3.7 Desktop

In Oracle Linux 8, the GNOME desktop introduces the following features, enhancements, and changes:

  • GNOME Shell version updated to 3.27.  This version of the GNOME Shell includes several improvements over the previous version, including the following:

    • New GNOME Boxes features

    • On-screen keyboard implemented

    • Extended device support that includes the integration of the Thunderbolt 3 interface

    • Improvements to GNOME software, dconf-editor, and the GNOME terminal

  • Wayland is the default display server.  In Oracle Linux 8, both the GNOME session and GNOME Display Manager (GDM) use Wayland as the default display server. Wayland is a simpler replacement to the X.org server used in the previous major Oracle Linux release. Wayland, a protocol for a compositor, can be a stand-alone display server that is running on the Linux kernel's mode-setting and evdev input devices, an X application, or a Wayland client. The clients can be traditional applications, X servers (rootless or fullscreen), or other display servers.

    In addition, Wayland is easier to develop and maintain. Wayland provides the following other advantages over X.org server:

    • Stronger security

    • Improved multi-monitor handling

    • Improved user interface (UI) scaling

    • Direct control of window handling by the desktop


    Some Wayland features currently do not work as expected or are not available.

    Note that the system also automatically falls back to X.org as the default display server when the following graphics drivers are in use:

    • NVIDIA binary driver

    • cirrus driver

    • mga driver

    • aspeed driver

    You can disable Wayland manually as follows:

    • To disable Wayland in GDM, set the WaylandEnable=false option in the /etc/gdm/custom.conf file.

    • To disable Wayland in the GNOME desktop, select the legacy X11 option in the cogwheel menu that is located in the login screen after typing your login name.

  • Locating desktop packages in additional repositories not enabled by default.  In this release, additional repositories for desktop packages are not enabled by default and is indicated by the enabled=0 line in the corresponding .repo file. If you attempt to install a package from one of these repositories with PackageKit, you will encounter an error indicating the application is not available. To make the package available, change the line in the respective .repo file with enabled=1.

  • GNOME Software utility replaces gnome-packagekit.  In Oracle Linux 8, the GNOME Software utility package (gnome-software) replaces the gnome-packagekit package used in previous releases. The GNOME Software utility enables you to install and update applications and gnome-shell extensions.

  • PackageKit updated to operate on RPM packages.  Support for operating on rpm packages has been added to PackageKit.