What’s New for Developers and System Administrators

GNOME 40 includes many new features and improvements for those working with GNOME technologies. Read on for more details!


GTK is the toolkit used by GNOME applications. A major new version, GTK 4, has been released towards the end of 2020. Among the many changes in this release are hardware-accelerated rendering, new scalable list widgets, and out-of-the-box support for video.

To learn more about GTK 4, visit www.gtk.org


libhandy is a library that is increasingly used by GNOME applications to provide consistent and adaptive user interfaces. libhandy 1.2 introduces a number of new widgets:

  • HdyTabView and HdyTabBar - dynamic tabs

  • HdyStatusPage - a widget for implementing empty or error states

  • HdyFlap - a widget for transient sidebars or sliding sheets


GtkSourceView 5 is a port of this library to GTK 4 with a modernized GObject API. Its features include:

  • Improved syntax highlighting performance by using the JIT provided in PCRE2

  • A new autocompletion engine

  • Support for “Interactive tooltips”

  • A new code-snippet engine


Sysprof is a system profiler for GNOME which uses the Linux perf API. In GNOME 40, the symbol decoding of Sysprof has been improved when using containers such as Flatpak or Toolbox.


Builder is an IDE written for GNOME with good support for many languages, and for Flatpak. In GNOME 40, it can more accurately discover SDK extensions and install them for you. Builder’s Rust support will now install and run rust-analyzer from your Flatpak build container to improve diagnostics, completion, and code-formatting features for this language.

Other Improvements

Other improvements in GNOME 40 include:

  • The sysprof-cli tool will now pre-authorize the profiling session before spawning processes.

  • Builder has better support for Toolbox containers.

  • Tracker has gained a new batch update API, TrackerBatch, which provides a more efficient way to insert data.