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Release of GNOME Shell 3.36 and Mutter 3.36

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  • GNOME Shell 3.36.0
    About GNOME Shell
    GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3
    desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME
    Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware
    and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a
    visually attractive and easy to use experience.
    Tarball releases are provided largely for distributions to build
    packages. If you are interested in building GNOME Shell from source,
    we would recommend building from version control using the build
    script described at:
    Not only will that give you the very latest version of this rapidly
    changing project, it will be much easier than get GNOME Shell and its
    dependencies to build from tarballs.
  • Mutter 3.36.0
    About mutter
    Mutter is a window and compositing manager that displays and manages
    your desktop via OpenGL. Mutter combines a sophisticated display
    engine using the Clutter toolkit with solid window-management logic
    inherited from the Metacity window manager.
    While Mutter can be used stand-alone, it is primarily intended to be
    used as the display core of a larger system such as GNOME Shell. For
    this reason, Mutter is very extensible via plugins, which are used
    both to add fancy visual effects and to rework the window management
    behaviors to meet the needs of the environment.

Also/via: GNOME Shell + Mutter 3.36 Released Following Last Minute Fixes

GNOME 3.35.92 ((GNOME 3.36rc2)) RELEASED

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The second release candidate for 3.36 is here! Remember this is the
end of this development cycle; enjoy it as fast as you can, the final
release is scheduled next week!

The corresponding flatpak runtimes have been published to Flathub.
If you'd like to target the GNOME 3.36 platform, you can test your
application against the 3.36beta branch of the Flathub Beta

You can also try the experimental VM image, available here for a
limited time only:

We remind you we are string frozen, no string changes may be made
without confirmation from the l10n team (gnome-i18n@) and notification
to both the release team and the GNOME Documentation Project

Hard code freeze is also in place, no source code changes can be made
without approval from the release-team.  Translation and documentation
can continue.

If you want to compile GNOME 3.35.92, you can use the official
BuildStream project snapshot. Thanks to BuildStream's build
sandbox, it should build reliably for you regardless of the
dependencies on your host system:

The list of updated modules and changes is available here:

The source packages are available here:


This release is a snapshot of development code. Although it is
buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking
purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development

For more information about 3.36, the full schedule, the official module
lists and the proposed module lists, please see our colorful 3.36 page:

For a quick overview of the GNOME schedule, please see:

Javier Jardón Cabezas
GNOME Release Team

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Also: GNOME 3.36 RC2 Released Ahead Of The Official Desktop Update Next Week

GNOME: Files (Nautilus), GUADEC, Shotwell and Genius

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  • What’s new in Files (and GVfs) for GNOME 3.36?

    After Carlos Soriano and Ernestas Kulik left Files (Nautilus) development, António Fernandes and I are now officially new maintainers. Given the limited manpower, the focus is more on fixing bugs, but some neat new features have been added to Files and GVfs as well. I just explain shortly that GVfs provides access to various protocols and remote shares for Files among others. I hope I will find some time soon to write a new post about GVfs in general. But let’s move back to the news in this release.

  • The Ultimate Free and Open Source conference explanation video

    Have you ever wondered what the best community-oriented open source conference events look like? Ever wanted to attend one, but never dared to? Or need something to convince your boss to support you in attending as part of your work?

    For many veteran FLOSS contributors who are part of big established projects, it is easy to take things for granted and just go to those events without hesitation; we forget how mysterious and intimidating this can be for casual or new contributors. We don’t typically spend the time to articulate what makes these events great, and why we spend so much effort organizing and attending them.

    It also seems quite mysterious to our non-technical friends and family members. They sometimes know that we’re travelling to some mythical “computer conference” event in some faraway land, suspiciously held in a different city every year (as is the case with GNOME’s GUADEC), but it’s hard to explain why we’re mostly going there for a few days to spend time “indoors in some auditorium” instead of sipping margaritas on the beach.

    Well, I have the solution for this longstanding communication problem.

  • Introducing Shotwell profiles

    I just uploaded a new unstable release version of Shotwell, 0.31.1. Why that took roughly a year and why that still doesn’t contain everything I wanted it to contain will be the content for some following posts.

    Previously, there was already a way to have separate databases, but you would share the settings and thus the import folder between the two databases. Even more so, developing on the machine where you have your own photo collection caused me to import test data into my collection more than once.

  • GNOME's Genius Math Tool Finally Ported To GTK3

    GNOME Genius, one of the oldest GNOME programs and what served as the desktop's original calculator, has finally been ported to GTK3 and seen a new release in 2020.

    GNOME Genius has been around since 1997 as one of the longest standing GNOME programs. While it was born as a calculator, with time it has tacked on 2D/3D plotting, an extensive numerical language, and a wide range of extra math features beyond what normally finds in a conventional desktop calculator.

  • ANNOUNCE: GENIUS 1.0.25 the "Is GTK3 considered stable?" release

    The new thing here is port to this newfangled GTK3 by Yavor Doganov. A
    couple of new functions and bugfixes, but mostly it is just the new port.

    In any case, Genius is one of the oldest GNOME projects going back to late
    1997. It was the original GNOME calculator before I got wild ideas about it
    doing absolutely everything. It is programmable, has a powerful language and
    handles many fun features including support for matrices, rational numbers,
    and nice 2D and 3D plotting. The GUI version requires GNOME2 (at least glib2
    if you don't want a GUI) a recent enough GMP library and the MPFR library.
    You can still use the command line version if you prefer non-gui interface.

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Contacts Importer

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The Librem 5 uses GNOME Contacts to manage contacts, but it does not yet have a way to import contacts from files. I decided to fix this and create a simple application to import contacts from vcard files. This means you can now easily migrate your contacts from Android and iCloud to the Librem 5!

If you have technical problems in the Free Software world chances are others ran into it too and publicly discussed how to solve it. The Openmoko project worked on a similar problem and Ubuntu Touch users have also discussed how to sync contacts. While these aren’t complete solutions, there’s plenty of useful advice to build on.

Also, don’t forget to ask for help and feedback from others

Thank you to Jeremiah, Kyle, Richard and Mladen from the Purism team for your help on my project.

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Allan Day: Settings UX testing for GNOME 3.36

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A little while ago, I wrote about using data-driven design approaches in GNOME. For the 3.36 development cycle we successfully used one these techniques to improve the Settings app, and I wanted to share the story of what we did, and how the testing we’ve conducted is feeding into the GNOME user experience.

The inspiration for the testing initiative came from several sources of feedback. A number of our own contributors had complained that, in the Settings app, they struggled to remember which settings were in each of the two sub-sections (called Devices and Details). Then, last GUADEC, Deb Nicholson ran a SpinachCon (a kind of usability testing event) and a number people were observed having trouble finding some of the settings, particularly the Date & Time settings.

Suspecting that there might be an issue around settings navigation, we experimented with some ideas for how the structure of the Settings app could be improved.

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First Look at the GNOME 3.36 Desktop in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

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Most of the GNOME 3.36 beta packages have landed in the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS repositories, so I would like to give you all a first look of what’s changed since Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine), which uses the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment.

The Ubuntu desktop is virtually unchanged since Canonical decided to drop Unity in favor of the GNOME desktop with the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) release. Various tweaks were made to the system theme and icons throughout the years, but the layout has remained the same to this day.

With the upcoming GNOME 3.36 release, which would be officially unveiled next week on March 12th, a whole bunch of changes are coming your way, and you will be able to enjoy them all on your Ubuntu PC with the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) release on April 23rd, 2020.

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This Month in Mutter & GNOME Shell | February 2020

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GNOME Shell’s CSS engine now supports auto. Â The icon grid spring animation was optimized to reduce the number of relayouts, which reduces CPU usage. Another batch of cleanups, refactorings, and fixes to GNOME Shell’s SCSS files landed.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of extending and improving Sysprof, various bottlenecks and misbehaviors were identified in GNOME Shell and Mutter, and subsequently fixed. In particular, GNOME Shell now avoids doing I/O operations in the main thread when saving notification data on disk, and the local timezone is now cached, which avoids reading the contents of /etc/localtime more than necessary. As a consequence, GNOME Shell should behave better under heavy I/O loads on the host system.

The blur effect that is used by the new lock screen received further optimizations, and should be quick enough to not have any noticeable performance impact.

Animations are now disabled on various circumstances, such as when using a software renderer, when sharing screen with VNC streams, and when asked to by remote desktop sessions.

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Also: GNOME Shell To Ship New App For Managing Extensions

GNOME: New GTK Site, GNOME 3.36 Lands Scaled/Transformed Hardware Cursors Support, Felipe Borges Celebrates 10

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  • GNOME launches a new GTK site, the Linux Foundation on security vulnerabilities, OSI board elections, and more open source news

    Developers of apps will be delighted with the facelift to the GTK website. The new site integrates a complete set of documentation for anyone developing applications to run in a GNOME desktop environment. One of the major successes is its extensive documentation in multiple programming languages, letting developers have more choice than ever according to the site. The whole site is available on GitLab and you can see the recent commits that led to the new look.

  • GNOME 3.36 Lands Scaled/Transformed Hardware Cursors Support

    Landing just in time for GNOME 3.36 is a merge request that has been open for nearly one year on improving Mutter's hardware cursor handling.

    Hitting Mutter today ahead of GNOME 3.36 is support for scaling and transforming cursor images with Cairo and using hardware cursors on rotated or fractionally scaled displays.

  • Felipe Borges: Ten Years Contributing to GNOME!

    I rarely celebrate recurring dates but this is a nice rounded number that serves as the perfect excuse for me to publish this letter of appreciation to our community.

    For me, it all started with a hardware vendor trying to cheap their desktop machine’s price by putting Linux on it. Initially, we didn’t have internet at home, so I spent a significant amount of time just exploring the OS and toggling every knob I could find in the UI. The first issues I encountered were missing translations. Googling for that lead me to discover the wonders of Free and Open Source Software. I could contribute that missing translation!

    Playing with computers wasn’t always my hobby. I had an offline childhood, despite being a 90’s kid. A career in anything computer-related was unthinkable given our economic reality at the time. My parents are low paid public servants, so I was inclined to find myself a job in the public sector too. I had strong feelings about teaching, just like my mom, but computers… well, they are addictive!

    When I was sixteen years old I made my first contributions to the Brazilian Portuguese translation team in GNOME. This was also when I started reading Planet GNOME. Your neckless floating heads were god-like figures to me. I couldn’t understand 90% of the topics discussed due to my limited English and technical skills at the time, but I basically just kept on reading everything. Really. IRC logs, mailing lists, blog aggregators, social media timelines… everything scrolled all the way to the bottom. This is indeed overwhelming, but it has helped me put everything together and ~kind of~ grasp what software development looked like.

Even better screencast with GNOME on Wayland

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With last week’s release of PipeWire 3, and Mutter’s subsequent adaptation to depend on it, I decided to revive something I have started to work on a few months ago. The results can be found in this merge request.

PipeWire 0.3 brings one very interesting and important feature to the game: it can import DMA-Buf file descriptors, and share it with clients. On the client side, one easy way to make use of this feature is simply by using the pipewiresrc source in GStreamer.

The key aspect of DMA-Buf sharing is that we avoid copying images between GPU and CPU memory. On a 4K monitor, which is what I’m using these days, that means it avoids needlessly copying almost 2GB of pixels every second.

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Tick Tock Clocks got redesigned!

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Few months back, I convinced Zander Brown to take over GNOME Clocks with me and we have been working hard to refresh the code base and give it a new look for GNOME 3.36.

So far, we have got all the four panels re-designed based on the mockups made by the GNOME design team.

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