GNOME Project retires OpenGL rendering library Clutter

RIP. You brought hardware-accelerated 3D to many Linux programs


The GNOME Project has announced that it's retiring the Clutter library, the tool that bought OpenGL-based hardware rendering to Linux in 2006.

Clutter was originally written by now-Intel subsidiary OpenedHand and in its day was a widely used library, enabling GObject-based C code to draw user interfaces using OpenGL.

It brought hardware-accelerated 3D to a lot of Linux programs, including the Mutter window manager (Metacity + Clutter) used by GNOME Shell, System76's COSMIC desktop and Raspberry Pi's PIXEL. The Cinnamon desktop uses a fork of Mutter called Muffin.

These days GNOME's version of Mutter "uses a fork of Cogl, a hardware acceleration abstraction library used to simplify usage of OpenGL pipelines, as well as a fork of Clutter, a scene graph and user interface toolkit."

Clutter is indirectly the reason that lots of people found that GNOME 3 and Ubuntu's Unity ran poorly under VirtualBox.

By default, VMs use software OpenGL rendering, making anything that used Clutter sluggish unless you enabled 3D acceleration and installed the VirtualBox guest extensions.

GNOME 40 and Gtk 4 subsumed and replaced the functionality of the standalone Clutter library.

So as far as the GNOME project is concerned, it's now surplus to requirements, and as of the next version, GNOME 42, it will be removed and the source code moved to the Gitlab archive.

To be fair, Clutter has been stable for a long time. The latest version, Clutter 1.26, was back in 2016 and even the last point release, 1.26.4 was in 2020.

However, a lot of other Gtk-based desktops haven't moved to Gtk 4 yet, including MATE, Xfce, Pantheon and Pixel. It's possible that someone will have to fork and continue the original Clutter if they come across a deal-breaker of a bug. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022