Fedora 22, the latest version of a popular Linux distribution, is now out.
After the year-long development cycle of Fedora 21, which saw Fedora divided into Workstation, Cloud, and Server editions, the project is back to a standard six-month release cycle. With the dramatic shifts of Fedora 21 out of the way, Fedora 22 offers low-level improvements, polish, and some useful new features.
DNF replaces Yum for faster software installation
Fedora has traditionally used the yum tool for software management. If you’re familiar with Ubuntu and Debian-based distribution, yum is similar to apt-get. Yum was always criticized for being rather slow, although it’s improved over the years.
But with Fedora 22, Yum is out and replaced by DNF. DNF is a forked version of Yum that uses the libsolv library via hawkey. But never mind all those details—DNF offers faster software installation and dependency resolution with less memory usage.
DNF offers some backwards compatibility with Yum. Desktop users using graphical package management tools like the Software application won’t see a difference. If you’re using the yum command in a terminal, you’ll be reminded that yum is deprecated and that you should use the dnf command instead. For most uses, DNF works about the same as Yum. If you need the nitty-gritty details, here are the differences between the DNF and Yum commands.
What’s new in Workstation
Fedora Workstation is the desktop-focused version of Fedora, with an emphasis on targeting developers who need a powerful Linux workstation. But it’s also a good desktop for enthusiasts.
The Fedora project works closely with upstream projects like GNOME, and many of the changes in the Fedora Workstation desktop are changes from GNOME.
Fedora 22 ships with GNOME 3.16, and all the improvements from GNOME 3.16 shine here in Fedora. This means a revamped notification system with more unobtrusive notifications and various improvements to included apps like the Files app, Image Viewer, and Boxes tool for managing virtual machines. The GNOME Software application has better data and offers a more polished experience, giving Fedora a software-installation environment as slick as the Ubuntu Software Center. Theme improvements make the desktop interface more readable and less cluttered.
Server and Cloud improvements
Fedora Server is designed for typical standalone servers—a small business or home server, for example. New in Fedora 22 is a Database Server role, allowing you to easily set up a database server that uses PostgreSQL.
Fedora Server also defaults to the XFS file system within an LVM container. XFS is a mature filesystem that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 also defaults to. Fedora Workstation currently uses ext4, but will likely start defaulting to Btrfs in the future.
Fedora 21 introduced the Cockpit web interface for managing servers. From Fedora 22 onwards, Cockpit will be backwards compatible across Fedora releases. So, if you one day install Fedora 23 on a server, you can add a Fedora 22 server to that Cockpit interface and manage it from there.
Fedora Cloud offers updated Docker images and official Vagrant boxes for libvirt and VirtualBox. Vagrant boxes for both Fedora Cloud and Fedora Atomic Host are available. Fedora Atomic Host saw a number of improvements, including an atomic command for managing host updates and containers. A fedora-dockerfiles package is included for building Docker applications based on Fedora.
The changes and updates here reflect Fedora’s status as a mature platform. Rather than attempting to pave the way to smartphone convergence, Fedora is offering a more polished solution for developers, server administrators, and cloud platforms.