Chapter 8. Desktop

GNOME Shell rebased to version 3.26

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, GNOME Shell has been rebased to upstream version 3.26. Notable enhancements include:
  • System search now provides results with an updated layout which makes them easier to read and shows more items at once. Additionally, it is now possible to search for system actions.
  • The Settings application has a new layout.
  • Various ways to insert emoji have been introduced for GNOME 3.26. This includes the Characters application and Polari, the GNOME IRC client.
  • Display settings of GNOME have been redesigned.
  • GNOME 3.26 no longer shows status icons in the bottom left part of the screen. GNOME Classic, which is the default session, now contains the TopIcons extension by default to provide the status tray functionality. Users of other session types than GNOME Clasic can install the TopIcons extension manually.
For the full list of changes, see https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.26/ (BZ#1481381)

gnome-settings-daemon rebased to version 3.26

gnome-settings-daemon has been rebased to enable the Wayland display server protocol, more specifically, fractional monitor scaling. Instead of a single gnome-settings-daemon process, the user can now notice a collection of processes named gsd-* running in their sessions. (BZ#1481410)

libreoffice rebased to version 5.3

The LibreOffice office suite, has been upgraded to version 5.3, which includes a number of enhancements over the previous version:
  • LibreOffice introduces a new LibreOffice UI, called MUFFIN (My User Friendly & Flexible INterface).
  • The ​LibreOffice Writer contains a new Go to Page dialog to navigate in the text area.
  • The ​LibreOffice Writer also introduces new table styles feature.
  • A new Arrows toolbox has been added to LibreOffice.
  • In Calc, number formatting and default cell styles have been improved.
  • A new Template Selector was added to LibreOffice Impress
LibreOffice Base can no longer read Firebird 2.5 data. Embedded .odb files created in previous versions of LibreOffice are not compatible with this version.
For the full list of changes, see https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/5.3 (BZ#1474303)

GIMP rebased to version 2.8.22

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) version 2.8.22 includes the following significant bug fixes and enhancements:
Core:
  • Saving to existing .xcf.bz and .xcf.gz files now truncates the files and no longer creates large files
  • Text layer created by gimp-text-fontname respects border when resized
GUI:
  • Drawing performance in single window mode, especially with pixmap themes, has been improved
  • On Paint Dynamics editor dialog, the y axis is now indicates Rate instead Flow
  • Pulsing progress bar in splash screen indicates unknown durations
  • Gamut warning color for LC-MS display filter has been fixed
  • Unbolding of bold font on edit has been fixed
  • Accidental renaming of wrong adjacent item is now eliminated
Plug-ins:
  • When importing PSD files, creating a wrong layer group structure is now eliminated
  • Large images or large resolution no longer cause a crash in the PDF plug-in
  • Parsing invalid PCX files is now stopped early and a subsequent segmentation fault is thus eliminated
  • The Escape key can no longer close the Python console
  • Filter Edge Detect/Difference of Gaussians returns empty image
  • When printing, the images are composed onto a white background to prevent printing a black box instead of a transparent image
  • Color vision deficiency display filters have been fixed to apply gamma correction directly
  • Script-Fu regex match now returns proper character indexes for Unicode characters
  • Script-Fu modulo for large numbers has been fixed
Updated Translations include: Basque, Brazilian Portuguese, Catalan, Chinese (PRC), Czech, Danish, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Kazakh, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Slovak, Slovenian, Scottish Gaelic and Spanish. (BZ#1210840)

Inkscape rebased to version 0.92.2

The rebased Inkscape, vector graphics software, provides a number of enhancements over the previous version, including the following:
  • Mesh Gradients are now supported.
  • Many SVG2 and CSS3 properties are now supported, for example, paint-order, mix-blend-mode. However, not all are available from the GUI.
  • All objects are listed in the new Object dialog box from where you can select, label, hide, and lock any object.
  • Selection sets make it possible to group objects together regardless of the document structure.
  • Guides can now be locked to avoid accidental movement.
  • Several new path effects have been added, among them Envelope/Perspective, Lattice Deformation, Mirror, and Rotate Copies.
  • Several extensions have been added including a seamless pattern extension. In addition, many extensions have been updated or been given new features.
  • A colorblindness simulation filter was added.
  • The spray tool and measure tool have received several new features.
  • The Pencil tool can create interactive smoothing for lines.
  • BSplines are available for the Pen tool.
  • Checkerboard background can be used to more easily see object transparencies. (BZ#1480184)

webkitgtk4 rebased to version 2.16

The webkitgtk4 package has been upgraded to version 2.16, which provides a number of enhancements over the previous version. Notable enhancements include:
  • To reduce memory consumption, hardware acceleration is now enabled on demand.
  • webkitgtk4 contains a new WebKitSetting plug-in to set the hardware acceleration policy.
  • CSS Grid Layout is enabled by default.
  • Private browsing has been improved by adding a new API to create ephemeral web views.
  • A new API has been provided to handle website data.
  • Two new debugging tools are now available: memory sampler and resource usage overlay.
  • GTK+ font settings are now honored.
  • Theme rendering performance is improved when using GTK+ version 3.20 and higher. (BZ#1476707)

qt5 rebased to version 5.9.2

The qt5 packages have been upgraded to upstream version 5.9.2, which provides a number of bug fixes and enhancements over the previous version. Notably, qt5 now contains:
  • improved performance and stability
  • long term support
  • improved C++11 support - note that Qt 5.9 now requires C++11 compliant compiler
  • Qt Quick Controls 2 - a new module with support for embedded devices (BZ#1479097)

New package: qgnomeplatform

The QGnomePlatform Theme module is now included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In GNOME Desktop Environment, it makes applications created with Qt 5 honor the current visual settings. (BZ#1479351)

ModemManager rebased to version 1.6.8

The ModemManager package has been upgraded to upstream version 1.6.8 to support newer modem hardware. This provides a number enhancements over the previous version. Notably, the version of the libqmi library has been upgraded to 1.18.0 and the libmbim library to 1.14.2. In addition, the usb_modeswitch tool has been upgraded to 2.5.1 and the usb-modeswitch-data package to 20170806. (BZ#1483051)

New packages: libsmbios

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 now includes the libsmbios packages to support flash Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and Synaptics Micro Systems Technology (MST) hubs. Libsmbios is a library and utilities that can be used by client programs to get information from standard BIOS tables, such as the SMBIOS table. (BZ#1463329)

mutter rebased to version 3.26

The mutter package has been upgraded to version 3.26, which provides a number of bug fixes and enhancements over the previous version.
The most significant bug fixes include:
  • Unexpected termination when respawning shortcut inhibitor dialog
  • Unexpected termination during monitor configuration migration
  • Multihead regressions in X11 session
  • Screen rotation regressions
  • Unexpected termination when reconnecting tablet device
The list of notable enhancements includes:
  • Support for running headless
  • Support for snap packages for sandboxed app IDs
  • Support for _NET_RESTACK_WINDOW and ConfigureRequest siblings
  • mutter now exports _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS
  • mutter now allows resizing of tiled windows
  • Key bindings have been resolved with non-latin layouts
  • Support for export tiling information to clients
  • Monitor layout is now remembered across sessions (BZ#1481386)

The SANE_USB_WORKAROUND environmental variable can make older scanners usable with USB3

Previously, Scanner Access Now Easy (SANE) was unable to communicate with certain older types of scanners when they were plugged into a USB3 port. This update introduces the SANE_USB_WORKAROUND environmental variable, which can be set to 1 to eliminate this problem. (BZ#1458903)

The libyami package added for better video stream handling

With this update, the libyami package has been added to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 to improve video stream handling. In particular, the video stream is parsed and decoded with the help of hardware acceleration. (BZ#1456906)

netpbm rebased to version 10.79.00

The netpbm packages have been upgraded to version 10.79.00, which provides a large number of bug fixes and enhancements to multiple programs included in these packages. For detailed change log, see the /usr/share/doc/netpbm/HISTORY file. (BZ#1381122)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 supports libva

Libva is an implementation for the Video Acceleration API (VA-API).
VA-API is an open-source library and API specification that provides access to graphics hardware acceleration capabilities for video processing. It consists of a main library and driver-specific acceleration back ends for each supported hardware vendor. (BZ#1456903)

GStreamer now supports mp3

An MPEG-2 Audio layer III decoder, more commonly known as mp3, has been added to GStreamer. The mp3 support is available through the mpeg123 library and the corresponding GStreamer plug-in.
The user can download the mp3 plug-in using GNOME Software or using the codec installer in various GStreamer applications. (BZ#1481753)

GNOME control-center rebased to version 3.26

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, control-center has been rebased to upstream version 3.26. Notable enhancements include:
  • Night Light is a new feature that changes the color of your displays according to the time of day. The screen color follows the sunrise and sunset times for a given location, or can be set to a custom schedule. Night Light works with both X11 and Wayland display server protocols.
  • This update introduces a new layout to the Settings application. The grid of icons has been replaced by a sidebar, which allows switching between different areas. In addition, the Settings window is bigger and can be resized.
  • GNOME’s Network settings have been improved. Wi-Fi now has its own dedicated settings area and Network settings dialogs have been updated.
  • GNOME’s Display settings have been redesigned. The new design brings relevant settings to the forefront. With multiple displays connected, there is a row of buttons, which allows choosing the preferred use. The new Display settings include a preview version of a new scaling setting. This allows the size of what is shown on the screen to be adjusted to match the density (often expressed as PPI or DPI) of your display. Note that Wayland is recommended over X11, as per-display configuration is not supported on the latter.
  • The user interface of three other areas of the Settings application has been redesigned: Online Accounts, Printers, and Users. (BZ#1481407)

New package: emacs-php-mode

This update adds the new emacs-php-mode package to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. emacs-php-mode provides PHP mode for the Emacs text editor thus enabling better PHP editing. (BZ#1266953)

Dutch keyboard layout provided

The installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in Dutch now provides an additional keyboard map that mimics the US International map used in the Windows OS. The new latn1-pre.mim keymap file enables the user to utilize single keymap, diacritics, and thus type both in the English and Dutch language with ease. (BZ#1058510)