GNOME 44 “Kuala Lumpur” Officially Released, This Is What’s New

Includes a GTK4 port of Epiphany, file choose grid view, improved Quick Settings, and much-improved Settings.

The GNOME Project proudly announced today the release and general availability of the GNOME 44 desktop environment series, a major update that brings several new features and lots of improvements.

Code-named “Kuala Lumpur” in recognition of the work done by the organizers of GNOME.Asia Summit 2022 conference, GNOME 44 introduces a GTK4 port of the Epihaphy (GNOME Web) web browser, a file chooser grid view for apps that use the standard GTK file chooser, as well as support for adding a WireGuard VPN directly from the Network panel.

GNOME 44 continues to improve the Quick Settings feature introduced in GNOME 43 by implementing a submenu to the Bluetooth button to more easily and quickly connect or disconnect peripherals, adding descriptions to buttons to easily see their status, and implementing a new feature called Background Apps via a new background monitoring service in XDG portals 1.16.0.

Background Apps will appear only whenever apps are running in the background and don’t have a visible window. Users can use this feature to close these background apps or check whether apps are running or not.

GNOME 44 also brings lots of improvements to the Settings app (GNOME Control Center), which now features support for sharing Wi-Fi connections via QR codes on the Wi-Fi panel, a new location chooser in the Date & Time panel, kernel and firmware version fields in the About panel, and SMS/Call apps in Default Apps panel.

Moreover, the Accessibility and Sound panels have a more streamlined design, the test mouse/touchpad UI has been improved, new designs were implemented for the dialogs in the Device Security panel, the Thunderbolt panel has been updated to only appear when there is Thunderbolt hardware present, and various optimizations were done to the Region and Language, Users, Wacom, and other panels.

The GNOME Software app now comes with a new option to only show open-source and free apps (disabled by default), the ability to automatically remove unused Flatpak runtimes to save disk space, a new way to uninstall apps via command line, the ability to show changelogs for rpm-ostree updates, progress reporting for rpm-ostree downloads, and improved search reliability.

Nautilus (Files) now supports 64px icon sizes, brings back expanded folders in the list view, and offers improved performance while searching, GNOME Contacts now lets you share contacts via QR codes, supports multiple keyboard shortcuts, and lets you explicitly unset a birthday, and GNOME Maps features keyboard navigation for search results and a more mobile-friendly design.

New apps landed in GNOME 44, such as Workbench for experimenting with GNOME technologies, Zap for playing sounds from a soundboard, Boatswain for controlling your Stream Deck devices, Emblem for generating project avatars, Lorem for generating the well-known Lorem Ipsum placeholder text, Komikku manga reader, Eyedropper color picker, Elastic spring animations designer, Clairvoyant Q/A app, and Chess Clock time control for over-the-board chess games.

Other noteworthy changes in GNOME 44 include the ability to disable Settings search results in GNOME Shell, a new Global Shortcuts portal to allow apps to be notified of shortcuts being activated, improved low battery power notifications, improved drag and drop in GNOME Shell’s App Grid, a new tab overview option in GNOME Console, a smooth temperature chart in GNOME Weather, new keyboard shortcuts, new wallpapers, and much more.

GNOME 44 will be the default desktop environment of the Fedora Linux 38 and Ubuntu 23.04 (Lunar Lobster) operating system releases, both expected to see the light of day at the end of April 2023. More details about GNOME 44 are available in the official release notes.

Of course, GNOME 44 will also land in the stable repos of various rolling-release distros like Arch Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed in the coming weeks, most probably before the first point release, GNOME 44.1, hits the streets on April 16th. Meanwhile, enjoy the official release video below!

Last updated 11 months ago

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