How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

GNOME 41 introduces many changes from visual changes, new apps and overhaul back-end changes to improve performance. Overall, it is a solid upgrade from GNOME 40 with introductions of a new remote desktop client called Connections, new mobile settings, improved multi-tasking, improved UI, and back-end performance, amongst many other additions.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the new GNOME 41 on Linux Mint 20 desktop using a PPA by Taha Nouibat that was designed for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS but given that Linux Mint 20 LTS is based on it, you can safely install this PPA in the same method.

Import note before Installing GNOME 41

The tutorial is designed to upgrade your Linux Mint desktop to the latest GNOME 41 using an untrusted PPA based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The PPA installed is well known and is genuinely safe from anything malicious. However, this isn’t to say it’s safe to use without the possibility of unstable updates breaking your system.

Be prepared and have backups when installing and updating any future packages relating to GNOME 41 from this PPA or any alternative installation method you may choose.

Prerequisites

Update Operating System

Update your Linux Mint operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:


sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@linuxmint ~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Linux Mint.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

The tutorial will be utilizing the terminal, and for those unfamiliar, this can be found in your show applications menu.


Example:

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Install Required PPA for GNOME 41

First, you will need to install three separate PPA’s to install GNOME 41 successfully. The PPA’s are all from the same maintainer Taha Nouibat.

First, install the “x11” repository to fix gnome-shell dependencies.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:devacom/x11 -y

Secondly, install the GNOME 40 PPA, which is needed for some required dependencies.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:devacom/gnome-40 -y

Thirdly, install GNOME 41 PPA for the final packages.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:devacom/gnome-41 -y

Once you have finished importing, run an update to reflect the new additions.


sudo apt-get update

Install GNOME 41 Desktop Environment

With the three separate PPA’s installed and updated in your repository list, the first step is to install gnome-shell.

sudo apt install ubuntu-desktop gnome-shell gnome-control-center

Example output:

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to continue. This may take a while, especially on lower-end hardware.

During the installation, you will receive a pop-up notifying you that only one display manager can be activated at a time.

Example:

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Press TAB KEY, and once <Ok> is highlighted red as above, press ENTER KEY to proceed.


For GNOME 41, it is best to select GDM, failure to do this may cause issues down the track by choosing LightDM for GNOME.

Example:

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Scroll up using the ARROW KEY, then once GDM is selected as above, press the ENTER KEY to proceed.

Next, the repositories have added extra dependencies that need updating. Before rebooting, you should update these packages.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Example output:

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Type “Y,” then press the “ENTER KEY” to continue.


Note this may take a while. There are lots of packages to upgrade and install. If you cannot see any packages to update, you may have skipped the apt update command re-run, and they should appear.

Once done, you need to reboot your system for the changes to take effect fully.

sudo reboot

First Look GNOME 41 Desktop Environment

Once you have restarted your Linux Mint system, you will first come to a new login screen that is entirely different.

DO NOT LOG IN STRAIGHT AWAY. 

First, you need to confirm the display manager is selected currently. In the tutorial case, the desktop environment has gone from Cinnamon Desktop to GNOME. As explained at the start of the tutorial, the PPA was designed for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, so naturally, you will see an Ubuntu Logo and information on the login screen now. Still, you have GNOME 41 installed on Linux Mint for all essential purposes.

First, click on the clog to bring up the desktop environment managers.


Example (Click to Expand):

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Next, confirm that

Example (Click to Expand):

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Once logged in, you will notice quite a few UI changes to the taskbars and icons resembling non-other than GNOME 41.

Example (Click to Expand):

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

The Applications have had a major facelift, and many of the default applications are installed with GNOME.


Example:

How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Verify GNOME 41 Desktop Environment

Typically, you can go to the “About” GUI settings to find system information.

Alternatively, you can confirm the installation. A handy package to install is Screenfetch.

To install this package, use the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt install screenfetch -y

Once installed, run the following command in your terminal.

screenfetch

Example output:


How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

Congratulations, you have installed the latest GNOME 41 on Linux Mint 20.

How to Keep GNOME 41 Desktop Updated

Run the standard apt command for future updates for the GNOME 41 desktop environment and Linux Mint default packages.

sudo apt update

When updates are available, it is the same process to upgrade.

sudo apt upgrade

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install the latest GNOME 41 Desktop Environment using the PPA provided by Taha Nouibat.

Overall, GNOME 41 will look very different once you change from the default GNOME 38. Some of the noticeable changes are rounded window corners, smoother animations which give it a more modern look amongst many other changes.

Another question is should you upgrade to this? Possibly, but beware, you will face possibly instabilities, broken packages while the PPA for GNOME 41 matures. If you think you can handle this, then go for it.



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