Hurrah! GNOME 3.24 is now available to download.
The latest stable release of the open-source GNOME desktop, GNOME 3.24 brings a number of new features and improvements to the proverbial table, including one that might even help you sleep better!
6 months in development and comprising of 28,459 changes, GNOME 3.24 is the 33rd release of the popular open-source desktop environment.
For a bite-size chew over what’s new, scroll on down…
As highlighted in our list of the best new features in GNOME 3.24, Night Light is a built-in blue light filter for the GNOME desktop.
Similar to apps like Redshift, Night Light detects the sunrise and sunset of your location and reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your laptop or PC screen in the evenings — potentially helping you sleep better and reduce eye strain.
Night Light is not enabled by default. To use it on GNOME 3.24 head to
System Settings > Display > Night Light.
GNOME Shell 3.24
GNOME Shell 3.24 sees a slather of useful little improvements rather than any wholesale changes.
The date/time drop down now shows Weather information. Placed below the calendar box, this meteorological snippet provides a simple sentence summary of current conditions plus the ‘feels like’ temperature.
A refined look to notifications listed in the date/time drop down features, and relative timestamps have been introduced to make missed alerts more intelligible at a glance.
The media control box sat at the top of this area no longer has a header (you know what it is, after all) and no longer pretends that next/previous buttons are available when they’re not (e.g., end or beginning of a playlist).
Another small but important change, in the user menu the WiFi list will update itself while open, something users had assumed it did until now, but it didn’t.
The most famous element of the GNOME desktop is the Nautilus file manager. Unlike the past couple of releases there are no big, blingy features added. Instead the focus is squarely on fixing bugs, solving crashes, and improving performance and responsiveness.
Shortcut fans can now use
F2 to toggle between selection modes;
CTRL + Return will open the selected folder in new window; and
CTRL + M can be used to quickly rename selected files and folders on devices with no function keys.
Two new apps also feature as part of the GNOME 3.24 release: Recipes, a desktop cooking application, and Games, a games library that can also act as a front end to libretro cores.
In GNOME Photos 3.24 the main thumbnail grid has been ported to GtkFlowBox. Like its name might tell you, this makes photo thumbnails flow better as the window is resized.
GPS information is also listed in photo properties, and for editors, the ‘Colors’ section picks up new exposure and blacks adjustment sliders.
Polari, the GNOME IRC client, now lets you click on a user name to see more information, start a private chat, or opt-in to status notifications. Polari 3.24 is also able to run in the background without an open window, checking another want off this author’s list.
Calendar now has a week view, and lets you drag and drop events between days.
The Web browser benefits from some UI fine-tuning, improves the experience of adding and managing bookmark, and ships with Easy Privacy enabled by default.
Software uses new icons to tell you when an application is installed, improves support for Flatpak, and, in the ‘Installed’ view, will tell you how much disk space each application is using. It can also handle Flatpak repo files and Snappy URLs.
Finally, Calculator has had a mini-makeover, highlights errors more competently, picks up a shortcut cheatsheet (press
Alt + ? to see it).
Every new release of GNOME is accompanied by further improvements to the experience of using it on Wayland — and 3.24 is no exception.
Along with the usual tyre kicking and fine tuning, drag-and-drop of applications in the activities overview has seen some attention, while Wacom graphics tablet settings and controls now work under Wayland.
Install GNOME 3.24 on Ubuntu
A great round of improvements, right? You may be wondering how to benefit from them on Ubuntu.
If you’re running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or 16.10 you cannot install or upgrade to GNOME 3.24 — at least, not yet. As this is open-source software it is perfectly feasible for someone to put in the effort required to maintain and distribute a GNOME 3.24 backport — but it’s highly unlikely anyone will.
If you’re running Ubuntu 17.04 the news is brighter. The bulk of GNOME 3.24 is available to install from the archives, save for a few apps, including Nautilus (which Ubuntu ships a great many patches for), GNOME Terminal and a few other bits and pieces. You also won’t find the new Games app available.
It is possible that the quasi-official GNOME 3 Staging PPA will update to provide pure upstream versions of the missing pieces, and if it doesn’t you can install the bits you want using Flatpak.
For GNOME 3.24 on distributions other than Ubuntu, please consult your nearest OMG! Fedora/SUSE/Solus equivalent ;)
GNOME 3.24 Live Image
You don’t have to
hope wait for your distribution to package it up and push it out in an update. If you have a spare USB stick to hand you can take a live GNOME 3.24 image (based on OpenSUSE) for a spin.
Jam-packed with all the sweetness GNOME 3.24 has to offer, you can try features, apps, and extensions — but keep in mind that this live image is for testing and not installation.