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February 12, 2024

Release of GNOME Shell and Mutter 46 Beta: A Preview of Numerous Enhancements

The GNOME Project unveiled the beta versions of the GNOME Shell and Mutter components today, a precursor to the forthcoming GNOME 46 desktop environment series. These new releases contain numerous enhancements.

Features of the GNOME Shell 46 beta include enhanced High Contrast and default styling, the ability to close mount notifications when the drive is disconnected, keyboard model configuration support, a header for notifications, and an improved appearance for symbolic icons within notifications.

Furthermore, the GNOME Text Editor app now comes pre-installed on the dash, the minimize animation has been enhanced, the switch’s look has been tweaked, the process of handling screencast failures has been improved, and the dimming effect is now only used for modal dialogs in the Activities Overview.

The GNOME Extensions app has received several updates, including support for adaptive dialogs and the ability to recall the window state. In addition to these, GNOME Shell 46 beta overhauls the assets in the monitor layout switcher, corrects menu alignment in RTL formats, and introduces missing shift levels for the Georgian OSK layout.

With this release, GNOME Shell will now use a single source for all system notifications. Various bugs were addressed as well in this beta, including effects of transient Wayland windows, feedback look in the keyboard backlight slider, icon size regression in the dash, and overview transition from search results to session.

On the other hand, Mutter 46 beta adds more preparations for upcoming variable refresh rate support, implements mouse cursor hotspots for KMS atomic, refactors Wayland focus management, allows configuration of XKB models, and enables KMS deadline timer after a VT switch if it was inhibited.

Furthermore, Mutter 46 beta restores IM state flushing before handling key events, adds support for the Broadcast RGB/RGB range KMS property, adds support for the EGL configuration format, adds support for handling Alt modifier in pad actions, and adds support for storing eraser and stylus tools separately.

Last but not least, the beta release of Mutter 46 implements direct scanout for cropped and scaled surfaces, fixes lost keyboard focus after dismissing pop-ups, fixes handling of pad ring wrap-arounds, swaps stylus buttons to match traditional order, and fixes centering of non-modal transients over the parent.

Both GNOME Shell and Mutter 46 beta releases received documentation improvements. They will be available for public testing shortly as part of the soon-to-be-released GNOME 46 beta desktop environment, or you can download them separately from here and here.

Last updated 45 mins ago

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