Fedora Magazine http://fedoramagazine.org Fri, 22 May 2015 18:32:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Fedora 22 is “Go” for May 26! http://fedoramagazine.org/fedora-22-go-may-26/ http://fedoramagazine.org/fedora-22-go-may-26/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 18:32:48 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8901 That’s right — the bits are heading out the door (and onto our mirror network)! Expect the official announcement around 10am US Eastern time Tuesday morning.

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Firefox 38 available now in the Fedora repositories http://fedoramagazine.org/firefox-38-available-now-fedora-repositories/ http://fedoramagazine.org/firefox-38-available-now-fedora-repositories/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 00:47:16 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8855 Continue Reading →]]> Mozilla released version 38 of the Firefox web browser last week, and the updated version is available now in the Fedora repositories for Fedora 21, and for users running Fedora 22 pre-release versions. As has been the case since Firefox starting rapidly releasing new versions every 6 weeks or so, there are a handful of new shiny features, and many, many bugfixes.

Two notable new features provided by the release of Firefox 38 are the tabbed preferences, and better high DPI support.

Tabbed Preferences

In previous versions, the Firefox preferences were contained in a pop-up dialog box. In version 38, the preferences are now moved into a dedicated tab, much like the add-ons tab that has been in Firefox for many releases:


High DPI support

Previously, users running Firefox on high DPI screens on Fedora had to tweak a setting in the about:config to get Firefox to play nicely with their high DPI screens. Now, if the layout.css.devPixelsPerPx value in about:config is set to the default of -1.0, Firefox renders pages and its chrome at the DPI setting of the desktop. Note that if you previously followed our instructions for manually setting this value, you may want to reset it to the default by finding it again in about:config, right clicking on it, and choosing Reset



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Minimap coming to the gedit text editor http://fedoramagazine.org/minimap-coming-gedit-text-editor/ http://fedoramagazine.org/minimap-coming-gedit-text-editor/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 06:10:02 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8845 Continue Reading →]]> Gedit, the default GUI text editor in Fedora Workstation has a neat new minimap feature in the works. This feature provides a shrunk-down version of the document you are editing on the right of the screen to make it easier to jump between different parts of larger documents.

In a blog post announcing the new feature, gedit developer Ignacio Casal Quinteiro points out that this new feature was actually developed by Christian Hergert as part of the GNOME Builder editor, and because Christian actually made the bulk of the changes in the upstream widget, GTKSourceView, it was easy to add the same support to gedit.

It was only recently added to the gedit master branch, so this new gedit feature is likely to make an appearance in Fedora 23 Workstation.


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F22 countdown, video presentation on Fedora Marketing, and more… http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-05-15/ http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-05-15/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 18:26:00 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8835 Continue Reading →]]> Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for May 15th, 2015:

Countdown to the Fedora 22 release

Fedora 22 is currently scheduled to be released on May 26th — 11 days to go! This will include our Cloud, Server, and Workstation editions, along with other variants like Fedora Atomic (designed for running containerized apps) and of course KDE and Xfce desktop spins.

As always, the last few weeks before release are a little hectic as we iron out the last blocker bugs, but as of right now — knock on wood — the general sense is that we’re in pretty good shape. (We’ll know for sure by Thursday of next week, and hopefully sooner.) I know people sometimes get frustrated with schedule “slips”, and hopefully that won’t happen, but remember, a somewhat-elastic schedule is part of the plan for delivering high-quality releases (as Joe Brockmeier wrote last year).

If you’re feeling impatient, grab the F22 beta (Server, Cloud, or Workstation) and help us iron out any last-minute problems. As is usually the case, if you start with a Fedora beta release, you’ll be upgraded seamlessly to the final release when that comes out, so you won’t have to reinstall.

Fedora Marketing Status

On Monday, the Fedora Council held our first video-based council meeting, featuring a presentation from Chris Roberts of the Fedora Marketing team. Watch the video here:

or download in VP8/webm format, or read the real-time transcription log (thanks to Fedora Community Action and Impact Lead Remy DeCausemaker).

Upcoming Video Meeting on “Three Editions”

That worked well, so we’re going to do it again this coming Monday, with Stephen Gallagher presenting on the official project objective which he’s leading, Fedora Editions, Phase 2. This is scheduled as a G+ event, plus we’ll have a text-based live transcription (and place for questions) in the #fedora-meeting channel on Freenode IRC, and I’ll post the video in open video format webm/VP8 shortly after. We’re also planning a similar presentation from Fedora QA on June 8, and from various Fedora Engineering subteams in July.

FAD planning changes — impact!

A “FAD” is a “Fedora Activity Day” — a Fedora premiere event funded from our community budget. In order to make sure that this is spent most effectively, that we can communicate to our sponsors how we are making the most of their money, and that the rest of the community feels good about these allocations, we’ve rearranged the FAD organization process to focus on not just what will be done, but on the benefits of those activities to the project as a whole.

Priority for funding will be given to FADs which are directly connected to our 12-18 month community objectives. If you have an idea where getting a bunch of Fedora contributors together to work on something would have a big, positive effect on a current Objective, put together proposal. Or, if you have an idea for a new Objective which would have a big, positive effect on our mission in a well-defined timeframe (and know the right person to lead the work!), put together a proposal for that, too! (For either of these, contact the Fedora Council to start the discussion.)

Auto-update your systems with DNF

I was a sysadmin in a former life, and like many sysadmins, had more machines to maintain than one person could really give individual attention to. For many of those systems, I appreciated the ability to automatically apply updates without intervention. With Fedora 22, our command-line package tool switches from Yum to DNF, and Rackspace (and Fedora) hacker Major Hayden has a nice howto on his blog for configuring your system for automatic package updates with dnf.

With the pre-release crunch next week, 5tFTW will be taking a little break. I’ll be back the week after that.

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Introducing Fedora’s students for Google Summer of Code 2015 http://fedoramagazine.org/introducing-fedoras-students-google-summer-code-2015/ http://fedoramagazine.org/introducing-fedoras-students-google-summer-code-2015/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 13:30:43 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8810 Continue Reading →]]> What is Google Summer of Code?

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. Fedora has participated in this program for many years now. It is an excellent way to introduce a new generation of engineers to the Fedora Project. This year, Fedora has been granted seven slots in the program, allowing us to bring on seven talented students to work on exciting projects for Fedora.

So what are the students working on?

I’m glad you asked that! This year, we have seven tasks shared among six Fedora communities:


Fresque is the new Fedora review server. This project aims to provide a powerful web-application to streamline the process of putting new software packages into the Fedora collection. This summer, student Rahul Ranjan will be working to add git support to the Fresque server to keep track of changes made during the package review process. Rahul will be publishing his progress regularly on his personal blog.


Nuancier is a voting application used to select the supplementary (non-default) wallpapers that are shipped with each Fedora release. Parth P. Panchal will be working on enhancing this system to support high-resolution, multi-monitor wallpapers. Parth will be publishing his progress regularly on his personal blog.

Ask Fedora

Ask Fedora is a question-and-answer site dedicated to helping Fedora users aid each other in solving problems. Over the next several months, Kalpani Anuradha Welivita will be working on a complete user-experience design overhaul of the Ask Fedora site. This is an ambitious (but sorely needed!) effort and we’re all excited to see the end product. Kalpani will be publishing her progress regularly on her personal blog.

Glitter Gallery

Glitter Gallery is a social platform for collaboration around design and user-experience. This summer, Aditya Prakash will be working on a very ambitious set of UI and integration efforts, bringing together SparkleShare, Inkscape and other tools together in a single collaborative environment. Aditya will be publishing his progress regularly on his personal blog.


The Cockpit Project is a web-based administrative console for servers. It is used by both the Fedora Server and the Fedora Atomic Image as the primary graphical interface for those systems. This summer, we have selected students to work on two tasks within the Cockpit Project.

The first task is Cockpit integration with rolekit. Student Turner England will be spending his summer developing a user interface in Cockpit to easily and effectively deploy a FreeIPA Domain Controller onto a Fedora Server system. During this time, he will be publishing his progress regularly on his personal blog.
The second task under the Cockpit Project is to add support for managing systemd timer events to the Cockpit UI. This task will be undertaken by Jakub Skořepa and you will be able to follow his progress on his personal blog (it is not yet available).

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a fully-featured email client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Regrettably, this year the Mozilla Foundation was not itself selected as a participant in the Google Summer of Code. However, thanks to our long-standing relationship, the Fedora Project has selected to provide one of our Google Summer of Code participation slots to them to support this mutually-beneficial email client. Suyash Agarwal will be spending his summer vacation working with the Fedora Project under the tutelage of R Kent James, a long-time Mozilla contributor. His efforts this year will be to enhance Mozilla Thunderbird to support the JMAP protocol for synchronizing the client with a mail server. Throughout the summer, Suyash will be blogging regularly.

Final Thoughts

Let’s give a warm welcome to these new members of our community! It will be exciting to see their hard work in production in the autumn.

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Flock presentations & registration, websites update, and more http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-05-08/ http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-05-08/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 17:09:18 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8794 Continue Reading →]]> Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for May 8th, 2015:

Vote on Flock talks

Flock is Fedora’s big annual conference for contributors and developers, where we meet to plan for — and hack on — the future of the project. This year’s event will be August 12-15 in Rochester, New York. The call for papers is complete, and we received 132 submissions. That’s more than we can accommodate, of course, so please vote now on your favorites.

You may remember that last year, the voting required scoring each talk with a number between 0 and the total number of talks — something in the 100s. Thanks to work by our awesome Fedora engineering hackers, we’re now using simplified range voting — put a 3 by talks you love, 0 by ones you aren’t interested in (or 1 or 2 for the in-between cases).

Voting closes 2015-05-18 00:00:00 UTC, so don’t delay. (Tip: convert UTC to your local time with date -d "2015-05-18 00:00:00 UTC" in a terminal window.)

Flock registration still open

Also worth mentioning — conference preregistration was inadvertently closed along with the talk submissions. That’s been fixed, and registration is still open. Hope to see you there, whether you’re a long-time contributor or just getting started!

Kick the tires on new Fedora websites

Fedora designer Máirín Duffy invites us all to kick the tires on the new Fedora websites in staging. She notes that Fedora Websites has been working on several new websites, with a focus on better presentation for Fedora Spins — both alternate desktops like KDE or Xfce and “functional” spins like the Design Suite or Robotics. Robert Mayr (known to many as “robyduck”) has gotten these into the “staging” environment, and Máirín notes that the Websites Team now needs “help from the users of these spins and experts in the individual technologies of what we should be featuring and how we should be describing these spins.”

So, if that’s you, get in touch!

Fedora Marketing update presentation

The Fedora Council is our top-level leadership and governance body. We have a new plan where we will have monthly (at least, to start) reports from various parts of the project, with the first coming this next Monday (May 11) at 17:00 UTC — a report by Chris Roberts of the Fedora Marketing team.

We’re still working out the technical details, but the plan is for this to be a video conference. Details will be posted on the council-discuss mailing list beforehand. Join us to learn what’s going on in this Fedora subproject, and what’s needed in the future.

Packaging guidelines for config variations

This is a note primarily for people working on the separate Cloud, Server, and Workstation editions. Thanks to Stephen Gallagher, the Fedora Packaging Committee (FPC) has approved new guidelines which allow separate configuration in cases where defaults should vary. (For example, different firewall rules for server or desktop use.) We tried one approach for this in Fedora 21, and these new guidelines take the lessons learned from that.

Note that currently this is available only for the top-billed variants on which we are focusing, but theoretically the same mechanism could work for other Fedora Spins. However, such use would need to be first approved by FESCo (the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee).

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F22 Cloud/Atomic Test Day May 7th! http://fedoramagazine.org/f22-cloudatomic-test-day-may-7th/ http://fedoramagazine.org/f22-cloudatomic-test-day-may-7th/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 21:20:01 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8753 Continue Reading →]]> Hey everyone! Fedora 22 is on the cusp of being released and the Fedora Cloud Working Group has elected to organize a test day for May 7th in order to work out some bugs before shipping it off to the rest of the world.

With a new release comes some new features and tools. We are working on Vagrant images as well as a testing tool called Tunir. Joe Brockmeier has a nice writeup about Vagrant and Kushal Das maintains some docs on Tunir.

On the test day we will be testing both the Cloud Base Image and the Fedora Atomic Host cloud image. The landing pages where we are organizing instructions and information are here (for Cloud Base) and here (for Atomic). If you’re available to test on the test day (or any other time) please go there and fill out your name and test results.

Happy Testing!

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Fedora Store, University initiative, GSoC, and Fedora conferences http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-04-30/ http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-04-30/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 19:55:28 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8747 Continue Reading →]]> T-shirts are back in stock at the Fedora store

Clearly an item which deserves top billing! The first batch of Fedora t-shirts sold out quickly in most sizes, and there was a little bit of trouble reordering — but now they’re back in stock in unisex and also in women’s cut. Also, since the actual store provider’s URL isn’t very memorable, we’ve created the shortcut http://store.fedoraproject.org/ — just click that and you’ll go straight to the Fedora swag.

Note that neither Fedora nor Red Hat is making money from this; the only goal is to make it easy for you to get cool Fedora gear.

Objective: University Involvement

The Fedora Council is Fedora’s top-level leadership and governance bodies, and one of our most important tasks is to set major goals for the medium-term — targets we’d like to focus our resources on and which we encourage everyone across the project to support. For example, when approving Fedora Activity Days and other large expenditures, preference will go towards those aligned with our current Objectives.

At Monday’s Council meeting, we approved our second such objective. (The first is phase 2 of our Cloud/Server/Workstation split strategy.) This is our new University Involvement Initiative. Remy DeCausemaker — now at Red Hat working on Fedora, but previously at Rochester Institute of Technology — will be the lead for this, but of course in order for it to really succeed, we’ll need your help.

Google Summer of Code students

Google has announced the students and projects accepted into the Google Summer of Code 2015, including seven slots for Fedora. These students will be hacking on projects like an Ask Fedora user experience overhaul, a Cockpit user interface for Fedora Server‘s rolekit, work on Fresque (a dedicated application for the tedious but important task of package review), and more.

Flock: Last call to submit a talk!

The call for presentations for Flock ends on May 2nd — make sure to submit your proposals before then (and to preregister and book your hotel room as well) — more info at http://fedoramagazine.org/flock-to-fedora/.

Flock is our annual global planning and development conference aimed at contributors (from beginner to expert), and will be held this year from August 12-15 in Rochester, New York, USA.

FUDCon Pune and FUDCon Cordoba

In addition to the contributor-centric Flock, we also have FUDCon events in Latin America and Asia/Pacific. A FUDCon is a Fedora Users and Developers Conference.

This year’s FUDCon APAC will be in Pune, India from June 26-28th — visit http://fudcon.in/ for updated info.

And, just announced: the 2015 FUDCon LATAM will be in Cordoba, Argentina from September 10-12th. More to come as the date gets closer, but overall info can be found on the FUDCon:Cordoba 2015 wiki page.

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F22 Beta, feedback for Fedora Workstation, security challenge, better Spins website, and PyCon report http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-04-24/ http://fedoramagazine.org/5tftw-2015-04-24/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:55:11 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8691 Continue Reading →]]> Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for April 24th, 2015:

Fedora 22 Beta released

In case you missed it, Fedora 22 Beta was released this week, and we’re well on our way to the planned final release at the end of May. This release seems pretty solid, so if you are interested in seeing what’s coming, check out the known common bugs list and then either install fresh or upgrade using FedUp. Note that once you’ve got the beta running, regular updates will put you on track for the final release — you won’t need to reinstall or follow a special procedure.

Your feedback feeds Fedora Workstation

Fedora Workstation contributor Christian Schaller posted Fedora Workstation: More than the sum of its parts, explaining some of the ongoing work in Fedora development, and he concluded with a question: especially if you are using GNOME on another distribution than Fedora, what are we still missing at this point for you to consider making a switch to Fedora Workstation?

This prompted a long and still-ongoing conversation in the comments. Join in if you have something to add!

Meanwhile, Jiří Eischmann wrote about a more specific issue: the state of instant messaging in Fedora Workstation, with an eye towards finding what our users want and need and the best way to support Fedora’s mission of the advancement of free and open source software. See also part 2 and a followup on the desktop list.

Fedora Security Team’s 90-day challenge

Fedora Security team member Eric Christensen (a.k.a. Sparks) blogged about the Fedora Security Team‘s 90-day challenge to close all outstanding critical and important known security issues in Fedora. Eric invites anyone interested in helping to get involved.

Fedora @ PyCon

PyCon is the annual conference for the Python programming language, which we use heavily in Fedora for infrastructure software and for many utilities in the distribution itself. Therefore, we tend to have a few Fedora hackers every year, this year including Aurelien Bompard, Kushal Das, Luke Macken, Pierre-Yves Chibon, Ralph Bean, and Remy DeCausemaker. Ralph provides a brief report — part 1 and part 2.

Redesigned Fedora Spins page

For Fedora 21, we launched a the new getfedora.org site, which showcases our three primary editions: Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server, and Fedora Workstation. But, of course, there’s more to Fedora than that, and for the upcoming release, Robert Mayr (a.k.a. robyduck) and Máirín Duffy (mizmo) are working on a redesign of the Spins page. “Spins” are alternate versions of Fedora provided for several different cases, and represent the strength and depth of our contributor commmunity. On her blog, Mo breaks down the different types of spins, and presents ideas for the new design — along with a big call for help and feedback.

Do you use a Fedora spin? Do you work on one? If so, take a look at this post and contact the Websites team with your feedback.


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Fedora @ HackRU Spring 2015 http://fedoramagazine.org/fedora-hackru-spring-2015/ http://fedoramagazine.org/fedora-hackru-spring-2015/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:22:31 +0000 http://fedoramagazine.org/?p=8627 Continue Reading →]]> Fedora attended HackRU spring 2015, a hackathon centered around students. Hackathons are events where developers from surrounding areas or even across the world gather to create cool projects over a period of time, usually a weekend.

HackRU was held on April 18th to 19th at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Around a thousand hackers attended the 24-hour event, using their imagination and skills to create a minimum viable product during the allocated time. Fedora sponsored the event; we were able to obtain a booth and distribute our swag while answering their questions and mentoring hackers. We gave away stickers, F21 install disks, and shirts.

Overall, the atmosphere at HackRU was filled with ambition, music, and the hackers’ chatter. I received many questions while running the Fedora booth, from both long-term Linux users and newbies. Some queried on the nature of our organisation, while others asked us about our advantages over other distributions. Many of the attendees of the event were somewhat familiar with Linux, but only a handful actively used Fedora. The stack of F21 Workstation DVDs was quickly depleted, requiring frequent restocking. By the end of the event, we were able to give out all of our DVDs, many hundred disks.

We were asked questions about Linux, Fedora, and our benefits over other distros. Some interested users also asked about contributing. The most surprising question that we received on a stable basis, however, was whether Fedora was free. We answered positively, free as in beer and free as in freedom. Some were still doubtful, asking whether it was only free at the event or free forever. We answered “free forever”, of course. We were glad to be able to inform these attendees about FOSS, and the free goodies that collaboration can create.



The friendly hackers at MLH were able to capture the whole event on camera. The photo album can be found on their Facebook page, or at the link below:

MLH HackRU Pictures

When we asked how many people had open sourced their hacks at the closing ceremonies, almost everyone raised their hands. We were glad many hackers knew of open source and were willing to allow the community to inspect their hack’s code.

We were thoroughly impressed by many of the creative hacks that the event attendees created, but we especially loved reusable hacks that could benefit the community beyond simple use. The best reusable hacks we found included a college book exchange application that could possibly be expanded to many schools across the country, a Pebble authentication tool, a Pebble remote, and a Bluetooth mesh network. We picked out some of the best possibly reusable hacks and described them below.

The app that we saw the most reuse potential in was a college book exchange app, by Shawn Pan. The app was very simplistic and worked smoothly, but also had the potential, as a MVP, to be expanded to schools around the country. Having a college book exchange website in every campus would greatly reduce the costs of a college education, expanding opportunities to many more people. His app can be found on GitHub here: https://github.com/shawniscool/TricoBookExchange 

In addition, we found another useful and reusable hack created by Fox Wilson. He worked on his app by himself, creating SignIn with Pebble. His app allows website owners to authenticate users using their Pebble watches. His app was very well-polished, and included one of the highest-quality code we found at the fast-paced event. You can find his app on GitHub, and even reuse his code in your own projects: https://github.com/fwilson42/signin-for-pebble

The Bluetooth mesh network was created by Grant Butler and Michael Selsky, as an iOS application. The source can be found on GitHub, here: https://github.com/grantjbutler/cork. We loved the idea of being able to communicate independently of the Internet, while using the devices we are already familiar with.

Another group of hackers, Vedant Mehta and Rishi Masand, created a cool “remote” app, named PebKey. It allows users to perform actions on their computer by a simple hand motion, with an accuracy we were impressed by. For instance, raising your hand could open a new window of your app of choice, without needing to perform any actions on your keyboard. Their app can be found on GitHub as well, here: https://github.com/darthbatman/KeyPeb

Altogether, HackRU was an amazing experience, both as a sponsor and as a maker. Lots of creativity flowed, ambitions achieved, and FOSS spread. We would love to interact with these students again, hopefully fostering a community of free and open source makers that will collaborate on future innovations that are not limited by proprietary licenses.

I think it was really neat to see a community-led open-source project like Fedora sponsoring a hackathon. It was definitely a great event, and I had a lot of fun developing my application and releasing it as a free and open source app. I hope future involvement of open source projects in the student hacker phenomenon can really spark the light of collaboration and create innovations that will be free for everyone to use and modify.

– event attendee, Fox Wilson



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