COSMIC Skies of a Colorado July

Beyond the dazzling sea of licensed fireworks and thunderclouds lies a cosmic array of ancient stars. It’s within our gaze upon these stars where we find the inspiration for COSMIC DE, our new desktop environment created for Pop!_OS and other Linux distros. Let’s get into the updates!

Window Resizing

When resizing a window with your keyboard in COSMIC DE, a hint will appear containing shortcuts for growing and shrinking the window. Tiled windows aligned with the one being resized will be scaled to keep the layout in alignment.

Localization support was added to cosmic-comp to allow shortcut hints to appear in your preferred language.

Wallpaper Settings and Scaling

Designs for the Wallpaper settings panel have been implemented in COSMIC. This includes the ability to cycle wallpapers in a slideshow, set a universal or display-specific wallpaper, scaling options, and a preview window for viewing your changes. Wallpaper options are laid out in a single column of multiple rows using a widget called FlexRow, inspired by the CSS-based Flexbox.

As you cycle between Wallpaper settings, changes can be seen in a preview window as well as in the desktop’s background. Alternatively, you’ll be able to select a solid color or solid gradient as your wallpaper instead of an image.

Notifications Daemon

COSMIC’s notifications daemon is currently in development. This tool allows authorized applets like the Notifications Center to “read” and display notifications. For COSMIC, that also means being able to both display notifications across multiple screens, and prevent notifications from being displayed across all or multiple screens.

Unlike Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS, where the same process is responsible for receiving notifications and displaying them, COSMIC’s applets add an extra layer of complexity (and security!) by using separate processes. Each instance of each applet is its own process, so if two applets request to display a notification across three displays, that’s six total processes being managed by the notifications daemon using mere milliseconds of CPU resources.

Fractional Scaling

Higher resolutions on a smaller screen can cause text and cursors to appear tiny. In Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS, you can scale your resolution by 200%, 300%, or 400% to make these elements easier to see. However, you can also toggle the “Fractional Scaling” feature in the Displays settings for access to scaling options in 25% increments (125%, 150%, 175%, etc.). This past month, fractional scaling functionality was implemented into COSMIC DE as well.


COSMIC’s multi-line text handling was upgraded to version 0.9.0, which saw improved performance and the addition of a few features to keep text running smoothly. In addition, this will be the first version of cosmic-text to be integrated into an upstream release of the iced toolkit!

Thus concludes this round of updates! The COSMIC team is hard at work implementing designs you’ve been excited about, and we’re excited to get them in your hands! Stay tuned for the next blog in August!

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