Fedora 22 beta released

In today's open source roundup: Download the Fedora 22 beta. Plus: VMWare launches its own version of Linux. And eight useful Linux file managers

Fedora 22 beta released

The Fedora developers have been busy working on their next release, and now you can download the beta version of Fedora 22 Workstation for testing purposes.

The Fedora Project site has details in the beta announcement:

The Beta release contains all the exciting features of Fedora 22's editions in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is meant to be feature complete and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 22 is expected in May.

Faster and better dependency management: Yum has been replaced with dnf as the default package manager. Dnf has very similar command line options and configuration files compared to yum but also has several major internal changes including using libsolv in coordination with friends from the openSUSE project for faster and better dependency management. dnf-yum provides automatic redirection from yum to dnf in the command line for compatibility. The classic yum command line tool renamed to yum-deprecated as a transitional step for tools still using it.

As always, Fedora carries a number of improvements to make life better for its desktop users and developers! Here's some of the goodness you'll get in Fedora 22 Workstation edition.

Enhancements:

The GNOME Shell notification system has been redesigned and subsumed into the calendar widget.
The Terminal now notifies you when a long running job completes.
The login screen now uses Wayland by default with automatic fallback to Xorg when necessary. This is a transitional step towards replacing Xorg with Wayland by default in the next release and should have no user visible difference.
Installation of GStreamer codecs, fonts, and certain document types is now handled by Software, instead of gnome-packagekit.
The Automatic Bug Reporting Tool (ABRT) now features better notifications, and uses the privacy control panel in GNOME to control information sent.

Appearance:
The Nautilus file manager has been improved to use GActions, from the deprecated GtkAction APIs, for a better, more consistent experience.
The GNOME Shell has a refreshed theme for better usability.
The Qt/Adwaita theme is now code complete, and Qt notifications have been improved for smoother experience using Qt-based apps in Workstation.

Under the covers:
Consistent input handling for graphical applications is provided using libinput library which is now used for both X11 and Wayland.

More at the Fedora Project

VMware launches Project Photo Linux distro

VMware is a useful tool for distrohoppers, but now the company has added its own Linux distribution. Project Photon is geared towards the cloud though, not toward desktop users.

Simon Sharwood reports for The Register:

VMware has created its very own Linux distribution, dubbed 'Project Photon', as part of an effort to create a stack for what it's calling “Cloud-Native applications”. The rest of us would probably call them “microservices”, the technique of spawning instances of an application to handle a small user population – maybe even an individual. Microservices usually rely on containers that chat among each other over an API.

Photon is a lightweight – we're told 300MB – Linux distro that supports three containerisation environments: Docker, rkt and Pivotal's Garden. Photon's been tuned so that it's very, very comfortable running in either vSphere or vCloud Air. We're told VMware started with the Linux kernel and designed Photon from scratch.

VMware's hope is that you'll virtualise Photon on ESXi, run containers inside it and use Lightwave – and NSX - to manage interaction between the containers.

More at The Register

Eight Linux file managers worth considering for your desktop

File managers are like desktop environments, one size does not fit all. Fortunately, we are blessed with a range of choices in file managers. Opensource.com has a helpful roundup of file manager options that are worth considering for your desktop distribution.

David Both reports for Opensource.com:

One of the most common administrative tasks that end users and administrators alike need to perform is file management. Managing files can consume a major portion of your time. Locating files, determining which files and folders (directories) are taking the most disk space, deleting files, moving files, and simply opening files for use in an application are some of the most basic—yet frequent—tasks we do as computer users. File management programs are tools that are intended to streamline and simplify those necessary chores.

Many people aren't aware of the wide array of choices available in file managers, nor do they realize the full capabilities of the ones they do know about. As with every aspect of Linux, there are many options available for file managers. The most common ones provided by my favorite distribution, Fedora, are:

Midnight Commander
Konqueror
Dolphin
Krusader
Nautilus
Thunar
PCmanFM
XFE

More at Opensource.com

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