The Features Coming For Fedora 21

Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 23 September 2014 at 12:05 AM EDT. 12 Comments
Fedora 21 in alpha form is finally expected for release today. With Fedora 20 having been released last December and the Fedora 21 release getting continually dragged on due to delays, here's a recap of some of the major changes being worked on for this next Fedora release.

Among the Fedora 21 highlights that we're looking forward to with the alpha release expected today include:

- GNOME 3.14 in full is on Fedora 21. GNOME 3.14 brings tons of changes, including but not limited to the major improvements to the GNOME Wayland session, the multi-touch / gestures framework for GTK, etc.

- Going with the improved GNOME Wayland session, the overall Wayland support is much better on Fedora 21 with more packages being compatible with Wayland, updated Wayland/Weston 1.6 code, and of course updated graphics drivers. However, Wayland won't replace X.Org as the default display server until at least Fedora 22.

- GCC 4.9 has been added to Fedora 21 and is used as the base compiler, compared to GCC 4.8 from last year in Fedora 20.

- Various improvements to Fedora's Cloud computing capabilities. There's also going to be a "big data" cloud image as well as an official Fedora Docker container image.

- KDE Frameworks 5 has been packaged up for Fedora 21. However, KDE 4.14 will still be the default KDE desktop environment for F21.

- MATE Desktop 1.8 is also part of Fedora 21.

- Fedora 21 is removing support for a lot of old GPUs to just focus upon those with open-source DRM/KMS graphics drivers.

- Fedora 21 will feature out-of-the-box, open-source OpenCL support in the form of Gallium3D Clover, POCL, and Beignet. Of course, not many day-to-day Linux software packages yet can take full advantage of GPGPU computing and the OpenCL support offered by the open-source Linux graphics drivers varies, but it's great to see Fedora 21 stepping ahead and setting an example.

- Various new features of systemd.

- Many package updates like for Make 4.0, Mono 3.4, PHP 5.6, Python 3.4, and RPM 4.12.

You can learn more about the Fedora 21 changes being worked on via the Fedora Project Wiki. Once the Fedora 21 Alpha images become available we'll also be running our own tests and investigating further. Stay tuned for the Fedora 21 Alpha release announcement that will be brought up on Phoronix later today as it happens.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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