Tag Archives: Shell

GNOME Shell & Mutter See Their 3.33.3 Releases With Notable X11/Wayland Changes


Arriving late, a few days after the GNOME 3.33.3 development snapshot, the Mutter and GNOME Shell updates are now available.

The Mutter 3.33.3 window manager / compositor update is notable with preparations for running XWayland on-demand — a.k.a. just when needed for X11 client usage and not constantly. The Mutter update also now honors the startup sequence workspace on Wayland, fixes around fractional scaling, adds the new Sysprof-based profiling support, adds mouse and locate-pointer accessibility, consolidates the frame throttling code, improves screencasting support on multi-monitor systems, fixes running X11 applications with sudo under Wayland, adds initial KMS transactional support, and there are many bug fixes.

If the massive Mutter 3.33.3 release wasn’t enough, GNOME Shell 3.33.3 is pretty big in its own right. GNOME Shell 3.33.3 has preparations for allowing optional X11 support rather than always providing it even if wanting Wayland-only support, mouse accessibility support, updating the theme to better match GTK’s Adwaita, GJS profiling improvements, and a variety of bug fixes.

More details on the GNOME mailing list. GNOME 3.34 is certainly shaping up to be another exciting update!

Fedora 30 Wayland vs. X.Org Graphics Benchmarks On GNOME Shell


In the run up to the Ubuntu 19.04 release I ran various gaming/graphics benchmarks looking at different desktops and X.Org vs. Wayland sessions. Check that article out if interested in the situation while this posting is just some complementary data I did from Fedora Workstation 30 when looking at the graphics performance under GNOME Shell’s X.Org and Wayland sessions.

From the Threadripper 2990WX box with Radeon RX Vega 56, I compared the performance of various graphics/gaming tests under (X)Wayland to that of a pure X.Org session.

Considering the versions of the key software components are similar to that of Ubuntu 19.04 and those tests I carried out just a few weeks ago, these are just some quick weekend graphics tests for reference.

As expected at this point, the Wayland/XWayland performance is largely comparable to a traditional GNOME X.Org session. See all of the benchmark results via this OpenBenchmarking.org result file.

GNOME Shell + Mutter 3.31.4 Deliver Desktop Performance Improvements


While released too late for making it into GNOME 3.31.4 proper as the newest GNOME 3.32 development release, out today are GNOME Shell 3.31.4 and Mutter 3.31.4 and both of these components offer up performance fixes/improvements.

GNOME Shell 3.31.4 improves the icon grid performance, which is for a bug opened for nearly one year about high CPU usage when scrolling the app grid. This was reported by Canonical’s Daniel van Vugt and even for a Core i7 Kabylake desktop CPU the app grid scrolling introduced high CPU overhead while now has the necessary fixes in place.

The GNOME Shell update also drops its broken browser plug-in, introduces a DBus API for introspecting the application state and a variety of random bug fixes throughout.

Mutter 3.31.4 meanwhile has performance improvements for secondary GPUs. The performance issue came from pixel format confusion between the driver components and duplicated pixels. These secondary GPU performance improvements are part of other performance work this cycle for improving hardware like USB-based DisplayLink display adapters with GNOME’s Mutter on Wayland now supporting GPU hot-plugging and other performance shortcomings.

This update also corrects GNOME Wayland’s behavior for non-60Hz refresh rate displays as another big win and getting its Wayland compositor closer to parity with X11. This Mutter update also now allows reportinf the rotated physical dimensions of an output via XDG-Output, support for buffer transforms on Wayland, touchscreens are now turned off together with DPMS, the wallpaper is now mipmap’ed when shrinking, EGLStreams fixes, improved render performance for KMS devices with software GPU, and various other fixes and improvements. That improved render performance with KMS devices on software EGL is what dramatically improves the Wayland performance when running on ASpeed display hardware.

Overall, these are some big performance fixes/improvements now available as development releases and will be christened as stable — along with other performance optimizations — in the March GNOME 3.32.0 reveal. Particularly due to many performance improvements on Wayland building up this cycle, I am quite looking forward to GNOME 3.32 in the likes of Fedora 30 and hopefully Ubuntu 19.04.

Unite Shell: Making GNOME Shell More Like Ubuntu’s Unity


If you are/were a fan of Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment, Unite-Shell is one of the most promising efforts to date for making the current GNOME 3 stack more like Unity.

The Unite Shell is an extension to GNOME Shell for configuring it to look just like Ubuntu’s Unity 7. While it made waves a bit earlier this month, a Phoronix reader reported in over the weekend just how good it looks and works that it’s worthy of an extra shout-out.

Among the changes are around the window buttons, title bars, placement of notifications, top panel handling, etc. The current version of Unite Shell also provides Wayland compatibility.

The code to Unite Shell is available via GitHub while it’s easily available via the extensions.gnome.org.