Fedora from the Cockpit | LAS 390

Fedora from the Cockpit | LAS 390

Fedora 23 has hit the web and we think this is the release that changes everything, forever. Find out why we think the changes made in Fedora 23 make this nearly a future proof distribution in some work cases.

Plus Linus Torvalds is under attack this week from multiple sources, we’ll break down one of the more technical assaults, Ubuntu is finally killing the software center & the biggest feature coming to systemd ever, just got delayed.

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Fedora 23 Review

What’s new in Fedora 23 Workstation – Fedora Magazine

Fedora 23 Workstation is now released. It’s a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system aimed at home users, hobbyists, students, and software developers. Fedora 23 Workstation features the latest GNOME 3.18 release courtesy of the GNOME community. This release of GNOME includes updates to the Files browser, and the new Calendar and Todo applications. Fedora 23 Workstation is the first release of Fedora to include LibreOffice 5.

Gnome Software can update Firmware

Fedora 23 Sreenshot

This means that if your hardware supports it and your vendor uploads the needed firmware to lvfs you can update your system firmware through GNOME Software. So no more struggling with proprietary tools or bootable DVDs.

Files

Files Copying

The Files browser, also known as Nautilus, now gives progress feedback when copying or moving large files. A button in the header bar allows you to see progress at a glance. Searching and renaming files in the file browser is now also quicker and easier to use.

There’s now better support for your Google Drive contents, too. If you’ve set up a Google online account in the Control Center, you’ll see your Google Drive contents in Files, with a shortcut to Drive in the sidebar.

LibreOffice 5 w/beta GTK3 support

LibreOffice with GTK3 Support

Fedora 23 Workstation ships with LibreOffice 5, the newest version of the widely used productivity suite. LibreOffice features LibreOffice Writer for creating documents, LibreOffice Calc for spreadsheets, and LibreOffice Impress for presentations. LibreOffice 5 comes with many new features and improvements, including:

  • Style previews in the sidebar
  • Built-in image crop
  • UI for data bars in Calc
  • Support for Time-Stamp Protocol in PDF export
  • Improved import and export to a variety of different types of files
  • Improved support for HiDPI screens
  • …and more!
xdg-app Tech Preview

xdg-app tech demo screen shot

xdg-app is our new technology for packaging desktop applications. While still early stage it provides a way for software developers to package their software in a way that is both usable across multiple distributions and with improved security through the use of the LXC container technology.

I know that a lot of people don’t agree with me about this, and I always see a number of moans and groans about Anaconda when a new Fedora release comes along. But I believe that Linux installation is not a simple task, and installers which try to treat it as if it were will eventually either come up short, or get into trouble. In the simplest cases, Anaconda can get you through the installation with something like six or seven mouse clicks. But when the going gets tough, or complicated, Anaconda has the wherewithal to handle that as well.

Another major piece of engineering that I have covered that we did for Fedora Workstation 23 is the GTK3 port of LibreOffice. Those of you who follow Caolán McNamaras blog are probably aware of the details. The motivation for the port wasn’t improved look and feel integration, there was easier ways to achieve that, but to help us have LibreOffice deal well with a range of new technologies we are supporting in Fedora Workstation namely: Touch support, Wayland support and HiDPI.

DNF Upgrade

DNF system upgrade – FedoraProject

Shift to DNF for system upgrades

One important new change is the shift to DNF for system upgrades. Fedora’s old fedup tool for upgrading from one release of Fedora to another is gone. Operating system upgrades are now handled by DNF, Fedora’s new package management tool that replaced yum back in Fedora 22 . This uses systemd‘s support for offline system updates and can roll them back if necessary. If you’re upgrading from one version of Fedora to another, you’ll need to use the DNF tools instead.

What is DNF system upgrade?

dnf-plugin-system-upgrade is a plugin for the Dnf package manager which handles system upgrades. It is the recommended upgrade method for Fedora since the release of Fedora 23 Beta. The Changes/DNF_System_Upgrades page documents the initial introduction of this mechanism.

What does DNF system upgrade do?

Upgrade Done

DNF system upgrade can upgrade your system to a newer release of Fedora, using a mechanism similar to that used for offline package updates. The updated packages are downloaded while the system is running normally, then the system reboots to a special environment (implemented as a systemd target) to install them. Once installation of the updated packages is complete, the system reboots again to the new Fedora release.

How do I use it?

  1. Update your system using the standard updater for your desktop or pkcon or dnf:
    • sudo dnf update
    • It is wise to reboot the computer, especially if you’ve just installed a new kernel.
    • Please note that there is an issue if you use a non-default plymouth boot theme. If you do, please follow the issue description to make sure your upgrade will not be affected.
  2. Install the [![Package-x-generic-16.png](http://fedoraproject.org/w/uploads/a/a4/Package-x-generic-16.png)][4][dnf-plugin-system-upgrade][5] package:
    • sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade --best
  3. Download the updated packages:
    • sudo dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=24
    • If some of your packages would have unsatisfied dependencies, the upgrade will refuse to continue until you run it again with an extra –allowerasing option. This often happens with packages installed from third-party repositories for which an updated repositories hasn’t been yet published. Please study very careful the output and examine which packages are going to be removed. None of them should be essential for system functionality, but some of them might be important for your productivity.
    • In case of unsatisfied dependencies, you can see more details if you add –best option to the command line.
  4. Trigger the upgrade process:
    • sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot
  5. Wait for the upgrade process to complete.

Fedora Server

Fedora Server Roles

A Featured Server role is an installable component of Fedora Server that provides a well-integrated service on top of the Fedora Server platform. These prepared roles simplify deployment and management of a service compared to setting up an upstream server from scratch; their use is recommended but optional;

Domain Controller Server Role

Fedora Server can deploy a domain controller powered by FreeIPA. The role greatly simplifies configuration of a primary domain controller.

Database Server Role

Rapidly deploy instances of the powerful postgresql database server using the new Database Server Role for rolekit.

Cockpit Management Console

The Cockpit Management Console (the Cockpit package) is available by default in Fedora Server. This tool provides a powerful, easy to use, web-based graphical interface for managing multiple Linux servers. Features include:

  • systemd service management
  • Journal log viewer
  • Storage configuration including LVM
  • Docker container management
  • Basic network configuration
  • Adding and removing local users

Any user known to the server can log in to the Cockpit console by opening http://_server-ip-address_:9090.

New features for Cockpit in Fedora 23 include:

  • Secondary Server Authentication via SSH keys

A single Cockpit instance can be used to manage many devices by connecting to them over ssh. Cockpit can now manage SSH keys to implement this securely. Read more at http://files.Cockpit-project.org/guide/latest/authentication.html

  • Manage User SSH keys

Cockpit’s user management interface can also manage a user’s authorized keys.

  • Kubernetes dashboard

Cockpit has grown a basic dashboard for managing container deployments with Kubernetes.

  • Time Zone management

You now can use Cockpit to adjust the system time zone.

Other Fedora 23 Reviews

Fedora 23 is great for small business who are looking at options for cutting down on IT costs related to software. If Fedora doesn’t suit the task at hand, we remind our readers not to forget about CentOS 7.0. Sure, Ubuntu is also an equal potential option with solid and reliable performance. But it’s difficult to look past Fedora’s fine polish and overall friendly take on a server operating system. Additionally, the simple fact that Cockpit is so well equipped and installed by default with the core system, makes Fedora 23 that little bit more tempting.

Wayland is a new graphical server technology designed to replace X.org. Almost all Linux distributions—except for Ubuntu, which is forging its own path with Mir—plan on using it. Fedora 23 has an optional Wayland session you can enable and play with today, and developers are hopeful Fedora 24 can switch to Wayland by default. This will also bring mixed high-DPI support, so you can use a laptop with a high-DPI display and connect it to a low-DPI external monitor. Each display will be able to have its own DPI settings. Work is also ongoing to make LibreOffice and Firefox run normally under Wayland.

Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader

“Two years ago, the
Fedora Project started the Fedora.next initiative, which helped us look
at what the Fedora Project needed to accomplish in the next 10 years to
adapt to a changing technology landscape, one where open source
development and cloud computing are becoming more prevalent across the
IT landscape. The Fedora operating system needed to be both more
flexible and more targeted, and last year, we released the first Fedora
distribution with three separate editions for users in the cloud, for
those in the server room, and for users looking for a desktop platform.
The release of Fedora 23 highlights the important successes of this
initiative, including the delivery of these three distinct editions as
well as infrastructure improvements to help our community continue
Fedora’s role as a leader within the open source operating system world.”

— PICKS —

Runs Linux

Group of neighbors Runs Linux

1:29

When you live somewhere with slow and unreliable Internet access, it usually seems like there’s nothing to do but complain. And that’s exactly what residents of Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Washington state, were doing in late 2013. Faced with CenturyLink service that was slow and outage-prone, residents gathered at a community potluck and lamented their current connectivity.

Desktop App Pick

Trine 3 Released For Linux

Trine 3 is currently on sale for 50% off ($10) via the Steam Store. Trine 3 on Linux requires OpenGL 4.1 support and the developers explicitly recommend using the proprietary drivers over the open-source drivers for best results.

Weekly Spotlight

Architect Linux

Architect Linux – the successor to “Evo/Lution Linux” – provides a powerful, user-friendly, and flexible installer for Arch Linux.

The net-based Architect Installation Framework will download the latest packages from the Arch repositories to build the most up-to-date system possible. It can be used to provide just the Arch base alone, or also to provide a large choice of full desktop environments, window managers, display managers, and network managers.

Sent in by Wolf B.


— NEWS —

Linus’s Thoughts on Linux Security

The Washington Post has a lengthy article on Linus Torvalds and his thoughts on Linux security. Quoting: “…while Linux is fast, flexible and free, a growing chorus of critics warn that it has security weaknesses that could be fixed but haven’t been. Worse, as Internet security has surged as a subject of international concern, Torvalds has engaged in an occasionally profane standoff with experts on the subject. …

His broader message was this: Security of any system can never be perfect. So it always must be weighed against other priorities — such as speed, flexibility and ease of use — in a series of inherently nuanced trade-offs. This is a process, Torvalds suggested, poorly understood by his critics. ‘The people who care most about this stuff are completely crazy. They are very black and white,’ he said … ‘Security in itself is useless. The upside is always somewhere else. The security is never the thing that you really care about.'”

Of course, contradictory points of view are presented, too: “While I don’t think that the Linux kernel has a terrible track record, it’s certainly much worse than a lot of people would like it to be,” said Matthew Garrett, principal security engineer for CoreOS, a San Francisco company that produces an operating system based on Linux. At a time when research into protecting software has grown increasingly sophisticated, Garrett said, “very little of that research has been incorporated into Linux.”

Linux Lord Linus Torvalds has unloaded as only he can in a post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux to become officially supported on Azure (at last)

Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Services Provider. In the coming months, Red Hat system images will become available to buy on a pay-as-you-go basis through the Azure Marketplace. In the meantime, Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will be able to provide their own virtual machine images for running in Azure.

There’s more to the Microsoft-Red Hat deal though. Both Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie and Red Hat Executive Vice President of Products Paul Cormier said that this is one of the deepest partnerships that their companies have signed. Microsoft and Red Hat are organizing a team of engineers from both companies in Redmond (where Microsoft is headquartered) that will provide joint support to common customers. “There’ll be no finger pointing,” Cormier said.

What was announced —

  • Developers will be able build .NET applications and deploy them on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenShift, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

  • Red Hat and Microsoft engineers are engaged in building and certifying .NET with Red Hat technologies for enterprise use.

  • Red Hat will ship Microsoft .NET certified for Red Hat environments through Red Hat Software Collections — aimed at developers.
  • Red Hat will provide direct support for installation, configuration, and environmental issues related .NET and Red Hat technologies.

Ubuntu Software Centre To Be Replaced in 16.04 LTS

GNOME’sSoftware application will — according to current plans — take its place as the default and package management utility on the Unity 7-based desktop.

MATE 1.12 released

The headline changes in MATE 1.12 are:

  • Fixes and improvements for GTK3 support across the entire MATE Desktop including GTK 3.18 support.

  • Touchpad support is significantly improved and now features multi touch and natural scrolling.

  • Multi monitor support has been improved so the display settings use output names and the revised UI lets you set the primary monitor.
  • The power applet now displays model and vendor information so you can distinguish between multiple battery powered devices.
  • Improved session management which now includes screensaver inhibition while playing media.
  • MATE now listens to the org.gnome.SessionManager namespace.
  • Extended systemd support.

  • Long standing bugs and many little usability paper-cuts were fixed.

  • For example, panel applets are no longer reordered when changing screen resolutions.
  • Translations updated and a number of components now retrieve strings directly from gschema (requires intltool 0.50.1).
  • Dropped support for win32 and osx.

KDBUS Is Being Removed From Fedora, Could Be A While Before Being Mainlined

In somewhat of an embarrassing move and indicating that KDBUS likely won’t be proposed for Linux 4.4, this in-kernel IPC mechanism is being temporarily stripped out of Fedora.

The first-ever systemd conference began today in Berlin and runs through Saturday.

If you are interested in systemd but weren’t able to attend, the session videos are already being uploaded to the Internet.

You can see the systemd 2015 conference videos via this YouTube channel. Stay tuned for more coverage over the next two days.

The systemd maintainer Lennart Poettering reaffirmed a developer conference that kdbus will continue hand and “not dead”. The implementation in the kernel and userspace will however rebuilt. How long that will take, is not yet clear.

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