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Allan Day pushed all Gnome OS goals  in one page. This list isn’t a new one but this time seems far completed. Before viewing Gnome OS goals, I re-print a small part of Allan’s interview [Treat Gnome3 as something new] to make clear to those who are unsure, what Gnome OS is about:

“There’s a lot of confusion around GNOME OS. People assume that it means that GNOME will be launching its own distribution, but that’s not what GNOME OS is about. GNOME OS is about providing a complete, coherent and consistent experience, so that a whole OS can be given that GNOME look and feel.

One example of the work we are doing for that is the new initial setup assistant which is being created for GNOME 3.6. It will always be up to distributions whether they take advantage of these new elements to the GNOME 3 experience, of course. What it means, however, is that GNOME will be offering a more complete package than ever before.”


Not all of the bellow features will arrive in Gnome 3.6 but I avoided to refer what we get in the next Gnome release, because I am not sure for everything and I didn’t want to misleading you. Moreover, some of the features while are planned for 3.6 are likely to be postponed for the release after.

Gnome OS Design Whiteboards

System Startup

From power on to either GDM or the user session should be fluid and seamless.

Gnome Live Link

Login Screen

The new Login Screen (GDM) with curtain transitions.

Gnome Live Link

System Suspend, Stop, and Restart

Stopping and restarting the device. Manage multiple users and open applications.

Gnome Live Link

Gnome OS installer

Ideally an operating system is preinstalled on or designed to fit a specific set of hardware. However, in many cases this isn’t possible. So, it would be nice for us to have a simple, easy to use, and safe install process for installing the OS onto the hardware.

Gnome Live Link

Screen Lock

GNOME 3 should provide integrated screen locking and blanking.

Gnome Live Link

Session Logout

The Shell provides a way for the user to Log out of their account, which ends their session and returns the system to the account login screen.

Gnome Live Link

Problem Recovery and Reposrting

An operating system shell should be able to inform the user about problematic or unrecoverable conditions in the system. This is different from error logging. Logging is useful to a system technician and the goals and usage scenarios for that are significantly different. They involve things like archival, remote operation, aggregation, trending, pattern matching, and report generation. Those are clearly important and useful things but the goals here are much simpler.

Gnome Live Link

Unresponsive Apps

Gnome should develop a new design for how we display and handle applications that have stopped responding.

Gnome Live Link

Software Updates

Gnome needs a design for how updates for the operating system and applications are handled.

Gnome Live Link

Removable devices hotplug

The experience with hotplug and removable devices is still not optimal in GNOME 3.0. Here’s a page to describe the problem space and discuss a design to make it better.

Gnome Live Link

Authorization Dialog

Dialog presented by the system when an application or service requests authorization of additional privileges to take a certain action. For example, installing new software may not be allowed automatically within a supervised or managed account.

Gnome Live Link

Keyboard Shortcuts

Standard keyboard shortcuts for the GNOME 3 OS and applications.

Gnome Live Link

Form Factors

While Gnome’s primary focus is laptops, GNOME could eventually scale to a wide variety of devices. Each may have slight variations on the forms of input, visual appearance, and behavior.

Gnome Live Link

Window States

It is time to rethink the states an application window can present itself. The aim is to limit the amount of window “management” and enable to make use of screen estate efficiently.

Gnome Live Link

Modal Dialogs

Modal dialogs are sometimes necessary to allow interaction with a windows that doesn’t have the necessary controls in place. Typically this would be a File>Save dialog. The dialog doesn’t really stand on its own, it only makes sense in relation to the parent window. While the dialog is open, interaction with the parent window is not possible, but it is desirable to see the content of the parent window to better understand the context of the dialog (realize what sort of file I am saving in the case of the Save As dialog).

Gnome Live Link


Gnome needs an improved design for how printing works across the OS.

Gnome Live Link


Gnome should have a consistent use of tabs throughout GNOME 3 that accommodate touch and high precision pointing devices, allow for intuitive access and control, and are elegant in appearance.

Gnome Live Link

Date & Time Selection

Gnome needs an improved and consistent design for how date and time selection works across the OS.

Gnome Live Link

In-App Notifications

Gnome should have a nice and consistent way to present information and notifications within an application.

Gnome Live Link


Gnome needs an improved design and application interface for notifications.

Gnome Live Link

Color Selection

Gnome needs an improved design for how color selection/specification works across the OS.

Gnome Live Link

Content Selection

Gnome needs an improved design for how content selection works across the OS.S.

Gnome Live Link

Selections and Insertions

It may be desirable to improve the interactions for selecting and manipulating content such as copy and paste. We may be able to add new capabilities based on the type of content selected. For instance, adding Search or automatic spell check as an action for text selections.

Gnome Live Link


Gnome needs an improved design for how scrolling works across the OS.

Gnome Live Link


Gnome gathers ideas, and possible to-do items with regards to using GNOME Shell, and GNOME 3 on touchscreen devices. This can either be all-in-one computers (such as the ones marketed by HP, Lenovo, Asus and others), as well as slates, and touchscreens on laptops.

Gnome Live Link

Content Transfers

Today, transferring content (Documents, Music, Videos, Apps, VMs, …) from one app to another is at best clumsy or worst onerous.

Gnome Live Link

Home Media Sharing

In cases where media and content is not shared in the cloud it is a somewhat common desire to share media and content between devices on a home network. This may be through a dedicated media server, or peer to peer sharing between devices. A device may be a content consumer, controller, or server.

Gnome Live Link

Emoji Support

It would be nice to have system wide support for Emoji (Emoticons).

Gnome Live Link

Extra Characters

There are a variety of characters that cannot be inputted with the keyboard in the usual manner. We need a way to insert these characters that is convenient and easy to learn.

Gnome Live Link

Help Overlay

It would be nice to be able to see the relevant keyboard and touch gestures to the current application context. This is particularly important in light of the reduced use of menu bars. The view can be context specific and more complete than menu bars could be. We could show both keyboard and touch gestures.

Gnome Live Link


A common facility for sending content to online services, contacts and devices.

Gnome Live Link


Cool images for local users, contacts and conversations.

Gnome Live Link

Screen Share and Remote Access

Control how people are able to remotely access your device.

Gnome Live Link

Getting Started

Help a new user get started in GNOME 3.

Gnome Live Link


Gnome needs an improved design for how we handle file archives. Archives (.zip, .tar.gz, .rar, etc.) are files representing a collection of files and folders, used for transferring a collection of data from one person to another, often through the Internet. Most archives are sent through email, chat, or uploaded to a website.

Gnome Live Link

Many of the above are heavily active as they are going to include in 3.6, almost everything is under developing and just a few of them haven’t been designed yet. But as I said I avoided to review the current state of each one, as I would may make bad estimations. However you can check yourself if you are more interested!

And all these are just tools and frameworks to work alongside with Gnome OS and Gnome Apps. But.. think all the new, upcoming and improve apps in Gnome. The size of development in Gnome never had been larger since its very beginning.

Amazing things are coming!

In case I have a broken link this is the index page of all the above.

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  • ben

    “There’s a lot of confusion around GNOME OS. People assume that it means
    that GNOME will be launching its own distribution, but that’s not what
    GNOME OS is about.”

    Gee, you name something OS and people think that you are referring to an operating system?
    I wonder why that is?

    In any other field, this would be called incompetence but in FLOSS this stupidity is par for the course.

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