It appears that the upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) operating system release will be offering a hybrid GNOME 3.38-based desktop experience with many apps from the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment.
As you already know, the Ubuntu Desktop team announced last month that their upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release breaks the tradition of shipping with the latest GNOME desktop environment release, due to the fact that forthcoming GNOME 40 desktop will have a major design change affecting how Ubuntu Desktop works and looks.
Therefore, Ubuntu 21.04 will stick with the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series that’s already being used in the current stable release, Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla). But that good news I want to share with you today is the fact that Ubuntu 21.04 will also offer several apps from the GNOME 40 stack.
GNOME is not only a desktop environment, it’s a full stack consisting of many desktop apps and core libraries, and it looks like the Ubuntu developers managed to make many of the upcoming GNOME 40 apps work under the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series, which will be supported upstream at least until the end of 2021.
I’ve been using the Ubuntu 21.04 release for a while now and I can confirm that several core GNOME apps were updated to version 40, and that’s great news because Ubuntu users who decided to update to Hirsute Hippo will be able to use their good old desktop with newer apps.
The GNOME 40 apps that have been included in Ubuntu 21.04 so far are GNOME Calculator, Disk Usage Analyzer, GNOME Disks, Evince document viewer, GNOME Font Viewer, Eye of GNOME image viewer, GNOME System Monitor, Seahorse (Passwords and Keys), GNOME Sudoku, GNOME Characters, Yelp (GNOME Help), and GVFS.
Also updated to the GNOME 40 stack but available for installation from the repositories are Evolution, Evolution Data Server, GNOME Clocks, GNOME Robots, Epiphany (GNOME Web), GNOME Boxes, and others.
Apps that haven’t been updated to the GNOME 40 stack yet and are included by default in Ubuntu 21.04 are Nautilus (Files) file manager (probably will stay at 3.38.x), GNOME Calendar, and GNOME Terminal. Other GNOME apps included in Ubuntu 21.04 by default don’t have a newer version as part of the GNOME 40 stack.
In conclusion, Ubuntu 21.04 will offer a more modern GNOME 3.38-based Ubuntu Desktop experience with up-to-date applications. So you don’t have to be sad that you won’t get GNOME 40’s new Activities Overview design because what’s more important is the apps you interact with on a daily basis.
Last updated 2 years ago