The Biggest GNOME Stories Of 2018

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 29 December 2018 at 03:23 AM EST. 23 Comments
The GNOME desktop environment advanced in 2018 especially when it came to its rather mature Wayland compositor support plus a lot of minor usability fixes ("paper cuts"), the PipeWire remote desktop/recording capabilities, continuing to mature Flatpak, performance improvements, and other changes to polish off the "GNOME 3" experience this year.

Of the 115+ GNOME related news articles written on Phoronix during 2018, the most popular ones as judged by Phoronix readers were:

The Big GNOME Shell Memory Leak Has Been Plugged, Might Be Backported To 3.28
The widely talked about "GNOME Shell memory leak" causing excessive memory usage after a while with recent versions of GNOME has now been fully corrected. The changes are currently staged in Git for what will become GNOME 3.30 but might also be backported to 3.28.

GNOME 3.28 Is Being Released This Next Week With Many Features & Improvements
Assuming no last minute snafu, the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment will see its official release happen on 14 March, incorporating the past six months worth of improvements to this open-source desktop stack.

An Important GNOME Performance Fix Has Landed
GNOME contributor Yussuf Khalil has managed to uncover and resolve a bug in Clutter that was hurting GNOME's performance.

GNOME 3.28 Beta Released With Many Improvements
Following a slight delay, the beta release of GNOME 3.28 is now available ahead of next month's official release.

More GNOME Performance Improvements Are On The Way
While it unfortunately didn't happen in time for last month's GNOME 3.28 release, there are more performance improvements en route.

GNOME 3.32 Planning To Retire Application Menus
Another visible change coming to the GNOME Shell environment is the removal of application menus "app menus" for what had been an early GNOME 3 feature.

GTK+ 3.24 To Deliver Some New Features While Waiting For GTK4
While the GNOME tool-kit developers have been hard at work on GTK4 roughly the past two years and have kept GTK3 frozen at GTK+ 3.22, a GTK+ 3.24 release is now being worked on to deliver some new features until GTK+ 4.0 is ready to be released.

NetworkManager 1.14 Officially Released With A Lot Of Networking Goodies
Following the release candidate last week, NetworkManager 1.14 is now officially available as the latest feature release to this widely-used Linux networking software component.

GNOME 3 Might Be Too Resource Hungry To Ever Run Nicely On The Raspberry Pi
If you try running the GNOME Shell today on the Raspberry Pi, it's a frustratingly slow experience. While some work is being done in addressing GNOME's GPU, CPU, and memory consumption, it might not ever be in a state to run smoothly on Raspberry Pi hardware.

NVIDIA Contributes EGLStreams Improvements For GNOME's Mutter Wayland Support
GNOME's Mutter Wayland compositor support is among the few Wayland implementations offering support for EGLStreams so it can play along with the approach used by the NVIDIA proprietary driver as an alternative to the GBM API used by the open-source graphics drivers. One of the NVIDIA engineers has just furthered along Mutter's EGLStreams support.

GNOME 3.30 Ready For Release Today With Many New Features & Improvements
GNOME 3.30 is releasing today as the newest feature release for this open-source desktop environment on its usual six-month release cadence.

The CSD Initiative Is Pushing For Apps To Abandon Title Bars In Favor Of Header Bars
GNOME developer Tobias Bernard has announced "The CSD Initiative" in a push for more applications to support client-side decorations and as part of that to abandon boring title bars in favor of modern header bars.

GNOME 3.29.4 Released As Another Step Towards GNOME 3.30
GNOME 3.29.4 was released on Friday night as another step towards this September's stable release of GNOME 3.30.

GNOME Shell Gets macOS-Like Ability To Close Apps From The Alt-Tab Switcher
Taking care of a nearly eight year old feature request, GNOME Shell's Alt-Tab switcher has picked up the ability to close applications, similar to the functionality Apple offers with macOS.

GNOME's Nautilus 3.30 File Manager Delivering Some Pleasant Improvements
Feature development on GNOME 3.30 is nearing the end ahead of the stable desktop environment update premiering in September. Nautilus developer Carlos Soriano has provided a look at some of the improvements coming to GNOME's file manager for the 3.30 milestone.

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.

App Launching From GNOME Shell Now More Robust Under Memory Pressure & Faster
Right now on systems with low amounts of available system memory, GNOME Shell can sometimes fail to launch applications due to an error over not being able to allocate memory in the fork process. With the latest rounds of Glib optimizations, this should no longer be the case.

GNOME 3.29.2 Released As The Second Step Towards GNOME 3.30
GNOME 3.29.2 is now available as the second development release on the road towards this September's release of GNOME 3.30.

Purism Shows Off Latest GNOME Mobile Shell Mockups For The Librem 5
The Purism crew working on the privacy-minded Librem 5 GNU/Linux smartphone have shared off their latest design plans.

GNOME 3.30 Mutter Relieves Wayland Code From Depending Upon X11/XWayland
While GNOME's Wayland support has been in great shape with the Mutter compositor, it has depended upon X11/XWayland code even when starting with pure Wayland support. That's now changing and there is also now the optional "--no-x11" flag for starting the compositor without X11 support.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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