The folks behind the Fedora Project have released a major update to the popular, long-running Linux distribution.
Among other things, the default desktop environment for Fedora 34 is GNOME 40, which brings a new look, redesigned apps, and other improvements. Pipewire replaces PulseAudio for all audio applications. And the Btrfs file system now supports transparent compression, which basically means data can be compressed on the fly to save space and improve performance.
Fedora says the move from PulseAudio to Pipewire should offer a single solution for casual users and professionals alike, support for high-performance, low-latency audio, and improved security.
Using the zstd:1 compression algorithm with the Btrfs file system can help extend the lifespan of solid state drives and improve read and write speeds. But if you’d rather not use it, there is support for disabling compression.
And you can find a bunch of other under-the-hood changes for developers and sysadmins in the release notes.
Fedora 34 is also the first to feature an official spin with a tiling window manager. The new Fedora i3 Spin is designed to be easy to navigate with just a keyboard, no mouse, touchpad, or pen required. In addition to the tiling window manager, it features lightweight, keyboard-friendly apps including a web browser, text editor, and media player.