Top 10 Features of Fedora 34 Workstation

3 min

Fedora 34 releases soon. If you are wondering about the new features and details, you would be surprised to find out that this release going to be a massive one. here we give you a sneak peek at the top 10 features of the Fedora 34 workstation.

I always admire the Fedora team. Being a legacy Linux distribution, it is always the front-runner on adopting new tech, packages. While others stay behind, Fedora takes a well-defined approach to move forward. That said, Fedora 34 brings some huge changes across packages and desktop environments. Let’s take a look at the top features of Fedora 34.

Fedora 34 Beta - Workstation Edition with GNOME 40
Fedora 34 Beta – Workstation Edition with GNOME 40

Top 10 Features of Fedora 34 Workstation

1. Linux Kernel 5.11

Fedora 34 features the Linux Kernel 5.11. This version of Kernel brings support for newer processors, graphics cards, storage devices, and many new performance updates. To summerise, AMD Zen1/Zen2/Zen3 PowerCap RAPL (Runtime Average Power Limiting) Support, AMD SFH Driver (Sensor Fusion Hub) driver, and AMD SoC PMC (system-on-chip power management controller) driver support is added among other things. You also get initial support for AMD Van Gogh APU and Green Sardine APU devices.

Also, usual BTRFS improvements, USB4 supports are seen in this Kernel.
You can check out Linux Kernel 5.11 feature overview here.

2. GNOME 40 (default workstation desktop)

Perhaps the most important highlight of Fedora 34 is revamped GNOME 40 desktop environment. GNOME 40 desktop completely redesigned from its predecessor GNOME 3.38. With GNOME 40 you get an intuitive workspace, touch gesture support, and many new productive changes which we featured here. To summarize the GNOME 40 updates –

  • Multiline Icon Labels in GNOME Shell Grid
  • App Grid Scrolls Horizontally
  • Search Feature in Native Extensions App
  • Workspace Navigation is now horizontal and more productive
  • Sorting of Wifi Connections
  • GNOME Calendar – reminder time changes

Fedora 34 is the first non-rolling Linux distribution to feature GNOME 40 at the moment.

3. Zstd compression

In the last Fedora 33 release, btrfs is already made as a default file system when installing a fresh system. In this release, the zstd compression is made as default when using btrfs. This enables faster read, write performance while saving disk space significantly.

4. Pipewire as default sound daemon

Today all the audio in your Linux desktop is handled by legacy PulseAudio. Fedora 34 now routes all audio from PulseAudio and JACK to the Pipewire daemon. That means the PulseAudio package and the daemon is gone now. PipeWire daemon provides more flexible, high-performance audio management in Linux, better than PulseAudio.

5. Systemd-oomd as default

Fedora 34 enables the systemd-oomd daemon by default for all variants. Earlier it was enabled only for a few. This daemon provides better resource handling of processes during Out-Of-Memory (OOM) situations. The idea of OOM is to recover from out-of-memory situations sooner than a hanging system. The daemon keeps assigning scores to processes based on certain criteria. For example, if your system RAM goes below 4% free and swaps below 10% free, the SIGTERM is issued to those processes with the largest oom_score.

6. New i3 tiling window manager spin

For the first time, Fedora 34 provides a new Tiling Window Manager – i3 flavor. This is a major step in the right direction where you get a ready-to-use Tiling Window manager flavor available with mainstream Linux distribution. Today, if you want to enjoy the tiling window manager, you have to install it manually via dnf and then configure many options such as display server, etc. With this, you get ready to use Fedora spin. This definitely increases the Tiling Window manager user base with Fedora.

7. Package and toolchain updates

The entire Fedora 34 toolchain and other packages upgraded to their latest releases. Here’s a quick rundown of the important packages in Fedora 34:

  • Binutils 2.35
  • Gcc 11
  • binutils 2.35
  • glibc 2.33.
  • Golang 1.16
  • IBus 1.5.24
  • LLVM 12
  • OpenSSL3.0
  • Ruby 3.0
  • BIND 9.16
  • MariaDB 10.5
  • Ruby on Rails 6.1

8. KDE Plasma 5.21 Desktop (as Fedora Spin)

The KDE Plasma flavor of Fedora 34 features the latest KDE Plasma 5.21. KDE Plasma 5.21 brings a huge list of changes. The important changes include a new application launcher with a two-pane view, refreshed default theme, new Breeze twilight theme which gives dark+light theme combinations. Other changes include a new application called Plasma System Monitor, much-needed improvement in KWin, more support for Wayland. Check out the complete KDE Plasma 5.21 review here.

9. Wayland and ARM Updates for KDE Plasma

The KDE Plasma installer image is now available for AARCH64 ARM devices. This is already available from earlier for Xfce, and server images. Now with this, ARM enthusiasts can now install Fedora KDE Plasma flavor with Fedora as well.

Fedora is defaulting the Wayland display server with KDE Plasma desktop in this release. Wayland display server is at a stable stage mostly and a lot of work is done over last year by the Plasma team on Wayland. This brings us to a point where we can see the default Wayland in Plasma. It is worth noting here that recently Ubuntu also decided to default Wayland in GNOME desktop with its Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo release.

10. Additional Desktops

The latest Xfce 4.16 desktop is available with Fedora 34. Xfce 4.16 brings many new features such as GTK2 is completely dropped in favor of GTK3, Settings dialog uses CSD, new icon set, fractional scaling, etc after years of development. And you can take advantage of this lightweight Linux distribution with its features. Check out the Xfce 4.16 feature roundup here.

LXQt recently releases its latest version LXQt 0.17. However, it is not featured due to schedule conflict. Instead, you get the earlier stable LXQt 0.16. LXQt 0.16 brings new features which we covered here. Take a look.

So, that’s about it with the top Fedora 34 features. Fedora 34 releases on April 27, 2021.

You can download the Fedora 34 beta .iso from the below link. And then try it in a virtual machine or do a fresh install.

Spins and other desktop flavors are available in this link.


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