A Brief Look At Fedora 24
Written by Eric Griffith in Operating Systems on 16 June 2016. Page 2 of 3. 39 Comments

Default Applications

The default application list has remained relatively unchanged over the last few releases. Firefox (v47) is the default browser, Evolution remains the default mail client. Rhythmbox and Shotwell remain the default music and photos applications-- neither have been replaced by Gnome Music or Gnome Photos, respectively. Truly, there are no real surprises this release.

Perhaps the largest application change, which is not even that noticeable at first, is that LibreOffice has moved over to the GTK3 backend by default. More information is available here, and here. This backend does make LibreOffice a Wayland-native application.

Nautilus Changes

Nautilus 3.20 received a few pleasant changes this cycle. Some changes affected the UI/UX, and others were more under the hood. Carlos Soriano was kind enough to put together a full listing, available here. The key change that I want to point out though is a revamped search interface. This revamped interface is available by clicking the magnifying glass icon along the header bar.

Once clicked, a popout menu appears and offers the user the chance to narrow down their search by the file type, and date of modification, or access. It's nothing ground breaking, but it is very convenient. Personally, I wish Nautilus had a tagging system available to it, that would be especially useful for film buffs like myself.

In addition to the search changes, a new Keyboard Shortcuts option was added to the top-bar menu. Clicking this option presents an overview of all of the default keyboard shortcuts that nautilus supports. It's a nice way to help familiarize yourself with them, if you are coming from a different file manager, without resorting to Google'ing.

Nautilus changes are already beginning to stack up for 3.22. It was recently announced that the ability to do batch renaming would be made available to users, a very welcome feature.

Gnome Photos Changes

While Shotwell may still be the default photo application, its successor continues to get better and better. During the 3.20 cycle, Gnome Photos received the ability to do basic, non-destructive editing. This includes things such as cropping, adjusting the color and saturation levels, sharpening and denoising an image, as well as some basic filters. Users who require more advanced editing should still be using GIMP. But, for basic modifications, Gnome Photos is perfectly acceptable.

Misc Changes

Gnome 3.20 itself brings a few visual changes with it. First up on that list: changes in the Settings application, specifically the Mouse & Touchpad module. Handicapped users might notice that the setting for “double click delay” is now missing. That setting has been moved to Universal Access with the other accessibility features.

The other change is related to the UI notifications that appear when users hit volume or brightness keys. A new notification has been added for Bluetooth and Airplane mode. This is, unfortunately, the source of a snag in my testing. Hitting the Wi-Fi hotkey once on my T450s enables airplane mode. Hitting the key again does not disable it, however. This is a regression compared to Fedora 23 and Gnome 3.18.

The notification pane will now display media controls for supported media players, such as Rhythmbox. This allows for quick-access to start/pause/forward/back controls, as well as showing the album cover (if available) and song title and artist of the currently playing song.

There are Wayland improvements across the board. These improvements include, but are not limited to: middle-click to paste, kinetic scrolling, drag-and-drop, better multi-monitor support, as well as more fluid video playback. The plan is still to switch to Wayland-by-default for Fedora 25, coming out later this year, alongside Gnome 3.22.

Gnome Software was upgraded to allow for operating-system level upgrades. The Gnome Software stack is being pushed out to Fedora 23 Workstations as a standard update so that this new functionality can be used to upgrade to Fedora 24 on release day. I used it on a testing machine during the development cycle, and while it took longer than expected, it did complete successfully.

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