Fedora 40: The 4 new features I'm most excited about

If you're a fan of Fedora desktop Linux, you'll be happy to know its latest release is right around the corner and it has something for everyone.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Fedora has evolved into an outstanding operating system that can be used by just about any type of user. It's simple, reliable, secure, and beautifully designed. Soon, the latest release (version 40) will be available. Although some of the new features will be more exciting to power users, there's something for everyone.

Let's dive right in.

1. GNOME 46

Although GNOME 46 won't blow your mind, it is filled with plenty of improvements and polish. For example, the Files app (aka "Nautilus") sees a serious performance increase as well as a much-requested global search feature. GNOME Shell and Mutter received quite a bit of work, which brings a far more responsive desktop. Notifications also got a bit of a makeover that lets them get grouped by app, which should cut down on a lot of clutter.

Also: GNOME 46 is out. Here are all the improvements you need to know

The Settings app has been reorganized. You'll find a new sub-page in System that separates Date & Time, Region, Users, and About. You'll also find the ability to customize your mouse's secondary click, and the mouse test window has been vastly improved.

If you opt to go with the KDE Plasma flavor, you'll find KDE Plasma 6, which I wrote about in, "I tested KDE Plasma 6 and found it very familiar. Here's why that's a good thing."

2. Duplicate IP detection

Here's a feature that will come in handy for a lot of power users. If your network (be it home or work) has duplicate IP addresses assigned to machines, those addresses can cause networking issues. Fedora 40 will offer a feature that can detect duplicate IP addresses. This is done with the help of ACD (Address Conflict Detection) and is enabled by default. Do note that this addition only affects IPv4 addresses (as IPv6 already checks for duplicates).

3. Wget2

If you use wget to download files, you'll be happy to know that Fedora 40 will include Wget2. Although this new version doesn't include much in the way of new features, it does offer multi-threading, compression, XML sitemap parsing, TCP Fast Open support, and much more. The best thing about Wget2 is that it's much faster than its predecessor.

4. Kernel 6.8

Fedora 40 will ship with kernel 6.8. The biggest advantage of this kernel is improved hardware compatibility (such as support for the Broadcom BCM2712 CPU for the Raspberry Pi 5, AMD's WBRF Wi-Fi feature, and the addition of Intel's Xe graphics DRM driver).

Miscellaneous changes

In addition to the above, Fedora 40:

  • Brings updates to the toolchain, which includes CGG 14, GNU Binutils 2.41, Glibc 2.39, and GDB 14.1
  • Ships with OpenJDK Java 21 as the default
  • Unifies /usr/bin and /usr/sbin
  • Allows assigning individual, stable MAC addresses for Wi-Fi connections
  • Moves SELinux policy entries from /var/run to /run

Official release date

Fedora 40's official release is set for April 16, 2024. If you're itching to try it sooner, the team plans to release the beta on March 26, 2024, according to this message.

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