GNOME 40 Is the Next Major Release of the Linux Desktop, Coming March 2021

GNOME 40


The GNOME Project announced today that they’ve adopted a new versioning scheme for the next versions of GNOME desktop environment, starting with the next major release, which will be GNOME 40.

The GNOME 3 series is finally over! Now that the GNOME 3.38 release hit the streets, the development team unveiled earlier today that they are changing the versioning scheme and the development cycle of the next major release.

Coming after GNOME 3.38, will be GNOME 40 (yes, Forty), due for release in March 2021, which will have a total of three milestones during its six-month development cycle: Alpha, Beta and RC (Release Candidate).

After GNOME 40, the next major version will GNOME 41, and so on. As far as the stable point releases go, the versioning scheme will look like this: 40.1, 40.2, 40.3, 41.1, 41.2, 41.3, etc.

Just like me, you probably have a lot of questions right now. First, why the change?

Developer Emmanuele Bassi explains that the GNOME 3.x series has been on the market for nearly 10 years, and it’s time for a change. Ok, but why 40 and not 4.0?

“By using 40 as the base, we acknowledge what came before, and we don’t introduce a large discontinuity in the number progression, which is somewhat the point of this change,” said the developer. “Calling the next version of GNOME “4.0” would have unfortunate/unintended implications about the platform, especially from an engagement and marketing perspective.”

It also appears that the number 40 has to do with GNOME 3.38 being the 40th release of the Linux desktop environment. However, Emmanuele Bassi says that if you count the GNOME releases from 0 (zero), the next one would be the 40th release.

As far as the development cycle goes, it actually makes sense to have only Alpha, Beta and RC milestones available for public testing as it eases the life of the developers involved in the making of one of the best Linux desktop environments out there. Fewer development milestones, more time to work on what really matters.

If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to visit Emmanuele Bassi’s thread on the GNOME Discourse page (link above).

The GNOME devs are now preparing the release schedule for GNOME 40, so stay tuned on this space if you want to be the first to know when the Alpha, Beta, RC and Final milestones will be available.

Last updated 2 weeks ago

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