GNOME 41 – New Features & Release Date

3 min

We summarize the available information for GNOME 41 release here and brief you about the new features, schedules.

GNOME 41 released on Sep 22, 2021. Read our release coverage here.

The upcoming GNOME 41 release development is in full swing. The prior GNOME 40 release was a significant one with fundamental change of desktop workflow. Following that change, the GNOME 41 release plans to fix the issues uncovered since GNOME 40 taking care of all point release of 40 series. Also promised certain new features and native application updates.

Don’t bring your hope up. There is not much yet planned for this (as of writing this), so I believe it is going to be a moderate release considering the new features.

GNOME 41 – Top New Features

  • Probably the important item in this release is inclusion of libadwaita in GNOME. Libadwaita is based on the libhandy user interface library while being a GTK4 port. Libadwaita will now ship the Adwaita stylesheet along with its variants. This successor of libhandy will define the UI/UX experience of GNOME GTK4 apps in coming days.
  • So, for extension developers, it would easier to port to GTK4 with libadwaita library. And eventually all extensions needs to link to libadwaita for better experience, theming.
  • GNOME Software gets a makeover in GNOME 41. The new design brings a left sidebar with categories (much like Settings dialog). No more categories in the homepage as per earlier design. The left sidebar have the software categories such as Work, Play, Socialize etc. And you get to choose and install them.
GNOME Software 41 Responsive Animation
GNOME Software 41 Responsive Animation
  • The top carousal for featured apps in the home page is more slick with rounded corners and wider featured image. The left section also contains separate menu entries for installed apps and apps that require updates.
  • The Software app is responsive and hides the left bar intelligently when resized.
  • The app grid page sees an improvement when used a pointing device such as mouse rather than touch. The grid page start dragging immediately when used a pointing device.
  • You can now use long swipes in workspace animation.
  • Nautilus file manager did small improvements as well. Code changes are done in properties window to prevent accidental change in file name. And the file not found dialog now shows the file name.
  • The Balanced Power profiles (supported by Hardware + Kernel) are now exposed to the system tray menu so that you can easily choose your desired power profile. On a side note, KDE Plasma 5.23 is bringing this feature as well. [MR]
New Power profiles exposed in Menu
New Power profiles exposed in Menu
  • Files (nautilus) now integrates features for encrypted archives. You can now create zip, tar, etc. files with password – directly from Files. [MR]
Create archive with password from Files
Create archive with password from Files
  • GNOME Calendar is now able to open ICS files and import their events
  • Settings received a new panel named – Multitasking. The Multitasking panel provides functionality useful to improve your productivity when working with many apps at once. [MR]
  • GNOME Calculator is completely overhauled. It now features bright color buttons for equal sign and removing the numbers. The UI menu also changed to show the calculator modes from the hamburger menu
GNOME Calculator - old and new side by side (advanced mode)
GNOME Calculator – old and new side by side (advanced mode)
GNOME Calculator - old and new side by side (basic mode)
GNOME Calculator – old and new side by side (basic mode)

GNOME 41 – Schedule

GNOME 41 final release planned on September 22, 2021. Here’s a summary of the schedule.

MilestonePlanned date
GNOME 41.AlphaJuly 10, 2021
GNOME 41.BetaAugust 14, 2021
GNOME 41.RCSeptember 4, 2021
GNOME 41September 22, 2021

Distro Availability

Looking at the timeline, I do not think that Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri, and Fedora 35 would be able to match up their schedule with GNOME. So, Ubuntu 21.10 won’t feature for sure. But Fedora 35 still tentative which is due on Oct 26, 2021.

For Arch Linux, Manjaro and other rolling release based distributions, it should be available when released. And for Ubuntu and Fedora – folks needs to wait until 2022 for this as per my best guess.

Closing Notes

It is normal to have a moderate release after a big one. And I believe, adding libadwaita is a big decision. Also, it is important to fix the bugs those left out after a major release – that is GNOME 40. Stability and bug free GNOME is always preferable than many new features.

I will keep this page updated with additional information when it is available.


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