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What’s New in Fedora 34? 8 Reasons to Upgrade or Switch

The beta for Fedora 34 is out now, with a whole truckload of improvements and changes. There’s never been a better time to switch to Fedora Linux, so let’s take a look at what’s new.

What Is Fedora Linux?

The Fedora Linux standard edition, also known as Fedora Workstation, is a rock-solid Linux distro that’s designed with developers and creators in mind. It’s a popular and powerful choice for anyone who wants an operating system that reliably works for you and lets you get to work.

A contender for one of the best Linux distros out there, Fedora by default features the popular and powerful GNOME desktop environment. GNOME gives users a modern, organized, and clean experience that’s easy to navigate and use, whether you’re developing a complex programming project or just browsing the internet.

The Fedora Project is backed by, among others, Red Hat, Inc., an open-source IT solutions firm. This kind of professional backing ensures Fedora will continue to see timely updates and helpful support for the foreseeable future.

If you’ve never used Linux and are curious about getting started, you’ll find Fedora comparable to major operating systems in its power, versatility, and sleek user experience. What makes it certainly better than Windows or macOS is its cost: totally free.

Download: Fedora Workstation

What’s New in Fedora 34?

If you’re running an older version of Fedora and not sure if you should upgrade, or if you’re thinking of making Fedora your first Linux distro, these features of Fedora 34 just might cause you to make the jump.

1. GNOME Upgraded to GNOME 40

Fedora 34 features the newest version of the popular GNOME desktop environment, GNOME 40. Improvements include new keyboard and touchpad shortcuts, a better UI, easier software browsing, and more. Read about the changes in detail in the GNOME 40 Release Notes.

2. Wayland by Default for KDE Plasma

If you decide to go for the KDE Plasma spin instead of the standard GNOME edition, you’ll find Fedora 34’s default session is Wayland instead of X11.

While X11 has long been a staple in Linux distros, the project these days sees almost no development. The Wayland project team, however, has been working hard on its offering, and the KDE and GNOME environments are both expected in the coming days to fully adopt it. Thus, Fedora KDE offers a glimpse into the future of Linux.

3. Linux Kernel 5.11

The Linux kernel for Fedora has been upgraded to 5.11, the latest stable release. A newer kernel means better support, especially for newer hardware, so you can be confident your machine will run smoothly.

4. Audio Server Changed to PipeWire

If you’ve used Linux before, you’ve likely encountered PulseAudio, the standard audio server and configuration tool for Fedora, until now. It’s been replaced in 34 by PipeWire, a more versatile and adaptable multimedia handler.

PipeWire is simple enough that you shouldn’t have to fiddle with it out of the box if you’re a casual user, but it’s also configurable enough for the picky professionals out there who perform complex multimedia tasks.

5. Transparent Compression Enabled for Btrfs

Btrfs, the default filesystem since Fedora 33, now features transparent data compression. This means Fedora will better optimize your SSD for maximum storage-saving and an increased lifespan.

6. Improved Security

You can operate with peace of mind knowing that Fedora 34 has implemented numerous security improvements. Especially with Linux becoming increasingly a target of malware attacks, you can’t afford to compromise on security.

7. Developer Tools

The Fedora Project wants software developers to feel at home on their desktop. To that end, Fedora 34 features several upgraded packages related to database management, git, and container support.

Related: Which Container System Should You Use: Kubernetes or Docker?

8. Other Improvements

Fedora 34 boasts many more improvements that are too numerous to list here. They include more efficient resource management, additional language support, and upgraded utilities.

These small changes all add up to create a better overall user experience. You can read about all of Fedora 34’s changes in detail on the ChangeSet wiki page.

Taking a Closer Look at Fedora 34

To see a short presentation of Fedora 34’s best features and changes, run the Tour option in the Applications list when you first install Fedora 34.

If you’re still not convinced to try Fedora, consider taking a serious look at the differences between Fedora and another Linux classic like Ubuntu.

Fedora vs. Ubuntu: Linux Distros Compared

If you’re looking for the best Linux has to offer, you have a choice of two. But between Fedora and Ubuntu, which is best?

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