GNOME Shell & Mutter 44 Beta Released With Many Changes

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 14 February 2023 at 12:00 PM EST. 12 Comments
It's GNOME 44 Beta week and today marked the tagging of the beta updates for the GNOME Shell and Mutter.

There are many new features and improvements coming for the GNOME Shell and Mutter updates in GNOME 44. GNOME 44 will be appearing in spring Linux distribution updates like Fedora Workstation 38 and Ubuntu 23.04. The GNOME Shell 44 Beta changes include:

- Improved high contrast styling.

- Lowering the out-of-memory score of the GNOME Shell process. This is to avoid the the OOM-killer killing the GNOME Shell too early so that other processes are killed first. There were reports of systems with ~3 GB of RAM seeing the GNOME Shell killed too early when under memory pressure.

- Tweaks to the lock and log-in screen styling.

- Making it easier for GNOME Shell extensions to add a credential manager. This was motivated by an extension working on single sign-on (SSO) functionality.

- Improved monitoring of background apps.

- A variety of bug fixes and other updates.

GNOME's Mutter 44 Beta release is also now available. Changes there include:

- No longer disabling KMS modifiers on newer systems with Intel integrated graphics.

- Support for Wayland wl_output v3 and v4 extensions. There is also xdg-foreign v2 protocol support too.

- X11 window decorations are moved to a separate client.

- Various direct scan-out enhancements/fixes.

- Improved focus handling on workspace switching.

- Support for higher bit-depth off-screen frame-buffers support.

- Support for building Mutter without XWayland support.

- XWayland handling for byte-swapped clients support with that new knob due to the change in upstream default behavior.

- Support for selecting an acceleration profile on touchpad devices.

- Implicit grabbing support in Clutter.

- Service channel support for Wayland clients and is going to be integrated with the Flatpak/XDG sandboxing as well.

- Various crash fixes, Wayland fixes, and other work. The full list of changes can be seen here.

GNOME 44 is now under its ABI/API, feature, and UI freeze. The string freeze is coming up next week and the code freeze in early March. Sadly not making it for the beta / feature freeze is the long ongoing work around triple buffering support for GNOME. The GNOME 44.0 stable release is expected on 22 March.
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