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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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scaine 25 Mar
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Interesting, Nocifer - I wasn't aware of Super+A at all. Gnome probably need something like Ubuntu's old shortcut-popup that taught you all this stuff.

That said, just pressing the Super key is decent enough generally. Hit it once, then type what you need. It acts like Krunner in that regard, or the old gnome-do (loved that app!) in that it's basically invisible, but is a very quick keyboard-based way to navigate around. Combined with the PopShell extension for tiling, Gnome could almost compete with i3 for a tiling environment.

Gnome has, with enough extensions, grown on me.
wvstolzing 25 Mar
Quoting: ArehandoroI had it installed, along with few more, and on 40 they all don't work :(

There have been important changes to the API; so I expect a lot of breakage:
https://blogs.gnome.org/shell-dev/

& porting extensions needs quite a bit of work:
https://gjs.guide/extensions/upgrading/gnome-shell-40.html
Quoting: scaineGnome has, with enough extensions, grown on me.
Don't look now, but you have a Gnome growing on you!
It does seem to be the case that if I learned how to install the right things to completely frustrate the Gnome devs' ideas about what the Gnome UI should be like, I could have a desktop environment that was quite nice--almost like, say, Mate or Cinnamon.
Or I could just use Mate or Cinnamon, and not have to learn about a bunch of extensions and have them break on me now and then.

For me personally, the "do the typing" thing leaves me kind of cold. And I say that as someone who usually navigates the web by typing the first couple letters of the url. But I have launchers for my most commonly used apps--one click. If I'm starting most other programs I probably can't remember just what the dang thing is called and I actually do want to look in the menus until I see what I want there and say "Oh yeah, that was it!"
Liam Dawe 25 Mar
Added in the new release video that went out today.
orlfman 26 Mar
Quoting: Brisse
Quoting: orlfmani 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.

Maybe you know this already, but there's a utility called gnome-tweaks which contains additional settings to those in gnome-control-center, including mouse acceleration. Contrary to gnome-control-center, the gnome-tweaks app contains settings which the casual user is unlikely to touch, and it is therefore usually not installed by default.
gnome tweaks is broken atm on gnome 40. there is a new version, but its a beta version and not in arch yet. not even in the aur or the gnome unstable repo.

nevertheless, i just switched over to gnome 40 from xfce.


Last edited by orlfman on 26 March 2021 at 5:05 am UTC
Nocifer 26 Mar
Quoting: scaineInteresting, Nocifer - I wasn't aware of Super+A at all. Gnome probably need something like Ubuntu's old shortcut-popup that taught you all this stuff.

That said, just pressing the Super key is decent enough generally. Hit it once, then type what you need. It acts like Krunner in that regard, or the old gnome-do (loved that app!) in that it's basically invisible, but is a very quick keyboard-based way to navigate around. Combined with the PopShell extension for tiling, Gnome could almost compete with i3 for a tiling environment.

Gnome has, with enough extensions, grown on me.

Indeed pressing Super and typing on the keyboard is much faster, and that's how I use Gnome as well, like KRunner (which I love). But Dash on steroids (Super+A) can be very useful as well for the more mouse-oriented people among us ;)

Quoting: Purple Library GuyFor me personally, the "do the typing" thing leaves me kind of cold. And I say that as someone who usually navigates the web by typing the first couple letters of the url. But I have launchers for my most commonly used apps--one click. If I'm starting most other programs I probably can't remember just what the dang thing is called and I actually do want to look in the menus until I see what I want there and say "Oh yeah, that was it!"

That's exactly why it's so important for a project to support more than one workflows, especially when we're talking about an Open Source project where freedom (be it user freedom, code freedom, monetary freedom, personal freedom i.e. privacy, or whatever else kind of freedom) is supposed to be king. And so it's exactly why Gnome is disliked or even hated (and IMHO deserves to be so) by many users who don't use it, and even only tolerated by many users who do use it: because Gnome as a project (and despite its many technical merits) does not respect its users and the ethics/values of the Open Source community it claims to be a part of.

In fact, Gnome is the perfect example of how a world would look like where Linux is controlled not by a thriving community of free coders but by cold and detached corporate entities who only care about their bottom lines, and where the only difference between "open source" and "closed source" is that in the first case the code is openly available for people to read (but not touch unless they're part of the corporate decision-making clique).

Now I think about it, Gnome is the Cyberpunk version of Linux :P

But unfortunately, as already mentioned, Gnome is in some cases miles ahead of the competition, and for my particular use case it's simply the only choice.
Brisse 26 Mar
Quoting: orlfman
Quoting: Brisse
Quoting: orlfmani 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.

Maybe you know this already, but there's a utility called gnome-tweaks which contains additional settings to those in gnome-control-center, including mouse acceleration. Contrary to gnome-control-center, the gnome-tweaks app contains settings which the casual user is unlikely to touch, and it is therefore usually not installed by default.
gnome tweaks is broken atm on gnome 40. there is a new version, but its a beta version and not in arch yet. not even in the aur or the gnome unstable repo.

nevertheless, i just switched over to gnome 40 from xfce.

There will probably be a new version any day. Some rolling distributions don't put out every GNOME-package at once, but instead piece by piece over a few days which obviously can break things temporarily. Arch is among those distributions.
jens 26 Mar
  • Supporter
Quoting: Nocifer
Quoting: scaineInteresting, Nocifer - I wasn't aware of Super+A at all. Gnome probably need something like Ubuntu's old shortcut-popup that taught you all this stuff.

That said, just pressing the Super key is decent enough generally. Hit it once, then type what you need. It acts like Krunner in that regard, or the old gnome-do (loved that app!) in that it's basically invisible, but is a very quick keyboard-based way to navigate around. Combined with the PopShell extension for tiling, Gnome could almost compete with i3 for a tiling environment.

Gnome has, with enough extensions, grown on me.

Indeed pressing Super and typing on the keyboard is much faster, and that's how I use Gnome as well, like KRunner (which I love). But Dash on steroids (Super+A) can be very useful as well for the more mouse-oriented people among us ;)

Quoting: Purple Library GuyFor me personally, the "do the typing" thing leaves me kind of cold. And I say that as someone who usually navigates the web by typing the first couple letters of the url. But I have launchers for my most commonly used apps--one click. If I'm starting most other programs I probably can't remember just what the dang thing is called and I actually do want to look in the menus until I see what I want there and say "Oh yeah, that was it!"

That's exactly why it's so important for a project to support more than one workflows, especially when we're talking about an Open Source project where freedom (be it user freedom, code freedom, monetary freedom, personal freedom i.e. privacy, or whatever else kind of freedom) is supposed to be king. And so it's exactly why Gnome is disliked or even hated (and IMHO deserves to be so) by many users who don't use it, and even only tolerated by many users who do use it: because Gnome as a project (and despite its many technical merits) does not respect its users and the ethics/values of the Open Source community it claims to be a part of.

In fact, Gnome is the perfect example of how a world would look like where Linux is controlled not by a thriving community of free coders but by cold and detached corporate entities who only care about their bottom lines, and where the only difference between "open source" and "closed source" is that in the first case the code is openly available for people to read (but not touch unless they're part of the corporate decision-making clique).

Now I think about it, Gnome is the Cyberpunk version of Linux :P

But unfortunately, as already mentioned, Gnome is in some cases miles ahead of the competition, and for my particular use case it's simply the only choice.

In my opinion it’s not a bad thing if the general direction is controlled by just a few people. I prefer a desktop that feels complete and concise as a whole (albeit limited for a certain workflow and only limited escape from that workflow) than a desktop that has some very cool details but also some rough edges in trying to support every way of working. Since creating a desktop takes a lot of years and manpower, I think a more directive approach is even needed to follow and stick to a vision over a longer period of time. Not saying that nothing can be improved with Gnome, but in general I like their direction and vision, including decisions to remove features that doesn’t fit their direction.

I adapted my workflow when switching to Gnome 3 back in the days, it took some time, but now I can’t go back to anything that is similar to Windows XP. But that’s just my way of working, nothing wrong of course with other workflows and other desktop environments.


Last edited by jens on 26 March 2021 at 8:43 pm UTC
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