How much longer can I keep gnome 3.36.x? (need it for gaming)

I’ve been using Manjaro gnome specifically for Gnome 3.36, because something changes in 3.38 which causes my games (primarily world of warcraft under Lutris/wine/wine-staging) to stutter. I’ve tried gnome under fedora, pure arch (and several derivatives like arco/endeavour), ubuntu, debian, and OS Tumbleweed, all at 3.38 and all with the same issue.

The weird part is that I have an FPS counter in WoW and it shows upwards of 120 fps, but it’s still stuttering as if it’s running <60. I’ve tried everything I can think of, across multiple distributions, kernels and nvidia driver versions, but the only thing that seems to work is sticking with Gnome 3.36. Oddly enough, when I upgrade to the 3.38 stack and use Budgie desktop, everything works flawlessly, so it seems to be something specific to gnome-shell 3.38. I’ve even tried the gnome-shell-performance and mutter-performance packages from the aur on 3.38, but it’s still stuttering.

I would like to stick with gnome, though, because of Material Shell, which is an amazing extension. Budgie has window-shuffler-control, but it’s nowhere near as good as material shell. KDE worked for a while, but now the game refuses to launch when you disable the compositor (only with latest .2 update of plasma)…but nothing really comparable to Material Shell there, either.

in /etc/pacman.conf you may un-comment the IgnoreGroup entry and add gnome gnome-extra like so

IgnoreGroup=gnome gnome-extra

But doing so on a rolling release may break packages in future as rest of the system gets upgraded beyond recognition. Best way forward is to get your hands dirty and find a fix instead.


The problem is that I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time reading reddit for gnome/lutris/wine, forums, and bug reports, but none of the “fixes” seem to work. I’ve been using Linux for many years, so I’m competent at fixing things that I break, but this particular issue has me at a loss.

Yeah, holding back packages on a rolling release distro has never worked out very well, for very long, so that’s an absolute last resort.

Don’t hold packages back.

If you are proficient you can disable the update nags - then simply wait it out until you know it is as stable as you want.

You can read my little essay on smart updating to see if some idea presents itself.

Most use Gnome for the simplicity - but Gnome breakage is not simple :grin: - although I am not a gamer - I am a former Gnome user - and I must say I have had a quiet life since.

Material-awesome is indeed great. We are collaborating with the developer to ensure smooth functionality with it.

Partial updates are not supported, but it still works in many cases. You can’t take a snapshot with timeshift before update, and roll back if it doesn’t work and you can’t make it work. With time and updates, it should start working again on 3.38 too. The solution suggested by @badbodh works too, just remember that it’s not supported, so if something breaks along the line, the solution is to do a full update.

Have you tried launching the games without desktop environment? You can usually get the best performance like that.

I’m assuming this got resolved before the 11-04-2020 update was pushed out? I just updated my system to the 11-04-2020 update which puts gnome at 3.38.1 and my world of warcraft looks great, if anything I would say it is actually feeling faster and less laggy than before (completely subjective of course). Even in heavily populated areas I’m not experieancing any kind of stutter at all were before it would sometimes lose some frames. I’m using the nvidia 450 drivers with the 5.8 kernel…

As an additional update since I saw that people were working with the 5.9 kernel and the 455 drivers I went ahead and upgraded to the 5.9 kernel and the 455 nvidia drivers and WoW is still working perfectly with Gnome 3.38.1 so there shouldn’t be any need to hold back and stay on the gnome 3.36 version.

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