Released GNOME 3.32, here’s what’s new

Today in GNOME 3.32 a host of new features and improvements for the Linux desktop.

The update includes a new icon set and update themes, a lot of (much needed) fixes performance and includes new versions of major apps like the Nautilus file Manager.

Overall, it’s a major upgrade. And because it is the world’s most popular free desktop environment with open source, the update of the GNOME desktop – important news for millions of users.

There are many more interesting, so join us to take a look at the best new features of GNOME 3.32.

11 best features of GNOME 3.32

1. Fractional scaling in the GNOME shell

3.22 GNOME is the first version that supports fractional scale – a commonly requested feature that allows the screen to look “normal” on HiDPI monitors.

The downside is that while this is an experimental option, and it works only on Wayland sessions.

Yes, and fractional scaling is not enabled by default, despite the fact that this is an important feature.

To include a fractional scaling in GNOME 3.32, you need to:

  • to use Wayland
  • manually add the scale-monitor-framebuffer in the gsettings key org.gnome.mutter.experimental-features.
  • When enabled, you can go to panel “Settings”> “Display” to select the scale value that includes the values 125%, 150%, 175% and 200%.

    A big thank you to Canonical for trying to support fractional scaling values. You can find technical details in this blog.

    2. Control over app permissions

    GNOME 3.32 gives you more control over the behavior of installed apps and what they can access while working.

    In the new panel “Settings”> “Applications” lists all installed apps (repo and Flatpak). Click on application for review of its basic settings and permissions.

    Still have the switches for things such as app notifications, sound and search, and customizable permissions for applications Flatpak. Some built-in permissions cannot be changed.For example, Nautilus has access to your file system.

    Flatpak packages now appear in the software. App Manager was updated and now shows what permissions will have access to the app Flatpak, if the user chooses to install it.

    3. A new set of icons for GNOME

    For the first time in a long time, offered significant improvements to the user interface.

    Almost all were able to notice that the application icons in the GNOME 3.32 look significantly different.

    Icons have become flatter, more colorful and detailed. New look is quite angular, and many of the icons show a forced three-dimensional perspective.

    Regardless look whether the new icons better than the old, it is subjective, but personally I think they’re great.

    4. Improved Adwaita theme

    before and after

    Along with updating the appearance of icons, in this release, GNOME Shell has also made some changes to the theme.

    As a new set of icons, updated theme Adwaita became more flat, more bright and modern.

    The header panel, buttons, switches and menus more flexible, accurate and more consistent. Dramatic touch surrounding the plurality of widgets is replaced by the subtle shadows and gradients.

    In General the subject remains identifiable Adwaita, but successfully gets rid of the aesthetics of “my first computer”.

    5. Major performance improvements

    You don’t need to closely follow the Linux news to know that the main goal of the development cycle the GNOME 3.22 – improve the performance of GNOME Shell, Mutter, and related technologies.

    In this release, and Mutter (window Manager), and UI is GNOME Shell more responsive animations, expand the menu and quick execution of actions when clicked.

    6. Adjustment night light (Night Light)

    Built-in night light filter for GNOME Shell made its debut back in 2017, but only now was introduced more precise control over the color temperature (and workarounds for third-party extensions patched the gap in this time).

    If you use a Night Light, but want he was a little less than / warmer than the defaults, go to Settings> Display> Night Light to adjust the color temperature yourself.

    7. Applications menu retired

    Menu applications (those that appear in the top bar when the application is in focus) has been marked for deletion in this cycle.

    As a result of this (unrelated) changes in the number of applications added support for title bars (also known as decoration on the client side or CSD).

    The most significant of them is Rhythmbox, which greatly improved its appearance (though not yet United) and the GNOME terminal, which now supports CSD (although this is not the default value).

    8. The on-screen keyboard Emoji

    GNOME 3.32 adds the Emoji character on the onscreen keyboard. It’s not a groundbreaking change, but it should facilitate the use of Emoji with touch devices.

    9. Round Avatars

    Another minor change that affects user avatars. Anywhere where there is a photo / avatar to the user profile, it will be in the form of a circle.

    This release also introduces a new style avatar. Disappeared pictures random pictures, such as flowers, coffee cups and tennis balls, which depict simple backgrounds with the initials of the name of the user account.

    10. Software GNOME

    Finally, we come to changes that affect a software center for GNOME (the latest version which is not presented in Ubuntu 19.04).

    In General, the search for new software should be faster in the new Assembly, as the AppStream parser has been rewritten.

    The new version improves the handling of applications that are available from multiple sources. For example, VLC, available as an app from the repository, Flatpak, Snap etc. If the app is available from the repository and from Flatpack, the source selection available on the page with the details of a particular application.

    In connection with the software settings referred to in paragraph 2, the application Flatpak now indicate the necessary permissions. It also tells you if the app requests new permissions while updating.

    11. Rapid mounting Google drive

    Now connect Google drive in Ubuntu using a remote mount via Nautilus using GVFS opportunities, became faster!

    Actions (copy, rename, open, etc.) usually takes a couple of seconds (minutes for those who have in Google Drive are a lot of files).

    But thanks to the rewriting of Google Drive files are displayed quickly, and the actions happen instantly, even for accounts with a large number of files. The function also needs to generate fewer errors!


    The GNOME desktop Shell has never been so fast and smooth, as in this release.

    An update of the theme and Adwaita icons will breathe new life into your desktop, which lacks the visual finesse of other DE.

    And although they are minor or trivial in themselves, the cumulative impact of improved controls and settings, particularly in applications Flatpak, noticeable.

    GNOME 3.32 is a significant upgrade.


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