Ubuntu 21.10 probably sticks to the GNOME 40 desktop


While Ubuntu normally ships with the very latest GNOME desktop version released just before the release date, with Ubuntu 21.04 they stuck at GNOME 3.38 rather than moving early to GNOME 40. In the Ubuntu 21.10 development packages, they have since migrated to GNOME 40, but now it looks like they’ll stick with that and not advance to the near-final GNOME 41.

GNOME 41 will be released in September (as usual) as the last biannual update for this open source desktop. Especially being a cycle ahead of an LTS release, the Ubuntu desktop would normally be on the latest and greatest version of GNOME at the time, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for Ubuntu 21.10.

When demand about the GNOME release for Ubuntu 21.10 on whether to work on select fixes to backport to GNOME 40, Sébastien Bacher from Canonical wrote this morning:

Ideally we would have updated to 41 but the feature freeze is today and we didn’t really have the resources available for the update. If you want to update some components, please do so, otherwise we can always request exceptions for selected updates

So due to the lack of desktop resources this cycle, it looks like GNOME 40 will be the case for this next version of Ubuntu, but with the possibility that some individual GNOME 41 components will be integrated.

GNOME 41 is currently in beta, but the release candidate arrives in early September while the official release of GNOME 41 is slated for September 22. The GNOME 41 cycle has been relatively quiet with not too many big changes but there are some things worth mentioning like libadwaita.

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