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GNOME 43 Arrives & There’s No Place Like “GNOME”!

GNOME 43 shines further today, bringing GNOME 43 polished desktop for Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE and more distros.

GNOME 43 code-named “Guadalajara”, is a milestone release because it seems almost a closure of the modernization and improvement efforts that started in GNOME 40 onwards. The years of efforts include GTK4 porting of core-shell and native apps, adoption of libadwaita and many more intrinsic performance improvements.

Since it’s now officially out, let’s give you a brief about what are the new features of this desktop.

GNOME 43: What’s New

  1. Core Shell Changes

This release arrives on schedule and brings a deluge of Core GNOME Shell changes to improve your overall experience. Do you own those high-end productive mouse(s) – such as the Logitech MX Master series? Then some good news for you.

Finally, the high-resolution scroll wheel support lands in GNOME Shell, thanks to a bunch of code in Wayland. Scrolling will be much smoother in those large displays for you.

Talking about displays, the direct scanout support also arrives to help in multiple-monitor situations in GNOME 43.

GNOME Shell also gets the server-side essential colour support, an intelligent notification display, which goes away when it loses focus and better animation performance across the desktop.

  1. Quick Settings

There are few releases of GNOME which actually changes a decade-old design. It’s impactful because it changes your workflow and happily forces you to learn to do things in a modern way.

One such change that appears in this release is the redesign of Quick settings, which pops up in the tray menu.

The new Quick Settings menu now features pill-shaped toggle buttons for easy access to settings. The pill buttons enable you to control the common items such as light/dark theme, Bluetooth, and WiFi – without opening the Settings app.

Also include the newly designed power menu, additional context dropdown and brightness/volume control bar.

Here’s how it looks. Amazing isn’t it?

Quick Settings Demo in GNOME 43

Don’t forget to check out my detailed review of quick settings in this post.

  1. Files (aka Nautilus)

GNOME’s own file manager, Files, delivers a deluge of new features, which practically makes it complete. Many new long-awaited features arrive in Files 43.

In the earlier version (Files 42), it wasn’t ready for the GTK4. Hence, Files 43 arrives for the first time in GNOME with GTK4 and libadwaita. The changes are actually huge, and writing them would make this article a lengthy one. Hence here’s a quick recap and some screenshots of the new Files 43 changes.

Responsive sidebar, which adopts and auto-hides itself when the size of the Files window changes to a minimum size.

Files 43 with autohide sidebar

The Emblem support is back to GNOME. You can now see the small icons beside files and directories showing proper icons for file types, permissions, etc.

The most-awaited rubber-band selection is also a great addition alongside the new GtkColumnView showing the row highlights during mouse over on a list view.

Rubberband Selection Feature

The primary right-click context menu now correctly groups items based on the actions.

  1. Software

Software becomes better with two important changes, among others. A new “Other apps by Author” section to show additional apps created by the same author for better discovery of apps.

Additionally, the Flatpak app permission list is now more comprehensive so that you can take wise decisions before installing Flatpak apps. This helps it easier to manage Flatpak app permission, and you know what apps are accessing behind the scenes.

  1. GNOME Web (aka Epiphany)

With each passing day, GNOME Web is becoming an excellent alternative to open-source browsers. Web picks up a variety of changes such as support for WebExtension API, Firefox Sync option, view source option and of-source the GTK4 port of components.

The WebExtension API enables you to install and use Firefox extensions in GNOME Web.

  1. Other Changes

Elsewhere, the newly designed properties window gives you more information about folders and files, new wallpaper, and a new device security panel in Settings helps you to be more productive in GNOME 43.

A detailed deep-dive of the GNOME 43 feature is available here with more descriptions and images.

Download, Install and Distro availability

How to get GNOME 43 right now?

As of writing this, your best bet is to grab the Fedora 37 BETA (Workstation) copy from this link. It gives you the latest GNOME 43 out of the box. Or, you can wait until the official Fedora 37 release on October 18, 2022.

As always, you can try out the GNOME OS, which gives you a read-only system to try out this version.

Ubuntu 22.10, due in October – also should feature GNOME 43. However, it is not stable anymore.

Arch Linux users, keep a watch on this page. As soon as Version 43 arrives – you can either do a fresh GNOME install in Arch OR do sudo pacman -Syu for upgrade. The Arch repo should be updated within a day or two.

As always, you can get your hands dirty by grabbing the GNOME 43 source code from here and compiling them. I wrote a guide about how to compile GNOME from the source, in case you are interested.

With that said, a “WOW” release from GNOME devs, which will shape the future of this minimalistic desktop.

🗨️ What do you think about this release? Do let me know in the comment box down below.

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