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GNOME 40 is out now with the redesigned Activities Overview

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GNOME 40 is out now to showcase the latest Linux desktop environment work from the GNOME Project, which includes a number of feature overhauls and improvements.

Safe to say this is one of their biggest releases, at least since the original redesign of GNOME Shell into what we know it as now. In total, the release incorporates 24571 changes, made by approximately 822 contributors. They also dedicated this release to the team behind the GNOME Asia Summit 2020.

The biggest user-facing change in GNOME 40 will be the new Activities Overview design where you see all your open applications, workspaces and search through installed applications. Workspaces are now arranged horizontally, while the overview and app grid are accessed vertically and there's plenty of keyboard shortcuts, mouse actions and support for touchpad gestures too. Here's some shots of it (click to enlarge):

Pictured - GNOME 40 on Fedora 34

A lot more is new in GNOME 40 including a redesigned Weather application, an improved Settings application, the GNOME web browser has a new tab design and you can configure search suggestions from Google if you want, GNOME Software (their application store) also got revamped with a new look and will tell you where packages come from (be it normal distro packages or Flatpak) and much more. Plenty of style changes throughout too which better matches their overall design.

See the release notes and the special 40 splash page here.

If you want to see it in action and try it right now, Fedora already have a Beta out of Fedora 34 which includes GNOME 40.

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38 comments
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Brisse 24 Mar
Really been looking forward to this one but I probably have to be a bit patient since Debian is currently frozen in preparation for the next big release. Been keeping an eye on the experimental-repo but there's no GNOME 40 yet.
drlamb 24 Mar
Upgraded to the beta of Fedora 34 and I'm in love.

Mesa 21.0 + Kernel 5.12rc4 (from rawhide nodebug) + GNOME 40 makes my entire system finally feel "Next gen."
sprocket 24 Mar
I too downloaded Fedora 34 beta to try Gnome 40. So far its been a VERY pleasant experience for me.

Quoting: BrisseReally been looking forward to this one but I probably have to be a bit patient since Debian is currently frozen in preparation for the next big release. Been keeping an eye on the experimental-repo but there's no GNOME 40 yet.

Don't expect Gnome 40 to hit Debian until after Bullseye releases. Bullseye is in a hard freeze, so no packages are being added to experimental until after release.
jens 24 Mar
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Very nice, also looking forward to this in the next Fedora version. I'm curious how the workspace changes turn out in real life in a multi monitor setup.
scaine 24 Mar
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Exciting to see updates, but I wish they (gnome devs) would do something about the state of gnome extensions to be honest. I can't count the number of times I've hit "install" on an extension only to see "error" as the immediate outcome. Sometimes it's a simple dependency, sometimes it's something else that needs tweaked/edited first, sometimes it's a specific version of gnome-shell that's required, and sometimes the extension is just broken and unmaintained (but still available). That last one is even more annoying when the description says "gnome devs please remove this broken extension" - don't you get to delete your own extension once you've uploaded it??

It's just frustrating. All the more so when I realise that I needed over 10 extensions installed for this desktop to be vaguely usable.

Sadly, it's more likely that Gnome 4, with its increased reliance on GTK4, will break more extensions, making the situation even worse, rather than better.
damarrin 24 Mar
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With every release Gnome becomes more of a MacOS rip off. It's not even in inspiration territory any more, it's all lifted straight from there.
pcavalcanti 24 Mar
Quoting: damarrinWith every release Gnome becomes more of a MacOS rip off. It's not even in inspiration territory any more, it's all lifted straight from there.

They all copy from each other what they think their users like. Besides, which DE is actually original? The only ones that I think are truly different in my experience are the tiling window managers but even those aren't original either.

What bothers me about this change is that they don't take much into account multiple monitors and things get messy - and they are getting more complicated to manage. The launcher dock needed to be horizontal because of the screen space, but the vertical desktop management was better because that's the way you scroll. Maybe the touchpad gestures will help but they aren't working for me right now yet.
dibz 24 Mar
[quote=pcavalcanti]
Quoting: damarrinWhat bothers me about this change is that they don't take much into account multiple monitors and things get messy.

During the original shift from Gnome2 to Gnome3, awful multi-monitor support was why I jumped ship back then. After trying various alternatives, I discovered XFCE was "a better gnome2 then gnome2 ever was" and never looked back.
BielFPs 24 Mar
Looking forward to see the "improvements with wayland" they said this new version has. I will use it for sure once it release in Manjaro stable.
After a quick and dirty(mouse cursor appeared as a vague cloud instead of a solid entity and I could not be bothered to find a fix) look:
Some fancy effects but very inconsistent placement, size and behaviour of the different 'virtual desktop pannels'.

Workflow wise I get much better and less fiddley and faster results with a proper menu when adding a hot-corner that opens the all workspaces overview in Cinnamon than when using this new GNOME feature.

Looks kind of nice though.


Last edited by Schattenspiegel on 24 March 2021 at 9:01 pm UTC
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