Development on Fedora Linux 34 kicked off in August 2021, and now the Fedora Linux community can take the upcoming release for a test drive by downloading the beta version, which is available in the usual flavors with the GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, Cinnamon, MATE, and SoaS desktops, and more recently the i3 tilling window manager.
Powered by Linux kernel 5.11, Fedora Linux 34 Beta comes with two major internal changes. The first one being the enablement of transparent compression for the Btrfs file system, a feature designed to significantly increase the lifespan of SSD drives and also give you more disk space and better performance when working with large files.
This compression will be essential for increasing read and write performance of larger files, with the potential to add significant time efficiency into workflows. With a foundation for future enhancements, we aim to continue adding to these capabilities in future versionsFedora Project Team
The second major new feature is the replacement of the PulseAudio sound system with the PipeWire multimedia processing engine for handling audio streams, which promises to improve Bluetooth audio, offer better audio support to Flatpak apps, and provide low-latency audio capabilities to pro audio users.
On top of that, Fedora Linux 34 Beta enables support for haptic touchpads, incremental Flatpak app updates, better Flathub integration for Flatpak apps, and introduces a coherent set of packaged application updates, streamlining new versions and enabling users to revert to previous versions.
Fedora Linux 34 Workstation, the flagship edition of Fedora Linux, is also featuring the forthcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment by default, which comes with a redesigned Activities Overview for a more modern and better user experience with improved multi-monitor support and a more coherent desktop interface.
The biggest change users will notice compared to previous Fedora Linux releases is the fact that the GNOME Shell user interface will start in the overview mode after login. Due to this change, the GNOME Welcome Tour app has been adapted to the new design for an integrated and cohesive look.