5 Thrilling Linux Distro Updates to Look Ahead to in 2021

We are four months into 2021 and many important Linux distribution updates are just around the corner after constant development over the past few months.

These updates are expected to include a number of new features, performance improvements, and better hardware support in addition to the latest Linux kernel.

Here are some of the most exciting updates to the Linux distribution to look forward to this year.

1. Ubuntu 04/21

Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution on the market, will release the first of the two updates of 2021, Ubuntu 04/21 Hirsute Hippo Stable Release, on April 22nd, 2021. Additionally, Ubuntu 21.04 is now also in public beta for enthusiasts looking to get their hands on the latest software, and a release candidate will follow shortly on April 15, 2021.

This update is supposed to be a regular short-term version, which will be followed by the Ubuntu 21.10 update later in October of this year.

While Hirsute Hippo doesn't offer any mind-boggling features, it's still a major update to the Ubuntu ecosystem as it comes with the Linux 5.11 kernel for better hardware support, the latest built-in application updates, and the GNOME shell improvements.

The culmination of this update seems to be the introduction of private home directories, which will address the vulnerability reported over a decade ago.

However, Ubuntu 21.04 doesn't ship with the latest GNOME 40 and will stick with GNOME 3.38 until the applications are updated to support the new GTK 4.

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2. Fedora 34

The Fedora Project recently announced the beta version of the latest version of its Linux distribution, Fedora 34. This wonderful Linux distribution is currently in beta and is expected to release its stable version to the public soon.

Fedora 34 contains significant changes to be aware of. It features the latest GNOME 40 desktop environment, making it one of the first distributions to offer the modern experience of the latest GNOME software.

Additionally, Fedora 34 has made great strides in optimizing the user experience by enabling transparent BTRFS compression to save space, extend the life of your SSD, while improving read and write speeds.

Other notable changes include a new spin of the i3 tile manager, PipeWire to replace the PulseAudio daemon, systemd-oomd daemon to better handle low-memory situations, and an updated toolkit for developers.

For more information, see our article on the latest features in Fedora 34.

3. Basic operating system 6

Elementary OS 6 Odin is the highly anticipated release that many fans have been waiting for since the success of Elementary OS 5 Hera.

This Linux distribution is very popular because of its design, Pantheon desktop environment, and general philosophy. Elementary OS does not offer estimated release dates – it will be released when it is done, as it says.

While the release date may seem a mystery, some of the expected features aren't. From a design point of view, Elementary OS offers an overall better dark theme for all native applications, rounded corners, better typography, new iconography and a refreshing stylesheet with 10 accent colors to choose from.

The elementary operating system leaves no stone unturned in terms of performance either. Numerous optimizations have been made to reduce communication between desktop components between processes, remove unused code, and reduce hard drive I / O (especially important for slower processors and slower storage media such as SD cards).

4. Pop! _OS 04/21

Pop! System76's _OS has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and is considered one of the best Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. Pop! _OS uses the underlying Ubuntu base and combines some additional features like auto-tiling, stacking, and keyboard shortcuts to give the distribution a unique twist.

While not much about the 04/21 version of Pop! _OS has been reported, some predictions could be made based on the Ubuntu basis.

It will be interesting to see if it uses GNOME 40 (as opposed to Ubuntu) or if it focuses on the newer version of the GNOME desktop environment. Other Ubuntu fixes and improvements are also posted directly to Pop! _OS transmitted.

5. Garuda Linux

Garuda Linux is the newest Linux distribution on this list. It's a feature-rich Arch-based distribution that doesn't compare to anything. Garuda Linux offers an extensive list of special features, starting with a simple GUI-based installation via Calamares, standard BTRFS file system, Garuda Assistant, Garuda Gamer, Zen kernel and much more.

But what really makes Garuda Linux stand out is the amount of out-of-the-box customizations, especially the Dr460nized version of KDE. From the wallpaper to the Gaussian blur, everything has been tweaked to offer a more vibrant user interface that is sure to turn the heads of many people.

If you don't prefer the KDE desktop environment, Garuda Linux has other options too, including GNOME, XFCE, Cinnamon, LXQt, and more.

This distribution is the young blood among all distributions and it is quite evident from the appearance. It will be interesting to see how this distro evolves to live up to its hype. As a rolling distribution, there are no fixed release schedules, but the future looks bright for Garuda Linux.

Which Linux distribution is right for you?

With hundreds of Linux distributions to choose from, the list of updates and advancements expected to ship seems endless.

However, this is also one of the reasons Linux is so popular with tech enthusiasts: freedom of choice. While popular distributions like Zorin OS may focus on further optimizing their software, it's refreshing to see new competitors like Garuda Linux offer an experience like no other.

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About the author

Nitin Ranganath
(2 articles published)

By Nitin Ranganath

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