After six months of hard work, the GNOME Project released today the highly-anticipated GNOME 3.30 desktop environment, a major new series that brings numerous new features and improvements.
Dubbed "Almería" after the host city of the GUADEC (GNOME Users And Developers European Conference) 2018 event that took place in early July, GNOME 3.30 updates numerous of its core apps and components by adding new features and enhancements to make your GNOME desktop experience more pleasant.
"The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.30 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements and new features. This release features some significant performance improvements. The entire desktop now uses fewer system resources, which means you can run more apps at once without encountering performance issues," reads today's announcement.
What's new in GNOME 3.30
Probably the most important feature of the GNOME 3.30 desktop environment release is the return of the GNOME Classic mode that lets users use desktop icons. After it's been removed from the Nautilus file manager, the handling of the desktop icons returns as an extension for the GNOME Shell user interface.
Best of all, the new Desktop Icons GNOME Shell extension can also be used on the previous release of the desktop environment, GNOME 3.28. Furthermore, GNOME 3.30 adds support for opening TrueCrypt/VeraCrypt encrypted volumes in Nautilus, as well as in the Disks disk utility.
Apart from the desktop icons GNOME Shell extension and VeraCrypt/TrueCrypt support, GNOME 3.30 adds implicit Transport Layer Security (TLS) mode support for the FTP backend in Nautilus and the ability to stop remote desktop sessions and screen sharing via the System Menu while running on the Wayland display server.
Thunderbolt support is now officially configurable from the Settings panel, which also features more improvements to the Airplane Mode, as well as dynamic hardware-related panels that are hidden by default when the respective hardware isn't present on the host operating system where GNOME 3.30 is installed.
The GNOME Boxes virtual machine manager received Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) support for remote controlling Windows systems, support for importing virtual machines in the OVA file format, as well as an improved virtual machine creation assistant. GNOME Software now features automatic updates of Flatpaks.
The GNOME Games app now lists Virtual Boy games in the games collection view, supports the Virtual Boy, Nintendo DS, Game Gear, and Master System platforms in the Flatpak format, features a new a shortcuts window, gamepad navigation support in the Games view, and numerous other enhancements to the graphical user interface.
Last but not least, the Notes app Notes has been redesigned a bit and it now features a new primary hamburger menu on the main view, an improved note view format, as well as a new "Text Size" option that lets users zoom in the note view. Also, GTK+ now features emoji completion, font variations, and new font features.
Also worth mentioning is basic support for ED25519 and ECDSA SSH (Secure Shell) keys in the Seahorse utility for managing encryption keys and passwords, a brand-new avatar chooser in the GNOME Initial Setup wizard, a clean Reader mode in the Epiphany (Web) web browser, a refined location and search bar in Nautilus, and a new Podcasts app.
GNOME 3.30.1 point release debuts September 26, 2018
As expected, the GNOME 3.30 desktop environment release brings many other new features and enhancements for application developers. However, it usually takes up to two weeks for a new major GNOME release to land in the software repositories of some of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions.
Expect to see the GNOME 3.30.0 packages in the stable repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution in mid-September or near the end of the month when the first point release, GNOME 3.30.1, will hit the streets. GNOME 3.30 will have to scheduled point releases, the second one, GNOME 3.30.2, is planned for October 24, 2018.