GNOME 40: The Future of Desktop Linux Experience

This is the all-new GNOME 40. The latest version of the popular GNOME desktop environment is now redesigned with major changes and improvements. GNOME 40 is the biggest update since GNOME jumped from version 2 to 3. And with this update, how things look, how things work, and how you interact with the system are reimagined for the better.



GNOME 40 is the most prevalent desktop environment, and all the Linux distros using it will be updating to GNOME 40 soon, giving you a fresh new experience. So let’s jump right in and see what’s new, what’s changed, and the updated set of GNOME core apps, and We’ll also see why GNOME 40 is the next step in the desktop interface standards for 2021 and beyond.

New Interface

While the new GNOME is packed with changes, there is one big change that is at the core of this update. That is the very foundational design of this desktop. That’s right. Visually and functionally, the GNOME desktop gets a complete overhaul. Firstly, the dash is now at the bottom of the screen. Formerly, this was on the left side by default.

We lose the workspace switcher that was on the right side of the screen. Now the activities overview and the workspace switcher are integrated as one entity. And this is your new application grid.

GNOME – Simple, beautiful, elegant.
Source: https://www.gnome.org

The whole thing is now even more intuitive. And for productivity, this redesign will do wonders. The dash at the bottom of the screen looks so premium with this spacing and spanning. The dash on the left side of the screen was logically reasonable since the screen is wider than it is tall. The dash on the bottom always feels right. And in UX, what feels right, is sometimes more important than what is logically right.

New Dock

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The dock now separates the favorites from running apps using a separator. This feels more organized and you get a nice feel of what’s going on, on your computer.

New Virtual Workspace

The new Activities overview is a significant improvement from an aesthetic as well as user experience point of view. This looks more organized and easier to use. Horizontal workspaces feel so natural when compared to the old vertical ones. Using the workspaces on GNOME has gotten so much more intuitive too.

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Source: youtu.be/wy2DiEKJ-lI

Hot Keys

Super + alt are the workspace hotkeys combined with either the arrow keys or the mouse scroll. Now, what I’m really excited about is the gestures for touch pad on laptop. We can use 3 fingers to switch between workspaces with a single swipe sideways. Or summon the activities overview with 3 finger swipe upwards. Chromebooks have a similar 3 finger gesture mechanism which I absolutely adore. It makes switching between tabs and opening the app grid so easier and intuitive. It feels so natural to swipe with your fingers like that and see the response on the screen.



Tails OS: Powerful OS to Become Invisible On The Web
Source: https://www.gnome.org

New App Grid

I really loved the old app grid. But after using the new app grid for some time, I realized that I never used the app grid without searching for an app. Every time I opened the app grid, I searched first, then clicked on an icon. I’m telling you this to hit home the point that while the old app grid looked nice, there is a difference in how we used that app grid on a computer vs how we use the app grid on our phones. The new app grid is more customizable and this is important because everybody uses some apps more than other apps. Now those apps go on the top row.

GNOME 40 folders

Overall GNOME 40 is a great update that not only looks good but also promotes productivity like never before. And on laptops, the new gestures are so powerful that I think most of you will not be connecting that USB mouse anymore. Just fantastic.

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Core Apps

GNOME desktop comes with some apps that are an integral part of the GNOME experience. Like the nautilus file manager and the web browser. There have been improvements in these core apps too. Weather and Maps now display more information by default. GNOME web gets a redesigned top bar with tabs that are now even more in lieu with other browsers like firefox and chrome. This is nice. And nautilus or the Files app gets some added features in the preferences.

GNOME 40 is now available one of the biggest updates since GNOME 3
Source: https://www.gnome.org

Settings

Keyboard shortcuts are now organized into categories and we can now also search for certain shortcuts and modify them easily. This is a fantastic improvement as GNOME gives you the best experience when you use it with a keyboard and mouse. The wifi settings have also been improved.

Engine

GNOME 40 is powered by a completely new engine under the hood. GTK+ 3 now gets a major version update to GTK 4. This version jump is the result of 4 years of hard work. This new GTK will not only power the new GNOME but also a new generation of applications. A good number of major Linux apps are built using GTK. Now once they are updated with the new GTK, we can expect them to look better and give us an even more refined experience.

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Wrap Up

It’s going to take some time, adjusting to the new GNOME. But I appreciate that the new changes are all geared towards improving productivity. GNOME has always had a different approach as to how to get work done on your computer. KDE Plasma, Mate, Xfce, Cinnamon, all have a bottom panel-based workflow. But GNOME, well activities overview and search play a huge role in the workflow here. With these new improvements, this activities overview seems more grounded and the user is going to be more compelled to use multiple workspaces since they’re there in the view. This will result in both, a more organized and distraction-free computing experience. And in an ever-distracting digital world, this is good.

Fedora 34 stable will probably be the first distro to ship with GNOME 40 and then we can expect to see GNOME 40 in other Linux distros too. And once GNOME 40 becomes the default on mainstream distros, there will be love and hate. But I believe GNOME 40 is the way.

Find more on the GNOME official page.



So this is “The Future Of Desktop Linux Experience” – I believe you have found them as reminders and helpful.

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One comment



  1. Well now it looks like Win 11?
    I hate win 11, I’ll stay with my Linux Mint for now.
    Don’t break something that works!

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