Fedora Workstation 31 to come with Wayland support, improved core features of PipeWire, and more

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On Monday, Christian F.K. Schaller, Senior Manager for Desktop at Red Hat, shared a blog post that outlined the various improvements and features coming in Fedora Workstation 31. These include Wayland improvements, more PipeWire functionality, continued improvements around Flatpak, Fleet Commander, and more. 

Here are some of the enhancements coming to Fedora Workstation 31:

Wayland transitioning to complete soon

Wayland is a desktop server protocol that was introduced to replace the X Windowing System with a modern and simpler windowing system in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. The team is focusing on removing the X Windowing System dependency so that the GNOME Shell will be able to run without the need of XWayland. 

Schaller shared that the work related to removing X dependency is done for the shell itself. However, some things are left in regards to the GNOME Setting daemon. Once this work is complete an X server (XWayland) will only start if an X application is run and will shut down when the application is stopped.

Another aspect that the team is working on is allowing X applications to run as root under XWayland. Running desktop applications as root is generally not considered safe. However, there are few applications that only work when they are run as root. This is why the team has decided to continue support for running applications as root in XWayland. The team is also adding support for NVidia binary driver to allow running a native Wayland session on top of the binary driver.

PipeWire with improved desktop sharing portal

PipeWire is a multimedia framework that aims to improve the handling of audio and video in Linux. This release will come with more improved core features of PipeWire. The existing desktop sharing portal is now enhanced and will soon have Miracast support. The team’s ultimate goal is to make the GNOME integration even more seamless than the standalone app. 

Better infrastructure for building Flatpaks

Flatpak is a utility for software deployment and package management in Linux. The team is making the infrastructure for building Flatpaks from RPMS better. They will also be offering applications from flathub.io and quay.io out of the box and in accordance with Fedora rules for third-party software. The team will also be making a Red Hat UBI based runtime available. A third-party developer can use this runtime to build their applications and be sure that it will be supported by Red Hat for the lifetime of a given RHEL release.

Fedora Toolbox with improved GNOME Terminal 

Fedora Toolbox is a tool that gives developers a seamless experience when using an immutable OS like Silverblue. Currently, improvements are being done to GNOME Terminal that will ensure a more natural behavior inside the terminal when interacting with pet containers. The is looking for ways to make the selection of containers more discoverable so that developers will easily get access to a Red Hat UBI container or a Red Hat TensorFlow container for instance. 

Along with these, the team is improving the infrastructure for Linux fingerprint reader support, securing Gamemode, adding support for Dell Totem, improving media codec support, and more.

To know more in detail check out Schaller’s blog post.

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