GNOME serves as the default desktop environment for countless Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu and Fedora. GNOME 44 has now been released, with changes that will show up in upcoming Linux distro updates.
GNOME 44 has been under development for the past six months, and most of the work has gone into the Settings app. It’s no easy task to organize all of the options, toggles, and links needed for a desktop PC — as we’ve learned from Windows 10/11 and macOS Ventura. The accessibility panel has been redesigned to be more clear, and new options have been added for keyboard features, over-amplification for audio, and making the scrollbars always visible.
The sound panel has also been updated, with volume level controls in a separate window. The Mouse & Touchpad section now has integrated videos to demonstrate each option, plus a new testing window and mouse acceleration setting. GNOME 44 also has improvements to the quick settings menu that was introduced in the last update, with a new Bluetooth section for connecting and disconnecting devices, and a list for apps that are running in the background. The previous release added the Device Security section too, and this update reorganizes device checks.
GNOME 44 has a few significant updates to the Files app. There’s finally an option to view a grid layout when picking a file from inside another app — before now, you were limited to a list view. You can also now expand folders in the list view inside Files, which used to be available, but went away when Files was rewritten for GTK4. There are new tab options too, like pinning and moving tabs between windows, just like with most web browsers.
There are many other smaller improvements in GNOME 44 that add up to make your desktop experience better than ever. Web (the GNOME browser) now runs as a GTK4 app, the terminal app has a tab overview screen, more default wallpapers have been added, Software (the app store) has new organization and cleanup options, and more. The source link below has the complete changelog.
GNOME 44 is available now, but it’s up to Linux distributions like Fedora, Arch, and Debian to roll it out. It should arrive in Ubuntu 23.04 (coming in April) and Fedora 38, both of which are already in beta testing. Rolling release distributions, like Arch Linux, should start rolling it out soon. If you want to try the vanilla GNOME 44 experience right now, download a GNOME OS image.
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