Red Hat’s Christian Schaller: This weekend the X1 Carbon with Fedora Workstation went live in North America on Lenovos webstore. This is a big milestone for us and for Lenovo as its the first time Fedora ships pre-installed on a laptop from a major vendor and its the first time the world’s largest laptop maker ships premium laptops with Linux directly to consumers. Currently only the X1 Carbon is available, but more models is on the way and more geographies will get added too soon. It seems Lenovo is taking its embrace of Linux quite seriously, with proper integration with things like Linux Vendor Firmware Service and Fwupd. The blog post goes into a number of other recent improvements the Fedora project is working on, too.
“User tracking” is generally contentious in free-software communities—even if the “tracking” is not really intended to do so. It is often distributions that have the most interest in counting their users, but Linux users tend to be more privacy conscious than users of more mainstream desktop operating systems. The Fedora project recently discussed how to count its users and ways to preserve their privacy while doing so. As always, an exceptionally good article from LWN.
This release is particularly exciting because it's the first to include the Fedora Modularity feature across all our different variants. Modularity lets us ship different versions of packages on the same Fedora base. This means you no longer need to make your whole OS upgrade decisions based on individual package versions. For example, you can choose Node.js version 8 or version 10, on either Fedora 28 or Fedora 29. Or you can choose between a version of Kubernetes which matches OpenShift Origin, and a module stream which follows the upstream.
Other big changes include GNOME 3.30 on the desktop, ZRAM for our ARM images, and a Vagrant image for Fedora Scientific.
You know where to get it.
A big project I've been working on recently for Fedora Workstation is what we call flickerfree boot. The idea here is that the firmware lights up the display in its native mode and no further modesets are done after that. Likewise there are also no unnecessary jarring graphical transitions.
Basically the machine boots up in UEFI mode, shows its vendor logo and then the screen keeps showing the vendor logo all the way to a smooth fade into the gdm screen.
People were complaining about this way back when I first actually got into Linux, somewhere in the early 2000s. I guess Fedora finally managed to get it working.
Fedora Workstation comes with two package managers by default: DNF and PackageKit. DNF has all the latest features and the best support, but PackageKit is put front and center in GNOME Software, KDE Plasma Discover, and as of Fedora 26 also in Cockpit’s new Software Update panel.
You may be better off sticking with the DNF package manager in the command line; even though PackageKit is the choice of all the graphical package managers. Here is some of the advantages DNF still gives you over PackageKit based applications.
Yes, after being pushed back from release after release, Fedora 25 finally defaults to using the Wayland graphics stack (assuming you have a supported graphics card). This is perhaps the biggest change to come in the Linux world since the move to systemd. However, unlike that systemd transition, the switch to Wayland was so seamless I had to logout and double check that I was in fact using Wayland.
I called Fedora 24, released earlier this year, "the year's best Linux distro" but one that I would have a hard time recommending thanks to some ugly kernel-related bugs. Well, Fedora 25 is here with an updated kernel, the bugs appear to be gone, and I have no reservations about recommending it. Not only is Fedora 25 a great release, the updated GNOME 3.22 running on top of Wayland appears to be slick and very stable.
The switch to Wayland has been so long in the making. That being said, I've been using Wayland for several years now - on my Jolla devices.
Like most Linux distros, Fedora is a massive, sprawling project. Frankly, it's sprawl-y to the point that it has felt unfocused and a bit lost at times. Just what is Fedora? The distro has served as a kind of showcase for GNOME 3 ever since GNOME 3 hit the beta stage. So Fedora in theory is meant to target everyday users, but at the same time the project pours tremendous energy into building developer tools like DevAssistant. Does that make Fedora a developer distro? A newbie-friendly GNOME showcase? A server distro? An obscure robotics distro?
Today, the answer to all the above questions is "yes." And the way to make sense of it all is what Fedora calls Fedora.Next.
"Linux fans hope that the interface changes in Windows 8 will drive more users to Linux. But the open source operating system is facing interface challenges of its own. Part of the problem is that - after so much controversy within the Linux community - there are so many interfaces to chose from. But the new version of Fedora - a desktop focused version of Red Hat’s distribution of Linux - is offering users an easier way to choose
between the many flavors of Linux GUI."
"Fedora 18 will be released at around the same time as Windows 8, and as previously discussed all Windows 8 hardware will be shipping with secure boot enabled by default. We've been working on a plan for dealing with this. It's not ideal, but of all the approaches we've examined we feel that this one offers the best balance between letting users install Fedora while still permitting user freedom." Wait for it...
"Our first stage bootloader will be signed with a Microsoft key."
Fedora 17 has been released
. Major new features: "GNOME 3.4 and KDE 4.8; OpenStack, Eucalyptus, CloudStack and Open Nebula; ICC profiles for color printing and an improved gimp; Still more virtualization improvements." And, of course, loads and loads more.
"The ARM architecture is growing in popularity and is expected to expand its reach beyond the mobile and 'small embedded' device space that it currently occupies. Over the next few years, we are likely to see ARM servers and, potentially, desktops. Fedora has had at least some ARM support for the last few years, but always as a secondary architecture, which meant that the support lagged that of the two primary architectures (32 and 64-bit x86) of the distribution. Recently, though, there has been discussion of 'elevating' ARM to a primary architecture
, but, so far, there is lots of resistance to a move like that."
"The following are major features for Fedora 16
: enhanced cloud support including Aeolus Conductor, Condor Cloud, HekaFS, OpenStack and pacemaker-cloud; KDE Plasma workspaces 4.7; GNOME 3.2; a number of core system improvements including GRUB 2 and the removal of HAL; an updated libvirtd, trusted boot, guest inspection, virtual lock manager and a pvops based kernel for Xen all improve virtualization support."
Good news from the Linux world. Fedora has announced its intention to drastically alter the file system layout of its Linux distribution. The plan
's been out for a while, but was brought to my attention by Brian Proffitt
(still the best name ever) over at ITWorld. The gist is to move all binaries to
, and all libraries to
Fedora 16 Alpha is released today
, featuring GNOME 3.1.4
with a unified input indicator
for keyboard layouts and input methods, KDE 4.7
, GRUB 2
on new installations (with GPT disk labels) and several other major changes. You can download it now
. Remember to read the important information in the release notes
and common bugs page
"When it comes to adopting the newest technologies, Fedora is always at the front among the major Linux distributions. Well, Fedora might very well do it again by adopting a new file system for its next release. According to proposals for Fedora 16, Btrfs will be the default filesystem used in that release
. The proposal has been approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. In Fedora 16, the switch from EXT4 to Btrfs will be a 'simple switch' - it means that major Btrfs features such as RAID and LVM capabilities will not be forced onto users."
"After months of development, Fedora 15, codenamed "Lovelock" has finally been released
today." Highlights of this release include restart-free firewall configuration, a switch to Gnome 3, LibreOffice, PowerTOP 2.x and systemd, "Consistent Network Device Naming", and... Rupee symbol support for Indian users.