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GNOME 46 Alpha is out! Better Remote Desktop & Flatpak Support

GNOME announced the first alpha of the next 46 release few days ago on last Friday.

Let’s see what’s new in the desktop for next Ubuntu 24.04 LTS.

First of all, every Gnome release has a new default wallpaper. This time, it’s a blue background embrace the rounded triangle. And, in this release GNOME backgrounds now favors JPEG-XL as a format. I don’t have any photo images in .jxl format. But it seems that Gnome now supports for setting the file format as background wallpaper.

Gnome 46

GNOME Remote Desktop now supports headless remote login via GDM, through for RDP only. And, a systemd service is introduced for single user headless setups. As well, Gnome-Control-Center and classic session are allowing to run in headless mode.

GNOME 46 also keep re-designing the Gnome Control Center. The ‘Apps’ tab is re-designed to be touch friendly. Privacy is renamed to Privacy & Security. And, some settings (e.g., Region & Languages, Date & Time, Users, Remote Desktop and About) are merged into single System page.

For laptop user, “Tap to click” is finally enabled by default! So, GNOME based Linux Distros (e.g., Ubuntu and Fedora) no longer need to manually enable this feature on first startup.

GNOME Files (aka Nautilus) has some minor improvements in the release for better beginner user experience.

In folder “Properties” dialog, there’s now a little pencil badge in icon, telling that the individual folder icon is changeable! The ‘⋮’ menu after path par now includes “Enter Location (Ctrl+L)” option to easily copy and/or edit folder path.

When in narrow window size, the overlaid sidebar now is automatically closed when click to change location. And, when compressing to password protected .Zip archive, it now shows confirm password input box.

Other changes in the GNOME 46 so far include:

  • Add keyboard shortcuts to open new window of pinned apps
  • GNOME Software supports installing local flatpak files
  • GNOME system monitor ported to GTK4.

There are as well many other changes have been merged into Gnome 46, but not mentioned in this post! You may keep an eye on this issue tracker for details.

According to GNOME 46 Release Schedule, there will a Beta release planned for February 10, RC release for March 2, 2024. And, final release is scheduled for March 20.

How to Get GNOME 46 (Alpha)

For Ubuntu users, the 24.04 daily iso has included the new Gnome-Control-Center and few other apps from the alpha, but leaving other parts still at v45.

Without waiting for your Linux Distros to update for the new release, user can try out Gnome OS (os.gnome.org) or the image provided in the announcement.

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