GNOME's Mutter 40 Alpha Released With Big Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 2 December 2020 at 06:08 PM EST. 26 Comments
In working towards the March release of GNOME 40, the Mutter compositor / window manager is out today with its 40 Alpha release.

The GNOME 40 Alpha release isn't scheduled until 9 January but coming out today is the Mutter 40 Alpha tagged. Among the changes include:

- Mutter's input work is now handled on a separate thread as a big win!

- Better handling of XWayland crashes so it should avoid tearing down the compositor and instead only removing the X11 application that was running.

- Support for scroll button locking by the first click of the scroll button setting the button logically down and the second click putting it logically up. This is intended for better accessibility for some users.

- Continued transitioning to Graphene.

- Tablet mode switch fixes.

- Fixing an issue around window snapping to the wrong screen in multi-monitor setups.

- Fixing of monitor tiling support on Mutter X11.

- A udev rule has been added for selecting the primary GPU for rendering.

- Mutter will no longer disable the X Security extension when XWayland is built with the X Security extension enabled. Previously it was disabling the security extension by default. As for why the X Security extension was disabled by default in the first place for Mutter with XWayland, the developers don't seem to be sure.

- Various memory leak and crash fixes along with other general fixes.

Under the new versioning approach that's taking GNOME from version 3.38 to 40, the tag is as "40.alpha" while now "40.beta" for Mutter is now the next version in development.

The GNOME 40 release schedule puts the formal alpha due date of 9 January, the beta tarballs due on 13 February that also marks the feature / API / UI freezes, and release candidate by mid-March. If all goes well GNOME 40.0 will be released on 24 March and the GNOME 40.1 point release around 1 May.
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