Fedora Linux is known as a leading-edge Linux distribution that consistently showcases all the latest Linux features and software technologies. The fact that Fedora is often the first to include the latest versions of popular software is one of the distro’s main draws.
For those who really like to live on the edge, Fedora also makes it surprisingly easy to upgrade to beta versions of upcoming releases. If you’ve ever wanted to explore, test, or experiment with a new Fedora beta release, we’re going to show you how.
A Quick Word of Warning
Beta software is inherently unstable. The purpose of a beta release of any software is to have a subset of users experiment with it and test it to find any bugs that need to be ironed out before the final release goes out. Some users could install a Fedora beta version and have a flawless experience while others might have trouble with something as simple as getting their computer to boot.
Before you install a pre-release version of Fedora, it is highly recommended that you back up your current system and make sure you have installation media for your current version. If there happens to be any type of catastrophic failure, you will be able to re-install the stable version of the OS and restore your backup.
Step 1: Preparing to Upgrade to a Fedora Beta Version
First, to find the latest available beta version, you’ll need to visit the official Fedora releases page and scroll down to the Branched heading.
As in the picture above, the current development/beta version will be listed as development/XX with XX being the version number. Make a note of the version number. You’ll need it for the download step below.
Now, the entire process of getting the latest Fedora beta release on your system will happen at the command line. So go ahead and open a terminal window and let’s get started.
Before you can upgrade your system to the latest beta version of Fedora, you’ll need to make sure that your current installation is fully updated. To do this, enter the following command:
sudo dnf upgrade
If the package manager finds anything that needs to be updated, it will show you a list of packages that you need to install and ask if you’d like to continue. Answer yes, let the process complete, and then reboot your computer.
If your system is up to date, it will tell you there is nothing to do. In that case, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Install the DNF System Upgrade Plugin
To perform any kind of version upgrade on a Fedora system, you need to install the DNF system upgrade plugin. Type the following command to install it:
sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade
With that done, you’re ready to go. Now it’s time to start the actual upgrade process.
Step 3: Download the Fedora Beta Packages
This step will download all of the files needed to upgrade your system to the latest Fedora beta version.
sudo dnf system-upgrade download
The –releasever parameter above tells the package manager which version of Fedora you want to upgrade to. In the example above, we are upgrading to version 36 beta. If you want to upgrade to a future beta release, simply change the number to indicate the version that you found in the preparation steps above.
The download will take at least a few minutes but may take up to 30 minutes or more on slower connections. You can expect the download size to be somewhere around 1.5GB.
Step 4: Reboot to Install the New Fedora Beta Version
When the download completes, you’ll just need to reboot your system and give it time to apply the updated packages. To do this, enter the following command:
sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot
The upgrade process can take anywhere from about 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the speed of your hardware. When the upgrade is complete, your computer will automatically reboot and take you to your desktop.
Living on the Cutting Edge With Fedora
Congratulations! You’re now running the latest beta version of Fedora Workstation. Technically referred to as the “branched” version of Fedora, you can expect to see updates nearly every day. You’ll be among the first users in the world to experience new Linux developments and all the latest software releases.
As you continue to make regular updates, your system will eventually transition into the next stable version of Fedora. If you like, you can then repeat this process to get on track with the next beta version.
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