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Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes

Purrs like a beauty once you get her running

Give GNOME another go

The theme improvements in 3.14 include a completely redesigned weather app that taps into the new GNOME geolocation API to automatically find your location and display the forecast. Also note that the longstanding default Video player, Totem, has been renamed simply, Videos.

GNOME 3.14 has some other app updates as well, notably the GNOME Photos app. The new Photos app is not installed by default in Fedora 21, you'll find the old standby, Shotwell, instead. Photos is available through the Fedora repositories, though, and I suggest giving it a try. GNOME 3.14 has added support for Google accounts to Photos, so you can browse images uploaded from Android devices, through Google+, or via Picasa.

That's in addition to the existing support for Flickr and Facebook. The app can also access any local photo servers using DLNA (several popular NAS servers for example). That said, Photos still has some bugs, so I would use it for browsing online accounts and stick with whatever you use now for actually editing your local images.

Perhaps the biggest news in GNOME 3.14 is what's lies inside: improved support for Wayland. In GNOME 3.14 Mutter (GNOME's default display manager) can now work as a Wayland compositor. If you'd like to test out GNOME running under Wayland, click the gear icon on the GNOME login screen and choose the option "GNOME on Wayland".

Rough around the edges, but big improvements in Wayland

GNOME on Wayland is still very rough around the edges and there are a number of apps that won't work with Wayland (some of which might never be ported to use the Wayland protocol), but I was impressed by the amount of stuff that actually works quite well.

That goes for GNOME 3.14 at large, too. If early versions of GNOME turned you to another desktop, I don't blame you, but with this release GNOME has actually become very nice; its interface is well polished and does a good job of staying out of the way until you need. It's worth another look if you haven't tried it in a while and Fedora 21 makes a great base to test it with.

Fedora 21 ships with the 3.17 series Linux kernel, which has support for a few notable new pieces of hardware, like the XBox One controller (sans vibrate), "free fall" detectors for dropped laptops and tons of bug fixes for ARM machines.

Other Fedora 21 highlights include some SystemD updates (seriously) and a new sysadmin tool for servers, called Cockpit. Check out the release notes for full details.

If it's been a while since you took either GNOME or Fedora for a drive, Fedora 21 is worth a spin. For those already using Fedora, release 21 should make a welcome upgrade. ®

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