Mutter (software)

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Developer(s) The GNOME Project
Initial release April 2011; 3 years ago (2011-04)
Stable release 3.12 (March 26, 2014; 23 days ago (2014-03-26)) [±][1]
Preview release 3.11.3 (February 19, 2014; 58 days ago (2014-02-19)) [±][2]
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like
Size 500 KiB[3]
Type window manager, Wayland compositor
License GNU General Public License

Mutter (a contraction of "Metacity Clutter") is a window manager for the X Window System, and is in the process of becoming a Wayland compositor; it became the default window manager in GNOME 3, replacing Metacity.[4] While Metacity uses GTK+ for rendering, Mutter uses a graphics library called Clutter, and also supports OpenGL by Clutter.

The Mutter window manager can function as standalone window manager application for GNOME-like desktops, and serves as the primary window manager for the GNOME Shell desktop,[5] which is an integral part of GNOME 3. Mutter is extensible with plugins and supports numerous visual effects.


OpenGL games run with a performance hit when using a compositing window manager; in June 2010, Phoronix evaluated this as similar for Mutter[6] and Compiz.[7]


  1. ^ Clasen, Matthias (2014-03-26). "GNOME 3.12 Released". GNOME mailing list. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  2. ^ Persch, Christian (2014-02-19). "GNOME 3.11.3". GNOME FTP Release mailing list. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Debian Mutter Package in sid". 
  4. ^ Vervloesem, Koen (2009-08-04). "Mutter: a window manager for GNOME 3". Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  5. ^ Kissling, Kristian (2009-07-08). "Mutter: Window Manager in GNOME's Future". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  6. ^ Larabel, Michael (2010-06-21). "Mutter Can Cause A Gaming/OpenGL Performance Hit Too". Phoronix. Retrieved 2011-04-24. 
  7. ^ Larabel, Michael (2010-05-21). "The Cost Of Running Compiz". Phoronix. Retrieved 2011-04-24.