As you may be aware (or you may not – we all lead busy lives) one of GNOME’s Google Summer of Code projects for this year (2023) was to add support for screen casting.

And by jove: they’ve gone and done it!

The developer working on integrating network display functionality into GNOME Shell shared short video clip to the GNOME sub-reddit — and the implementation is looking, as kids in 2016 would say, lit.

As you can see from the video screenshots above, the feature adds a “screencast” button to the row of actions in the Quick Settings menu. Clicking this opens a modal picker where the user can select any Miracast or Chromecast compatible displays on the network.

Although I don’t know for sure, I’m going to assume that the screencast button will NOT appear if a compatible network display is not detected (the same way other buttons don’t appear if compatible hardware isn’t present).

Network Display Nirvana

Being able to ‘screencast’ the GNOME desktop could be useful when needing to share a presentation, a slideshow of photos, demo something in a web-browser, etc.

Plus, it’s also possible to use a networked display as an external monitor. You can not only mirror your main desktop but extending it too and position a wireless display to the left, right, top, or bottom of your active display (as you can a physically connected one).

You don’t need to wait until next year’s GNOME 46 to use network displays on you desktop. The Network Display app on Flathub gives you same raw functionality (albeit sans Chromecast support). I’ve tried it and when it works it works well enough for basic usage.

What this great GSoC effort does is integrate network display setup, connection, and controls with GNOME Shell directly, negating the need for a separate app entirely.

In all, an exciting development to further the functionality of the modern GNOME desktop.