GNOME Web Finally Ported to GTK4, Merged to Main Branch

The wait is over. You can now enjoy faster GNOME Web with the GTK4 port.

GNOME Web with GTK4 port

After almost seven months of development effort, GNOME Web (Epiphany) is now ported to GTK4. The code is now merged into the main branch of GNOME Web, which you can download and try out (instructions below).

The work took time because GNOME Web has many old code bases. Since it is a web browser, the complexity becomes more. The entire work consists of 100+ changes in files catering for 15+ individual merge requests.

Although, the majority of the native GNOME apps are already in GTK4, with GNOME 43 released a few weeks back. And finally, Epiphany looks stunning with the GTK4 and libdwaita.

GNOME Web with GTK4 Port (dev version)
GNOME Web with GTK4 Port (dev version)

TabView

However, the awesome Adwaita TabView implementation is still under development and not included in this merge request. The TabView implementation offers a stunning summary view of open tabs inside GNOME Web. You can perform several functions, such as re-ordering tabs, opening a new tab, closing a tab and so on.

Here’s a video for you.

As you can see, the TabView change is complex and may take some time to land in the main after exhaustive testing.

Performance and download

That said, with the GTK4 porting, you should also feel the performance of Epiphany is far better than the earlier version. It would feel seamless, and you may encounter fewer freezes thanks to clean of older code.

This version of GNOME Web should arrive in next year’s GNOME 44 release, planned for March 2022. That means Ubuntu 23.04 and Fedora 38 would definitely get these features.

In the meantime, if you want to try it, download the flatpak package from the GitLab main branch and give it a go. As always, you are welcome to compile and try it out.

Or install it via GNOME Nightly Flatpak repo using the following command.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists gnome-nightly https://nightly.gnome.org/gnome-nightly.flatpakrepo
flatpak install gnome-nightly org.gnome.Epiphany.Devel

Note that if you already have GNOME Web installed, the above dev version can co-exist together! So, no worries.

I hope GNOME Web becomes more mature so that we can have a non-Chromium, non-Firefox alternative browser.


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