A First Look at GNOME 40
GNOME 40: one of the most popular Linux desktop environments just got better
GNOME has taken a huge leap. The current version of GNOME is 3.38 and instead of releasing GNOME 4.0. GNOME has decided to name the newest version: GNOME 40. All I can say is: what a leap!
When the software version naming changes so drastically as it has with GNOME, it is usually a sign of a significant shift from the normal, GNOME 40 is no exception.
This article takes a look at some of the major GUI adjustments that have been introduced in GNOME 40.
The most notable GUI change that you are greeted with is that the dock is now centered at the bottom by default. It is super clean and looks really nice.
The latest updates to GNOME are meant to provide a smooth user experience but also to enhance focus on the task at hand.
Workspaces are now arranged horizontally unlike in previous versions of GNOME where they were stacked vertically.
To switch workspaces, use the keyboard shortcuts
Super + Alt + →to go to the right or
Super + Alt + ← to go to the left. I also tried using the
Ctrl key in place of the
Super key and it worked just fine.
To toggle the workspace overview, you can use the shortcut
Super + Alt + ↑ ↓.
You can also use touchpad gestures to switch workspace but I must admit that this did not work on my PC. Apparently, it is due to the implementation of the windowing system.
Use three-finger swipe to the left or right to switch workspaces and three-finger swipe up to toggle overview.
The app display is now so swift and smooth. There os no transition noticed in the app’s window.
Use the shortcut
Super + A to show all installed apps
The Weather App
The weather app has also been updated. It now displays more detailed info about the weather in a city. Below is a look at the new weather app.
The weather app is also in beta and in some cases, it struggled to load data of some cities as evidenced in the screenshot below, where the app kept on loading for a very long time.
The about page under settings also shows more details e.g hardware model which is not present in earlier versions of GNOME.
How to Test GNOME 40
There are three main Linux distros that support GNOME 40 at the moment. These are GNOME nightly OS, Fedora 34, and OpenSUSE. You can find out more on the GNOME 40 official site.
Personally, I tested GNOME 40 beta on Fedora 34 beta running in a Qemu/KVM Virtual Machine.
But be warned that since this is still under development things could easily go wrong, as you can see in the figure below.
I really like the changes that have been made in GNOME 40. The fact that workspaces are now arranged horizontally makes them feel more natural.
Window transitions are also smooth and nice. I can’t wait to see how GNOME 40 will work in the other Linux distros.