Software update: GNOME 3.30

Sep

6

2018

Version 3.30 of Gnome has been released. This comprehensive, user-friendly open source desktop environment is available for operating systems that belong to the Unix family, such as Linux and the various BSD variants. The name is an abbreviation for GNU Network Object Model Environment. GNOME consists of a desktop environment and a development platform for creating other applications that can be integrated into the desktop environment. In that respect, it is similar to the KDE . The most important improvements made in version 3.30 are listed below for you.

A Faster GNOME Shell Desktop
We all care about how fast and fluid our desktop is, and so do GNOME developers too.

A set of ‘significant performance improvements’ ship in GNOME 3.30, including patches designed to tackle the infamous GNOME Shell memory leak we reported on earlier in the year.

Developers from Canonical and Red Hat, as well as the open source community at large, have tackled the varying issues causing the aforementioned memory engorgement as well as other inefficiencies discovered along the way.

Suffice to say, GNOME Shell 3.30 uses fewer system resources than before. This means you can run more apps simultaneously without encountering any notable impact on performance.

Window and workspace switching is faster, while user experience animations are now smoother and stutter less.

As part of the overall performance drive GNOME JavaScript (GJS) has been updated to SpiderMonkey 60, which is the latest available version of the JavaScript engine . The GJS bump is also called “significant performance improvements”.

Ubuntu offers yet more improvements
On Ubuntu the performance improvements available in GNOME 3.30 are even better .

Ubuntu 18.10, due for release in October, will come with further performance tweaks to the GNOME Shell desktop. Canonical’s patches did not make it upstream in time for the GNOME 3.30 release but will be ready in time for the 18.10 release.

Nautilus has a new look
The GNOME file manager Nautilus is arguably the backbone of the GNOME desktop so it’s only that it continues to move with the times.

So for GNOME 3.30 Nautilus’ developers have refined and streamlined core features, like search behavior, and improved way icons when resizing the window.

The path bar also sports a new look. The chunky buttons are gone. In their place is a more subtle text-based look.

The pathbar is more than superficial too: you can now access a menu bar by right-clicking items.

New toolbar layout
Path bar menus for background actions
Dynamic resizing
Search is now integrated into the path bar
Support for low resolutions screens
Faster file search on Ubuntu
Sadly Ubuntu 18.10 will not ship with Nautilus 3.30 on board, but it should be available as a Flatpak app.

Bonjour, Podcasts!
GNOME 3.30 comes with a brand new desktop app called Podcasts (which we highlight on this site a week in August).

Podcasts lets you add and manage podcast subscriptions right from your desktop, as well as play or download episodes. It can even import podcasts stored on other devices.

It’s simple to use too. The ” Shows ” overview lets you browse the series, while the ‘ New ‘ section highlights the latest episode releases from your fave shows.

Double-clicking on a show tile gives you access to a well organized overview of that’s available episodes, along with quick buttons to stream ’em, download’ em or mark ’em as “listened” to!

Automatic Flatpak Updates
If you’re a big fan of Flatpaks – I am – you’ll appreciate this time-saving feature.

GNOME Software now has options to enable / disable automatic updates for Flatpak apps and runtimes which, as someone who often tethers to a 4G connection, will disable itself on a metered connection – something Ubuntu’s Snap software does not do.

Better yet, and also in contrast to silent Snap updating, you can select when a Flatpak app or runtime has been auto-updated.

Automatic updating of Flatpaks is all you need.

New General Settings
GNOME picked up native Thunderbolt suppor t last release so it’s great to see GNOME 3.30 add a dedicated Thunderbolt panel to the Settings app. This will make it easy to manage connected Thunderbolt devices and handle any authentication.

On the subject of Settings, all hardware related panels are now dynamic. This means that they do not appear when the relevant hardware is not present.

For example, if you do not have a Wi-Fi card or dongle on your system you will not see the Wi-Fi panel anymore!

New Advanced Settings
The GNOME Tweaks utility is the latest version of the GNOME Tweaks utility.

Options include a sound theme selection menu (if you fancy being audibly hassled every time an error dialog appears); a switch to Center New Windows by default; a switch to tile windows when dragging them to screen edges; and a toggle to show the current weekday at the GNOME Top Bar clock-come-notification-shade.

Enable “Over-amplification”
Sound theme selection menu
‘Center new windows by default’ toggle
‘Tile windows when dragged to screen edge’ toggle
Toggle to show the current weekday at the top bar clock
In addition, GNOME users get a feature Ubuntu has had for a few releases: an option to enable ‘ overamplifaction ‘ (aka cranking up the volume fits 100%). When enabled you will see an extra red bar in volume indicators and on screen display.

Retro Gaming Nirvana
Games is one of my favorite GNOME apps – and I’m thrilled by the updates made in this release.

Best as a music player, but for retro and modern games rather than music, Games offers up a clean, lean UI and built-in support for playing games using libretro cores.

Games 3.30 makes the following changes:

Faster game collection loading time
Now shows Virtual Boy games in collection view < Browse games by platform, name, or developer Navigate the UI using a gamepad Shortcuts window UI now adapts to smaller screens If you install the Games app from Flathub (recommended) you'll also get out-of-the-box support for playing Sega Game Gear and Master System games, as well as Nintendo DS and Virtual Boy titles. Web Adds a Reader Mode If you're a big reader or online content then you may appreciate how useful a "reader mode" feature can be. The feature takes a regular web page - like this one - and it strips all extraneous cruft, like menus, images, embeds, and other content. The end result is a clean, minimal presentation of the body text. And in GNOME 3.30 Web, the GNOME browser still known as Epiphany by some, includes a reader view feature by default - nice! Other Miscellaneous Changes But that's not all. Oh no! There's plenty more to look out for, including: Workspaces are now shown in the Activities overlay Boxes now has RDP support & improved VM creation Emoji completion (eg type ": cat:" and hit TAB to see related emoji) Screen sharing and remote desktop sessions show in system menu GNOME Initial Setup has an updated set of avatars Disks can decrypt and mount storage volumes encrypted by VeraCrypt Builder has a new auto-completion engine and interactive tooltips Gnome 3.30 (620 pix) Version number 3.30 Release status Final Operating systems Linux, BSD Website Gnome Download https://www.gnome.org/getting-gnome/ License type Conditions (GNU / BSD / etc.)

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