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Set up single sign-on for Fedora Project services

In addition to an operating system, the Fedora Project provides services for users and developers. Services such as Ask Fedora, the Fedora Project wiki and the Fedora Project mailing lists help users learn how to best take advantage of Fedora. For developers of Fedora, there are many other services such as dist-git, Pagure, Bodhi, COPR and Bugzilla for the packaging and release process.

These services are available with a free account from the Fedora Accounts System (FAS). This account is the passport to all things Fedora! This article covers how to get set up with an account and configure Fedora Workstation for browser single sign-on.

Signing up for a Fedora account

To create a FAS account, browse to the account creation page. Here, you will fill out your basic identity data:

Account creation page

Once you enter your data, the account system sends an email to the address you provided, with a temporary password. Pick a strong password and use it.

Password reset page

Next, the account details page appears. If you want to contribute to the Fedora Project, you should complete the Contributor Agreement now. Otherwise, you are done and you can use your account to log into the various Fedora services.

Account details page

Configuring Fedora Workstation for single sign-On

Now that you have your account, you can sign into any of the Fedora Project services. Most of these services support single sign-on (SSO), so you can sign in without re-entering your username and password.

Fedora Workstation provides an easy workflow to add your Fedora credentials. The GNOME Online Accounts tool helps you quickly set up your system to access many popular services. To access it, go to the Settings menu.

Click on the option labeled Fedora. A prompt opens for you to provide your username and password for your Fedora Account.

GNOME Online Accounts stores your password in GNOME Keyring and automatically acquires your single-sign-on credentials for you when you log in.

Single sign-on with a web browser

Today, Fedora Workstation supports three web browsers out of the box with support for single sign-on with the Fedora Project services. These are Mozilla Firefox, GNOME Web, and Google Chrome.

Due to a bug in Chromium, single sign-on doesn’t work currently if you have more than one set of Kerberos (SSO) credentials active on your session. As a result, Fedora doesn’t enable this function out of the box for Chromium in Fedora.

To sign on to a service, browse to it and select the login option for that service. For most Fedora services, this is all you need to do; the browser handles the rest. Some services such as the Fedora mailing lists and Bugzilla support multiple login types. For them, select the Fedora or Fedora Account System login type.

That’s it! You can now log into any of the Fedora Project services without re-entering your password.

Special consideration for Google Chrome

To enable single sign-on out of the box for Google Chrome, Fedora takes advantage of certain features in Chrome that are intended for use in “managed” environments. A managed environment is traditionally a corporate or other organization that sets certain security and/or monitoring requirements on the browser.

Recently, Google Chrome changed its behavior and it now reports Managed by your organization or possibly Managed by fedoraproject.org under the ⋮ menu in Google Chrome. That link leads to a page that says, “If your Chrome browser is managed, your administrator can set up or restrict certain features, install extensions, monitor activity, and control how you use Chrome.” However, Fedora will never monitor your browser activity or restrict your actions.

Enter chrome://policy in the address bar to see exactly what settings Fedora has enabled in the browser. The AuthNegotiateDelegateWhitelist and AuthServerWhitelist options will be set to *.fedoraproject.org. These are the only changes Fedora makes.

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How to contribute to Fedora

One of the great things about open source software projects is that users can make meaningful contributions. With a large project like Fedora, there’s somewhere for almost everyone to contribute. The hard part is finding the thing that appeals to you. This article covers a few of the ways people participate in the Fedora community every day.

The first step for contributing is to create an account in the Fedora Account System. After that, you can start finding areas to contribute. This article is not comprehensive. If you don’t see something you’re interested in, check out What Can I Do For Fedora or contact the Join Special Interest Group (SIG).

Software development

This seems like an obvious place to get started, but Fedora has an “upstream first” philosophy. That means most of the software that ends up on your computer doesn’t originate in the Fedora Project, but with other open source communities. Even when Fedora package maintainers write code to add a feature or fix a bug, they work with the community to get those patches into the upstream project.

Of course, there are some applications that are specific to Fedora. These are generally more about building and shipping operating systems than the applications that get shipped to the end users. The Fedora Infrastructure project on GitHub has several applications that help make Fedora happen.

Packaging applications

Once software is written, it doesn’t just magically end up in Fedora. Package maintainers are the ones who make that happen. Fundamentally, the job of the package maintainer is to make sure the application successfully builds into an RPM package and to generally keep up-to-date with upstream releases. Sometimes, that’s as simple as editing a line in the RPM spec file and uploading the new source code. Other times, it involves diagnosing build problems or adding patches to fix bugs or apply configuration settings.

Packagers are also often the first point of contact for user support. When something goes wrong with an application, the user (or ABRT) will file a bug in Red Hat Bugzilla. The Fedora package maintainer can help the user diagnose the problem and either fix it in the Fedora package or help file a bug in the upstream project’s issue tracker.

Writing

Documentation is a key part of the success of any open source project. Without documentation, users don’t know how to use the software, contributors don’t know how to submit code or run test suites, and administrators don’t know how to install and run the application. The Fedora Documentation team writes release notes, in-depth guides, and short “quick docs” that provide task-specific information. Multi-lingual contributors can also help with translation and localization of both the documentation and software strings by joining the localization (L10n) team.

Of course, Fedora Magazine is always looking for contributors to write articles. The Contributing page has more information. [We’re partial to this way of contributing! — ed.]

Testing

Fedora users have come to rely on our releases working well. While we emphasize being on the leading edge, we want to make sure releases are usable, too. The Fedora Quality Assurance team runs a broad set of test cases and ensures all of the release criteria are met before anything ships. Before each release, the team arranges test days for various components.

Once the release is out, testing continues. Each package update first goes to the updates-testing repository before being published to the main testing repository. This gives people who are willing to test the opportunity to try updates before they go to the wider community. 

Graphic design

One of the first things that people notice when they install a new Fedora release is the desktop background. In fact, using a new desktop background is one of our release criteria. The Fedora Design team produces several backgrounds for each release. In addition, they design stickers, logos, infographics, and many other visual elements for teams within Fedora. As you contribute, you may notice that you get awarded badges; the Badges team produces the art for those.

Helping others

Cooperative effort is a hallmark of open source communities. One of the best ways to contribute to any project is to help other users. In Fedora, that can mean answering questions on the Ask Fedora forum, the users mailing list, or in the #fedora IRC channel. Many third-party social media and news aggregator sites have discussion related to Fedora where you can help out as well.

Spreading the word

Why put so much effort into making something that no one knows about? Spreading the word helps our user and contributor communities grow. You can host a release party, speak at a conference, or share how you use Fedora on your blog or social media sites. The Fedora Mindshare committee has funds available to help with the costs of parties and other events.

Other contributions

This article only shared a few of the areas where you can contribute to Fedora. What Can I Do For Fedora has more options. If there’s something you don’t see, you can just start doing it. If others see the value, they can join in and help you. We look forward to your contributions!


Photo by Anunay Mahajan on Unsplash.

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Fedora 28 End of Life

With the recent release of Fedora 30Fedora 28 officially enters End Of Life (EOL) status effective May 28, 2019. This impacts any systems still on Fedora 28. If you’re not sure what that means to you, read more below.

At this point, packages in the Fedora 28 repositories no longer receive security, bugfix, or enhancement updates. Furthermore, the community adds no new packages to the Fedora 28 collection starting at End of Life. Essentially, the Fedora 28 release will not change again, meaning users no longer receive the normal benefits of this leading-edge operating system.

There’s an easy, free way to keep those benefits. If you’re still running an End of Life version such as Fedora 28, now is the perfect time to upgrade to Fedora 29 or to Fedora 30. Upgrading gives you access to all the community-provided software in Fedora.

Looking back at Fedora 28

Fedora 28 was released on May 1, 2018. As part of their commitment to users, Fedora community members released over 9,700 updates.

This release featured, among many other improvements and upgrades:

  • GNOME 3.28
  • Easier options for third-party repositories
  • Automatic updates for the Fedora Atomic Host
  • The new Modular repository, allowing you to select from different versions of software for your system

Of course, the Project also offered numerous alternative spins of Fedora, and support for multiple architectures.

About the Fedora release cycle

The Fedora Project offers updates for a Fedora release until a month after the second subsequent version releases. For example, updates for Fedora 29 continue until one month after the release of Fedora 31. Fedora 30 continues to be supported up until one month after the release of Fedora 32.

The Fedora Project wiki contains more detailed information about the entire Fedora Release Life Cycle. The lifecycle includes milestones from development to release, and the post-release support period.

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Fedora 30 supplemental wallpapers

Each release, the Fedora Design team works with the community on a set of 16 additional wallpapers. Users can install and use these to supplement the standard wallpaper. The Fedora Design team encourages submissions from the whole community. Contributors then use the Nuancier app to vote on the top 16 to include.

Voting has closed on the extra wallpapers for Fedora 30. Voters chose from among 56 submissions. A total of 128 Fedora contributors voted, choosing the following 16 backgrounds to include in Fedora 30:

(Editors’ note: Thank you to Sirko Kemter, who authored this article and conducted the voting process.)

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Fedora Classrooms: Silverblue and Badge Design

Fedora Classroom sessions continue with two introductory sessions, on using Fedora Silverblue (February 7), and creating Fedora badges designs (February 10). The general schedule for sessions is availble on the wiki, along with resources and recordings from previous sessions. Details on both these upcoming sessions follow.

Topic: Fedora Silverblue

Fedora Silverblue is a variant of Fedora Workstation that is composed and delivered using ostree technology. It uses some of the same RPMs found in Fedora Workstation but delivers them in a way that produces an “immutable host” for the end user.  This provides atomic upgrades for end users and allows users to move to a fully containerized environment using traditional containers and flatpaks.

This session is aimed at users who want to learn more about Fedora Silverblue,
ostree, rpm-ostree, containers, and Flatpaks.  It is expected that attendees have some basic Linux knowledge.

The following topics will be covered:

  • What’s an immutable host?
  • How is Fedora Silverblue different from Fedora Workstation?
  • What is ostree and rpm-ostree?
  • Upgrading, rollbacks, and rebasing your host.
  • Package layering with rpm-ostree.
  • Using containers and container tools (podman, buildah).
  • Using Flatpaks for GUI applications

When and where

Instructor

Micah Abbott is a Principal Quality Engineer working for Red Hat. He remembers his first introduction to Linux was during university when someone showed him Red Hat Linux running on a DEC Alpha Workstation.  He’s dabbled with  various distributions in the following years, but has always had a soft spot for  Fedora. Micah has recently been contributing towards the development  of  Fedora/Red Hat CoreOS and before that Project Atomic.  He enjoys engaging with the community to help solve problems that users are facing and has most recently been spending a lot of time involved with the Fedora Silverblue community.

Topic: Creating Fedora Badges Designs

Fedora Badges is a gamification system created around the hard work of the Fedora community on the various aspects of the Fedora Project. The Badges project helps to drive and motivate Fedora contributors to participate in all different parts of Fedora development, quality, content, events, and stay active in community initiatives. This classroom will explain the process of creating a design for a Fedora Badge.

Here is the agenda for the classroom session:

  • What makes a Fedora Badge?
  • Overview of resources, website, and tickets.
  • Step by step tutorial to design a badge.

Resources needed:

  • Inkscape.
  • Comfortaa typeface.
  • Fedora badges resources (colour palettes, graphics, templates).

On Fedora, inkscape and comfortaa can be installed using dnf:

sudo dnf install inkscape aajohan-comfortaa-fonts

When and where

Instructor

Marie Nordin is a graphic designer and fine artist, with a day job as a Assistant Purchasing Manager in Rochester, NY. Marie began working on the Fedora Badges project and the Fedora Design Team in 2013 through an internship with the Outreachy program. She has maintained the design side of the Fedora Badges project for four years, as well as running workshops and teaching others how to  contribute designs to Badges.