GNOME 46 Desktop Environment Landed in Arch Linux

GNOME 46 hits Arch's stable repositories just four days post-launch, bringing the latest features to users.

Arch Linux is well-known for always giving users only cutting-edge software as soon as it becomes available, thanks to its adherence to the rolling release model. Once again, it cemented its reputation for being the fastest rolling release.

Only four days after its official launch, Arch users can now update their current GNOME 45.5 desktop environment to the new 46 version, available as an update in the stable Arch repos.

There are numerous new features to explore, and while you can find a detailed look in our comprehensive article on the subject, here’s a quick summary of the GNOME 46’s key highlights:

  • A massive improvement to the file search functionality within the Files application, introducing a new global search.
  • The tracking of any file operations has now been relocated to the bottom left corner of the Files interface.
  • Users can now select their preferred format for displaying the date and time on files in either List or Grid view, with “Simple” or “Detailed” available.
  • Lightning-fast switch between List and Thumbnail views.
  • Enhanced notification system – notifications now feature collapsible and expandable functionality.
  • Redesigned “Settings” – a new “System” menu and improved “Mouse & Touchpad” settings.
  • GNOME Online Accounts now has integrated support for Microsoft OneDrive.
  • VRR (Variable Refresh Rates) is included as an experimental feature but is disabled by default.
  • Enhanced system efficiency with lower search memory usage, better screen recording, smarter image viewer resource management, and faster GNOME terminal apps.
Arch with GNOME 46 Desktop Environment
Arch with GNOME 46 Desktop Environment

GNOME 46: Things to Consider Before Upgrading

However, we’d like to highlight an important consideration. Undoubtedly, the possibility of upgrading to the new GNOME 46 is exciting. Yet, it brings a less appealing aspect – the familiar incompatibility issue with most extensions that arises with every new GNOME release.

For example, if you depend on ones such as “Try Icon: Reloaded” or “AppIndicator and KStatusNotifierItem” for system tray functionality, they no longer work.

Similarly, others, like “Hide Top Bar,” are also incompatible with the new desktop environment. The list is extensive, which tends to be one of the most frustrating challenges for GNOME users with each new release: the struggle with extension incompatibility and the subsequent wait for developers to update them, if they do so at all.

The good news for all users of two of the most popular GNOME extensions, namely “Dash to Dock” and “Dash to Panel,” is that their developers have proactively ensured compatibility with GNOME 46. In other words, after upgrading to the new desktop environment’s version, you can look forward to a seamless experience with both.

Of course, if you’re among the few who find the vanilla GNOME experience perfectly sufficient, you can confidently upgrade to the new version without any concerns. So, how do I do it? It’s simple – fire up your terminal and type the well-known Pacman command:

sudo pacman -Syu

However, if you’re not prepared to temporarily forego the extra features offered by your current extensions, we highly advise using the “IgnorePkg” directive in “pacman.conf” to hold back GNOME package updates. This way, you can wait until the necessary updates become compatible with the new 46 version of the desktop environment.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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