Anyone running Fedora, and gnome, that likes to keep their system up to the current release, has seen Gnome 3 by now.  I’ve had a few issues with it, and I’ve found ways to get around them.  I thought I’d write a blog about it.  This is my take on Gnome 3 and Gnome shell.

Wht the hell were you guys thinking?!

\Thats a tad harsh, but really, I think its deserved.  Gnome3 takes all of the stability and simplicity of Gnome 2 and tosses it in the dumpster, in favor of flashyness and bugs.  I have two machines that i run Fedora on primarily.  My workstation at work, and my laptop.  The workstation is a quad display (split across two nvidias) with some pretty beefy hardware behind it, the laptop is decent, with a single1280x800 display.


Gnome-shell is a neat idea.  This re-thinking of the old menu-driven interface is actually pretty refreshing.  It takes some clutter off of your desktop, and puts it into an overlay that you can bring up by hitting a hot corner. My biggest problem with gnome shell is that it’s buggy as hell.  I’ve had issues on my laptop where X just locks up hard.  I’m not sure if i can truly blame gnome-shell for this, but it DIDNT happen on FC14, and it happens now on 15.  Maybe its a video driver thing.  On my workstaion.. Forget it. The quad displays just kill gnome3.  The closest i was able to get to working, was two displays black, the other two displays showing me gnome-shell.  If i clicked in the black displays, it registered on the gnome-shell displays.  How’s that for weird? 

I run gnome-shell on my laptop, my workstion, I’ve switched to Enlightenment 16.  I just need it to work, and E is slick, simple, and goddamn stable.  Great for a workstation. 

Sleek, and simple.

When you first log into gnome 3, you find a very simple screen.  Desktop background, title bar, not much else.  Opening up the overlay for your applications, and openeing somethign up, reveals a very simple window border.  The title bar is, however, missing your familiar roll-up, minimize, and maximize buttons.  Just the close button is present. 

You find a menu at the upper right, which displays your user’s name.  It lets you control Empathy (which bothers me, i use Pidgin), and gives you access to the system prefs.  The prefs are also sparse.  Very simplistic, and not feature rich.

On the lack of window control buttons, and the simplistic settings screens, I’ve found statements similar to the following. Minimising windows is silly, and users want less confusing options.  Why is roll-up missing?  I have no idea, I can’t figure out how to get the window control panel back to enable it! 

What I Think.

Linux, is not for panzies. Plain and simple.  If you want a happy interface that shields your delicate eyes from too many confusing features, buy a Mac. Oh, and DON’T try to presume that you know how I interact with my GUI, and take away standard features like the minimize button, attempting to herd me into a new method of working.  I actually read that, that they’re trying to get people to move to a no-minimize work method, where you just alt-tab through every open app, and use multiple desktops.  Now, I do this on my workstation, because i have a football fields worth of desktop area.  On my laptop, it’s really nice to be able to actually minimize things, and get them out of the way. 

I’ve found, via gconf, and dconf, how to turn a number of my beloved features back on. I’ve got Icons on my desktop again, a minimise and maximize button in my windows, and i even found an addon which is supposed to integrate Pidgin into my menu.  I’m still unimpressed with Gnome 3.  We’ll see how it turns out after a few updates.