An Early Look at Fedora Linux 37 on Raspberry Pi 4

Fedora 37 Raspberry Pi

Fedora Linux 37 will be available later this fall and promises many new features and enhancements, including official support for Raspberry Pi 4 devices. Here’s an early look!

Raspberry Pi 4 support in Fedora Linux is not a new thing. Users were able to run the Red Hat-sponsored distribution on the tiny computer, but some key features were missing, such as accelerated graphics, so the Fedora Project never officially supported it.

With the upcoming Fedora Linux 37 release, Raspberry Pi 4 support will get the “official” status due to the implementation of accelerated graphics using the Broadcom V3D graphics driver. Accelerated graphics are provided in Fedora Linux 37 using the V3D GPU for both OpenGL-ES and Vulkan.

Apart from the accelerated graphics, which is a key change to make Fedora Linux on Raspberry Pi your daily driver, the upcoming Fedora Linux 37 release also promises enhanced wired networking with support for PTPv2 on the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and Raspberry Pi CM4 (Compute Module 4) models.

On top of that, there will be Wi-Fi support on the Raspberry Pi 400 model, as well as some wider general improvements for the Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W models.

Fedora Linux 37 for Raspberry Pi 4 will be provided as a standard raw.xz image for the AArch64 (ARM 64-bit) architecture, which you will have to write on a micro SD card using a special utility like the official Raspberry Pi Imager, which you can install from Fedora Linux’s repositories.

Images are currently provided for the Workstation edition, which features the GNOME desktop environment, as well as the KDE and SoaS spins, and the Python Classroom Fedora Labs spin. Minimal and Server editions are available for download as well.

Obviously, I took the Workstation edition for a test drive on my Raspberry Pi 4 computer with 8GB RAM since this is the flagship edition of Fedora Linux that will most probably be promoted for Raspberry Pi 4 models with the official Fedora Linux 37 release later this year.

Fedora Linux 37 for Raspberry Pi 4 comes with the Wayland session by default, which I find faster than the X.Org (X11) session in general. Most things work smoothly and without glitches, including audio and video playback (if you install the necessary codecs), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.

The good news is that Fedora Linux 37 Workstation will ship with the upcoming GNOME 43 desktop environment and the recently released Linux 5.19 kernel series, both being included in the Raspberry Pi 4 image by default.

While Fedora Linux 37 looks like it will be a good daily driver OS for the Raspberry Pi 4 computer, there are some things that may hold you back from using it. For example, YouTube playback in Full HD (1080p) doesn’t work and 720p playback is barely useable, but you can download the videos and watch them locally in a video player.

One thing I didn’t like is the fact that my Raspberry Pi 4 was not detected on the About settings page or neofetch (as you can see from the featured image). I also don’t like the fact that the entire boot process takes up to 2 minutes until you reach the desktop (it’s probably a bit faster if you enable automatic login).

Hopefully, these issues will be fixed or improved in the final release, especially the YouTube playback. I believe the slow boot process is due to the early development image that I’ve tested, but I will keep you guys updated if that improves in the beta or final releases.

Last updated 2 weeks ago