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Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) Will Ship with GNOME 3.38 Desktop Instead of GNOME 40

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Ubuntu

The upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" release, which is due in April 2021, will stick to the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series and the GTK 3 toolkit already used in the current release, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

Since GNOME is the default desktop environment of Ubuntu, each new Ubuntu release is following the six-month-long release cycle of the upstream GNOME Stack, so Ubuntu 21.04 was supposed to ship with the forthcoming GNOME 40 desktop by default, due for release at the end of March 2021.

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Welp, Ubuntu 21.04 Won’t Ship with GNOME 40 or GTK4

  • Welp, Ubuntu 21.04 Won’t Ship with GNOME 40 or GTK4

    Ubuntu devs cite the redesign of GNOME Shell in GNOME 40 and its potential impact on GNOME extensions (of which Ubuntu ships a few by default) and the Yaru GTK theme as reason to “stick” to GNOME 3.38 this cycle.

    GTK4 also won’t feature in Ubuntu 21.04. But with upstream GNOME having not fully transitioned every nut and bolt of its stack to GTK4 this decision is less of a shock.

Ubuntu 21.04 To Stick With GNOME 3.38 Desktop

  • Ubuntu 21.04 To Stick With GNOME 3.38 Desktop

    While Ubuntu normally ships with the latest GNOME desktop as of release time, April's release of Ubuntu 21.04 will not be shipping with GNOME 40 but sticking to GNOME 3.38.

    While GNOME 40 should be out in March like usual and normally the latest GNOME updates are pulled timely into the Ubuntu desktop, given all the changes with GNOME 40 and GTK 4.0, they will be holding off one cycle. Thus Ubuntu 21.04 will remain on GNOME 3.38 with GTK3 and then Ubuntu 21.10 in the autumn is when they will move to the latest GNOME stack.

    This decision was made given the GNOME Shell design changes with GNOME 40, concerns over the stability of GTK 4.0 right now, and how well Ubuntu's Yaru theme might be for GNOME 40 in time for 21.04.

Ubuntu 21.04 To Stick With GNOME 3.38 Desktop

  • Ubuntu 21.04 To Stick With GNOME 3.38 Desktop

    While Ubuntu normally ships with the latest GNOME desktop as of release time, April's release of Ubuntu 21.04 will not be shipping with GNOME 40 but sticking to GNOME 3.38.

    While GNOME 40 should be out in March like usual and normally the latest GNOME updates are pulled timely into the Ubuntu desktop, given all the changes with GNOME 40 and GTK 4.0, they will be holding off one cycle. Thus Ubuntu 21.04 will remain on GNOME 3.38 with GTK3 and then Ubuntu 21.10 in the autumn is when they will move to the latest GNOME stack.

    This decision was made given the GNOME Shell design changes with GNOME 40, concerns over the stability of GTK 4.0 right now, and how well Ubuntu's Yaru theme might be for GNOME 40 in time for 21.04.

No GNOME 40 for Ubuntu 21.04 [And That’s a Good Thing]

  • No GNOME 40 for Ubuntu 21.04 [And That’s a Good Thing]

    The upcoming GNOME 40 desktop is bringing plenty of UX changes thanks to the new shell design and GTK 4.

    GNOME 40 will be releasing in March and Ubuntu 21.04 arrives in April. The tradition so far is that the new Ubuntu release consists of the new GNOME release as they both release a new version every six months.

    Keeping that trend, you would expect Ubuntu 21.04 to feature GNOME 40 but that’s not happening. Not this time.

Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Scraps GNOME 40 and GTK4

  • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Scraps GNOME 40 and GTK4

    Announced in the recent discussion, the team decided to stick to GNOME 3.38 and GTK3 for many critical reasons. Traditionally, the April release of Ubuntu features the latest GNOME desktop that releases just before the final version is out as per the release cadence.

    But, the recent changes that are introduced in GNOME 40 is too much with many moving parts. For example, GNOME 40 brings the following critical desktop design and behavioral changes, among others.

This Is Why Ubuntu 21.04 Will Ship GNOME 3.38

  • This Is Why Ubuntu 21.04 Will Ship GNOME 3.38, Instead Of GNOME 40

    According to the Ubuntu release schedule, Canonical announces new Ubuntu version approximately one month after the new GNOME release.

    Hence, every Ubuntu release includes the latest version of the GNOME desktop environment like Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” arrived with GNOME 3.38 “Orbis.”

    However, for the next Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo,” which is scheduled to be released on April 22, 2021, Canonical has decided to change its normal plan.

    Yes, going by tradition, Ubuntu 21.04 should ship GNOME 40 desktop, which will arrive in March 2021, one month before new Ubuntu release.

Why Ubuntu 21.04 is an important release, even without GNOME 40

  • Why Ubuntu 21.04 is an important release, even without GNOME 40

    At one point, the Ubuntu faithful were excited that 21.04 (aka Hirsute Hippo) would be one of the first distributions to include GNOME 40. The upcoming release of the GNOME desktop promises to bring about some serious workflow changes that could make everything on the desktop flow a bit more efficiently.

    GNOME 40 would also bring GTK4 and retire the aging GTK3.

    Unfortunately, neither of those cases are to be--GNOME 40 is simply not ready for prime time and there aren't many apps that have migrated to GTK4. So this decision, albeit a disappointing one, makes perfect sense. Even though 21.04 is a short term support release (which means it'll be used by far fewer), Canonical doesn't want to unleash a version of Ubuntu that wreaks havoc on the users.

    Ipso facto, no GNOME 40.

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