Gnome 43, whose code name is Guadalajara, has recently been released as stable to continue the evolution and trajectory of this free desktop environment. On this occasion we find some design changes, an aesthetic finish more similar to macOS and a greater number of applications migrated from GTK 3 to GTK 4.
At the user level, the highlight is the system status menu redesign, which now allows you to quickly switch between a variety of commonly used settings. In addition to basic network, Bluetooth, and power settings, GNOME 43 has added switching between light and dark themes, a button to access the screenshot feature, quick switching between different sound and another button to quickly connect to a VPN.
The second highlight of GNOME 43 is the upgrading more applications to GTK 4, including Files/Files (previously Nautilus file explorer), Maps/Maps, Logs, the IDE Builder, Console, initial setup, and parental controls. Using GTK 4 and libadwaita should improve interface consistency.
GNOME 43 system status menu.
files 43 has included some interesting updates, among which are more modern-looking file and folder properties and a button that allows you to open the container directory, a responsive design able to fit narrow devices and with a collapsible sidebarreorganized and easier-to-use menus, plus a new “Open With” dialog that makes it easier to control which applications to use to open different types of files.
Continuing with more GNOME apps, though not necessarily covering things related to GTK 4, the Calendar app has seen its interface updated with a new sidebar, the Contacts app supports import and export from vCard files, and the Calls app it has incorporated support for encrypted VoIP calls, the ability to send SMS from the call history and has seen improved performance.
Files or Files, before Nautilus, in GNOME 43.
Another highlight of GNOME 43 is the ability to install websites on the desktop as if they were applications. This is a new and improved version of the web applications feature that was already present. In Web, formerly the Epiphany web browser, there is an option in the menu called “Install page as web application”. The user will also be able to find web applications in Software and in both cases these should be added to the launcher available from the Activities view.
The Device Security section is another important detail of GNOME 43, although it may not be to everyone’s liking. As we said before, it is a utility that is responsible for examining the security status of the computer by checking features such as Secure Boot Secure Boot, Trusted Platform Module (TPM), Intel BootGuard and IOMMU protection status.
Adding to everything mentioned so far are suggestions while typing with the on-screen keyboard, an optimized Activities view that should work more smoothly, a dark UI that has been polished in GTK 4, new alert sounds, and the ability to receive audio when using the remote desktop application.
Option to create a web application in GNOME Web 43.
As for more technical aspects, we have the incorporation in Mutter 43 of support for direct scanning in multi-monitor configurations and for graphics without support for buffer modifiers, which should reach models such as those of the AMD Polaris generation (RX 400 and RX500). Color management is now handled by Mutter instead of the GNOME configuration daemon and certain regressions have been corrected when doing screencasting with PipeWire.
GNOME 43 should arrive in distributions in a matter of time rolling release as Arch Linux, while it is postulated as the desktop that Fedora 37 and Ubuntu 21.10 will use. Those who want to know all the details can consult the release notes.
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