The GNOME project has announced the release of GNOME 3.8 and according to them, it is by far the best release of GNOME. The release of GNOME 3.8 follows the release of GTK+ 3.8, which also forms the base toolkit for this desktop environment. This release of GNOME 3.8 comes six months after the release of GNOME 3.6 in accordance with the six-month release cycle of GNOME.
GNOME 3.8 brings many new awesome features and improvements to the table. There have been a number of design changes in the file manager, contacts application and the documents application. The new Activities and Applications interface makes finding applications much easier. A revamped search in Activities Overview allows applications to present search results and offers control over their order in the results list.
The web browser in GNOME 3.8 has been redesigned and renamed to ‘Web’. The browser features process isolation that prevents application-wide crashes and improves security like Google Chrome and Firefox. This has been made possible using the new WebKit2 API.
Another interesting feature of GNOME 3.8 is the Classic Mode, which provides a traditional GNOME look, keeping all the GNOME 3 features intact.
GNOME 3.8 also introduces new privacy settings that allow users to hide their name from the menu bar and disable history, thus allowing a greater control over the amount of data GNOME collects about its users. The look and feel has also been improved greatly and new transitions and animations have been introduced to create a smoother workflow.
The source code for GNOME 3.8 is available on GitHub. Compiled binaries for GNOME 3.8 will be available for individual distros very soon. Check out the release notes for more information.
A new website dedicated for the much awaited GNOME 3 desktop was launched today by the GNOME project.
The website, GNOME 3 , with the same name as the Desktop Environment of that version, currently just lists the features that the users will experience once GNOME 3 is officially released.
- Some enticing features mentioned on the site are :
- A beautiful , sleek new design for an improved look and feel.
- Built-in Messaging system to make instant messaging quick and effortless
- Re-designed System Settings which grants more control to the user
- An improved file manager
- Dark Application Themes for when you want to focus on pictures and videos
- Ability to use Flickr images as Desktop backgrounds
Eventually, the developers plan to make all the GNOME 3 releases , which are scheduled from April 2011, through this website. Till then, they have a Try It page where you should be able to download a Live USB image soon. For the geeks, the Try It page contains a link to instructions for manually building the Gnome 3 Shell.
The FAQ section answers some basic questions that current users of GNOME 2 may have about GNOME 3’s plans , roadmaps, compatibility with older applications, links to get involved, etc.
The mockups, screenshots and the claims by the GNOME developers ,do look promising. We’ll be watching this space to see whether GNOME 3 delivers on it’s promises.
The Gnome 3 desktop for Linux is planned to be released in early 2010. But you can experience it in Ubuntu Karmic Koala through Gnome 3 Shell. We will show, how you can try out all the features of Gnome 3 thorugh Gnome 3 Shell.
Here is a screenshot of Gnome 3 shell:
Step by step instructions:
- Open a Terminal and run this command to install the Gnome Shell:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
- After the installation is complete, you can start it by running the following command in the Terminal:
- If your graphics is rendered by the Intel GPU and you are getting a blank screen after running the previous command, you can fix it by running this command in the Terminal:
Note: Gnome Shell is still in the development stage and there is always a possibility that if may break some parts of your Ubuntu installation. We do not take any responsibility for that, and request you to try it on your own risk.