GNOME 42 Desktop Environment Is Now Ready for Public Beta Testing

GNOME 42 Beta

Abderrahim Kitouni of the GNOME Release Team announced today the general availability for public testing of the beta version of the upcoming GNOME 42 desktop environment series.

With a ten-day delay from the initially planned release date, the GNOME 42 beta release is now ready for early adoption and technology enthusiasts who want to be the first to get a taste of the new features and enhancements implemented in the upcoming desktop environment.

Continuing the development cycle of GNOME 42, this beta release is here with more apps ported to the GTK4 toolkit and libadwaita, the highly-anticipated built-in screenshot and screencast feature that replaces the GNOME Screenshot utility (which is not available in this release), as well as the new Appearance panel with support for Light and Dark styles.

“This release adds libadwaita, which contains building blocks for modern GNOME applications. It also adds gtksourceview version 5 and libsoup version 3. Clutter libraries, which were deprecated in GNOME 41, have been removed,” said Abderrahim Kitouni.

Among other noteworthy changes, GNOME 42 beta ships with improved Bluetooth support with support for exporting battery information for Bluetooth devices and the ability to check whether any input devices are connected to display a confirmation dialog when disabling Bluetooth, async methods for the creation of thumbnails, as well as better thumbnail support for Flatpak apps.

GNOME 42 beta also features revamped OSD (On-Screen Display) for the volume and brightness OSDs, updated Adwaita device and folder full-color icons, new default and supplemental wallpapers in light and dark variants, redesigned Extensions app, support for a privacy screen, support for changing monitor configuration policy, improved support for laptops and keyboard LEDs, as well as the ability to announce DMA-BUF support via PipeWire.

GNOME Shell got lots of goodies, including Swiss French and Swiss German layouts for the on-screen keyboard, support for auth lists on the login screen, revamped shell stylesheet, improved keyboard navigation of windows and apps in the Activities Overview, new ‘high-contrast’ setting, improved out-of-sync location indicator, new fade screen when switching between dark and light modes, and removal of rounded top bar corners.

The GNOME Calls app received support for adding contacts from call history, support for tel URIs in SIP providers, and the ability to set preferred audio codecs via gsetting. The GNOME Calendar app received better timezone handling, improved presentation of multi-day events, and a revamped Year view to be a month navigator.

Furthermore, the GNOME Maps app now supports an alternative OpenStreetMap location URLs format in the search bar. The GNOME Music app now features dark mode switching. GNOME Software gets an updated UI for ratings and reviews of apps, as well as improved appearance of the Category page loading screen.

To test the GNOME 42 beta release, you can use the installer image, the 42beta branch of the Flatpak runtimes from Flathub beta, or the official BuildStream project snapshot, which you can download from here. The source packages are available here for Linux OS maintainers who want to integrate the upcoming desktop environment in their GNU/Linux distributions.

The final release of GNOME 42 is expected on March 23rd, 2022.

Last updated 2 years ago

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