What’s New for Developers and System Administrators

GNOME 3.36 includes many new features and improvements for those working with GNOME technologies. Read on for more details!


Flatpak is a 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.

During this release cycle, the Flatpak team released a new stable series: 1.6.x. This introduces an update monitoring API available via the Flatpak Portal D-Bus interface. An application can use this API to monitor for updates, prompting the user to install the update and restart the application. Along side the D-Bus API, a library called libportal offers asynchronous wrappers for most Flatpak portals, with a familiar GObject API.

Other Improvements

Other improvements in GNOME 3.36 include:

  • Add a new GMemoryMonitor API to notify apps of memory pressure situations using low-memory-monitor.

  • Support adding call flags and timeouts to method calls generated by gdbus-codegen using the new --glib-min-required and --glib-max-allowed arguments.

  • Support dispose functions for GSources.

  • Add g_array_steal(), g_ptr_array_steal() and g_byte_array_steal() convenience APIs for stealing elements from arrays without freeing them.

  • Add g_warning_once() convenience API for printing a warning only once during a process’ lifetime.

  • Add g_get_os_info() API to read from /etc/os-release (or the equivalent on other platforms).

  • See the NEWS file for more details.