Fedora Workstation 22 is out!

So we just got the second Fedora Workstation release out the door, and I am quite happy with it, we had quite a few last minute hardware issues pop up, but due to the hard work of the team we where able to get them fixed in time for todays release.

Every release we do is of course the result of both work we do as part of the Fedora Workstation team, but we also rely on a lot of other people upstream. I would like to especially call out Laurent Pinchart, who is the upstream maintainer of the UVC driver, who fixed a bug we discovered with some built in webcams on newer laptops. So thank you Laurent! So for any users of the Toshiba z20t Portege laptop, your rear camera now works thanks to Laurent :)

Having a relatively short development cycle this release doesn’t contain huge amounts of major changes, but our team did manage to sneak in a few nice new features. As you can see from this blog entry from Allan Day the notification area re-design that he and Florian worked on landed. It is a huge improvement in my opinion and will let us continue polishing the notification behavior of applications going forward.

We have a bunch of improvements to the Nautilus file manager thanks to the work of Carlos Soriano. Recommend reading through his blog as there is a quite sizeable collection of smaller fixes and improvements he was able to push through.

Another thing we got properly resolved for Fedora Workstation 22 is installing it in Boxes. Boxes is our easy to use virtual machine manager which we are putting resources into to make a great developer companion. So while this is a smaller fix for Boxes and Fedora, we have some great Boxes features lining up for the next Fedora release, so stayed tuned for more on that in another blog post.

Wayland support is also marching forward with this release. The GDM session you get upon installing Fedora Workstation 22 will now default to Wayland, but fall back to X if there is an issue. It is a first step towards migrating the default session to Wayland. We still have some work to do there to get the Wayland session perfect, but we are closing the gap rapidly. Jonas Ã…dahl and Owen Taylor is pushing that effort forward.

Related to Wayland we introduce libinput as the backend for both X and Wayland in this release. While we shipped libinput in Fedora 21, when we wrote libinput we did so with Wayland as the primary target, yet at the same time we realized that we didn’t want to maintain two separate input systems going forward, so in this release also X.org uses libinput for input. This means we have one library to work on now that will improve input in both your Wayland session and X sessions.

This is also the first release featuring the new Adwaita theme for Qt. This release supports Qt4, but we hope to support Qt5 in an upcoming Fedora release and also include a dark variant of the theme for Qt applications. Martin Briza has been leading that effort.

Another nice little feature addition this release is the notification of long running jobs in the terminal. It was a feature we wanted to do from early on in the Fedora Workstation process, but it took quite some while to figure out the fine details for how we wanted to do it. Basically it means you no longer need to check in with your open terminals to see if a job has completed, instead you are now getting a notification. So you can for instance start a compile and then not have to think about it again until you get the notification. We are still tweaking the notifications a little bit for this one, to make sure we cut down the amount of unhelpful notifications to an absolute minimum, so if you have feedback on how we can improve this feature we be happy to hear it. For example we are thinking about turning off the notification for UI applications launched from a terminal.

Anyway, we have a lot of features in the pipeline now for Fedora Workstation 23 since quite a few of the items planned for Fedora Workstation 22 didn’t get completed in time, so I am looking forward to writing a blog informing you about those soon.

You can also read about this release in Fedora Magazine.

5 comments ↓

#1 Peteris Krisjanis on 05.26.15 at 20:03

Just wanted to comment that I like idea of long terminal process notification! As I do a lot in terminals (sysadmin/compiling), this is something I find very useful. Will check that out as soon as I will get my chance to install 22 on my desktop :)

Also thumbs up about refining Fedora desktop and making it viable choice. I hope you guys succeed.

#2 Peter on 05.26.15 at 23:41

One this that would be nice is grouping of the same notification. If I’m running 20 different jobs that all complete while I’m doing something else they often crowd out other notifications. Maybe if there’s more than X notifications from the same window, but multiple tabs, group them together when there’s over Y amount. This actually goes for all notifications, not just the terminal.

#3 Patrick on 05.27.15 at 00:22

Great work!
With regards to libinput are there any plans to reach and out to include to upstream vendors to support more of their hardware out of the box? In particular, I’m wondering about support for industrial touchscreens. We use Elo and they have Linux drivers but the out of the box experience is not great. I’m not at all sure how this will be impacted in the future with Wayland. I’ve encouraged Elo tech support to look at utilizing libinput but some direct contact from Red Hat may help.

I also wonder if Chromium uses libinput and, if not, if it can be suggested that Red Hat work with the Chromium/Chrome team to support it. Configuring input mechanisms is the biggest pain right now when trying to use Linux for a kiosk. The more support around a common means of configuring inputs the better!

#4 Ole Laursen on 05.27.15 at 10:00

Have you thought about perhaps setting some tide aside for fixing paper cuts in applications commonly used by developers? For instance, fixing annoying things in bash/MySQL/PostgresSQL/Python/…

I’m not talking about big features like extending Python-the-language, but fixing small annoying things that don’t seem to be prioritized by the regular maintainers. E.g. multiline-editing (instead a for-loop with a conditional) in Python’s shell has never worked well (there’s ipython but it’s not default and it’s really intended for a different workflow).

As another example, I recently spent some time on this

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=748704

where the problem turned out to be in readline. I know there are more problems with readline. For example, if you start psql (the Postgres shell) and resize the terminal, readline gets confused. I’m going to look into that next.

I realize the set of applications used will vary according to what kind of stack people are using, e.g. I’m on Django with MySQL/Postgres so any improvements here will be welcome, but a Ruby dude will be more interested in Rails/Ruby improvements, and an embedded dude working in C will be more interested in improved tooling for that. But OTOH some things are shared, e.g. bash.

#5 Dan on 05.28.15 at 09:25

Will KDE apps also benefits from Qt Adwaita?