GNOME 46 is Coming in Hot With These 6 Features

submitted by petsoi

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While most changes (file manager improvements, etc.) are cool to have and are just improvements to the overall experience, what's up with the "fractional scaling and Mutter improvements"?

Why does nobody explain them more? At least for me, fractional scaling is the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about what Gnome needs the most.
And performance improvements are also good to hear, but in which aspect? Triple dynamic buffering?

Does anyone have further information?


I believe the explanation is "it's hard, it's being worked on, but it will take some time until all the pieces are in place", and they're not going to hold off releases until it is.


``` This release changes the ngl renderer to be the default renderer.

The intent of this change is to get wider testing and verify that the new renderers are production-ready. If significant problems show up, we will revert this change for 4.14.

You can still override the renderer choice using the GSK_RENDERER environment variable.

Since ngl can handle fractional scaling much better than the old gl renderer, we allow fractional scaling by default with gl now. If you are using the old gl renderer (e.g. because your system is limited to GLES2), you can disable fractional scaling by setting the GDK_DEBUG environment variable to include the gl-no-fractional key.

``` This is what I've found here

This submitted article is far from a comprehensive changelog, and kinda glosses over some stuff, as you say.


Man I really want to see that VRR patch merged in, even if it still takes a flag to turn on.

With KDE having VRR and now HDR it feels like the choice you have to make if you are gaming on Linux. I prefer Gnome generally so I would like to see them catch up.


I switched to KDE because of this. I miss GNOME dearly. I despise KDE's design choices. But right now, it's better for gaming.

Kilgore Trout

Differently from GNOME, you can actively participate in KDE's design choices. Usually they are made by a small bunch of people who are open to feedback.


Not gonna lie, I've submitted tiny feature requests to the dev team for Cinnamon and Mate before. One or two of them got implemented, and I was so .... happy? proud? idk

I was such a cool feeling though. Being able to participate is very underrated.

Kilgore Trout

I have submitted a tiny patch to the Linux Kernel one year ago and I felt so cool too. I understand.

warmaster , edited

I would love to, but with two jobs and two small kids, I barely get any free time. But I'll consider it. Is there any UX/UI focused working group?

bitwolf not alone in this.

I use Gnome on the laptop and KDE on the gaming computer.

But I also dock the laptop, and gnomes workflow is still amazingly intuitive with keyboard and mouse.

It also handles HiDPI better than anything else I've used even windows and Mac. Truly remarkable.

But I use KDE for gaming because I want vrr and can use HDR.

Sentau , edited

I have good news my friend. The vrr patch was just merged into 46 beta as an experimental feature.


I saw, very exciting!


Ok, the change for the date format in file manager is huge!

They refused to implement it for years

And I think that was my biggest gripe with gnome.

Jordan_U , edited

Like me, that user wants to use ISO-8601 format for dates.

I didn't see that option in the screenshot. Anyone know if that's possible in this Beta?


Holy cow, over a decade!


Something something filepicker thumbnails. I'm a fan and daily user of GNOME but it has its issues.

neo [he/him]

Nautilus in general is my biggest gripe with Gnome. I despise it so much that I'm willing to abandon ship to KDE when Plasma 6 reaches my distro.


Gnome devs are just built different.


I love Gnome as it looks nice and is so efficient once you know how to use it (using different workspaces)

I’ll soon install a KDE distribution in Gnome Boxes just to try it and see what it’s about.

warmaster , edited

I switched to KDE for gaming, I miss GNOME so much.


Same I wish they'd prioritize mutter-vrr and get it over the finish line already. Thankfully, it'll reportedly make it in the next version.


Gnome is a big reason I switched fully to linux


I was already full Linux, but gnome is the reason I stopped messing with window managers and maybe large 4k monitors.

It finally hit enough of 'just works' and customizability to use my standard workflow.

The only thing I want that I don't have right now is horizontal monitor splits for vertical monitors.

Arthur Besse

The only thing I want that I don’t have right now is horizontal monitor splits for vertical monitors.

You can do that with this shell extension (which is the upstream of Ubuntu's "gnome-shell-extension-tiling-assistant" package, which on Ubuntu is installed by default and called "Ubuntu Tiling Assistant" in the GNOME Extension manager).


ubuntu has that feature, i think its from a tiling extension, you may want to look it up.


Funny I feel like a lot of people said that about the multiple desktop cube that is finally coming back to plasma.


Gnome especially Mutter is a big reason why I waited for so long to make the full switch.

Possibly linux

It seems like a polishing release to me. Nice of see.


Am I taking crazy pills or did that article not actually include any new features?


It's a new gnome release: they don't add features. Just rework things internally to break any extensions you have, then remove features you were using to "simplify" things


This but also:

Files already had a search button, but now, you get a new search icon in the top-left corner of the window, and the older search icon gets a new look. gnome 46 global search button screenshot

You can also head to search settings to adjust how you want to look for things.

The new search button lets you search across the system. However, the older one (with a new look) lets you search inside the current folder/directory you are in.

Is really new peaks of not-a-new-feature


I use Gnome 3 because of Comic-like tiling extensions, lack of random bugs and crashes (looking at you my beloved KDE), and because so many apps require GTK that it almost always gets installed by something I want to use.

I dislike using it because SO MANY features and quality of life things were removed and never reintroduced. Like, I have to make a custom bookmark for root or my Desktop folder in Nautilus, and can't remove the default ones that I never use. Creating symlinks is disabled by default. I have to go to "other locations" and manually type in a network address because you can't even type in the ADDRESS BAR. If too many windows are open on a tiled workspace, the lack of any reserved clickable space on the titlebar means Nautilus gets squished and I can't drag and move a window without either moving something else first, opening the overview, or using the keyboard. Not entirely the Gnome team's fault, but it's little oversights like that which make the desktop a pain to use. The awful "classic mode" application menu with no ability to search or right click on entries for more options is a good example too. I have to open the mobile-like workspaces view or whatever its call to do that stuff now. I'm not on mobile, this is a desktop.

It's like they're trying to force me to use their cursor/touch based UX in some ways, but in others I have to use a keyboard or dig in the settings to do anything. Or maybe they're just of the opinion that if people want features, someone will volunteer to make and maintain an extension to enable them.

Don't get me wrong, Gnome 3 is impressive, looks good, and is generally simple to use, but I end up trying to spend so much time working around its intentional limitations, that I start to hate it a little more every day. I use it begrudgingly, waiting for something better to come along. If I was a smarter person with more time, I'd try to help the project with these papercuts, but my coding skills are crap.

But, just so I'm not beating up on them for no good reason, I'll add that there are a ton of very nice things they created or implemented that I enjoy. The quick settings menu comes to mind; and the settings app in general is very nice.

I think the Gnome devs made a lot of good choices. I just wish they could have done so without removing so many features or trying to force a paradigm change in how I use my computer. I appreciate their work, I really do, but damn...


I'm going to assume you're not doing this maliciously, as not all of those features and infos are easily discoverable so here are a few infos you might be interested in: - You always could type in the adressbar by typing Ctrl+L, which is the same shortcuts as all the Browser that I ever tested and most file manager as far as I know. In addition to that, in Gnome 46, you will be able to click the adressbar to type in it (someone had to create the widget for that and until now, nobody had the time/motivation) - On any Gnome app, you can drag from any part of the headerbar, even on buttons or on the adressbar, you just need to click and hold anywhere. This is actually the best solution that I have seen anywhere in the desktop world: It doesn't need a titlebar wasting vertical space across the entire width of the app and you avoid the situation where the app window is to small and isn't dragable at all. - Far as I know, classic mode isn't officially part of Gnome and is instead a package that some Distros add that consist of a few extensions. But if you're going to use extensions for an app menu, you might as well use the far better Arc menu which as a lot more options and is well supported (it's already ready for Gnome 46 which isn't out yet) - Having / as a default shortcut isn't a good idea for an average user, given that most of the stuff you access from there shouldn't be touched if you don't know what you're doing. And if you do, adding the Bookmark takes a few seconds. (If you want to do it super fast Ctrl+L > / > Enter > Ctrl+D). In addition to that, an editable Sidebar is in the works is in the works, although just like anything, someone will have to do the work and write and maintain the code.

As for the statement "I’m not on mobile, this is a desktop", I'm not sure what you mean. You do know that you can use just start typing in the overview to search for an app, file, settings, etc (what appears in the search can be edited in the settings)? Maybe I missunderstand what you mean, but I don't see how the overview is in anyway something from "mobile". In my opinion, the overview where you can manage your workspaces , open apps and quickly search and open new app, is the best thing Gnome made and is the reason why I and many other use it on Desktop. And if that is not for you, you can recreate a traditional desktop with extensions (Dash to Panel and Arc menu for example) or use KDE or Cinnamon, which are both amazing in their own right and perfected the traditional desktop.


I haven't had a crash on KDE in forever. Might be worth another look. Although I'd avoid version 6 for now.


I'm still following an open bug report from a year ago where the desktop does weird stuff with AMD GPUs, like randomly scramble graphics or unmap half the screen for no reason.


I still miss gnome 2, before gnome shell was a thing..


When is not sucking going to be added as a feature?

Possibly linux

I personally like gnome. Its just a matter of taste I suppose.


I chuckled but that's harsh.


Lol thanks but I already use it. That's what I went too when I finally gave up on Gnome.


KDE devs have taken steps to make more Gnome-like software. A new generation of Gnome devs in the distant future could go full circle ^


If that is the case I might jump ship haha.

There's a lot more gnome dev streams to learn from. Where as KDE blogs more but are not as technical in their blogs.

Id love technical content on both so I can learn how to contribute overtime by following their news.




That was already in some version of GNOME 3

Chloe Luna \ she/they

This would be a minor release in KDE


We get it, you use KDE btw

Very cool, we're very proud of you.



Chloe Luna \ she/they

I don't

Possibly linux

It is a fairly minor release for gnome. The problem with KDE is that it has so many features that it is harder to use and setup. It also doesn't have a focus on stability.

Adanisi , edited

I'm not sure what you mean??

KDE is usable out of the box, and very easy to use.

Possibly linux

Not for me. I want my desktop to be functional and I don't really customize all that much.

Adanisi , edited

I mean, I run basically stock KDE with the dark theme. It seems functional but maybe we just have different ideas of functional?


KDE has been very stable for years.

Possibly linux

That's not my experience. I've had bugs


Certainly not what I've experienced. But it's definitely a lot better than it was 2 years ago.


I use it daily on three devices running two different distros (void and arch). It's been as stable as xfce.


I believe you. It's just far from my experience.


They've also had to spend several cycles rearchitecting the codebase and reducing duplicated efforts.

Plasma 6's future seems very bright. Especially if they keep improving Breeze especially if they keep focusing on sane defaults and a simple unified and consistent style.


But, they have a new wallpaper!

TheGrandNagus , edited

And file manager changes, settings changes, account integration changes, notification system changes, changes to a handful of their other core apps, compositor improvements, memory optimisations, a new rendering system, hardened security for their image viewer, and a bunch of accessibility improvements.

But, you know, if your attention span only allows you to focus on a new wallpaper, then sure.

But if you want to get into the weeds a bit:


I love how the complaint makes even less sense when you look at the KDE mega announcement from yesterday. The third thing listed is a new wallpaper.
Love KDE, but they have *some* really annoying users.

TheGrandNagus , edited

It's unfortunate. We have two great, up-to-date, premier DEs in KDE and Gnome, yet people always turn it into some console war-style shit-flinging.

And it's not the devs, it's the losers on forums like this. KDE and Gnome devs have demonstrated time and time again that they can happily work together on making good, cross-DE standards, and plenty of devs directly work on both projects, even.

To be blunt, I believe the KDE fanatics are more abrasive in this. Whenever there's a KDE announcement people are generally happy, even people who don't use KDE.

Whenever there's a Gnome announcement it's "omg KDE is *so* much better", "what feature did they remove this time??1", "Gnome devs are evil pieces of shit who hate their users", "lol MacOS clone much???" (I really don't understand that one), etc.

There's so much elitism in the Linux community. I hate it.


For real. Heck I'm a KDE fanboy right now but it's FOSS and community driven FOSS at that. A rising tide lifts all boats is very real for us!

But people still treat it as if KDE getting better this time or Gnome getting better means the other is losing out on something. Instead them getting learn and growth off of each others expirmenta and works.


You can find idiots in every group. Usually, however, these are always just the loud minority. I bet the majority of users simply use what they want and stay completely out of any discussions.

For my part, I have always used KDE / Plasma and I will continue to do so. Gnome just doesn't appeal to me. Is Gnome therefore bad? No. I just prefer something else. Just like I use a different editor instead of vim, for example.