Fedora 34 beta released with major GNOME desktop upgrade

The Fedora logo in front of the Fedora 34 background

The Fedora Project has released the beta version of the upcoming Fedora 34. New ISO images are available for Fedora Workstation, Fedora Server, Fedora IoT, Fedora Spins, Fedora Labs, and Fedora for ARM. The biggest change users will notice is the inclusion of GNOME 40 in Fedora Workstation.

GNOME 40 is the successor to GNOME 3.38 which shipped with Fedora 33 last year. It has been significantly rewritten and improves the overall experience of the GNOME shell overview. According to Fedora, the new GNOME shell overview makes search, windows, workspaces, and applications more “spatially coherent” – a major change of the overview is that the dock has been moved from the left of the view to the bottom.

The GNOME shell activities view in Fedora 34

With Fedora 34, the team have enabled transparent compression in the BTRFS file system, this will free up more disk space and extend the lifespan of solid-state disks. The compression also means larger files read and write quicker than before. Going forward, the developers plan to keep adding enhancements to BTRFS to make it even better.

In recent years, the Linux world has made a shift from traditional packaging systems to Flatpaks which are sandboxed from the rest of the system and include their own dependencies making program distribution a little easier. To meet the needs of these programs, Fedora 34 replaces PulseAudio with PipeWire. PipeWire is also better designed for pro-audio use cases with its lower latency.

The Fedora Project has made an entry on its wiki outlining all the changes that come with Fedora 34. If you want to try out Fedora 34 beta, head over to the project’s website, find the version you want, and choose to download the corresponding beta release rather than Fedora 33, which is the current stable version.

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