GNOME 42 Released With Many Improvements From Wayland To GTK4 Porting

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 23 March 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT. 39 Comments
GNOME 42 is out today as the latest half-year update for this widely-used, open-source desktop environment.

GNOME 42 introduces a wide assortment of new features for GNOME Shell / Mutter and applications as well as improvements to existing functionality. Various GNOME components have also seen more GTK4 toolkit porting work this cycle.


Some of the many GNOME 42 highlights include:

- Support for input events to happen at full-rate rather than being limited to the monitor refresh rate.

- Mutter now considers Wayland sub-surfaces for direct scanout capabilities.

- Support for the Wayland DMA-BUF buffer feedback extension to improve multi-GPU support around optimal direct scanout handling.

- Support for hold gestures with Mutter.

- The many GNOME Shell and Mutter changes including the new screenshot/screencasting UI, support for dark wallpapers, improved XWayland auto-termination handling, DRM privacy screen support, and much more.

- The GDM log-in manager has udev updates for the NVIDIA Wayland support.

- GNOME's Epiphany web browser has updated its bundled PDF.js and readability.js code. The Epiphany web browser also now supports the system dark preference, updates its bundled PDF.js, has memory leak fixes, now always enables its accelerated compositing mode, and has other improvements. Epiphany also has preparations for moving to GTK4.

- GJS has been updated against SpiderMonkey 91 and as a result many new JavaScript features now supported.

- Glib has added an async file move API.

- New default and supplemental wallpapers for light and dark variants have been included.

- GNOME Bluetooth now exports battery information for supported Bluetooth devices.

- GNOME Calendar has been ported to GTK4.

- GNOME Desktop adds async methods for thumbnail creation.

- GNOME Software has improvements to its dark theming and various UI updates. GNOME Software also updated various user-inteface elements, provides a more informed System Update progress, allows searching for extensions, adds new GNOME Circle apps to the featured carousel, improves metadata support for Snaps, and other improvements.

- The Nautilus file manager improves the design of the file renaming user-interface, improves the visuals of the file conflicts UI, supports searching by file creation time, adds compressed archives to recent files, and ports over to GTK4. The Nautilus file manager also added support for the dark mode setting.

- GNOME Builder adds a BuildStream plugin, Rubucop support, an experimental Clangd plug-in, Clang-Format integration, Language Server Protocol handling improvements, support for Intelphense and Blueprint language servers, and a variety of other improvements to this integrated development environment.

- The Baobab disk usage analyzer has been ported to GTK4 and libadwaita.

- GNOME Boxes for virtualization has introduced a new preferences dialog, porting some widgets to libhandy, and other improvements.

- Other GNOME programs ported to the GTK4 toolkit in include the GNOME Font Viewer, GNOME Music, GNOME Tour, GNOME Clocks, GNOME Bluetooth, and GNOME Weather.

- GNOME Calls now allows for SIP providers to handle "tel" URIs. There is also support in Calls for adding contacts from the call history. GNOME Calls now shows avatars in the call history and call display.

More details on GNOME 42.0 via today's release announcement and the 42 release page.
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