Looking back on 2021 and ahead to an amazing new year

Cover photo excerpted from What's Up: January 2021 Skywatching Tips from NASA (NASA Non-Commercial Media Usage Guidelines)

[This message comes directly from the desk of Matthew Miller, the Fedora Project Leader. — Ed.]

We’ve made it to the end of 2021, and I’m filled with so many emotions. On the one hand, I’m extremely proud of the work we have done this year. But on the other hand… when I wrote last year’s love letter, I thought we’d surely be able to celebrate our successes in person this year. Unfortunately, the global situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Our usual European winter events — DevConf.CZ and FOSDEM — are both virtual again. While I continue to hold out hope that we’ll be able to share a meal together soon, there are no clear dates in sight.

So, as we close out 2021 and approach the two-year mark of the pandemic, I’d like us all to take a moment to reflect on how we’ve continued to be a thriving community this year. Nest With Fedora brought together over 700 Fedorans—nearly twice the size of Nest 2020. We expanded our annual Fedora Women’s Day to Fedora Week of Diversity, celebrating the rich diversity that makes Fedora a great community. And we upgraded the way we communicate, bringing more conversation to Discussion and adding a new chat server using the open Matrix protocol. And all of that featured our new logo, introduced this spring.

Of course, as much as we love the Friends foundation, this community is about more than just having fun together. We also produce an excellent operating system. Fedora Workstation 34 led the way among major desktop distributions by featuring GNOME 40—a significant improvement to the widely-used desktop environment. We also changed the default audio system to PipeWire. And even though we broke our on-time streak with Fedora Linux 35, that just shows how seriously we take quality — we want to be leading edge, not “bleeding edge”, and we continue to demonstrate that in what we deliver to users.

And, thanks to all of our users for returning the love — for the second year in a row, we’re the Best Linux Distro in Linux Unplugged “Tuxies”, and our friends over at Destination Linux have some really nice end-of-year compliments as well. Phoronix says “Fedora had a stellar 2021 and continued running at the forefront of Linux innovations.” Even OMG Ubuntu! got in on the action, naming us one of the top five distros of the year and noting “In short, if you want to ride the crest of the open source wave near the front, Fedora 35 is the one to choose.”

Beyond the desktop, the Server Working Group, which had been stagnant for a while, sprung back to life this year. The team has been busy updating documentation and helping to keep Fedora Server valuable to sysadmins. Fedora CoreOS added the aarch64 architecture this year. And the Cloud Working Group made big improvements to Fedora Cloud by switching the default filesystem to BTRFS and adding hybrid BIOS & UEFI support.

Because the work we do is so technically sound, and our community embodies the best of open source, Amazon Web Services announced that the next version of AWS Linux will be based on Fedora Linux. This isn’t just validation of all the effort we put into the project, but it presents a great opportunity to grow our community. I’m looking forward to working with AWS engineers in Fedora in the coming year.

As we look forward to 2022, so much is still uncertain. But no matter what, Fedora will continue to be an inclusive, welcoming, and open-minded community that creates an innovative platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users. (Yes, I just copy/pasted our Vision Statement and Mission Statement.) I really hope to see many of you in Detroit for Flock this summer or at other events around the world. But even if we need to continue with alternate ways to connect, I know we’ll all be here for each other the way we have for the last 18 years. As our big Community Outreach Revamp completes, we’ll be looking for new and returning local Fedora Ambassadors to help.

To everyone who has contributed to Fedora in any way, thank you. Packagers, blog writers, doc writers, testers, designers, artists, developers, spin builders, meeting chairs, sysadmins, Ask Fedora answerers, DEI team, and more—you kicked ass this year and it shows. Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll meet again in person soon!

Fedora Project community


  1. Surya Anggraito

    Thank you also for a wonderful experience while using Fedora Linux this 2021. Memorable experience, full of memories.

  2. Tanaka Katsuharu

    This year, thanks to Fedora, I feel like I understand the essence of system security and agile development.
    Since it is a community-based development, I would like to thank you for working with diverse people and people with diverse skills.

  3. May the new year bring you a lot of strength for work, health and joy for users and developers.
    Happy New Year !

  4. Altan Yücedağ

    Merhabalar ve iyi yıllar dilerim. 2005 yılında ülkemde (Türkiye) çıkarılan Pardus sayesinde Linux’le tanıştım. Değişik Linux dağıtımlarını zaman zaman kullandım, Linux gerçekten çok iyi bence, Fedora 35 çıktığından beridir de Fedora Spin KDE kullanıyorum, benim önerim Fedora 36 için KDE ana sürüm olmalı yada Gnome ile birlikte KDE de olmalı, çalışmalarınızda kolaylıklar dilerim.

  5. I became a Fedora user a couple months before Fedora 35 released in September and I’ve been daily driving it ever since. I love distributions that just work, and I love vanilla GNOME. To me, Fedora is home. I am excited to see where the future will take Fedora, especially with their shift in rhetoric and attempting to become a distribution for everyone. Overall, I am really fond of Fedora, keep up the good work!

    • Greg Zeng

      Not mentioned, but also pioneered by Fedora, ahead of the other big name versions of Linux operating systems: BTRFS as default, Wayland display manager, snap package manager, Gnome and other Linux very new innovations.

  6. david

    I just received my new laptop with fedora 33 already installed. Before i do anything , should i upgrade to 35?

    • In general it is best to stay current with a more recent release. There may be overriding circumstances like hardware support, timing issues, etc., but for security and bug fixes upgrading is good. Take a look at the release notes to make an informed decision.

    • Andre Gompel

      if you do the default install from USB, it is very simple, take about 30 mn, then may take longer (usually does) to install/remove to your taste and flavor.
      An install from scratch, is usually better than upgrades.

      My favorite flavor, is the MATE Fedora (Fedora-MATE_Compiz-Live-x86_64-35.torrent) you shall find at : https://torrent.fedoraproject.org/
      But you may have different taste.

      Use your current Fedora to get the ISO you like and create the USB (using Fedora media writer).

      Fedora 35, is very good, so don’t pass on it !

  7. Hank Lee

    It was a pleasure to see the vibrant community of Fedora, where I feel settled after a few months of discovery and experience on the Fedora Linux.
    Fantastic news about AL2022 (AWS Linux).

  8. John

    I like this message, they are encouraging words. I remember that phrase and that I will paraphrase, where two todiums of leaders are defined when they have the power, some do well, others just do not do it!

    Happy Year Matthew.

    Thank you.

  9. Marc

    100% Linux user since two and a half years here, after getting more and more upset with Windows from update to update. Hopped various distros (Ubuntu/Arch/Debian/KDE neon) to finally settle on Fedora. “Leading Edge” is summing it up very accurately and I really enjoy it. However, sometimes 3rd parties are having a hard time to keep up with the pace of Fedora (I am looking at you, Zoom and MS-Teams), but that’s definitely not your fault.

    Also not directly related to Fedora gals and guys, but getting KDE Plasma 100% working on wayland (fractional scaling still is… well… “usable” but nothing more), also Java UIs (see project wakefield) would be on my wishlist for 2022

  10. Majid Hussain

    a slightly late happy new year to you all!
    just transfering my importent items to another device
    and going to install the mate spin!
    I need stability in my life.
    and fedora compared to say ol arch will give me this.
    i’m tired of the deluge of updates sperted at me every day hence fedora, you are the one for me!
    I would like to thank the maintainer of the mate spin for including orca and required packages that enable speech for people like me who are blind.
    I would like to thank one mr matthew miller, you may know of him?
    for being such a great captin of this ship!
    I I captin!
    a query, would it be possible to have virt-manager added to the mate spin?
    thank you all for fedora!

  11. Louis

    My experience with Linux have begun in April 2020 with Linux Mint,then go to Ubuntu,Debian to finally stay and REALLY HAPPY with Fedora.
    It was with Fedora 33 and I choose to go with Fedora because of the better experience with Gnome vs the others.
    I just like this distribution better and will stay here!
    Long life to Fedora and Happy New Year!

  12. Greg Zeng

    Not mentioned as Fedora achievements are ongoing innovations, not used by other major Linux operating systems. Integrating BTRFS, vanilla GNOME, Flatpak, Wayland are yet to be properly attempted by others.

  13. Also in 2021, the dream of a i3 Spin became reality, and the podcast make a come back. Thanks to Grayson, Defolos, Odilon, Justin and Nasir for your contribution and help to make both of this things happen!

  14. feda

    It has been a great year for Fedora and Linux. Congratulations and keep up the great work.

  15. Niwald

    Hopefully, this will be the year, Wayland + NVIDIA combo issues will be solved. Sometimes the machine runs for hours while working (Nvim/VSCode + Node etc.) and then you start the browser or click your email and the gnome-shell crashes into oblivion (black screen with promt). The fun part – its always random. Fix this asap please.

    I know, the workaround would be use Xorg, but what is the purpose of having modern Wayland if the fallback is the ancient Xorg?

    Otherwise, Fedora is one of the smoothest systems available (as for development) today. Looking forward to a great 2022.


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