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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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Linas 24 Mar
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It's beautiful.
It's beautiful
shawnsterp 24 Mar
Quoting: dibzDuring 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.

Gotta admit, I've been frustrated with KDE on this end, as well. Not sure I can stomach going back into time for xfce, but I will certainly consider it.
orlfman 24 Mar
i've been very critical of gnome before in the past, but out of curiosity i gave fedora 34 beta a shot. i really like the new horizontal workspaces as it feels a lot more natural. if you run a dual or tri monitor setup, the monitors are more than likely be horizontal. not stacked vertically. so it feels like if i was switching to another monitor.

i'm happy they finally moved the dock to the bottom of the screen. its more logical to have it at the bottom since there is a top bar. its more fluid and natural. rather than having it shoved into the left corner. it was always awkward there. i wish they would have the dock show on the desktop too but its a step in the right direction.

i like the control panel. network, bluetooth, mouse, sound, monitor, all of it is incredibly nicely laid out. very simple to navigate.

i would like more options in the mouse settings though in regards to acceleration. the default acceleration profile causes my mouse to move way to fast. i would prefer a more "flat" profile. or an option to disable acceleration. on xorg, i disable acceleration and set my mouse to 1600dpi as this causes my viper 8k to behave similar to "800dpi" on windows and is completely flat.

they still didn't fix the incorrect refresh rate detection in wayland that i've had noticed when i tried gnome 3.38 last. defaulted to 60hz instead of my native 165hz.. xorg defaults 165, my motherboards bios defaults 165, even windows does without any drivers. everything does except gnome on wayland. yes i can fix it, but gdm still runs at 60hz even if i set to 165hz inside gnome. pretty annoying as my monitor is lagy from the high latency. i'm thinking in filing a bug report about it from another user who asked me to on phoronix.

overall i like gnome 4. as much as a part of me doesn't want to say that. the new layout is a step in a good direction for desktop usage. the desktop felt very responsive and does come off with a nice polish feeling. i didn't feel that typical latency feel when you have a compositor on. i wish i could try a fast paced game on the live usb to see any wayland latency improvements in regards to input latency. but once it hits arch stable, i'll give it a try because i can see myself using it.

filed the bug report in response to the HZ quirk.

Last edited by orlfman on 25 March 2021 at 1:48 am UTC
Luke_Nukem 24 Mar
Quoting: LinasIt's beautiful.
It's beautiful

Damn... that pic very accurately sums up how it feels to use Gnome-40 now.
Arehandoro 24 Mar
I love it. Also being trying it in fedora 34 and the only thing that I've been missing is Pop_OS! Shell tiling window feature. I wonder how they'll implement it for Gnome 40.
I'm not going to use Gnome Shell, but I look forward to seeing gtk4 ports of Gnome apps I do use. And Cinnamon eventually too.
sarmad 24 Mar
"GNOME 40 is out now with the screwed up Activities Overview"

There, fixed the title for you.
Luke_Nukem 24 Mar
Quoting: ArehandoroI love it. Also being trying it in fedora 34 and the only thing that I've been missing is Pop_OS! Shell tiling window feature. I wonder how they'll implement it for Gnome 40.

You can install the extension. Though I haven't checked if it works on 40
shawnsterp 24 Mar
Quoting: orlfmani would like more options in the ....

Hey, woah, don't go crazy!

Stupid joke, sorry. In all honesty, though, as a curious non-gnome user, I found your comments quite insightful. Thanks.
wvstolzing 24 Mar
Quoting: pcavalcantiThey 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.

I would've liked to use Jeff Raskin's original plan for the Mac (before Steve Jobs fired him, & canned his design); or the smalltalk system — though I'd be perfectly content if the current paradigm we have just *survives* the flat, poor contrast, mobile-first design fads.

By the way Mac OS has really jumped the shark in the UI department with the last round of updates. This guy gives good examples: (Be warned though; this is an Apple fan; so there's plenty of BS as well.) At least Gnome doesn't *hide* buttons & tabs into a grey-on-white fog when you're not hovering over them.
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