A Complete Guide to GNOME 3.18 Changes (Video Inside)

GNOME 18 nicknamed GNOME Gothenburg is the latest version released by GNOME. It comes with some major new features and 25112 changes which were made by 772 contributors. The reason why it was named Gothenburg is because of this year’s GUADEC organising team which was held in Gothenburg, Sweden.


Google Drive

Now, GNOME is integrated with Google Drive and you can access Drive from the Files applications or file chooser dialogs. To start accessing Google Drive from your files, you should add your Google Account to Online Account Settings. Then you can start working with Google Drive in GNOME.

After you synchronize Drive, then you can start using it like other folders or files. You can upload, copy or move files to Google Drive very easy. Your files in Drive can be opened with your regular applications and folders in Drive can be created like your other folders. This feature is very useful for Google Drive users because it makes your files in Drive part of your system which you can access them very easily.

Firmware Updates

Now you can update your device software very easily thanks to the Linux Vendor Firmware Service. It is fully integrated with “Gothenburg” and it checks automatically for updates. If an update is available for your hardware, it will be downloaded instantly and will be ready to install.

File Improvements on GNOME

A Lot of File Improvements

We see a lot of File improvements, for example sidebar has changed. Other Locations is a new feature that has been added. It shows an overview of network and local locations. Copying and moving files (large number of files) also has changed.

Now you see a button which shows the progress in the header bar. You can see more information when you press this button. Here are some other File Improvements:

  • Touch Screen is activated on Context Menus. To activate it, you need to press and hold.
  • The places sidebar shows a drop target when you drag a folder or a file.
  • A search tool has been added to open and save dialogs.
  • Folder creation and folder renaming has been updated. Dialogs and popovers are used to provide feedback.
  • You can see placeholders when no search result is found and when folders are empty
  • Now you can see the full location of each file.
  • Recursive search is disabled to improve performance.

GNOME Calendar


A new calendar has been added to GNOME. It is fully integrated with GNOME 3 and GNOME Online Accounts. It is simple and its design is very user-friendly. The feature list contains month and year views.

You can add remote calendars from URLs. It supports account integration and event viewing. You can also edit these events.

GNOME Characters


Characters is the newest application announced by GNOME developers. You can easily find there a lot of characters and use them in your documents.

The categories which characters are divided are: Punctation, Arrows, Bullets, Pictures, Currencies, Math, Letters, Emoticons. At Recently Used you can see the characters you used in the past. Search at Characters is another helpful feature.

Screen Brightness

Now GNOME can control your screen brightness automatically if your computer has a light sensor. If you dont want this feature, you can disable it at Power Settings. It is recommended to keep Automatic Screen Brighteness enabled because it helps to reduce battery consumption.

GNOME Multi Touchpad

Multitouch Touchpad Gestures

Multitouch gestures were introduced firstly in GNOME 3.14, but in GNOME 3.18 you can use these gestures with touchpads. You can use two fingers to zoom and rotate in document viewer applications. You can switch workspace by using four-finger vertical drags.

Touch Improvements

You can experience touch improvements when you select,copy, cut or paste a piece of text using your touchscreen. The look has been changed for good and the behavior of interacting with text has also been improved.


Polari, which is GNOME’s IRC application, has been improved. A new feature is called Paste Service Integration, which allows to share easily large blocks of text. To use this, paste the text you want to share into the chat entry box and that’s it. Polari will paste your text online and will send a link to the current channel.


To Do

One of best new apps in GNOME is To Do. This application is a cool To-do list with a simple interface. Tasks that are created, can be modified in a lot of ways, they can be grouped, prioritized and also color-coded. It is released as a technical preview in GNOME Gothenburg.


If you use virtual and remote machines, GNOME has the answer for you, and it is called Boxes. Box has been improved a lot in this version of GNOME. Now you can filter the main view to show local or remote boxes. You can express installs with Fedora 21 and newer. Shutdown and restart are now easier to access.

Now you can see IP address of boxes below their thumbnail. More details about your boxes are shown and a new option is added which makes it possible to force a box to keep running, even when you are not using it.


Performance of Web (GNOME browser) is improved, the quality of images is better and it is also faster. The system status menu is smaller and easier to read. If you are watching a video fullscreen, the screen will not lock.

Various changes have been made to Bluetooth settings. Evince, the GNOME document viewer, now display inline and support video and audio. The PDF viewer on web has a search feature. With Maps you can now indicate your direction or location. A lot bugs are fixed in this version.

Take a look at this video if you want to know more about GNOME 3.18:

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P.S Some of these photos belong to ©The GNOME Project