The latest version of GNOME Software uses fewer resources when idle.
Something of a lynchpin in the software management experience for GNOME desktop, it’s understandable that GNOME Software is a more demanding on system resources than apps that have less to do.
And while successive releases of the app have seen devs strive to keep resource management in check, some users still find it a little egregious on that front, especially if it’s not visibly in use or supposed to be doing anything.
Aloha then to GNOME Software 44.2, which is part of the GNOME 44.2 point release.
This update delivers a collection of fixes, including a patch to stop the app stalling when too many background jobs are running; no longer checking for updates if automatic updates are disabled; and skipping the download of rpm-osree updates when checking for updates.
But a performance-focused fix also included. To quote GNOME Software’s NEWS file, this is said to “reduce background resource consumption when idle.”
What’s exactly changed?
Well, the accompanying issue details weird behavior that affected many apps, including GNOME Software. When open but idle, i.e. just left to sit doing nothing, it was constantly using around ~20% of the CPU.
Specifically GTK spinner widgets, pulsating progress bars, and other flashy buttons. These, despite being hidden after indicating whatever they needed to indicate, continued to spin, pulse, and dance away.
When these various doohickeys were made to stop performing out of view idle CPU usage dropped back to negligible levels — problem solved!
I should stress there’s no impact on usability here. Most of these widgets appear momentarily within the UI – blink and you miss ’em. So when hidden they should be stopped, and with this update, they are. As a result, idle CPU usage is reduced on Xorg and Wayland sessions.
Thanks to Luca