First Kde 4, then Unity and in the end Gnome 3, all with great intent, all failed miserably when it comes to usability. I think the biggest problem with this new visions is the fact that the developers are trying to build the perfect desktop for the average users.
But we all know, that when it comes to Linux, the average user is not really the target.
This rant could continue for a while, but I will get strength to the point: after a few weeks trying and trying to adapt to Gnome 3, I finally found some small but great solutions to make it functional again.
Will bring back some of the classic Gnome 2 functionality .
- apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions #ubuntu
- yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu #fedora
- yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternate-tab #fedora
- yum install gnome-shell-extensions-places-menu #fedora
Gnome Tweak Tool
- apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool #ubuntu
- yum install gnome-tweak-tool #fedora
is a nice little tool, that gives the user access to some of the hidden features of Gnome 3. You can for example reactivate the desktop and put icons on it, or display a full date instead of just the hour on your main bar. You can also enable or disable the gnome shell expansion from inside this tool.
Talking about show desktop feature, I have to say I’m trying to forget about this old concept and go with the flow: in Gnome 3 you don’t really need the desktop. However I found it difficult for a simple reason: special shortcuts. If you want to put a special shortcut, like an eclipse shortcut on your favorite bar, you are out of luck. The best way will be an old plain desktop shortcut. Same thing happend to docky. Sometimes it can’t detect the application executable so by doing a desktop shorcut you can manage to add a launch icon in your bar.
Extra tip: to get CTRL+ALT+D back set this custom keyword shortcut to execute the command:
sudo apt-get install docky
is the jewelery that makes the desktop work again. What you get is a simple dock bar at the bottom of your screen, that you can customise as you wish. The main advantage is the fact that you will have something similar with the Gnome 3 dock but without moving your mouse to the corner of the screen. When you have a event on one of the open application a small red dot will signle that. Also the icon will jump around every time: fun and useful.
The good tip I have for Docky, is to use the Thunderbird extension Docky Unread Count. If Fedora 15 you might have a very new version of Thunderbird so will have to hack the add-on to make it function again:
- unzip the xpi file
- change the major version to *.*.*
- unpack the zip file and rename it to xpi
- install it in thunderbird from your hard drive
I was crushed when SSH menu was not functional any more. You can run it as a standalone app in it’s own window but what’s the use ? To be hones I used this to have different profiles for different ssh hosts. To overcome this, I made a little script that will overwrite the ssh command. Each time ssh is run a new terminal will open with it’s own color. If you need the script let me know and I will post it.
Do you have any more functional tricks for Gnome 3? Please share your knowledge with a comment.