Fedora 21 Is Coming In Just Two Days With Big Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 7 December 2014 at 10:00 AM EST. 5 Comments
After one year of waiting, Fedora 21 is still on track to be released this Tuesday, 9 December.

Fedora 21 is the first release of the Fedora.Next initiative that separates Fedora out into three products: Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server, and Fedora Workstation. These new Fedora "products" are fairly self explanatory and it's the Fedora 21 Workstation that most users will be after who want Fedora as a desktop operating system.

I've been running Fedora 21 on about a dozen systems for a number of weeks now to great success. Fedora 21 is doing great, quite likely their best release yet, and I'm even tempted to finally switch back to it on my main system the next time I upgrade to an Intel Broadwell ultrabook/laptop. For those that haven't yet spent much time around Fedora 21, some of the highlights include:

- All of the latest and greatest GNOME software via GNOME 3.14 -- which is a big step forward given Fedora 20 last year was on GNOME 3.10.

- GNOME on Wayland is in a technical preview state as of Fedora 21. It's easy to play with GNOME Wayland using the latest F21 packages. It won't be until at least Fedora 22 when the switch by default happens.

- More open-source OpenCL packages are now part of Fedora 21 in trying to finally push open-source OpenCL adoption/usage... Though the open-source GPU drivers with regard to their OpenCL support still leaves some left to be desired (Radeon and Intel have at least made much progress recently) but then there's still not too much desktop software relying on OpenCL.

- GCC 4.9 is the default compiler of Fedora 21 and it features a lot of improvements since its release last spring.

- Many other new and updated packages. There's Make 4.0, RPM 4.12, PHP 5.6, Python 3.4, MATE Desktop 1.8, and many other package changes.

- AArch64 / 64-bit ARM support has taken shape and should be in relatively good standing with Fedora 21.

- Fedora 21 did a lot of modernization, including dropping support for a lot of old GPUs.

- Numerous cloud, server, and Docker related improvements.

What else was changed up in Fedora 21 that excites you? Let us know in the forums. Stay tuned this coming week for more Fedora 21 coverage along with more performance benchmarks.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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