GNOME 40 Beta has been Released

Feb 25, 2021

Anyone looking to test the beta for the upcoming GNOME 40 release can now do so.

On the heels of the alpha release of GNOME 40, the developers have announced the availability of the beta, which includes a number of improvements and bug fixes.

Of course, the biggest change to GNOME is the new horizontal Activities Overview, which makes for a much-improved workflow on the desktop. With the desktops residing at the top of the Overview, it is now easier to drag and drop an application to the specific desktop you want. It’s far more intuitive and efficient. This new layout also improves usage with touch screen navigation and faster overall performance.

Another hotly anticipated change comes by way of how multi-monitor support will work with the new horizontal Activities Overview. GNOME 40 will default to only showing workspaces on the primary display, with the top bar and the Activities Overview on both displays.

Beyond the overhaul of the Activities Overview, you’ll find easier workspace switching, a new Welcome dialog after major updates, better fingerprint scanner support, better window previews, a much-improved on-screen keyboard, a major reworking of the Nautilus file manager, and a default web browser (Epiphany) that received plenty of attention.

Other bits that have received attention include Disk Usage Analyzer, Font Viewer, Calculator app, GNOME Software, and GNOME Maps.

For anyone wanting to test GNOME 40, you can download and boot the installer image.

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