Good news for Fedora and GNOME fans, as the Fedora Project announced that the upcoming Fedora Linux 34 distribution release will ship with the GNOME 40 desktop environment by default for its ‘Workstation’ flagship edition.
The Fedora development team decided not to break protocol and continue following the latest upstream GNOME releases for its next major release, Fedora 34. As you probably know already, Canonical recently revealed that its upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) distro release won’t ship with GNOME 40 due its major UI redesign.
This won’t happen with Fedora Linux. According to this change, it looks like the upcoming Fedora Linux 34 release will offer a pure GNOME 40 desktop experience on its flagship ‘Workstation’ edition. As GNOME 40 is built using the latest GTK 4 toolkit, that will be included as well in Fedora 34, due for release in late April 2021.
Earlier this week, the GNOME Project released the alpha version of GNOME 40, whose packages already started landing in Fedora Rawhide, the development version of Fedora Linux, for early adopters who want to get a taste of the GNOME shell overview redesign.
The biggest change for Fedora Workstation will be the fact that GNOME shell will start in the Activities Overview after login, which means that the GNOME Welcome Tour introduced in Fedora 33 will have to be adapted accordingly for GNOME 40’s new shell design.
Other than that, GNOME 40’s shell overview redesign won’t affect the Fedora Workstation desktop. On the contrary, it will offer a more spatially coherent and engaging user experience with the same basic functionality already available in GNOME 3.38.
“The reaction to user testing of the new design has been positive,” said the Fedora Project. “The updated design is intended to be not a huge change from the previous version and the transition for users shouldn’t be difficult.”
In case some parts of the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop aren’t suitable for inclusion in Fedora Linux 34, the team will use the GNOME 3.38 versions of those modules as a contingency plan. Also, in the unfortunate case that the new GNOME Shell UI design won’t be mature enough for public use, Fedora 34 will still ship with GNOME 40.