GNOME Shell + Mutter 3.37.3 Are Out Roaring With Better Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 8 July 2020 at 04:12 AM EDT. 86 Comments
Released on Tuesday was GNOME 3.37.3 but missing the mark in time for that proper milestone were the all important GNOME Shell and Mutter components. But a few hours past the mark, they were released and come with some big changes.

GNOME Shell and particularly Mutter bring some big performance improvements for their v3.37.3 releases plus other improvements. This work makes the forthcoming GNOME 3.38 all the more exciting. GNOME Shell 3.37.3 brings many improvements for GNOME 3.38 including:

- Support for caching labels on the GPU that in some cases can almost double the performance.

- Support for pre-authenticated logins in VMware environments.

- Better support for sandboxed applications that have multiple .desktop files.

- Refining of the app folder dialogs.

- Fixing of the GNOME on-screen keyboard size in portrait mode.

- Various bug fixes including memory leak fixes.

Plus more as outlined in the release announcement.

Also out today is Mutter 3.37.3. Highlights there include:

- Handling of multi-monitor setups with varying refresh rates. This is a big improvement for allowing monitors with higher refresh rates to properly sync to their optimal refresh rate rather than being bound to the lower refresh rate of any adjoining display. This improvement is for Mutter on Wayland.

- Addressing the recently pointed out broken windows culling on GNOME leading to slower performance due to fully obscured windows still being painted.

- Mipmap background texture rendering to result in smoother background images. Rendering performance is also improved thanks to lower memory usage so they can fit within GPU/CPU caches. The render time of the overview area was improved by about 10%.

- Optimized resource scale computation.

- Improved handling of the background content rendering.

- Support for custom keyboard layouts stored in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/xkb.

- Various other fixes including plugging more memory leaks.

More details on Mutter 3.7.3 changes via its mailing list announcement.

Also out today is Mutter 3.36.4 and GNOME Shell 3.36.4 that backport some of these changes.
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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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