System76’s Rust-Based COSMIC Desktop Promises HDR Support, Smooth NVIDIA Experience

System76’s upcoming COSMIC desktop environment, which is being written from scratch using the Rust programming language, is taking shape and the Linux hardware vendor recently shared a few interesting details about the progress so far.

As you probably know already, System76 decided a few months ago that it’s time to create its own Linux desktop environment that’s not based on an existing desktop environment. System76’s in-house distribution Pop!_OS Linux currently features a graphical desktop environment derived from GNOME, called COSMIC.

Future versions of the COSMIC desktop won’t be based on GNOME, but written from scratch in Rust. It will have its own Wayland compositor, called Victoria, which is being developed as we speak with better support for features like HiDPI, HDR, and fractional scaling, as well as tiling and a smooth experience for NVIDIA GPU users.

” Developing the compositor in Rust makes it more efficient on component resources, and increases reliability and stability of the desktop environment,” said one of the developers involved in the development of the Rust-based COSMIC desktop. “We’re building a stronger Pop!_OS in the form of a faster, more responsive desktop environment, COSMIC DE. What you see on-screen when you use Pop!_OS will be rebuilt in a new codebase to improve the feel and functionality of the OS.”

Other core components that will be part of System76’s Rust-based COSMIC desktop include Iced, an open-source and cross-platform application toolkit written in Rust, and libcosmic as COSMIC’s main widget library.

System76’s engineer Ashley is using these tools to create a higher level Iced-based toolkit for converting Pop!_OS’s current GTK4 apps to Iced and making them compatible with the Wayland shell. COSMIC will feature several Iced-based applets, including an app library, app launcher, and workspaces list.

In addition, the devs are working on an Iced-based panel/dock that will offer support for third-party applets like live system stats or a media player. Moreover, the COSMIC Settings app is being redesigned with everything you need to fully customize your desktop, including this cool Workspaces panel.

System76 is very careful about all aspects of its upcoming Rust-based COSMIC desktop and promises a future-proof Linux desktop environment that’s in line with Pop!_OS and the company’s design philosophy. They want to provide the Linux and Open Source community with a harmony between convenience, customization, and efficiency.

We do hope to actually get a taste of System76’s Rust-based COSMIC desktop if it hits the streets next year and hopefully be able to install it on other GNU/Linux distributions, not only Pop!_OS Linux. More on COSMIC soon!

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