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Revision as of 02:22, 12 November 2013 by Mclasen (talk | contribs) (Detailed Description)

Application Installer Continued


Fully integrate the new application installer with Fedora, and complete its feature set


  • Name: Richard Hughes for the implementation, Ryan Lerch and Allan Day for the design
  • Email:

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 21
  • Last updated: 2013-11-11
  • Tracker bug:

gnome-software has been introduced in F20, and it offers application installation, browsing, search and update viewing and installation. In F20, gnome-software is using yum via PackageKit. The metadata for applications, as well as extra data for featured applications is shipped as part of the gnome-software package.

Detailed Description

gnome-software will support installing system add-ons such as fonts and codecs. It will show additional metadata for applications: screenshots, ratings, other details. We will also work with the Fedora infrastructure team to obtain the metadata online for all applications instead of shipping it statically for a limited set.

The metadata for application needs to be expanded and its quality monitored. Screenshots need to be taken or updated.

The update monitoring and downloading functionality will be moved from the gnome-settings-daemon updates plugin into a dedicated gnome-software service.

In addition, a gnome-shell search provider will offer installable applications as search results.

We will switch to using the hawkey PackageKit backend.

Benefit to Fedora

Fedora gets an improved application installation experience. Having a proper way to present available applications to users will open the door to making more rational decisions about what needs to be included in the spin, and what can be presented as a featured application in the installer.

The hawkey stack gets early testing exposure.


  • Proposal owners:
    • Add add-on support (DONE)
    • Display additional metadata in details page (DONE)
    • Implement a GNOME shell search provider (DONE)
    • Turn gnome-software into a session service and take over updates plugin functionality (DONE)
    • Switch PackageKit to use the hawkey backend
  • Infrastructure:
    • Make metadata available for packaged applications in Fedora. For F20, we want to be able to show application icons for uninstalled applications, so these must be made available outside the package. TBD: More details needed on how this will be done
    • Fedora should be hosting application screenshots
  • Policies and guidelines:
    • We want to use the hawkey backend in PackageKit while the default commandline utility is still yum; this kind of separation was rejected by Fesco in the past for zif, will need to ask again (DONE, approved conditionally)
    • No immediate changes to packaging guidelines needed; longer-term, we may want to make changes to way applications are distributed and installed
    • The update experience will also benefit from proposed changes to batch updates, but batched updates are not a strict requirement for the new app installer

Upgrade/compatibility impact

The gnome-settings-daemon update plugin had cdoe to notify users about available OS upgrades. We have not yet decided if gnome-software should provide similar functionality.

How To Test

  • Test application installation:
    • Run gnome-software
    • Find an application that is not installed, e.g. the GIMP in the UI
    • Install it
    • Verify that it is easy to find the application in the UI, get relevant information about it before installing it, and install it
    • Check that the application is properly installed (can be launched from the commandline, as well as from the gnome-shell overview)
  • Test updates:
    • Launch gnome-software when updates are available
    • Check that the tool informs you about the available updates (system updates will be grouped)
    • Install the updates
    • Verify that the updates are properly installed (using the offline update mechanism when system updates are involved)
  • Test notifications:
    • Log into GNOME when security updates are available
    • Check that a notification informs you about the available security updates
    • Check that clicking 'View' starts gnome-software

User Experience

See the design page to learn about the user experience.


  • hawkey backend in PackageKit
  • application metadata extraction in koji and hosting
  • application screenshot hosting

Contingency Plan

  • If the hawkey PackageKit backend or hawkey itself are not fully functional in F21, keep using the yum backend


Release Notes

The application installer, gnome-software is now more fully integrated and provides more functionality.