The GNOME Project announced today the general availability of the Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming GNOME 45 desktop environment series for public testing with last-minute changes.
As you can imagine, most of the changes are in the GNOME Shell component, which now allows users to dismiss notifications with the Backspace key, adds workspace indicators in the Activities button, and adds an extension hook to add Quick Settings items.
Moreover, GNOME Shell now supports OWE (Opportunistic Wireless Encryption) networks in the status menu, shows immediate feedback when the Bluetooth quick setting is toggled, adds the ability to switch workspaces when scrolling over the Activities button, restores focus indication in system entries, and improves three-finger swipes for touchscreens.
GNOME’s Mutter window manager got some changes as well, including support for alpha-composited window screencasts, improved support for XWayland windows, support for the idle_inhibit protocol, support for the Meta Toolkit (MTK) library, and improved support for input capture and emulated input.
Mutter now also caches multi-texture shader snippets, improves tablet cursor visibility on Wayland, implements suspended xdg_toplevel state, and fixes several bugs to address various freeze issues in full-screen windows and during resize operations.
The GNOME Software package manager received improved performance for the PackageKit plugin search-by-file, improved search functionality to also check for ‘contains’ words, improved app license display, and a couple of fixes for bugs that made the app unresponsive when loading screenshots and for firmware’s ‘Restart & Update’ to ask for the restart.
Also updated in this Release Candidate is the GNOME Calendar app, which got a redesign Month View to allow users to scroll infinitely to the future and past, improved search performance, a menu shortcut for the Date & Time panel, as well as modernized Event Editor and Calendar Management dialogs.
The Nautilus file manager received some performance improvements to prevent slowness when selecting many files, a new name for its new full-height sidebar layout from “Panels” to “Files”, as well as improved sizing and styling of visible columns.
Other than that, the Calls app for mobile devices received support for AES 256-bit crypto suites, Evince document viewer comes with updated Flatpak dependencies, GDM display manager got Wayland multi-seat support and better support for simpledrm, and most of GNOME Control Center’s pages were ported to libadwaita’s new AdwToolbarView widget.
Furthermore, the GNOME Calculator improves the performance of the search provider, uses numeric font instead of monospace, and improves electron-volt unit abbreviation. Also, GNOME Maps now comes with an experimental vector-based map and updated OSM edit POI definition.
The GNOME Remote Desktop app has been updated as well in this release to use the default RDP and VNC ports again and the libei library for input event plumbing, and the Orca screen reader received several performance improvements and the ability to filter out redundant descriptions to reduce chattiness.
The final release of the GNOME 45 desktop environment is expected on September 20th, 2023. Until then, you can test drive the GNOME 45 Release Candidate (RC) milestone by using the GNOME OS image, which you can download from here, in a virtual machine with EFI support.
Last updated 3 months ago