The GNOME Project announced today the availability for public testing of the upcoming GNOME 42 desktop environment series in an alpha state pre-release version.
GNOME 42 alpha is now ready for public testing to give the Linux and Open Source community an early taste of what they can expect from the next major release of one of the most popular desktop environments for Linux-powered operating systems, used on desktop and mobile.
The biggest changes in the GNOME 42 release around the GTK 4 and libadwaita components. Some of the default apps distributed as part of the GNOME stack have been ported to GTK 4 for a more modern look and extra functionality. Here’s a first look at some of them.
On the other hand, most of the GNOME apps were ported to libadwaita to implement a dark style preference. This means that all GNOME apps ported to libadwaita will be able to provide both a light and a dark theme.
Another important change in the upcoming GNOME 42 desktop environment is the replacement of the Gedit text editor, which severed many of us well for years, with the more modern GNOME Text Editor developed by Christian Hergert, who is also known for developing the GNOME Builder app.
Some other noteworthy changes include a revamped screenshot utility, a new Preferences dialog for the GNOME Boxes app, dual-installation support for the GNOME Maps app, a much-improved GNOME Software package manager with many great additions, a new Thermometer widget in the GNOME Weather app, lots of Wayland improvements in Mutter, as well as improved fonts.
Those of you interested in trying this alpha version of the upcoming GNOME 42 desktop environment can use an unstable distribution like Fedora Rawhide or openSUSE Krypton.
More advanced users who want to compile GNOME 42 alpha can use either the official BuildStream project snapshot that they can download from here (recommended as it provides a sandboxed installation that won’t affect your host system) or the independent source packages from here.
However, please keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, primarily intended for testing and hacking purposes. Being an alpha version, you should expect a lot of bugs and missing features.
The next development release in the GNOME 42 cycle will be the beta version, currently scheduled for release on mid-February. The final release of the GNOME 42 desktop environment is expected on March 23rd, 2022.
Last updated 9 months ago