GNOME 40 Beta Released for Public Testing, Here’s What’s New

GNOME 40 first look

Abderrahim Kitouni announced today via an email announcement the general availability for public testing of the beta version of the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment.

Coming just a month after the alpha version, GNOME 40 beta is here with a plethora of improvements and bug fixes to make the upcoming desktop environment more stable, reliable, secure, and enjoyable.

As you already know, GNOME 40 will introduce a new Activities Overview design that promises better overview spatial organization, improved touchpad navigation using gestures, more engaging app browsing and launching, as well as better boot performance.

But the GNOME 40 beta release is packed with many other goodies, including the ability to switch workspaces with Super+scroll on Wayland, the implementation of a Welcome dialog after major updates, improved fingerprint login support, better handling of a large number of window previews, on-screen keyboard improvements, support for handling monitor changes during screencasts, as well as integration of the clipboard with remote desktop sessions.

The Nautilus file manager comes with some cool changes in GNOME 40 beta, such as an improved tab completion in the location entry, a more convenient manual rename in the File conflict dialog, support for extracting password-protected archives, a new single-page design for the Preferences dialog, and the ability to preserve mtime of non-empty directories during move operations.

The Epiphany (GNOME Web) web browser received a lot of attention during this cycle and it now lets you export bookmarks as a HTML files, remembers the previous settings in the Clear Personal Data dialog, offers experimental support for a few WebExtensions APIs, and features a fancy new tabs bar.

Also improved in GNOME 40 beta is the GNOME Calculator app, which now features currency conversion tests, support for frequencies conversion, support for converting to and from weeks, as well as support for converting to and from centuries and decades.

GNOME Font Viewer received a visual refresh as well, and the GNOME Maps app now features a revamped place bubble that also works on Linux phones. Moreover, the GNOME Screenshot app now remembers the delay for area screenshots, and GNOME Software now shows version history in the app details page.

Moreover, Disk Usage Analyzer got updated visuals to match GNOME 40’s visual style, the Evince document viewer features better HiDPI support, and there’s a new design for GNOME Characters that works on both mobile and desktop.

Many other GNOME apps and core components received various bug fixes and translation updates. To give GNOME 40 beta a test drive, you can either download the installer image (useful for GNOME extension developers to port their extensions), use the Flatpak runtimes from Flathub, or compile it using the official BuildStream project snapshot.

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