Red Hat’s Fedora 25 generally available to offer Wayland display server support; new container-specific platform



The Fedora Project, a Red Hat sponsored and community-driven open source collaboration, announced Tuesday general availability of Fedora 25, the newest release of the fully-open Fedora operating system. As with previous releases, Fedora 25 comprises a set of base packages that form the foundation of Fedora’s three distinct editions: Fedora 25 Workstation, Fedora 25 Server and, replacing Fedora Cloud, Fedora 25 Atomic Host.

Providing many of open source developer and desktop tools, Fedora 25 Workstation delivers a host of new features, including the long-awaited official debut of the Wayland display server. Replacing the legacy X11 system, Wayland has been under development for several years and seeks to provide a smoother, richer experience for graphical environments and better capabilities for modern graphics hardware.

To further enhance ease-of-use, Fedora 25 Workstation also features GNOME 3.22, which offers multiple file renaming, a redesigned keyboard settings tool and additional user interface improvements. Workstation users will also be pleased with the inclusion of decoding support for the MP3 media format.

The base Fedora 25 packages feature many minor bug fixes and performance tweaks, as well as new and enhanced components, including

Docker 1.12 for building and running containerized applications; Node.js 6.5, the latest version of the server-side JavaScript engine; multiple Python versions (2.6, 2.7, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5) to help test across multiple Python configurations; and support for Rust, a programming language that aims to make development faster and more stable.

Fedora 25 Workstation now makes it easier to for Windows and OS X users to get started, with Fedora Media Writer serving as the default download for those operating systems. This tool helps users find and download the current Fedora release and write it to removable media, like a USB stick, allowing potential Fedora users to “test drive” the operating system from that media environment. Fedora can then be installed to their systems with the same process.

For current Fedora users, the upgrade path from Fedora 24 to Fedora 25 has been simplified and streamlined, with typical upgrades taking less than 30 minutes, depending on system configuration and network speed. Upgrades can be started from the command line or from the GNOME Software tool, just like regular security and bugfix updates.

For developers, beyond the new docker engine and language support included in the base Fedora 25 packages, Fedora 25 Workstation introduces improved Flatpak support. This tweak makes it easier to install, update and remove Flatpak software and enables this application packaging standard to be more user friendly at the workstation level.

GNOME Shell extensions are also no longer checked for compatibility with the current version of the Shell.

This was originally required because the GNOME interfaces were changing rapidly during the early days of GNOME 3. Now these interfaces have stabilized, and extensions can generally be expected to work with new releases.

New in Fedora 25 is the addition of Fedora 25 Atomic Host as one of Fedora’s three editions, replacing Fedora Cloud. While a Fedora Cloud Base image will continue to be available for users seeking to run workloads on a general purpose host, Fedora Atomic Host provides an optimized host designed to create and deploy container-based workloads.

Fedora 25 Atomic Host is shipped in several formats, to allow users to spin up virtual machines or install Atomic Host on bare metal. To keep pace with innovations in the world of Linux containers, Fedora Atomic Host is expected to be refreshed on a two-week release cycle (with major releases coinciding with new Fedora versions) and provides an easy upgrade path to accommodate rapid application development.

Fedora will also offer a docker-formatted base image, to be updated monthly along with critical security updates, for use in building Linux containers.

The Fedora 25 Server now delivers a new SELinux Troubleshooter module for Cockpit. Similar to what is available on Fedora Workstation, the module helps provide suggestions for a user when an SELinux denial is encountered, which otherwise requires log checking and manual workarounds.

Fedora 25 Server also will now display SSH keys in the system dashboard to make it easier for administrators to see what keys are connecting to a given machine. Additionally, support is now included for multi-step (including two-factor) authentication services.

The FreeIPA identity management system has also been upgraded to 4.4 series, which offers a set of new features for servers deployed in an identity management role. Its enhancements include FreeIPA web user interface that can now be used to visually manage topology graph for large deployments; DNS management in FreeIPA that supports location-specific placement of services; FreeIPA Certificate Authority is now able to create subordinate CAs to issue certificates with a specific scope; and the Kerberos KDC now takes Authentication Indicators into account when issuing service tickets.

For example, two-factor authenticated Kerberos credentials can now be required prior to obtaining tickets to a VPN service (supported by OpenConnect Server).

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