What’s New for Developers and System Administrators

GNOME 3.32 includes many new features and improvements for those working with GNOME technologies. Read on for more details!


Flatpak is the new cross-distribution, cross-desktop technology for application building and distribution. While it is separate from the GNOME project, Flatpak is central to GNOME’s developer experience plans.

This release cycle, a lot of effort was put into improving the command line user experience, including better progress reporting, searching and completion.

  • The new --columns option can be used to customize the output of all list-producing Flatpak commands. See the output of --columns=help for details.

  • Installation of application using the reverse DNS identifier is no longer necessary. Flatpak will ask a few questions and confirm which application is intended to be installed.

  • Flatpak list shows more useful information by including AppStream data.

  • Control flatpak processes with the new flatpak ps and flatpak kill commands.

  • Installation history can be inspected with the new history command.

Flathub, Flatpak’s new application distribution service, is growing steadily. It now hosts over 500 applications.


Builder underwent a major refactor this cycle. Approximately 100,000 lines of code were changed! Much of the changes were internal to the project, but will make future contributions far easier.

Builder has a new “project-less” mode. When opening a file directly (from either Files or Terminal), Builder opens in a simple, single-file interface. Access to the build foundry is not available from this view.

The project tree now shows Build Targets and Unit Tests, in addition to source files.

When viewing a “.ui” file, Builder now renders the file in a Glade/UI builder view instead of XML. This feature is still in its early stages of development.