The GNOME Project promoted today the upcoming GNOME 41 desktop environment to the beta channel for public testing ahead of the final release next month on September 22nd.
GNOME 41 will be the first major update to the popular desktop environment since the release of GNOME 40 with its redesigned Activities Overview, and promises new apps, new features, as well as numerous improvements and bug fixes.
Highlights of GNOME 41 include a new Calls app that acts as a phone dialer and call handler, mostly useful for mobile devices but capable of doing VoIP calls too, and support for the GDM login manager to allow Wayland user sessions even if the login screen is on X.Org, as well as for single GPU vendor NVIDIA machines.
GNOME Calendar now supports opening of ICS files and importing events and a new event preview popover, GNOME Control Center will ship with two new panels, Cellular and Multitasking, GNOME Disks now uses LUKS2 for new encrypted partitions, and GNOME Music has a revamped UI.
GNOME Software also comes with a slightly revamped UI, and the Nautilus file manager has quite some changes, including a redesigned “Compress…” dialog, support for creating password-protected ZIP archives, a link to Privacy Settings from Trash, unification of the “Open with…” options in the context menu, and much more.
The beta release of the GNOME 41 desktop environment is now available for public testing, and you can take it for a test drive by downloading the installer image, which is also intended for extension developers to port their extensions to the upcoming release, or by compiling it using the official BuildStream project snapshot.
When testing GNOME 41 beta, please keep in mind that this is beta quality software, which means that some features might not be complete and that things may crash. Therefore, you should NOT use it for any production work.
Last updated 11 months ago