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Fedora 34 will include the latest upstream GNOME release, GNOME 40


Current status

Detailed Description

As usual, Fedora 34 will include the latest available upstream GNOME release. This time, the GNOME release includes some noteworthy changes, and the purpose of this change proposal is to draw attention to them.

  • GNOME is changing its versioning scheme, and the coming GNOME 40 release is the first one with following the new scheme
  • GNOME 40 includes GTK 4, which is a new stable release of GTK. With the release of GTK 4, upstream GTK considers GTK 2 to be end-of-life
  • The GNOME shell overview is being redesigned for GNOME 40


TBD: Link to upstream discussion and feedback

This upstream issue [[1]] tracks ongoing work on finalizing the GNOME shell redesign, and incorporates a lot of upstream feedback.

Benefit to Fedora

Fedora stays in sync with upstream and gets the latest features and bug fixes.


  • Proposal owners:
    • Complete the GNOME shell redesign work upstream
    • Adapt GNOME welcome tour to new design
    • Update GNOME packages to GNOME 40 releases as they appear
  • Other developers: N/A
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A
  • Trademark approval: N/A
  • Alignment with Objectives: N/A

Upgrade/compatibility impact

Upgrading from GNOME 3.38 to GNOME 40 should be seamless for users.

How To Test

Install Workstation, make sure that the desktop and all apps are usable. Participate in GNOME 40 test day (TBD).

We are continuously keeping GNOME in Rawhide (and Branched once it's branched from Rawhide) up to date as upstream releases development snapshots, leading up to the final GNOME 40 release. Everybody can participate in the testing by installing Fedora development releases on personal desktop computers and reporting regressions.

For issues that are not Fedora-specific, the best place to report issues and reach developers is usually at

User Experience

The most noticable user experience change will be when interacting with the GNOME shell overview, which has been rearranged to be more spatially coherent and engaging, while still providing the same basic features: search, windows, workspaces and applications. The reaction to user testing of the new design has been positive. The updated design is intended to be not a huge change from the previous version and the transition for users shouldn't be difficult.

Blog posts with more background on the change:

One noteworthy change is that GNOME shell will start in the overview after login. The GNOME welcome tour that was introduced in Fedora 33 will be adapted to work in this scenario.



Contingency Plan

GNOME 40 will be released in March 2021 and fits well into Fedora 34 schedule. In case of issues with individual modules that aren't either released in time or aren't deemed suitable for Fedora 34, we'll continue using the GNOME 3.38 versions of these modules.

If the GNOME shell redesign cannot be successfully completed upstream, we either follow what upstream releases in GNOME 40 or carry the redesign as downstream patch, pending a decision in the working group.

  • Contingency mechanism: The Workstation WG evaluates the GNOME 40 prerelease first before beta freeze and reverts individual changes as needed, and then does another evaluation before the final freeze.
  • Contingency deadline: beta freeze
  • Blocks release? Yes
  • Blocks product? Workstation


The new GNOME versioning scheme

Upstream blog posts about GTK 4: [2]

Upstream blog posts about the GNOME shell redesign: [3], [4], [5]

We are considering writing a Fedora magazine article around the same time that the GNOME shell redesign becomes available in rawhide.

Release Notes