Fedora 25 Has Arrived: Here’s What’s Changed

Bertel King 15-12-2016

Fedora 25 is here, 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.

new fedora 25 wayland

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.

But there are some key differences. Wayland is a display server and a compositor, whereas X was only the former and required separate software (such as Compiz Enjoy Great Desktop Effects With Compiz Fusion [Linux] Some people just want to use something that looks really pretty. On the other hand, there are some geeks who want to trick out their systems with the same effects to make a truly interesting... Read More ) for compositing. Wayland also offers security improvements by isolating application windows. This sandboxing is similar in concept to what we see on smartphones and in web browsers What's A Sandbox, And Why Should You Be Playing in One Highly-connective programs can do a lot, but they're also an open invitation for bad hackers to strike. To prevent strikes from becoming successful, a developer would have to spot and close every single hole in... Read More .


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

Installing software is a mixed bag on Linux. On one hand, repositories offer a single location for most of the applications you want. On the other hand, software that isn’t in the repos might not work anymore. Even if you keep an old RPM lying around How to Install Software on Linux: Package Formats Explained You've switched to Linux, and want to install some software. But package managers differ depending on your distro. So which apps can you download and install? It's all in the acronyms. Read More , it may not work on your current Fedora desktop. This contrasts with the Windows world, where you can still run an EXE you saved to a flash drive ten years ago.

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.

new fedora 25 flatpak


Right now, these are just hopes for the future. Not enough distros support Flatpak yet, nor have enough software developers started bundling their applications, for this dream to have any impact on the Linux landscape. And only time will tell if Flatpaks or Ubuntu snaps receive wider adoption Ubuntu Snaps vs Red Hat Flatpaks, What's the Difference? Linux distros distribute apps in many formats. For years, the two most popular have been .debs and .rpms, but this may be starting to change with Ubuntu's Snap packages and Red Hat's Flatpak. Read More .

3. MP3 Playback Included

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 5 Reasons to Use Pure Open Source Distro, Fedora Fedora isn't as well known as Ubuntu, and has a reputation for being hard to use. But if this is true, why do so many people continue using Fedora? Read More , even if that means users have to jump through extra hoops to play music and video on their machines.

With Fedora 25, the situation is slightly friendlier. Now MP3 playback comes included. This is due to some patents hitting their expiration date.

Is Fedora going to start including other formats anytime soon? Not at all. The project takes both an ideological and a cautious legal approach to this issue. As a U.S.-based company, Red Hat (Fedora’s sponsor) has much to lose by getting on the wrong side of the law Why Your Music & Video Files Don't Play on Linux, and How to Fix It You've switched to Linux, but your video or audio files file won't play! Simply, your Linux version didn't come with the necessary codecs, so let's find out how to install them. Read More .


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.

new fedora 25 fedora media writer

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.

new fedora 25 compress


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.

new fedora 25 bulk rename

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.

new fedora 25 gnome software

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.

new fedora 25 keyboard settings

This is where you to go to change keyboard shortcuts, such as those you use for switching between virtual desktops. If you yet haven’t committed any to memory, you may want to do yourself a favor Save Time with 20 Linux Keyboard Shortcuts GNOME, KDE, & Unity You know about Windows keyboard shortcuts, but having just migrated, you're wondering "what about Linux?" Well, try these 20 awesome shortcuts for three of the most popular Linux desktop environments: GNOME, KDE, and Unity. Read More .

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.

new fedora 25 gnome extensions

Now that the Shell is stable, developers have deemed that compatibility checks are no longer necessary. There’s a good chance that your favorite extensions consistently worked with the past few releases and will automatically work with the next one as well.

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.

The GNOME developers have created a wide range of applications intended for this desktop environment 10 Awesome GNOME Apps that Didn't Come With Your Distro The GNOME desktop is one of the most complete and accessible desktop environments in the Linux ecosystem, but the apps don't come preinstalled. Here's a list of several great GNOME apps to install. Read More , so check them out if you haven’t already. This will provide you with a more consistent experience than using the same software you would use elsewhere.

Have You Downloaded Fedora 25?

The latter half of this list isn’t limited to Fedora. Some distros, such as Arch Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed, have already pushed GNOME 3.22 out to users. Non-rolling distros will send updates in the weeks and months ahead.

What are your favorite new additions to Fedora? What about GNOME in general? Are you excited to finally see Wayland ship? Join the conversation and share your thoughts!

Related topics: Fedora, Linux.

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  1. mikeshelto
    December 15, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I'm enjoying Fedora 25 so far, but a big nope for the mp3 support. I had to download the codec elsewhere. Also, flatpak support may be enhanced, but I can't even execute Clementine on this distro. Having said that, it still seems to be a rock-solid version so far though.

    • Bertel King, Jr.
      December 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      Glad to have the firsthand user feedback. I hope your experience stays mostly positive.

  2. Mikeshelto
    December 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I like Fedora 25 so far, but a big nope on the mp3 support. Had to grab the codec elsewhere. Also, flatpak may be enhanced, but Clementine won't even execute on this distro. Still a rock solid release from what I can tell though.

  3. spyjoshx
    December 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Personally, I've never tried Fedora before, but with Wayland here, I might just try it! Thanks for the great article as always!

    • Bertel King, Jr.
      December 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! If you try out Fedora, let me know what you think.

      • spyjoshx
        December 24, 2016 at 7:47 pm

        Ta-daaaaa! After 4 disc integrity checks 3 install attempts, a faulty hard drive and *almost* creating a bug report on their website, I have finally installed fedora! I am loving it so far!