GNOME 43 Released with Quick Settings, More GTK 4 Ports, and New Device Security Panel


The GNOME Project released today GNOME 43 as the latest and greatest version of this acclaimed desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions, both on desktop and mobile devices.

After nearly six months of development, the GNOME 43 “Guadalajara” desktop is finally here and introduces a few interesting changes, the most prominent one being the Quick Settings menu that can be accessed from the system top bar, very similar to those you probably saw on Android devices or the latest Windows 11 and macOS systems.

The Quick Settings basically unifies the old menu to make it easier for users to change common system settings like Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Dark Mode, Night Light, VPN, and Wi-Fi with a single click. In addition, the new Quick Settings design includes sliders for changing the volume and brightness of your device, and modifies the Power Mode to a tri-state so that it returns to the previously used mode when clicked.

“A number of these settings were not previously included in the system status menu, such as Dark Mode and Airplane Mode. Including these means that you no longer have to open the Settings app to change them,” said the GNOME devs.

GNOME 43 continues to port more of its core apps to the latest GTK4 and libadwaita technologies. This cycle, the devs ported the GNOME Builder, GNOME Console, Files (Nautilus), Initial Setup, GNOME Logs, GNOME Maps, and Parental Controls apps, which will now look more modern and beautiful. Also, several apps received a new About dialog.

Talking about apps, the Nautilus file manager not only that was ported to the GTK4 toolkit, but it also brings new functionality in GNOME 43, such as new grid and list views, reorganized menus, redesigned file and folder properties windows with a new button to open the parent folder, a new layout for the lists of search results, recent, and starred files, a new Open With dialog, as well as a revamped sidebar that adapts to small screens automatically and it’s touchscreen friendly.

While Files is probably the most used app, other core GNOME apps received improvements as well. For example, the Calendar app got pinch-to-zoom support and a redesigned UI featuring a sidebar that contains a date chooser and an agenda view.

Moreover, the GNOME Software package manager regained support for installing and managing Web Apps (only if it’s enabled by your distro), the ability to list other apps by the same author, extra details about the format and other properties of apps, a new “Available for Distro” section on the overview page, improved caching of downloaded metadata and notifications, and mouse navigation of app screenshots.

Also updated is the GNOME Web (Epiphany) web browser, which now offers support for WebExtensions, revamped Web App support, as well as a new context menu item to take screenshots, along with the Shift+Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut.

The Calls app now allows sending of SMS text messages from the call history, supports encrypted VoIP calls with SIP using SRTP, offers more fluid scrolling when dealing with large histories, and starts up a lot faster than before.

Other than that, the Contacts app can now import and export vCard files, the Characters app now supports composite emoji, the Photos app now uses the wallpaper portal for setting the desktop background, and Tracker can now process directory renames much faster.

The Settings app (a.k.a. GNOME Control Center) now has an adaptive layout and features a new Device Security panel in the Privacy section that gives you an overview of the security of your hardware and firmware.

“The Device Security settings can be used to detect a variety of hardware security issues, including manufacturing errors and hardware misconfiguration. The new settings can also warn about potential security issues as they happen, such as physical device tampering, or sudden degradation of security tests, which could indicate the presence of malware,” said the GNOME Project.

Minor improvements were also brought to GNOME Shell’s layout performance, the on-screen keyboard has been updated to offer suggestions as you type, some of the animations in the Activities Overview have been optimized to be smoother, the dark UI style in GTK 4 apps has been polished, RDP gets audio support, and there’s a new default alert sound.

If you’re wondering when you’ll be enjoying the new GNOME 43 features, it will take a few weeks for the GNOME 43 packages to arrive in the software repositories of some of the most popular rolling-release GNU/Linux distributions, such as openSUSE Tumbleweed, Clear Linux, or Arch Linux.

GNOME 43 will also be featured as the default desktop environment in upcoming major distro releases like Fedora Linux 37 or Ubuntu 22.10 later this October. As usual, you can check out the release notes for extra reading.

Last updated 2 years ago

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