GNOME 42 is a major upgrade with noticeable visual changes.

With GNOME 42, you get many essential improvements and much-needed upgrades. Now that it’s here, let us check out some of the key highlights.

GNOME 42 New Features

Considering we have already covered a detailed article on GNOME 42 features, let me mention the most important ones here.

1. Dark Mode Theme and Appearance Tweaks

While some other desktop environments already feature a system-wide dark style preference, GNOME did not have one.

With GNOME 42, the GNOME team has taken inspiration from the elementary OS team (Thanks to the impressive dark mode implementation in elementary OS 6).

You can notice a new “Appearance” option replacing the Background to let you switch between Light/Dark mode seamlessly.

The wallpapers also have their light/dark counterparts to offer the best contrast with the theme of your choice.

2. Refreshed Folder Icon Theme

The folder icon theme in GNOME was definitely looked ancient. To top it off, it received some visual refreshments making it look better with dark/white themes:

3. New Screenshot UI

The new screenshot UI with GNOME 42 is one of the best additions in this release.

Not just limited to taking screenshots, it also lets you record your screen with a simple toggle. The user interface looks great and works well in my initial usage with Fedora 36 (pre-release).

4. GNOME App Upgrades to GTK 4

To match the overall user experience of GNOME 42, the default applications received a visual overhaul, thanks to libadwaita.

Not just limited to the UI, some GNOME applications also received new features.

Even some third-party GNOME apps like Fragments 2.0 made significant changes to look best on GNOME 42.

5. New Text Editor & Console

Replacing the popular Gedit text editor, you will now find the modern GNOME Text Editor as the default.

You will no longer find the GNOME terminal app. Instead, there’s a new terminal app “Console” with some UI enhancements.

Other Improvements

In addition to the visual changes, you should expect performance optimizations and subtle refinements across the platform. Some upgrades include:

  • Improvements to File indexing
  • Remote desktop feature now supports RDP
  • GNOME Web browser now enables hardware acceleration

To know all about the changes, you can refer to the official announcement.

Download GNOME 42

You can use GNOME OS using Boxes to test the latest stable build of GNOME 42 or get OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (should be arriving soon). As of now, that’s the only way to test the latest features/changes.

While Clear Linux by Intel seems to have added GNOME 42 to its latest release, it is not a perfect desktop replacement to distributions like Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Fedora 36.

You can also try Arch with GNOME 42 or wait for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Fedora 36 release next month.

Ankush Das

A passionate technophile who also happens to be a Computer Science graduate. You will usually see cats dancing to the beautiful tunes sung by him.