Gnome 3 - In love!

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by noons, May 5, 2015.

  1. noons

    noons Registered Member

    Apr 27, 2007

    So let me put this out there, I tried gnome 3 back around release (3.0.2?) and just was not impressed at all.

    Oddly enough it wasn't so much the workflow adjustment as I was actually using both Windows and KDE similar to how gnome intends you to use their desktop... What I mean by this I NEVER minimize windows and I rely on 'hotcorners' to spread out my windows. I know this sounds painful, but after you get used to the workflow it really does become EXTREMELY efficient. I am also a big proponent (always have) of only using a desktop for a scratch space and never a place to keep frequently used applications (shortcuts) because you then become reliant on minimizing and moving windows.

    Fast forward to today. I am desktop agnostic, meaning I see the good in most desktop environments. I use windows when I have to (gaming), OSX at work, unity, but I've been primarily a KDE user over the years. KDE just worked for me, although I was never a big fan of the windows similarities. KDE was well satisfying to use. I prefer dock like set-ups, but I stuck with the panel in icon only mode since this was sufficient enough as most 3rd party docks just well clunky. I basically had it running similar to windows 7 and never used the kde kicker, instead typing out the application names when they weren’t pined to the taskbar.

    Over the years kde has had plenty of frustrating issues.. What made these issues so frustrating is they would get resolved then a few versions would spark back up again, rinse and repeat. Most of these issues were tearing related issues with higher end graphics cards, high cpu with visuals, random glitches, basically anything that would just visually kill the desktop experience. Alas the software was great so I just lived with these issues. Then plasma 5 came out... The previews looked well ugly, but I had high hopes until I got my hands on kubuntu 15.04. It is 2015 and on a fresh install of the latest and greatest I felt like I was back in 2008. Random tearing (AGAIN!!!! ), high cpu when dragging to different monitors (AGAIN..) and honestly I feel they went backwards with a lot of their design choices.


    I will be honest I ended up converting to unity and figured that was my only option, until I read some reviews about how good gnome 3 has become. Doubtful I decided to give it a spin... Typical smooth ubuntu install and was presented with the barren desktop that is gnome. My initial thoughts were at least my eyes weren't burning by the purple and orange of unity, instead subtle colors, I just can't stand not having some sort of shortcut bar constantly visible. A desktop just feels empty with out it.. I was prepared for this though and had a plan, that plan was shell extensions.

    Extensions + gnome tweak tool (tweak tool installed by default on ubuntu) gives the customization and expandability that wasn't offered when I first tried gnome. Gnome extensions feel native to say the least. Simply go to » with firefox on gnome and click the slider to the 'ON' position for extensions you want. They instantly show up on your desktop, no moving folders or complicated configurations. I turned dash to dock 'on' and bam there was the dock I needed. With that dock came a bunch of customizable settings where I moved it to the bottom, changed the size, adjusted the translucency. It feels and for all intensive purposes is 100% native and even removed the dock in the activities. The dock consumes virtually no additional resources and runs and feels just like the OSX dock.

    My only final customization at this point was to replace the awful icons. 'apt-get install faenza-icon-theme' got me my favorite icon set and the gnome tweak tool allowed me to quickly change them. PERFECT!

    As far as performance this thing flies, granted my desktop is not old by any means (intel 2500k 8GB memory w/SSD) Everything feels very fluid including moving windows. Everything just looks and feels beautiful.

    At this point I am a little **possibly offensive word removed** at myself for not trying this out again sooner. I have it configured so similar to my macbook air I honestly keep forgetting this isn't osx.. I realize osx isn't for everyone, but with the tweak tool and extensions I feel like you could get this os running close to how you would like it, even the classic pick through application menus if you like em *yuck*. Not having minimize buttons might bother some people, but again you can easily turn these on or off with the tweak tool. (I really do encourage those who try it not to enable this feature and give the window spread feature a shot by pressing the windows key on the keyboard or click activities or go to top left corner). Less time managing windows means more time getting work done!

    Give it a shot!

    Anyway in summary if you haven't tried it recently or maybe even overlooked it due to all the initial reviews it may be time to give it a shot. It runs great has all the features and customizations that I loved about kde, but just feels 'whole'. My only gripes so far are the default icon set and again lack of dock from the start. I also had some default screen placement issues (gnome thought my left monitor was on the right), but this was easily fixable.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2015