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COSMIC Desktop Unveils Exciting Updates

Some exciting news for you regarding the ongoing development of the COSMIC desktop environment by System76, the creative minds behind Pop!_OS. While COSMIC is not yet ready for mainstream use, the team has given us a sneak peek at some intriguing updates that have rolled out as of September 2023.

COSMIC desktop updates: September 2023

Swap Mode for Tiled Windows

Pop!_OS and COSMIC Desktop are designed to stay out of your way, allowing you to focus on your tasks. With Auto-tiling, new windows automatically arrange themselves on your screen for a smoother workflow. Now, COSMIC introduces a brand-new window-swapping mode, making it a breeze to rearrange tiled windows using your keyboard.

Tiling updates
Tiling updates

Search and settings

The COSMIC team has been hard at work adding essential widgets like text inputs, search fields, and inline inputs. They’re piecing together the COSMIC Desktop Environment puzzle, one element at a time. Not only that, but they’ve also revamped symbolic icons, such as the magnifying glass found in search fields, ensuring their size and colours align perfectly with their context. Users can now customize the colour of these icons to match their chosen theme and adjust their size based on specific properties. This attention to detail ensures a consistent look across widgets while enhancing COSMIC application development.

COSMIC now boasts dynamic settings for keyboard and mouse configurations. When you tweak a setting, you’ll instantly see the effects in action, thanks to support added to COSMIC’s compositor. Additionally, Christian Meissl has been hard at work optimizing Smithay, the library on which cosmic-comp is built, resulting in significant performance enhancements that directly benefit COSMIC in terms of both performance and power consumption.

Gestures, Panels and Docks

For those who appreciate touch and gesture controls, the COSMIC compositor now supports the pointer-gestures protocol. This means you can use gestures like pinch-to-zoom in supported applications. Ivan Molodetskikh has also added support for touchpad gestures in Smithay, seamlessly integrating them with cosmic-comp.

Customization enthusiasts, rejoice! COSMIC Desktop now includes Panel and Dock Settings that allow you to tailor your experience. You can change their on-screen positions, adjust their size or opacity, add margins, and switch between Light and Dark Modes. These settings also offer the convenience of automatic hiding, ensuring that your panel or dock remains hidden until your mouse approaches it.

Moreover, you can configure which applets are accessible from the desktop through these settings, including options like wifi, battery, graphics, workspaces, and time. No need to worry; hiding the time applet won’t actually stop time!

COSMIC desktop with dock and panel
COSMIC desktop with dock and panel

Core updates

Beneath the surface, COSMIC has seen some significant enhancements as well. The team has updated their fork of Iced to version 0.10, refactored and updated the cosmic-time animation library to support both Iced 0.10 and the latest version of the libcosmic widget library. They’ve also implemented the security-context protocol for Smithay and Cosmic Comp, ensuring a more secure user experience. Furthermore, panel handling for non-expanded panels with applets configured for the left and right sides has been improved.

Exciting times are ahead for COSMIC, and these updates give us a glimpse of the promising features and in-store improvements. There is no timeline from the team when there will be an alpha release. But hopefully soon.

For more details, you may visit the GitHub to look at the source.

Via System76 blog

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