GNOME's 2018 Performance Hackfest Wraps Up In Cambridge

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 16 May 2018 at 10:19 AM EDT. 37 Comments
GNOME's 2018 Performance Hackfest is wrapping up today in Cambridge, UK after spending the past few days focusing on how to better optimize the desktop stack for RAM/CPU/GPU/power efficiency. The fruits of this hackfest will hopefully become apparent with the GNOME 3.30 release due out this September.

The GNOME Foundation and Raspberry Pi Foundation put on this latest developer gathering to focus on improving GNOME's performance. Among their work was looking at how to improve the graphics performance of GNOME Shell, reducing system memory usage, looking at slow I/O issues, and more.

For optimizing the Shell some of the items discussed including some specific OpenGL features like EGL_IMG_context_priority for higher priority rendering, making use of KHR_no_error when not wanting the OpenGL error handling overhead in production, disabling mipmapping on HiDPI systems, and optimizing for 2D/flat actors.

Some code is already being posted for comment/review stemming from this hackfest.

Among the memory usage issues explored were GDM keeping an extra GNOME Shell session running even after login, GNOME Software always starting even if download updates automatically is disabled, Evolution and its daemons running even if no accounts are setup, Geoclue is always D-Bus activated even if it's not needed, and a variety of other areas that could be improved upon.

More background information on this latest GNOME hackfest can be found via the GNOME Wiki. It will certainly be exciting to see what materializes by the GNOME 3.30 release in September.
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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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