GNOME 42 RC Has Been Released With Some Last-minute Improvements Ahead The Stable Release

GNOME developers have announced the availability of Release Candidate (RC) for version 42 of the Linux-based operating systems desktop environment.

GNOME 42 RC comes days before the release of the final version of the desktop environment, and two weeks after the Gnome 42 beta release.

GNOME 42 has already gone into thread freeze and hard code freeze phases after the beta release, which means that no major new changes will be added to the GNOME interface that could cause it to become unstable. instead, the development team is focusing only on bug fixes and some small last-minute tweaks to ensure a stable and bug-free version of GNOME 42.

although, GNOME 42RC does come with some new features, and the GNOME initial setup app has gained support for the GNOME 42 dark theme preference, allowing the app to appear in dark mode on distributions that shipped in this mode by default.

GNOME 42 software cancels ongoing update downloads when system power is low, it prioritizes perfect matches for inputted keywords in search results, and it allows checking for updates when moving from a metered to a non-metered network connection. Gnome Software also received several small UI fixes and tweaks, Dark Mode support improvements, a fix to disabling of Flatpak remotes from the Software Repositories dialog, as well as threading and performance improvements to reduce the number of UI freezes.

Gnome Maps is now able to save the visibility of the scale in gsettings so that it is remembered between runs, and it uses numbers for time labels in the public transit itinerary views, and the date selected initially in the calendar widget is set correctly for the public transportation routing. OSM POI definitions have been updated for OSM editing, and some inconsistencies when showing times for public transit itineraries have been fixed as well.

In Gnome Calendar, a couple of regressions in the event importer dialog have been fixed and more time zones fixes have been made when importing events, the new Gnome text editor received some CSS styling tweaks, the Presenter action is disabled in eog (Gnome image viewer) if no images are loaded, and the default focus is set to the entry in Gnome calculator app.

This version also fixes a problem that could lead to gnome-shell's Bluetooth menu not appearing when it should have. This version also makes the Connect switch available for Bluetooth LE MIDI devices, brings back Fingerprint dialog in Gnome Control Center, and makes domain device updates more reliable in Gnome Boxes (a Virtual Machines manager app).

G722 is now the preferred codec for SIP calls in the Gnome Calls app and the call time is now in sync with phosh (a phone shell based on the GNOME), the Gnome Weather app received a fix for the position of "Now" in the hourly forecast, and thumbnail shadow drawing tweaks were made to fix performance regressions in the Nautilus file manager, as well as various fixes for search engines.

In the GNOME interface, workspace switching is now disabled while searching, disabled icons now showing in the system menu when devices are disabled, and you can also switch workspaces using the Home and End keys in overview mode. Opening device settings for enterprise WPA networks has been fixed, as well as fixing the glitches in overview transition, and fixing a regression from style refresh.

Last but not least, orca (Screen Reader app) gained an improved behavior during event flood of table-related events from web apps, Gnome Builder got template updates for JavaScript, Python, C, and Vala, and a setting to enable/disable audio for VNC connections has been exposed in Gnome Connections (a remote desktop client), plus a fix for clipboard issues with VNC.

GNOME 42 RC is still considered an under-development version of Gnome, and it's not recommended to try it on your main machine; but if you want to give it try it from now, you can either download Fedora Rawhide or install OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and add the Gnome Next repository to it (on your own risk). You can also download the GNOME OS 42. rc ISO image and try it on any virtual machine that supports EFI, and it is recommended to try it on Gnome Box 42 RC Flatpack for the best experience.

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