What’s coming in Genome 42?
GNOME 42 is almost here. Jack Wallen kicks the tire (thanks to GNOME OS Knightley) and comes out of a thrilling experience for the future of this open source desktop.
GNOME 42 is on the horizon, and while this isn’t nearly as dramatic a change as we’ve seen with the release of GNOME 40, there’s a lot to be excited about. About the upcoming iteration of open source desktop GTK4 / libadwaita. This is a rather volatile change in the GNOME landscape, as many users fear the theme will be removed from the GNOME desktop because libadwaita.
For those who are not following, libadwaita is a GTK 4 library that implements the GNOME HIG (Human Interface Guide), a complement to GTK. Libadwaita is the successor to libhandy (which was a library for creating mobile versions of GTK and Gnome applications). The ultimate goal of libadwaita is to distinguish between GNOME and GTK, so that Thimer and third parties can enjoy greater freedom.
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Excluding the controversy, GNOME 42 should be seen as a refinement of previous releases, including replacing some important apps and porting the original apps to libadwaita. Here is a list of the main apps ported to Libadawai:
- Disk Usage Analyzer
- To do
- The clock
- The weather
I was able to test the GNOME 42, thanks to the flatpack version of the GNOME box (because the Snap version just doesn’t work). From the box interface, create a new instance and then download GNOME OS Nightly (Figure A) Once everything is OK, you can feel what Genome 42 has to offer.
To be perfectly honest, casual users should not notice too much difference in GTK4-ported apps. Take the Calendar app, for example (Figure B)
There are a lot of subtle differences between the old and new core apps, but the most important thing here is that the GTK4 port is the future of GNOME, and it creates a very clean UI.
Outside of GTK / libadwaita goodness, there have been two major changes with GNOME 42. Two original apps have been replaced. Gedit is the default GNOME text editor for years. With GNOME 42, the new default text editor is called a text editor. This new app (Figure C) A more refined version of the text editor. The best feature of the new text editor is that it has an autosave feature.
Another new app is called a console and replaces the long-in-the-tooth genome-terminal. If you’re a fan of using terminal windows, you’ll really appreciate how clean this new replacement app is. Console (Figure D) A no-frills tool that (like a text editor) follows GNOME HIGH better.
What about performance?
Thanks to the new GTK 4 GPU acceleration, GNOME 42 is not only significantly faster than previous releases, almost all GUI windows and animations are almost as smooth as I’ve ever seen on the desktop regardless of the OS. Transitions are smooth, window movement is clear and apps open very quickly This is hands down, the best performing release of the genome I have used. And I’m working on a night release, it’s impressive.
With GNOME 42 there are a few other small changes to notice, including:
- The default web browser now supports hardware-accelerated rendering.
- Eye of the Genome now supports overlay scrollbar and smooth keyboard scrolling.
- Tracker indexer memory usage is reduced by 50%.
- The map now includes visible icons for U-turns in turn.
- A built-in screenshot tool makes it easy to take screenshots and record videos on the desktop.
- The wallpaper changes depending on whether you are using light or dark mode.
- Remote login is simplified and managed in settings Sharing (Figure e)
I can’t lie, I’m excited about the latest iteration of the GNOME desktop. Among the clean-up UI, performance enhancements and new apps, GNOME 42 is exactly what is needed for the desktop. I recommend you keep an eye on the release so you can be sure to get the best genome experience available.
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