We will still have to wait to be able to use it in most distributions, but we already have it here. The project behind the most used desktop in Linux launched us GNOME 42. This release comes after six months of development, your alpha, its Beta y your Release Candidate, the one that was delivered to us today just a week ago. As for whether it is a release with interesting changes, it will obviously depend on where we come from, but there are some things worth mentioning.
Unlike projects like KDE, which has a name for its graphical environment (Plasma) and another for its set of apps (KDE Gear), when we talk about GNOME we could well be talking about the graphical environment, the applications or the entire desktop . That is why we must highlight at least two applications that will be available from today: one of them is the screenshot tool, the one that will allow us to make, in addition to still snapshots, recordings of everything we want; the other is a text editor which will replace Gedit as the default editor for the project. It will be up to the distributions to stick with Gedit or switch to the new editor.
Highlights of GNOME 42
- New text editor that would replace Gedit.
- Dark theme improvements.
- Improvements to the screenshot tool, which can now also record your desktop.
- New preferences dialog in GNOME Boxes.
- GNOME Software has received many improvements.
- New thermometer widget for weather app.
- Lots of improvements to Wayland and Mutter.
- Many improvements related to GTK4 and libadwaita.
- Performance improvements.
- RPD support.
- The style of the GNOME system user interface has been updated. Many of these changes are subtle, resulting in a more polished and elegant appearance. As part of this change, the style of the GNOME symbolic icons has also been revamped.
- The Files app has a new scrollable path bar, updated renaming interface, and updated icons.
- Boxes, GNOME's virtual machine application, has a redesigned preferences view and has better support for modern UEFI operating systems.
- In Videos, media playback can now be controlled via built-in media controls in the notification list.
As we mentioned, GNOME 42 is not only a desktop, but also part of the new versions of applications. Some of them will appear soon on Flathub, and everything is already available in code form. As for which will be the first distribution to adopt it, I would bet on Arch Linux, followed by others whose development model is also Rolling Release. In the coming weeks it will arrive in Ubuntu 22.04 and Fedora 36.