A new version of GNOME appears in spring and autumn, which is then usually first poured by Fedora and Ubuntu into an image of their next release. Ubuntu is currently a bit behind as Canonical is adapting GNOME for its purposes, but Fedora 35 will be released on October 19th with GNOME 41 as the desktop.
In the spring, GNOME 40 set a new paradigm in terms of appearance and operation, in addition to the new version scheme. In addition, the new GTK 4 was incorporated in the background and thus required a large number of changes. GNOME 41 is a bit more cautious, as the already beta and the release candidate suggested, but still offers some innovations that benefit the better usability.
New design guidelines take effect
As early as May, the publication of the new Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) indicated that with GTK 4 and the development of libhandy and its GTK4 port libadwaita the design of applications for GNOME would change . This includes functions for new widgets for tabs and drop-down lists, a new widget for placeholders and the new list and grid views from GTK 4. This is probably the biggest background change in GNOME 41, which was made by GNOME developer Adrien Plazas in his Blog was already outlined in detail in the spring.
Energy mode settings expanded
The improvements to the power mode settings introduced with GNOME 40, which introduced three performance modes, are more visible to the user. The energy-saving mode can now be changed with GNOME 41 not only via the settings, but also quickly via the system status menu. The energy saving mode has been improved so that the screen can be darkened and faded out faster. This mode also turns on automatically when the battery level is low. In addition, initial support for applications that can request a specific performance mode has been added. This is especially important for applications that rely on high performance, such as some games, for example.
GNOME software is a constant building site. And so the software shop was further polished for GNOME 41 with better detailed descriptions, which have larger screenshots and a clearer mode for exploring new software. GNOME software has also been further stabilized and accelerated under the hood.
GNOME 41 contains a new menu item in the settings Multitasking . This setting provides options for window management and workspace:
- Disable the hot corner for activities
- Deactivating the active screen borders
- Configure a fixed number of workspaces
- Display of workspaces on all screens instead of just the primary screen
- Restricting switching applications to the current workspace when using the Super + Tab key combination
Cellular network connections redesigned
In the settings, the menu item for setting up mobile connections has been completely revised. It allows the configuration of cellular network connections and works with 2G, 3G, 4G and GSM / LTE modems. The new settings for the mobile network are only displayed if a supported modem is available. They allow you to set the network type, choose whether to use mobile data and whether to use data when roaming. They also support the use of multiple SIM cards and modems and allow easy switching between networks.
Integrate other desktops
A new remote desktop client called connections offers the integration of other desktops and supports VNC and RDP. Up to now, this functionality was integrated in the virtualization software boxes. Furthermore, GNOME 41 brings support for the creation of encrypted .zip archives in the file manager Nautilus (files) and can import appointments from .ics files into the calendar application. Further innovations can be found in the official announcement .
If you want to test GNOME 41 before packages appear in the distributions, you can GNOME OS download and run in the virtualization software boxes.