Fedora 33 is ready for testing.
Image: Fedora

The Fedora Project’s latest Linux distribution is now available in beta, bringing with it a new file system, a new GNOME environment and introducing official support for Raspberry Pi.

The Fedora 33 Beta comes ahead of a planned launch of the full distribution at the end of October. Alongside Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server, Fedora 33 Beta adds Fedora IoT as a supported edition for the first time. Fedora IoT supports low-power hardware platforms based on x86 and ARM64 architecture, which includes the Raspberry Pi and Pine64 boards.

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With the introduction of Fedora 33, all of the desktop variants of the platform – including Fedora Workstation and Fedora KDE – will use BTRFS as the default file system. Matthew Miller, project lead at Fedora, noted that this was a “big shift” for the platform, which has traditionally used the ext4 file system since its early days. Ultimately, BTRFS will allow for a fuller feature set for users, Miller said, including transparent compression and copy-on-write.

Amongst other features, the Fedora 33 Workstation Beta includes GNOME 3.38, the latest iteration of the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME 3.38 introduces a number of enhancements, including better screen-recording capabilities and multi-monitor support, as well as some general performance improvements.

Fedora 33 Workstation also offers better performance and thermal management for PCs and laptops using Intel CPUs, which should help give the latest range of Fedora-based Lenovo laptops a boost.

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Elsewhere, the Fedora 33 Beta includes updated versions of popular programming packages like Ruby, Python, and Perl, meanwhile Python 2.6 and Python 3.4 are being retired. Fedora 33 also makes nano the default text editor, which Miller suggested was more accessible to new users.

You can try out the Fedora 33 beta here. As with any pre-release software version, Miller said that some bugs were to be expected, but noted that the Fedora 33 Beta bore “a very strong resemblance to the final release”.

He added: “If you take the time to download and try out the Beta, you can check and make sure the things that are important to you are working. Every bug you find and report doesn’t just help you, it improves the experience of millions of Fedora users worldwide.”