Fedora team announced the Fedora 34 release across workstations, spins, and servers. Fedora 34 release brings massive changes and cutting-edge tech across desktops, servers, and packages. This is what’s new.
Coming as per the release plan since the prior Fedora 33, the Fedora Linux 34 edition brings the latest desktop environments such as GNOME 40, LXQt 0.16, Xfce 4.16 with the latest development packages and toolchains. This release is one of the major releases in Fedora’s history and a bold one.
Let’s take a look at what’s new.
Table of Contents
Fedora 34 Release – What’s New
Many core features and package upgrades arrive with Fedora 34. I have summarised some of the important ones below.
Fedora 34 workstation features Linux Kernel 5.11 which brings support for the latest hardware across processors, graphics cards, ports, and other devices. Check out the Linux Kernel 5.11 feature overview here.
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.
Pipewire as default sound daemon
Today all the audio in your Linux desktop is handled by PulseAudio. Fedora 34 now routes all audio from PulseAudio and JACK to the Pipewire daemon. That means they need the PulseAudio package and the daemon is gone now. PipeWire daemon provides more flexible, high-performance audio management in Linux, better than PulseAudio.
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.
The default workstation edition of Fedora 34 offers the latest GNOME 40 desktop which overhauled the desktop experience. GNOME 40 changes the way you interact with your GNOME desktop until today. The major changes we covered here in detail. In summary GNOME 40 brings the following key changes which are available with Fedora 34.
- 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
It is worth mentioning that, Fedora 34 is the first official mainstream Linux distribution to offer GNOME 40 out-of-the-box. Because Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo did not feature GNOME 40. Unless you install GNOME 40 from scratch in Arch Linux, or, use rolling distributions, probably Fedora 34 is the only option to experience GNOME 40 until the end of 2021.
KDE Plasma 5.21
The KDE Plasma flavor of Fedora 34 features the latest KDE Plasma 5.21. KDE Plasma 5.21 is now BETA stage and will be released before Fedora 34 is ready. KDE Plasma 5.21 brings a huge list of changes.
ARM installer image for KDE Plasma
Not only the KDE Plasma 5.21 is the only change. With this release, Fedora 34 also brings some of the interesting changes only 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 enthusiastic now install Fedora KDE Plasma flavor with Fedora as well.
Wayland defaults to KDE Plasma
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.
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 0.16. And it is stable now. So, the Fedora team decided to upgrade the LXQt base to the latest LXQt 0.16. LXQt 0.16 brings new features which we covered here. Take a look.
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.
Package and toolchain updates
The entire Fedora 34 toolchain and other packages upgraded to their latest releases. Here’s a quick rundown of the updates.
- Binutils 2.35
- Gcc 11
- binutils 2.35
- glibc 2.33.
- Golang 1.16
- IBus 1.5.24
- LLVM 12
- Ruby 3.0
- BIND 9.16
- MariaDB 10.5
- Ruby on Rails 6.1
Download Fedora 34 Release
The servers and mirrors are being refreshed at the moment. So you might face a slower download speed. So, unless you in a hurry, wait for a couple of hours from now before you hit download/upgrade.
Upgrade to Fedora 34
If you are running Fedora 33 workstation, you can easily upgrade right now by running the following commands in the order they are mentioned. Make sure you read the complete upgrade guide here before trying to upgrade. Because things may break due to the nature of this release which brings new packages and desktop environments.
sudo dnf upgrade --refresh
sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade
sudo dnf system-upgrade download --releasever=34
sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot
Download Fedora 34
The Fedora 34 .iso packages are present in the following link. Go ahead and download them. Post download, you can write it on USB via Etcher or try in a virtual machine.
Other downloads including desktop spins are present below.
|Download type||ISO 64 bit||Torrent files|
|Fedora 34 Workstation GNOME||.iso||Torrent|
|Fedora 34 Cinnamon||.iso *||Torrent *|
|Fedora 34 KDE Plasma||.iso||Torrent|
* Some files are yet to be available, as mirrors are still being refreshed. I Will update here once available.
One of the best releases from the Fedora Linux team, indeed. The overall quality of the release is great. In my test, the workstation edition is running flawlessly and the upgrade process is super smooth. I think, among all Linux distribution, the Fedora upgrade process is super streamlined and never breaks unless you have a special configuration. That said, enjoy the new Fedora 34 while going over our entire coverage below.