Fedora 34

And hot on the heels of Ubuntu 21.04 is the latest iteration of Fedora, version 34. Fedora is of particular interest here at Floodgap Orbiting HQ, not only because it serves as an early warning indicator for problems on OpenPOWER as one of the most cutting-edge distros, but it's also the distro I'm typing this blog post into and personally use on a daily basis. Now that F34 has hit release, F32 will become EOL in one month as usual.

Most of us are interested in Workstation-level changes and the most notable is GNOME 40, which introduces new and sure-to-be-controversial changes to Activities (though if this helps multiple display management I'll be a believer), separation in the dash of running apps and favourites (good), and additional shortcuts and gesture support. Other system-wide changes include transparent by-default zstd compression for btrfs, routing all audio through PipeWire (including PulseAudio, JACK and legacy ALSA), enabling systemd-oomd by default, updating to glibc 2.33 as well as gcc 11, llvm 12 and binutils 2.35, upgrading to Ruby 3.0, and (another controversial one) using Wayland by default for KDE Plasma users as well. Another nice minor change is that kernel firmware files will now be compressed by default, saving a bit of space.

On the OpenPOWER side, however, specific platform improvements are rather thin on the ground. 128-bit long double got deferred again, which I've been tracking since Fedora 30 (!!) as certain packages like MAME require it to build out of the box, and there has been little appetite to consider a Workstation-specific 4K page option.

Because I confidently expect GNOME 40 will break all my extensions, and some minor interval is required to ensure all the packages are built for ppc64le, our usual mini-review for F34 will follow in a couple weeks on both Blackbird and T2 systems. Meanwhile, read how it went with F33 in preparation.


  1. Let's hope IBM / Red Hat would get 128-bit long double done in F35

  2. Fortunately I don't use GNOME at all. So I hope that the MATE will continue to work on the Ferdora/ppc64le. I am a rather happy Blackbird+Fedora user so far. The 4k page option is one of few thinks I still miss here, anyway.


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