There is no time to lose in the world of Linux distributions. Fedora 35 dropped in November 2021 and Fedora 36 arrives a few months later, in April 2022. Here’s what’s new in Red Hat’s open-source Linux distribution.
The latest version of the popular Linux distribution will be released on April 19, 2022 or April 26, 2022, depending on how the beta test goes – almost coinciding with the release of Ubuntu 22.04. We’re looking at the beta in this article, but it’s close enough to the final product that we can confidently see what’s to come and do a quick tour for all you Fedora fans out there.
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In a blog post that introduced the Fedora 36 beta in late March, Red Hat said Fedora 36 continues the project’s “emphasis on delivering leading open source technologies.”
Now when you hear an open source project say you can more or less translate it to “this is a minor upgrade with no major new features.” And that’s more or less what you get with Fedora 36.
There are some significant under the hood changes that will help Fedora in the long run, a few UI tweaks, and the latest version of the GNOME desktop.
But that’s okay. It doesn’t matter how many people are clamoring for new features. It’s always best for Linux distributions to make incremental progress that builds on an already solid foundation. And that’s definitely what you get with Fedora.
Updated desktop: GNOME 42
Fedora 35 moved on to the GNOME 41 desktop and Fedora 36 keeps the trend going by adopting GNOME 42. There are not many changes here from GNOME 41. There is a new dark mode because everything needs a dark mode in this early 21st century of ours. The new GNOME shell takes up less space and improves contrast by using dark backgrounds and brighter text and icons. It’s not a big change, but it’s noticeable.
Another nice tweak to the dark mode style is that GNOME introduces 42 style settings that are independent of the system itself. That means if you want to make your primary theme light, but you want a dark theme for a specific app, that’s possible – assuming the app makes this setting available.
GNOME 42 also has a revamped screenshot feature that Fedora 36 mentioned in its blog post. With the new experience, you can press the “Print Screen” button and then take screenshots (whole screen, windows, or sections) or screenshots using the same tool.
There is also a new text editor user interface that includes the all-important autosave feature. The terminal app is also getting an update with an overlapping scroll bar and time signature. The header bar also changes color when you run as root. The two core apps also have tabs, support the new dark UI, and have built-in style controls if you want something other than the default system setting.
If you’re not interested in GNOME 42, Fedora 36 offers LXQt 1.0 as a simple alternative. You can either grab a version of Fedora 36 with LXQt by default, or you can install LXQt alongside your current desktop environment.
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Under the hood changes
Fedora 36 also does some work within the system itself to make it easier to manage system snapshots that build on previous work. The RPM database goes from
/usr to make it easier for some snapshot and rollback tasks.
In its blog post, Red Hat points out how the work of some upstream variants (distributions built on Fedora) such as Silverblue, Kinoite, CoreOS, and IoT started, with some of this work now coming downstream. Mainly making
/var a separate sub-volume, which makes managing snapshots also possible earlier. Said Red Hat’s blog editor Joe Brockmeier,
“Users may not see the benefits right away, but because of this work, they will see it later. It’s a great example of how work starts upstream in Fedora, is perfected over a few releases, and then makes its way into everyday use and possibly downstream to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”
In addition to snapshot improvements, Fedora has also added some nice support for NVIDIA graphics card users. Fedora 36 has additional Wayland support – Wayland is Fedora’s display server protocol – with the GNOME Display Manager using Wayland by default.
Then there are the usual upgrades to the built-in programming languages and other utilities, including Ruby on Rails 7.0, Django 4.0, PHP 8.1, PostgreSQL 14, and Podman 4.0.
A source in the Fedora
Fedora 36 adds some very minor improvements, including a better looking version of GNOME, some basic tweaks to apps, and improvements to the underlying organization of the system. If you’d like to try it yourself, find the ISO on the Fedora download page to boot live or install on your system.
It’s not a super exciting release, but these are the kinds of releases that are needed in the long run to make future versions of Fedora even better.