Raspberry Pi owners who want to use the surprisingly versatile SBC as an everyday computer rejoice - again! - as yet another new operating system drops. Unsurprisingly, as reported by Phoronix, it’s another flavor of Linux: Fedora, one of the biggest names in free operating systems. It's also, supposedly, the distro Linus Torvalds himself uses. Fedora has signed off on support for the Raspberry Pi 4, as well as the Pi 400, and the Compute Module 4.
Fedora comes in three different versions, and it’s the Workstation release (which uses Gnome as its default environment) that’s being aimed in the Pi 4’s direction. The change proposal for the OS to support the Pi went through about a month ago, with the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee signing it off at the beginning of August. This means it should come together for inclusion in the upcoming Fedora 37 release, expected in October.
Graphics drivers seem to be behind the move, with open source OpenGL drivers, and the recent certification of the Pi 4’s GPU for Vulkan, makes the board more suitable for Fedora Workstation. There seems to be one caveat, however: Wi-Fi support on the Pi 400 is seen as out-of-scope due to the chip’s creator, Synaptics, not providing upstream generic firmware. Support for the CM4 is being tested with the official I/O board in place.
“The work around Raspberry Pi 4 has been on going [sic] for a number of years, but we've never officially supported it due to lack of accelerated graphics and other key features. With Fedora 37, Raspberry Pi 4 is now officially supported, including accelerated graphics using the V3D GPU,” reads the Fedora Wiki entry on the subject.
Fedora joins Debian (the basis of the official Raspberry Pi OS), Ubuntu (and its many derivatives including Pop!_OS), Manjaro and Gentoo (based on Arch), plus the various media center distributions in bringing Linux to the Pi. It’s starting to look like Windows needs a dedicated Pi build, just to provide an alternative to the growing march of penguins to Pi.
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Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.