Introducing GNOME 3.32: “Taipei”

GNOME 3.32 is the latest version of GNOME 3, and is the result of 6 months’ hard work by the GNOME community. It contains major new features, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. In total, the release incorporates 26438 changes, made by approximately 798 contributors.

3.32 has been named “Taipei” in recognition of the team behind GNOME.Asia 2018. GNOME.Asia is GNOME’s official annual summit in Asia, which is only possible thanks to the hard work of local volunteers. This year’s event was held in Taipei, Taiwan, and we’d like to thank everyone who contributed to its success.


GNOME 3.32 features a refreshed visual style, including the user interface, the icons and the desktop itself. The user interface is generally more vibrant, using a richer color palette than before. Buttons and switches are improved too, giving them a more modern look & feel.

GNOME applications in 3.32 feature a modernized icon now too! Using the same color palette as the user interface, application icons have been redesigned from the ground up.

Core GNOME applications have removed the “application menu”, moving the contents to a primary menu located within the application window, where appropriate.

User images are now consistent across the desktop, represented as a circle. When an image is not provided by the user, a colored circle with the user’s initials is automatically created.

These changes come together to give GNOME 3.32 a fresh and approachable appearance.

Fractional Scaling

Fractional scaling, a frequently requested feature enhancement, is available as an experimental option. It includes several fractional values with good visual quality on any given monitor. This feature represents a major enhancement for the GNOME desktop. This feature is considered experimental, therefore it requires manually adding scale-monitor-framebuffer to the gsettings key org.gnome.mutter.experimental-features. Once enabled, fractional scaling values will be accessible via the Display panel in Settings.


Several improvements to foundation data structures in the GNOME Desktop led to noticeable frame rate improvements. This results in a faster, snappier feel to the animations, icons and top “shell” panel. Searching in many GNOME apps is faster now too, thanks to major performance enhancements to the GNOME search database.

The on-screen keyboard received another round of improvements this cycle. It now supports an emoji chooser!


While technically not part of GNOME core, nor the Files application, the Desktop Icons extension has been released. This extension brings the traditional desktop icons experience back for users and distributions.


GNOME Web has been enhanced with a new automation mode. This allows the application to be controlled by WebDriver.

Reader mode has been enhanced as well. It now features a set of customizable preferences and an improved style.

Touchpad users can now take advantage of more gestures when browsing. For example, swipe left or right to go back or forward through browsing history.


Settings features a new Applications panel. This panel shows resources and permissions for various applications, including installed Flatpak applications. Users are given the option to grant permission to certain resources when requested by the application.

The Sound settings has been redesigned to support a vertical layout and a more intuitive placement of options.

The Night Light color temperature can now be adjusted for a warmer or cooler setting.


GNOME Boxes will try to enable 3D acceleration for virtual machines if both the guest and host support it. This results in much better performance of graphics-intensive guest applications like games and video editors.


GNOME Software has improved handling for apps available from multiple sources, such as Flatpak and distribution repositories. Flatpak app entries now list the permissions required on the details page, giving users a more comprehensive understanding of what data the software will need access to. Not only that, browsing application details is faster now due to a new XML parsing library used to load AppStream data.

And That’s Not All…

As usual, there are also many other smaller improvements in this GNOME release. Here are some of them!

  • Google Drive performance has been improved, especially for large collections of files.

Getting GNOME 3.32

GNOME’s software is Free Software: all our code is available for download and can be freely modified and redistributed according to the respective licenses. To install it, we recommend that you wait for the official packages provided by your vendor or distribution. Popular distributions will make GNOME 3.32 available very soon, and some already have development versions that include the new GNOME release.


The GNOME Project is an international community supported by a non-profit Foundation. We focus on user experience excellence and first-class internationalization and accessibility. GNOME is a free and open project: if you want to join us, you can.