Fedora 26, the latest version of the Fedora operating system has been finally released. Fedora is a Unix-like computer operating system based on the Linux kernel and GNU programs. Fedora Linux distribution, which is a community-driven project by Red Hat, the billion dollars Open Source company, is known for shipping the cutting edge technologies twice a year. Having said that, let’s look at the new features Fedora 26 brings for us.Fedora Workstation uses GNOME as the default desktop environment but provides other spins based on KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE etc. Fedora comes in three versions namely Workstation, Server and Atomic.
Fedora is a Unix-like operating system based on the Linux kernel and GNU programs, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by the Red Hat company.Fedora contains software distributed under various free and open-source licenses and aims to be on the leading edge of such technologies.Fedora is the upstream source of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.Since the release of Fedora 21, three different editions are available: Workstation, focused on the personal computer, Server and Cloud for servers, and Atomic being the edition meant for cloud computing.As of February 2016, Fedora has an estimated 1.2 million users,including Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.Fedora has a reputation for focusing on innovation, integrating new technologies early on and working closely with upstream Linux communities.Making changes upstream instead of specifically for Fedora ensures that the changes are available to all Linux distributions.
Fedora has a relatively short life cycle: each version is usually supported for at least 13 months, where version X is supported only until 1 month after version X+2 is released and with approximately 6 months between most versions.Fedora users can upgrade from version to version without reinstalling.The default desktop environment in Fedora is GNOME and the default user interface is the GNOME Shell. Other desktop environments, including KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXDE, MATE and Cinnamon, are available and can be installed.Fedora uses the RPM package management system, using DNF as a tool to manage the RPM packages.DNF uses libsolv, an external dependency resolver.Flatpak is also supported by default, and support for Ubuntu’s snaps can also be added. Fedora uses Delta RPM when updating installed packages to provide Delta update. A Delta RPM contains the difference between an old and new version of a package. This means that only the changes between the installed package and the new one are downloaded reducing network traffic and bandwidth consumption.
Fedora uses Security-Enhanced Linux by default, which implements a variety of security policies, including mandatory access controls, which Fedora adopted early on.Fedora provides hardening wrapper, and does hardening for all of its packages by using compiler features such as position-independent executable.Fedora comes installed with a wide range of software such as LibreOffice and Firefox. Additional software is available from the software repositories and can be installed using the DNF package manager or GNOME Software.Additionally, extra repositories can be added to the system, so that software not available in Fedora can be installed easily.Software that is not available via official Fedora repositories, either because it doesn’t meet Fedora’s definition of free software or because its distribution may violate US law, can be installed using third-party repositories. Popular third-party repositories include RPM Fusion free and non-free repositories. Fedora also provides users with an easy-to-use build system for creating their own repositories called Copr.
Since the release of Fedora 25, the operating system defaults to the Wayland display server protocol, which replaced the X Windows System.Similar to Debian blends, the Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora called Fedora spins or editions.These are built with specific sets of software packages, offering alternative desktop environments or targeting specific interests such as gaming, security, design, education,robotics,and scientific computing. Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.Fedora also provides a Fedora Atomic Host image for Project Atomic, which is Red Hat’s solution for deploying Docker-based containerized applications.The Fedora AOS is a specialized spin of Fedora with reduced memory footprint for use in software appliances. Appliances are pre-installed, pre-configured, system images. This spin is intended to make it easier for anyone to create and deploy virtual appliances.
The name of Fedora derives from Fedora Linux, a volunteer project that provided extra software for the Red Hat Linux distribution, and from the characteristic fedora hat used in Red Hat’s “Shadowman” logo. Warren Togami began Fedora Linux in 2002 as an undergraduate project at the University of Hawaii,intended to provide a single repository for well-tested third-party software packages so that non-Red Hat software would be easier to find, develop, and use. The key of Fedora Linux and Red Hat Linux was that Fedora’s repository development would be collaborative with the global volunteer community.Fedora Linux was eventually absorbed into the Fedora Project, carrying with it this collaborative approach.
Fedora Linux was launched in 2003, when Red Hat Linux was discontinued. Red Hat Enterprise Linux was to be Red Hat’s only officially supported Linux distribution, while Fedora was to be a community distribution.Red Hat Enterprise Linux branches its releases from versions of Fedora.Before Fedora 7, Fedora was called Fedora Core after the name of one of the two main software repositories – Core and Extras. Fedora Core contained all the base packages that were required by the operating system, as well as other packages that were distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs, and was maintained only by Red Hat developers. Fedora Extras, the secondary repository that had been included since Fedora Core 3, was community-maintained and not distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs. Upon the release of Fedora 7, the distinction between Fedora Core and Fedora Extras was eliminated.
Since the release of Fedora 21, as an effort to modularize the Fedora distribution and make development more agile,three different versions are available: Workstation, focused on the personal computer, Server and Atomic for servers, Atomic being the version meant for cloud computing.Fedora is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat’s application for trademark status for the name “Fedora” was disputed by Cornell University and the University of Virginia Library, creators of the unrelated Fedora Commons digital repository management software.The issue was resolved and the parties settled on a co-existence agreement that stated that the Cornell UVA project could use the name when clearly associated with open source software for digital object repository systems and that Red Hat could use the name when it was clearly associated with open source computer operating systems.Fedora has a relatively short life cycle: version X is supported only until 1 month after version X+2 is released and with approximately 6 months between most versions, meaning a version of Fedora is usually supported for at least 13 months, possibly longer.Fedora users can upgrade from version to version without reinstalling.
Some of the Main Features Of Fedora 26:
Modular Server Preview
For system administrators, Fedora has added a Fedora Modular Server preview build. The purpose of this preview release is to request feedback from the user community.“As we progress down the modularity path, we finally have enough content, architecture, and understanding that we would like to release an edition of Fedora that is actually usable. However, as we aren’t ready for production yet, we would like to do a “preview” release so that people can see it and try it but it doesn’t actually take the place of a production edition,” says the Fedora 26 Release notes.
GNOME 3.24 Portland
Fedora 26 features the new GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, which includes a host of new features like Night Light, an application that subtly changes the screen color as the day passes to relieve your eyes from any strain, and LibreOffice 5.3, the latest update to the popular open-source office productivity suite. The Weather information is now included in the notification area and a new community-developed app named ‘Recipes’ has also been added.“For developers, GNOME 3.24 provides matured versions of Builder and Flatpak to make application development for a variety of systems, including Rust and Meson, easier across the board,” says the Fedora Project.
Kernel: aarch64 48-bit Virtual Address Space
Before Fedora 26, the aarch64 kernel in Fedora used a 42-bit process virtual address (VA) space and due to the way aarch64 paging works, this constrained the maximum physical address as well. The 42-bit VA was fairly limiting for some applications, but aarch64 processors also have support for 48-bit VAs.For Fedora 26, Fedora has introduced a 48-bit VA and so larger aarch64 processes won’t be constrained by the virtual or physical limitations of a 42-bit VA. This change also helps with things like hugetlb’s and potentially provides a performance boost. Additionally, it allows Fedora to boot on a class of machines that have the majority of their RAM higher in the address space.It’s unlikely a desktop user will notice the change, except possibly that Fedora might now boot on additional hardware. A server user might find that there is more RAM available for in-memory databases etc.
ARM Support in Fedora Media Writer
Fedora Media Writer has gained the ability to write ARM images to SD cards and other portable media. Users, including those on Windows and macOS as well as on Fedora, will now be able to write Fedora images easily for Raspberry Pi 2 and above and for other supported ARM devices.In Fedora 26, OpenVPN has been rebased to version 2.4.3. This had led to many improvements like improved elliptic curve cryptography support, support for AES-GCM, etc. There’s also a seamless client IP and port available, allowing clients to change their IP address or port without having to fully renegotiate an established tunnel. Fedora 26 Linux distro ships with DNF 2.0, the latest version of Fedora’s package management system. It brings many bugfixes and improvements over DNF 1.x, as well as changes required to fix incompatibilities with Yum, the predecessor of DNF.DNF 2.0 provides usability improvements, including better messages during resolution errors, showing whether a package was installed as a weak dependency, better handling of obsolete packages, fewer tracebacks, and others.
Python Classroom Lab
Fedora 26 brings in a new Python Classroom Lab, a variant of Fedora targeted at teachers and students of the Python programming language. A ready to use environment with Python, PyPy 3, virtualenv, tox, git, Jupyter Notebook and more. It’s ready in three variants: as a GNOME powered desktop or headless for Vagrant and Docker.Fedora LXQt desktop is known for its lightweight, well-integrated experience. A new LXQT spin has been shipped with Fedora 26 release. It features a small set of applications, such as QupZilla browser, which combines the rendering engine frtom Chromium with a nice Qt experience. As all applications use the same Qt5 toolkit and the Breeze theme known from KDE, the desktop provides a unified and well-integrated style and theming. In addition, breeze-gtk is provided to allow the user to integrate GTK applications too.