GNOME In 2020 Saw Many Optimizations, GTK 4.0 Released, GNOME 40 In Development

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 31 December 2020 at 01:25 PM EST. 28 Comments
The GNOME desktop environment saw many enhancements in 2020 including a number of significant performance optimizations. While GNOME on Wayland has been solid for some time, there has been further enhancements there too. This year also brought the much anticipated GTK 4.0 toolkit release that will be interesting to see how its adoption goes next year. GNOME 40 is also in development for debut in the spring as the successor to this autumn's successful GNOME 3.38 release.

Looking back at GNOME over the course of 2020, a lot of improvements were made to the core components as well as its expanding application base. Among the most popular GNOME articles for 2020 on Phoronix included:

GNOME Work Is Underway For Sharper Background Images
Canonical's Daniel Van Vugt continues working on a variety of interesting performance optimizations for upstream GNOME as well as other usability enhancements for this desktop environment. One of the latest items being tackled is improving the quality of background images on GNOME.

GNOME's Mutter Lands Fullscreen Unredirect Support For Wayland
A big change was just merged today for the in-development GNOME 3.38 that will benefit Wayland gamers and others.

GNOME X.Org vs. Wayland Performance + Power Usage On Fedora 32 With AMD Renoir Laptop
As part of our ongoing testing of the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U "Renoir" mobile processors, here is some Wayland vs. X.Org data with the GNOME desktop on Fedora Workstation 32.

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 3.36 Released With Latest Wayland Improvements, Parental Controls, New Lock Screen
Red Hat's Matthias Clasen had the honor of announcing GNOME 3.36 as the latest half-year update to the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

GNOME 3.36 RC2 Released Ahead Of The Official Desktop Update Next Week
The second and final release candidate for the GNOME 3.36 milestone is now available for testing this weekend ahead of the official GNOME 3.36.0 debut next week.

GNOME OS Is Taking Shape But Its To Serve For Testing The Desktop
The virtual GNOME conference kicked off today, GUADEC 2020, and one of the talks was focused on running "GNOME OS" on real hardware.

GNOME Shell + Mutter See Changes For Tracking Software Rendering, VNC To Toggle Animations
GNOME Shell and Mutter saw a set of patches land today for GNOME 3.36 that have been around for a few months and deal with the tracking of software rendering and VNC usage where GNOME Shell should in turn disable animations to ease the rendering workload.

GNOME Shell + Mutter 3.36 Released Following Last Minute Fixes
In preparing for the GNOME 3.36 stable release due out on 11 March, GNOME Shell and Mutter issued their final v3.36.0 releases on Saturday.

GNOME 3.36 Is Looking To Be Another Nice Evolutionary Upgrade To The GNOME Desktop
GNOME 3.36 is due for release in just over one month's time and is shaping up to be another great release building upon all of the polishing and other evolutionary improvements we've seen particularly over the past two or three years.

Flatpak 1.6.1 Released Due To Security Issue - Special Case Of Getting Access Outside Home
Flatpak 1.6 was an exciting update for this Linux application sandboxing/distribution tech in that it started laying the foundation to support a paid app store but elsewhere in the code-base a security issue came about.

GNOME 3.36 Beta Released With Many Changes
GNOME 3.35.90 is available this weekend as the first of two betas towards GNOME 3.36.

GNOME 3.34.4 Released With Many Bug Fixes
While GNOME 3.36 will be released in just a few weeks, GNOME 3.34.4 is out today as the latest stable update in the current series.

GNOME On Wayland Screencasting Is About To Be A Heck Of A Lot More Efficient
Pending GNOME Mutter changes in conjunction with the new PipeWire 0.3 will offer a big improvement in making use of GNOME's screencasting support from Wayland sessions.

GNOME 3.36 Set To Be Released Today With Ongoing Wayland + Performance Improvements
GNOME 3.36 is slated to be released today so here is a look back at much of the prominent work being introduced in this six month update to the GNOME desktop.

GNOME Shell + Mutter See Big Last Minute Improvements With The GNOME 3.36 Beta
GNOME Shell and Mutter are out with their v3.35.90 releases today for the planned GNOME 3.36 beta.

Shortwave Sees First Stable Release As GNOME Internet Radio Player
After being in development for two years, GNOME Shortwave has seen its first stable release shortly after this week's GNOME 3.36 desktop debut.

GNOME Shell 3.35.3 Released With NVIDIA Driver Offloading, Fixes To Shell + Mutter
GNOME Shell 3.35.3 and Mutter 3.35.3 were released today as part of the next development step on the path towards GNOME 3.36 coming out in March.

Canonical's Daniel Van Vugt Continues Squeezing More Performance Out Of GNOME 3.36
Canonical's Daniel Van Vugt continues focusing on GNOME performance optimizations and this past week still managed to squeeze another optimization out of the near-final GNOME 3.36.

GNOME's UX Team Working On More 2020 Improvements To The Shell
While GNOME 3.36 shipped just last month, the GNOME user experience team is already working on improvements that could potentially make it into GNOME 3.38 this autumn for further polishing the UX of the desktop.
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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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