GNOME 45 Alpha Is Now Available for Public Testing, Here’s What’s New

Includes numerous new features and improvements across various of GNOME's default apps.
GNOME 45 Alpha

The GNOME Project released today the alpha version of the upcoming GNOME 45 desktop environment as the first development milestone to give us an early look at the new features and enhancements.

The alpha version of the GNOME 45 desktop environment brings new apps including the Tecla keyboard layout viewer and Snapshot for taking pictures and videos on mobile devices, as well as a new look for the Baobab (Disk Analyzer) and GNOME Font Viewer apps thanks to the new libadwaita 1.4 widgets.

Many interesting changes are around the GNOME Control Panel (Settings) app, which now lets you close dialogs using the Esc key, improves accessibility, improves panel activation and searching, improves support for RTL (Right-to-Left) languages, as well as numerous bug fixes.

In addition, the About page now only shows major GNOME versions, the Date and Time page now features clock and calendar switches in a unified “Clock & Calendar” section, the Display page now lets you configure all monitors and apply settings at once, and the Info page now shows each GPU in its own line for hybrid systems.

Date & Time page now features a unified Clock & Calendar section

The Keyboard page now features “Compose” and “Character” keywords, the Notifications page replaces “Applications” with “App Notifications”, the Power page now labels the main “battery” as UPS if that’s what it is and hides the automatic suspend option in VMs, and you’ll be able to update the hostname in the About page only after clicking apply.

Moreover, the Network page now features a delete icon in the saved Wi-Fi connections list, increases the maximum MTU value from 10000 to 6553, adds the ability to preserve the current mode when enabling proxy, shows a confirmation dialog when forgetting a connection, renames “Other Devices” to “Bluetooth”, improves importing of VPN files, and adds support for screen readers to the security status and signal strength fields.

The Thunderbolt page has been updated as well with a more modern Device dialog UI, the Sharing page no longer features a global master switch, the Sound page now offers audible bass on low-quality hardware, and the Users page removes the account activity window and improves avatar crop mechanics and rounding.

GNOME 45 alpha also introduces an improved Nautilus (Files) file manager that received a search performance boost, enhanced Grid and List views, the ability to change the default columns, a better archiving experience, and other changes.

GNOME file manager
Nautilus (Files) file manager

It also introduces an improved Epiphany (GNOME Web) web browser that now features a fancy new tab overview that replaces the old tab list dropdown, improved Firefox Sync support, improved storage access and save password permission prompts, support for clipboard access permission requests, as well as support for the New Window action in the Web App mode.

Epiphany’s new fancy tab overview

The GNOME Software package manager received the ability to show when OS updates include security fixes, support for notifications when system updates are downloaded and the ability to clear an app’s storage upon uninstalling, improved support for Flatpak apps by indicating if an installed application has reached end of life, better support for GNOME OS, and improved navigation in the Details and Explore pages.

GNOME Calculator received a bunch of changes as well, including new energy units, the ability to remember the window size, extended bit-shifting limit, United Nations Treasury exchange rate data source, support for new currency like the Jamaican Dollar, Nigerian Nair, and Ukrainian hryvnia, TWD support via Bank of Canada rates, improved Flatpak support, and the ability to open the Main Menu by pressing F10.

GNOME Calculator’s new energy units conversion

The Gedit text editor is still alive and kicking and it’s been updated to version 45 as well featuring a new keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+comma) for opening the Preferences dialog, improved file names in the Document panel so that they aren’t longer than the view’s width, and a new keyboard shortcut for the Insert Date/Time plugin.

GNOME’s Rust-written Loupe image viewer app now lets users open multiple files at once via the file chooser, supports forward and back mouse buttons, only lists supported image formats in the file chooser, disables trashing for non-native files, removes the use of Backspace as a trash shortcut, improves SVG zooming with high-res scroll-wheels, and adds support for opening all given images in one window from the command line.

Last but not least, the GNOME Builder app now lets you write plugins using modern JavaScript powered by libpeas-2 and GJS, improves SourceKit-LSP integration, improves LSP protocol support, improves PHP Intelephense language server integration, adds the ability to set the number of callers to record in stack traces in the Valgrind plugin, and adds the ability to disable text-modifiers during undo/redo operations.

GNOME 45 alpha also brings multi-screen improvements to the GNOME System Monitor app, a new POI explore UI and a new rotation button to the GNOME Maps app, Unicode 15.0.1 and support for new Unicode CJK extensions to the GNOME Characters app, as well as styling improvements to the GNOME Text Editor app. For more details, check out the changelog on the release announcement page.

The alpha version of the GNOME 45 desktop environment should be available for public testing soon as part of the development snapshots of the Fedora Linux 39 Workstation (or Fedora Rawhide), openSUSE Tumbleweed, and other GNU/Linux distributions that offer pre-release images with the GNOME desktop.

Last updated 8 months ago

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