Well! LINUX Fedora 25 has Arrived, and as usual, it delivers the latest from the GNOME project. But this time around, that’s not the big highlight. All eyes are on Wayland. After years in development and a number of delays, Fedora has decided that the next generation display server is ready for prime time.
Of course, that’s not the only reason to download Fedora 25. Let’s take a look at what’s changed.
1. Wayland by Default
I hear you. Display servers aren’t all that exciting. But here’s the thing: Linux has been using the X Window System for decades. It has been around since the 80s and is older than Linux itself. Without the slightest understanding of what a display server does, you can grasp why that alone is reason enough for people to be excited for a replacement.
Most users probably won’t notice a difference between X and Wayland. An ideal display server is invisible. As long as you’re not seeing lag, tearing, or other visual glitches, you’re not giving much thought to what makes pixels appear on your screen.
XWayland is also included. This allows applications that don’t yet support Wayland to run. But if you do encounter problems, Fedora 25 still offers X as a fallback option.
2. Improved Flatpak Support
That’s one of the reasons why Fedora developers are hard at work on Flatpak. This format bundles software in a way that includes many of the dependencies a program needs to run. That way an application that runs today will likely run tomorrow. It should also be able to run on any distro, as long as they support Flatpaks.
3. MP3 Playback Included
With Fedora 25, the situation is slightly friendlier. Now MP3 playback comes included. This is due tosome patents hitting their expiration date.
Some Linux distros ship multimedia codecs out of the box. Fedora isn’t one of them. Unlike Ubuntu, Fedora doesn’t even offer proprietary codecs in its repositories. It’s free software-only in Fedora land, even if that means users have to jump through extra hoops to play music and video on their machines.
4. Fedora Media Writer
The Fedora Live USB application has long been a tool for creating bootable flash drives you can use to test and install Fedora. The Fedora Media Writer is an evolution that can download Fedora Workstation and other Spins to place on your drive. The new experience is meant to take a power user’s tool and make it friendlier to newcomers.
5. Automatic Archive Extraction and More Compression Options
When you click on a ZIP, TAR, or other archive, the GNOME file manager now automatically extracts them. Likewise, if you want to compress files, the application gives you a few built-in options to do so.
To see the new options appear when you highlight the files you want in an archive, right-click and select Compress. You should see ZIP, TAR.XZ, and 7-ZIP as archive options underneath the text field.
6. Bulk File Renaming
We typically rename files one a time, but not always. Occasionally there’s a folder of images to change all at once. In GNOME 3.22, the Files application lets you rename your files in bulk. This is one less reason to have to hunt down a specialized tool for the job.
Highlight multiple files, right-click, and select Rename. Enter a new name and select the +Add option if you want to use number sequences or dates to differentiate between files.
7. GNOME Software Enhancements
GNOME Software has received an updated landing page. The primary change is that categories have become more prominent. Each section is color-coded, so you can more easily tell them apart.
This is helpful for new users who don’t have specific applications in mind to search for and are browsing Linux’s selection of software for the first time.
8. Redesigned Keyboard Settings Tool
GNOME developers have streamlined the keyboard section of System Settings. The list is easier to browse, and a search function helps you quickly find commands.
9. GNOME Shell No Longer Checks Extensions for Compatibility
Before this release, GNOME Shell extensions checked to see if you’re running a compatible version of the Shell. This was necessary in early days, as each release made substantial changes to the interface. The early GNOME 3.x days were a time of big transition.
10. More GNOME 3.22 Application Updates
Many changes have impacted GNOME applications that don’t come pre-installed with Fedora, but that you can find in GNOME Software. The dconf editor now looks like a GNOME 3.x application. Calendar supports drag and drop. The Polari IRC client, Maps, and Photos have all received updates too. Check out GNOME’s 3.22 release notes for more details.