Introducing GNOME 3.38: "Orbis"

GNOME 3.38 is the latest version of GNOME, featuring changes from hundreds of contributors throughout the world. Have a look at what’s new! See the release notes at GNOME 3.38 Release Notes


Gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this release, especially since both pop-shell and material-shell are also stabilizing. Material-shell already added 3.38 support pre-emptively.

Let’s see how badly the other extensions are going to break. Once they work again, we can make a new release of gnome edition.

Expected features:

  • gnome 3.38
  • Material-shell as layout enabled in gnome-layout-switcher
  • pop-shell as additional option in gnome-layout-switcher
  • better btrfs support for calamares
  • hybrid netinstall with calamares, letting you customize more freely what packages you want

I’ve been re-checking out Gnome after about 2-3 years on KDE (I have a workflow killing KWin bug right now) and, while I’m impressed at the progress made, I’m still disappointed that they’re still at a place where each update kills various extensions. That is why I left Gnome in the first place, it’s a very unfriendly DE to rolling systems. I would have hoped there would be come coordination and progress made by this point…

Extensions are not responsability of Gnome developer since mostly are made by Gnome users. Is a responsability of the gnome-extension-bla-bla follow the changes into gnome-shell. We can t do the guilty at Gnome. :man_shrugging:

Any prediction of when we will have this update in the stable version?

Depends a lot on the extension upstream projects. If our theming breaks, fixing it will take a week at most, but dash-to-dock might take longer if it breaks.

In calamares we have a working prototype for the hybrid installation, so I think that part is about 85% done. Btrfs improvements are about 35% done, that part is stalled until I have a computer to work with. But I don’t think btrfs is blocking issue, if everythingeelse work already, we can ship without it.

I’m thinking we might be ready for a release in a month or so, but this involves some uncertainties that we don’t have much control over. So, 2-6 weeks?


I hear you, but considering so many extensions are key for users and distros at this point, I would have imagined that coordination between major extension devs and Gnome proper would be more formalized, that’s all.

I view it like a programming language. Its up to me to test against nightly and fix things as the tests fail. I know extensions don’t really have automatic test suites nor some CI to test new commits.

Regardless, big extensions should be pulling & compiling gnome between updates so they can preemptively fix breaking changes.

Just came back into manjaro. To clarify, in 2-6ish weeks the newest version of mutter would be downloadable from pamac? I understand time estimates may vary.

In branches other than stable, newest gnome packages should become available much sooner than that. 2-6 weeks until gnome 3.38 works in the stable branch with all the extensions we ship by default.

Wonderful! Thank you for the information!