It’s that time of the year when a new major release of the GNOME desktop environment is about to hit the software repositories of some of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions, so I decided to take a look at GNOME 44 on the upcoming Fedora Linux 38 operating system.
GNOME 44 is slated for release next week on March 22nd and it will be the default desktop environment of Fedora Linux 38, which launches in late April or early May 2023, as well as Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster), which is expected to hit the streets on April 20th.
While it will look pretty much the same as previous releases in the GNOME 40 series, the upcoming GNOME 44 release brings lots of smaller improvements here and there to make your GNOME desktop experience more enjoyable and hopefully more productive.
The Quick Settings feature introduced in GNOME 43 has been enhanced and I believe you’ll love the new changes. For example, each button now has a description to easily see their status and the Bluetooth button now has a submenu so you can more easily and quickly connect or disconnect peripherals.
In addition, as you can see in the third screenshot above, there’s a new feature in Quick Settings called Background Apps, which appears whenever apps are running in the background without a visible window. Background apps can be closed via the new feature, which lets you check whether apps are running or not.
Many interesting changes are implemented in the Settings app. For example, it’s now (finally) possible to add a WireGuard VPN from the Network panel, you can easily share a Wi-Fi connection to a mobile device using QR codes on the Wi-Fi panel, and it’s a lot easier to choose a location from the Date & Time panel.
Furthermore, the About page now (finally) shows the kernel version of your distribution, and the Accessibility and Sound panels have a new design that will be adapted to other Settings panels in future GNOME releases.
The GNOME Software app store received some interesting changes too, such as a new option in Preferences to only show open-source and free apps (disabled by default), as well as the ability to automatically remove unused Flatpak runtimes to save disk space.
Another interesting change you may have already heard about is the implementation of a grid view (finally) in the file chooser for apps that use the standard GTK file chooser. The default view remains the list view, but now, with a simple click, you can switch to the grid view so you can more quickly open the files you need.
Of course, GNOME 44 brings many other under-the-hood changes for better overall performance, as well as a multitude of other smaller improvements and polish changes to make your GNOME desktop experience better.
Last updated 12 months ago