Fedora 21 Released – A Quick Review with Screenshots and Upgrade to Fedora 21 from Older Versions

Finally, the Fedora Projects announced the availability of the latest release of Fedora 21, which shapes with many new changes and updates, in this quick-post we’ll talk about the most important changes in the new release of Fedora.

Fedora 21 Released
Download Fedora 21

So, What’s new in Fedora 21?

There are 3 versions of Fedora now:

  1. Workstation: Which is designed for the desktop.
  2. Server: Which is designed for creating normal servers.
  3. Cloud: If you want to create a server on the cloud, Fedora has a special version for that.

Changes in Fedora Workstation 21

  1. Gnome 3.14 is now the default desktop environment for Fedora, Gnome 3.14 includes many updated software and changes.
  2. Gnome-Wayland Session: in Fedora 21, you can test the Wayland display server easily by logging out the desktop and choosing the session.
  3. Support for 32-bit PowerPC architecture has been completely dropped in Fedora 21.
  4. The “Anaconda” installer now supports using “zRAM” Swap during the installation process, this is good for old computers, if your computer’s
    RAM is under 2GB, this feature will be enabled automatically in order to speed up the installation process.
  5. Some packages has been updated, like Linux kernel 3.17.4, Firefox 33.1 (Firefox 34 is available as an update in the repositories), LibreOffice , systemd 215 (The boot process in Fedora is very fast actually).
  6. MariaDB has been updated to the 10th version in Fedora 21, Python has been updated to Python 3.4, PHP 5.6 and Ruby 2.1.
  7. Instead of openJDK7, openJDK8 is the default Java development kit in Fedora 21.
  8. RPM package system has been updated to the 4.12 version, which include many new features like the support for packaging files larger than 4GB in size, a new sub-tool called “rpm2archive” which allows to convert .rpm files to .tar format easily, even if they were larger than 4GB.
  9. Unfortunately, KDE Plasma hasn’t been updated to KDE 5.1, it stills in KDE 4.14.

Following are some of the screenshots of GNOME 3.14 taken from the Fedora 21 Workstation.

Fedora 21 Settings
Fedora Settings
Fedora Boxes to Create VM's
Fedora Boxes
Fedora Mate Terminal
Fedora Mate Terminal
Fedora Window Tabs
Fedora Window Tabs
Fedora DevAssistant
Fedora DevAssistant
Fedora 21 Wayland-Display
Fedora Wayland-Display

Changes in Fedora Server 21

Fedora Server is a special release from the Fedora Project for those who want to create a running web-server using Fedora, if you want to run web-applications, test web-services, create a FTP web-server.. etc, then, this release is for you.

In Fedora Server 21 many tools have been added, like:

  • Cockpit – which is a server monitoring tool that include a web-interface that you can use from your browser.
  • OpenLMI – which is a remote management system which allows you to control a group of servers and monitor them remotely beside running shell
    commands easily.
  • RoleKit – A tool which is a server role deployment and management kit designed to allow server administrators to install & configure any packages they want on their servers to do a specific role, but it’s not finished yet in Fedora 21.

Changes in Fedora Cloud 21

Fedora Cloud is a new release in the Fedora family, its main focus is on cloud environments like OpenStack and others, you may use this image only if you want to create & use cloud-computing solutions.

Fedora Cloud 21 includes a special program called “Project Atomic” which allows you to create Docker containers easily, “Project Atomic” was developed
by RedHat, Fedora 21 is the first release to include Atomic host to create, manage and monitor Docker containers.

To view all the changes, you may check the release notes at Fedora 21 Release Notes.

Download Fedora 21 DVD ISO Images

Fedora 21 included many new changes, you may give it a try if you want and believe me, you won’t regret it!

Download Fedoroa 21 Gnome Desktop

Download Fedora Workstation 21 with GNOME (for desktop computers):

  1. Fedora-Live-Workstation-i686-21-5.iso – Size 1.2GB
  2. Fedora-Live-Workstation-x86_64-21-5.iso – Size 1.4GB
Download Fedoroa 21 Xfce Desktop
  1. Fedora-Live-Xfce-i686-21-5.iso – Size 852MB
  2. Fedora-Live-Xfce-x86_64-21-5.iso – Size 892MB
Download Fedoroa 21 Mate & Compiz Desktop
  1. Fedora-Live-MATE_Compiz-i686-21-5.iso – Size 973MB
  2. Fedora-Live-MATE_Compiz-x86_64-21-5.iso – Size 916MB
Download Fedora 21 KDE Desktop
  1. Fedora-Live-KDE-i686-21-5.iso – Size 937MB
  2. Fedora-Live-KDE-x86_64-21-5.iso – Size 953MB
Download Fedora 21 LXDE Desktop
  1. Fedora-Live-LXDE-i686-21-5.iso – Size 819MB
  2. Fedora-Live-KDE-x86_64-21-5.iso – Size 869MB

Download Fedora 21 Server

  1. Fedora-Server-DVD-i386-21.iso – Size 2.0GB
  2. Fedora-Server-DVD-x86_64-21.iso – Size 1.9GB

Download Fedora 21 Cloud

  1. Fedora-Cloud-Base-20141203-21.x86_64.raw.xz – Size 100MB
  2. Fedora-Cloud-Atomic-20141203-21.x86_64.raw.xz – Size 232MB

How to Upgrade to Fedora 21 from Fedora 20

The best way to upgrade to Fedora 21 from Fedora 20 is to use the “fedup” tool to run the upgrade process. First we must install the “fedup” package, to do this, run:

$ sudo yum install fedup
Install Fedup in Fedora
Install Fedup Tool

Now, there are 3 ways to do the upgrade:

Upgrade to Fedora 21 using Network

This is easiest way to upgrade to Fedora 21, just run the commands and wait the packages to be upgraded, run this command to check for a new release.

$ sudo yum update fedup fedora-release
Check Fedora Release
Check Fedora Release

Now in order to start the upgrade process, run the following command.

$ sudo fedup --network 21 –product=workstation
Upgrade Fedora
Upgrade Fedora

The above command will upgrade your Fedora 20 system to Fedora Workstation 21, if you want to upgrade to the server or cloud version, you may
replace “workstation” with the name of the release you want, like:

$ sudo fedup --network 21 –product=server

And wait the upgrade process to complete.

Fedora Upgrade Process
Fedora Upgrade Process

Upgrade to Fedora 21 using the .ISO File

This way is good if you already have the .ISO file for Fedora 21, you’ll be happy to know that the “fedup” tool supports upgrading to Fedora 21 using its .iso file instead of starting a clean installation.

Let’s say that the Fedora 21 .ISO file is located in /home/user/Fedora-21.iso, you’ll have to run this simple command only.

$ sudo fedup --iso /home/user/Fedora-21.iso
Upgrade Fedora Using ISO
Upgrade Fedora Using ISO

And wait it to complete.. Don’t forget to replace /home/user/Fedora-21.iso with the path to the .ISO file that you downloaded for Fedora 21.

Note: The .ISO file must be in the same architecture of the installed system (if your installed system is a 32-bit system, you should download Fedora 21 32-bit version).

Upgrade to Fedora 21 using Another Device

This option isn’t very common in fact, but it may help you to complete the upgrade process anyway. Imagine that you have mounted the Fedora 21 source
to /mnt/ourfedora21 and that you want to upgrade your current Fedora 20 installation to 21 using that mounted device, you can simply do it by running.

$ sudo fedup --device /mnt/ourfedora21 --debuglog=debug.log
Upgrade Fedora Using Device
Upgrade Fedora Using Device

Don’t forget to replace /mnt/ourfedora21 with your mounted device path, if any errors occurred, you may check the “debug.log” file.

Now after you complete anyone of the steps above.. You still have to do one thing: After the upgrade finishes, reboot the computer, in the GRUB menu, you’ll see an option like this.

Fedora System Upgrade
Fedora System Upgrade

Select it in order to complete the upgrade.

Upgrading to Fedora 21
Upgrading to Fedora 21

And that’s it! You can now reboot to your new Fedora 21 installation.

Fedora 21 Desktop
Fedora 21 Desktop

Have you tried Fedora 21? What do you think about the new version? Are you going to switch for it? Share your comments with us!

Read Also: Fedora 21 Workstation Installation Guide

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4 thoughts on “Fedora 21 Released – A Quick Review with Screenshots and Upgrade to Fedora 21 from Older Versions”

  1. I tried the x86_64 workstation live version. It boots up but will not start X. Complains about no “nv” module. I was trying to install on a MacBook Pro 2010 (64 bit, efi boot, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics).
    Needless to say not impresses. I have used Fedora more years than I can remember and never had this.


  2. I tried Fedora 21 Server in VM. Cockpit is really nice. I will switch my workstation from Windows to Fedora 21. I’m more used to CentOS and always chose CentOS over other distributions because of its stability but I feel like this release of Fedora is rock solid.

    • I couldn’t agree more with you, Fedora 21 is the only release that stayed installed on my computer for more than 10 minutes :D I didn’t like the older releases of Fedora, but this one was pretty good, specially the MATE spin with Compiz.


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