After two weeks of using GNOME 3, I officially hate it

I knew I was going to hate GNOME 3 even before trying, but Zeeshan insisted that my opinion wasn’t worth much without giving GNOME 3 a fair chance. So we made a deal, I would use GNOME 3 for a couple of weeks, and then I could say GNOME 3 sucks, at least with measure of validity.

So, after two weeks, I still hate it. But why?

Alt-tab is broken

The behavior of alt-tab is consistent among all OS’es and DE’s; you cycle through the visible windows (at least by default). GNOME developers decided to change that behavior completely, and now alt-tab cycles through all the windows in all the work-spaces. I am a heavy user of alt-tab, so just this issue makes GNOME 3 unusable for me.

No wonder there are tons of bugs reported for this.

The second issue is that applications are grouped together, so you can’t use alt-tab to cycle through say, all gvim windows, you have to use alt-` for that (GNOME 3 invention I guess). Fortunately, there’s an extension for that.

Font settings are brain-dead

Or more specifically, there are none. So say, the DPI is usually wrong, which makes all the fonts look so tiny they are unreadable. Not only are those settings not there any more, but being ignored from the fontconfig settings; I manually set the DPI on (~/.fonts.conf). Even tk works better in this sense.

This can be solved by manually changing all the font configurations (and using gnome-tweaks), but everything gets broken again when switching to another DE (like Xfce). So much for following

A lot more issues

Plus there are many other details, like the fact that there’s no minimize button (you need gnome-tweaks), the fact that minimized windows don’t go to the bottom of the stack for alt-tab, that alt-right-click still doesn’t resize, that clicking on an already open app doesn’t actually launch the app (or new window/tab), that default applications (like browser) are ignored, that it’s not possible to shutdown/restart without loging out first, nor is it possible to specify what to do when the laptop lid is closed.

Sure, some of these can be tackled with gnome-tweak, or by installing the right extension (if it doesn’t conflict with another extension), but this whole mess is ridiculous. The “extensions” are more like copy-pasted code plus hacks, there’s not really an API to “extend”. Instead, all the “extension” code should be in GNOME, and configurable trough some “Advanced Configuration” tag, or something.

I am not the only one who has issues with GNOME 3:

Update more:

But that’s OK, because we users are stupid, GNOME developers know better.


To show exactly how annoying it’s GNOME 3’s window management I did a simple test:

  1. Create, move and resize windows
  2. Move window to a different workspace
  3. alt-tab to go to the next window in the workspace
  4. Switch between workspaces

It’s very annoying and counter-intuitive with GNOME 3, even after a lot of tweaks and extensions. Xfce on contrast works perfectly without any change.


I really tried to make GNOME 3 usable, but it’s just not. I am so relieved now that I’m back to Xfce, and the DE is now on the background so I don’t really notice it; it just works (without tweaking, or extensions, just the defaults).

So here’s my prediction, one year from now it would be clear that gnome-shell is not going to fly (or is it already failing?). GNOME developers would have to admit that they were wrong in their “radical innovation”, but by that time, they would have probably lost a big chunk of their user-base. Xfce OTOH would get a nice influx of users 🙂

196 thoughts on “After two weeks of using GNOME 3, I officially hate it

  1. I haven’t tried Gnome3. However, it looks like developers have tried to improve the user work flow by changing some settings (keybindings and default behaviors). In your evaluation of Gnome3, you tried to change the settings back to their original behaviors and got frustrated. A real evaluation would have been *not* to change any setting and try to get used to the new ones. After some weeks, you might have liked the new ones better, even if they are not compatible with other environments or your habits.


  2. @Damien It’s even more frustrating without changing the settings… That’s what I tried at first, it was even less usable.

    But the system should adapt to me, not me to the system. I have been using alt-tab since forever, it works on all systems; KDE, GNOME 2, Xfce, Windows, OSX, everywhere except GNOME 3.


  3. Some time ago I was complaining about buggy Gnome toolbar, which is unusable in vertical mode. That issue has been discussed several times by others but is still not fixed for several years. Now I’m using Awesome (with some Gnome applets and apps). Its just… Awesome! Unless you don’t like tiling window managers and don’t prefer using keyboard most of the time (not mouse). Thanks to Alex Shishkin for showing it to me some time ago.

    PS. I have to admit that I had to spend few hours configuring it the way I’d like it to be (key bindings, some small tweaks in a form of Lua scripts) – so it’s not adjusting itself to my needs either. But it’s adjustable. And Alt-tab works if you configure it. 🙂


  4. @Serge I have seen Awesome, it sounded great on theory, but when I tried it, I had to do some pretty heavy modifications, and the build system (CMake) made it very difficult.

    Maybe it has improved, I will give it another try.


  5. i hate gnome3 and unity. so infuriating. ugly, clunky. why fix something thats not broken?

    first the perfect kde3.5 life ended in favour of kde4. why? because it looks pretty? same with gnome2 and 3, and the unity? what is going on with the linux community? i am so disappointed. it looks like a pr drive from a company in trouble. always Madeline and fixing things that worked and didnt need fixing. reminds me of politics.

    i think most people forgot why we joined linux in the first place.


  6. great Article, you made videos to show real tangible examples.

    I too have found Gnome-Shell to be somewhat useless to me. i had thought about using Xfce, but instead disabled gnome-shell – replaced it with compiz (which was already tweaked how i wanted it). this worked out really well, as i like many of the apps and tools that come with gnome… the experience is pretty much gnome2, with only minor changes in habits ( and in the end i like it better than gnome2)..

    i don’t think Gnome-Shell is an improvement, nor do i think it is a smarter way to run a desktop. i think it’s a flop


  7. It is really useless. Nothing more to say. They changed a working system into almost a brick.


  8. Felipec: welcome to the club, I dumped it after a few hours of experimentation in my Ubuntu.

    These were the biggest issues (although, some might be caused by incompatibility with Ubuntu):
    – I don’t want a touch-inclined UX on my fricking dual-screen setup that I use with a keyboard and mouse
    -broken dual-screen, second screen will always display the same content no matter of which workspace you’re in
    -broken GTK style, I only got the ugly default and although I really tried, I couldn’t fix it up.
    -no way to modify the settings regarding the UX from the settings app, everything was hardcoded


  9. [this is clearly a case of “somebody is wrong on the internet”, but I’ll bite anyway]

    nice: you knew you’d hate it, so you tried it and hated it. confirmation bias, anyone?

    plus, the rest of the blog post is equally obtuse.

    alt-tab: works like OSX and Windows, I’m sorry. you’d probably need to check out other operating systems before making sweeping statements.

    font settings: lies about the DPI setting. it has always lied, it will lie forever. there’s just nothing you can do. and you’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re trying multiple environments, with different interpretations of the meaningless “DPI” returned by X.

    extensions: these are a way to fully modify the UI using something similar to the Firefox extension mechanism – which I guess you consider hacks as well.

    for the rest, it’s just obtuse and uninformed venting which I won’t dignify with a comment.


  10. @Emmanuele

    nice: you knew you’d hate it, so you tried it and hated it. confirmation bias, anyone?

    I could have liked it, but I didn’t, and I explained what would be needed in order for me to like it.

    alt-tab: works like OSX and Windows, I’m sorry. you’d probably need to check out other operating systems before making sweeping statements.

    You are the one that should do that.

    I just fired a VM image running Windows XP. I minimize an app, and it goes to the bottom of the stack, so when I do alt-tab, I go to the next visible window, as expected. That’s not what GNOME 3 does.

    Doing the same for OSX is slightly different, but still doesn’t unminimize the app. Moreover, even on Spaces, people hated the way the worked, and Apple added an option so they are not automatically switched. But not only that, you can replace alt-tab with F10-tab, or ctrl-F4 (you can configure the actual keys), which do work exclusively on the current Space.

    font settings: lies about the DPI setting. it has always lied, it will lie forever. there’s just nothing you can do. and you’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re trying multiple environments, with different interpretations of the meaningless “DPI” returned by X.

    Works fine on Xfce, KDE, and even tcl/tk. I say you just want to be lazy.

    extensions: these are a way to fully modify the UI using something similar to the Firefox extension mechanism – which I guess you consider hacks as well.

    I don’t use Firefox. As for Chrome extensions, there’s a clearly defined API which allows extensions not to conflict with one another and integrate seamlessly.

    Regarding gnome-shell extensions, what are the chances that two extensions that modify alt-tab behavior will not conflict with each other? From my eagle eye point of view, it looks like that chance is very low.

    for the rest, it’s just obtuse and uninformed venting which I won’t dignify with a comment.

    Throwing adjectives on the air doesn’t make you right, nor GNOME any less broken. Google “gnome 3 is” see what you find.

    GNOME 3 is


  11. Sounds like they wanted GNOME3 to behave like a Mac (Alt+Tab and Alt+` seems to be mimicking Cmd+Tab and Cmd+`), but still have some rough edges to deal with…


  12. I happen to like GNOME 3. I know it’s not perfect, but I do like what’s going on in the core of things.

    I do hope that in the longer term the Appearance capplet comes back, and Shell gains a proper UI and backend for managing themes and extensions. I don’t much care for the application-based alt-tab behaviour, but I don’t actually use it anyway because I just pull up the overview and click on the window I want.

    I love the overview. I love the search-and-run behaviour. I REALLY love the workspace management. I don’t care about minimise and maximise buttons because I no longer need them.

    What I really hate is the number of people who call upon ‘intuitive’ as the killer thing that GNOME 2 gets and GNOME 3 apparently doesn’t. Why do you think GNOME 2 is intuitive? Because you already know how it works. Put a computer novice in front of GNOME 2 and they’ll be pretty stumped, I can tell you that from experience. They’ll also have trouble with Windows and Mac OS X. I think what a lot of people are really objecting to is the idea of a desktop environment that might make them learn how to do things differently. The purpose, of course, is to make a better desktop experience. Why aren’t people willing to try it?


  13. Ha! Zeeshan has tried me to try GNOME 3, too! I did like KDE 4.2 but have had many problems with it.

    After reading your post, you make very good points. I love dragging windows to other workspaces, so if it doesn’t work in GNOME 3, it’s -1 immediately.


  14. @Matt W Perhaps, all that is only a theory. Without usability studies on computer newbies your opinion is as baseless as mine.

    If I drag a window to the leftmost edge of the screen, I would expect to switch to the workspaces to the left (you can see it on my video), that’s what KDE, Xfce, and countless Window Managers do. That’s what I call intuitive, what GNOME 3 does is not.

    But why go into speculation when there’s something very tangible: I listed a few actions, it takes 30 seconds with Xfce, and it takes 45 with GNOME 3. You can try yourself; it’s just slow.

    Why would anybody be ok with using something less productive? People do try it (as I did), they just don’t like it.


  15. Hey, what are you complaining? It’s open source you can fix everything yourself.

    Why don’t you?

    If you don’t like how it works you can change the code. That’s why you have it. See?


  16. Oh well, another user whining “… I want it the way it used to be …”.
    – “Alt-tab is broken” Huh? What is a ‘visible window’ in your world? Those on the virtual desktop your using at the moment? You must be using giant screens and fiddling around with windows resizing and moving them till they all sit neatly next to each other – the rest of us do tasks in applications and switch. Problem was, apps on other desktops were ‘hidden’ from switching (except if you use a three finger ‘short-cut!’) Now I can switch easily – IT’S NOT A BUG, IT’S A FEATURE.
    – Fonts? You really want to argue about fonts? Come on!
    – “A lot more issues” Boil down to your apparent need to fiddle around with numerous windows on your screen, fitting them exactly the way they should be – do you have these lace doilies on your sofa pillows in your appartement (and everywhere else)?


  17. Hey, what are you complaining? It’s open source you can fix everything yourself.

    @JBrown I can make the changes, but what’s the point if they are going to reject the patches? Why waste my time when there’s an alternative that works perfectly for me?

    – “Alt-tab is broken” … the rest of us do tasks in applications and switch.

    What is the percentage of people you call “the rest of us”? If you don’t have any statistics you don’t know if the majority of users do it my way. And that’s the danger of segregating your user-base; you might end up loosing a bigger chunk than you thought.

    – Fonts? You really want to argue about fonts? Come on!

    Right, because who needs fonts to be readable. I say don’t render them at all.

    Again, it works perfectly fine everywhere else but in GNOME 3.

    – “A lot more issues” Boil down to your apparent need to fiddle around with numerous windows on your screen, fitting them exactly the way they should be – do you have these lace doilies on your sofa pillows in your appartement (and everywhere else)?

    It works fine on all other DE’s, even Windows works better in this regard. When you tell me my workflow is wrong, and that workflow happens to work fine in all other DE’s, and my opinion is shared by editors of well known magazines like LWM and ArsTechnica, and highly renowned developers such as Alex Deucher, my only way to react is to say, no, GNOME 3 is wrong.


  18. You can’t cope? Okay! A lot of people couldn’t deal with the switch from mechanical to electrical typewriters.
    And of course – the way you want it, is the way it works perfectly. Duh!?


  19. @anAdult

    Your argument (if you can call it that), would apply for the new Mac with no keyboard, and one single big button:

    Nothing is more simple than a single giant button! Keyboards are a thing of the past!


  20. Hi,

    I’ve tried it for 2 days and I can’t work with it. I think it’s better on an internet tablet but not on my laptop! I use gnome2 and I’m happy with it.


  21. My gut-brain is saying “Ignore the fact that Gnome 3 and Unity suck. People will still be able to use the old stuff and the developers will revert back to what the users want.” But my cogent brain is wondering if Gnome 3 and Unity won’t end up slowing user population growth and wasting many thousands of developer man hours.


  22. Gnome 3 looks and works like a mediocre tablet UI artlessly ported to the desktop. That’s bad. But what’s a lot worse than Gnome 3 is that Fedora 15 shipped without a big button saying “do you really want to use this new thing we think is cool but that will waste days of productivity trying to learn and offers no visible improvement over the mature product that it inexplicably replaced, or do you actually want to use your computer today?”

    Come on, guys. Even Microsoft lets users reconfigure the Windows user interface to look and work (more or less) in a manner to which its users are accustomed and trained from previous versions of the product. And if I wanted a Mac, I’d buy a Mac. For the next couple of years I have a new best example to explain why Linux hasn’t become a serious competitor to Windows or the Mac: why invest in a platform that requires you to retrain all your users any time some developer decides everybody else’s desktop ought to look like his iPad? Thanks for wasting days of my time that I should be spending working, but instead will be spending humoring a developers’ desire for pointless change.


  23. The problem with GNOME 3 isn’t radical UI changes in the name of improved usability and a superior workflow. No, the problem with GNOME 3 is that it denies users the possibility of configuring the system to their liking. By treating users like idiot children and taking the attitude that the GNOME developers and designers know best those same people are shooting themselves in the foot. If the new workflow is really superior it will win people over on merits, not because they can’t switch away. Few people would argue against the right of the GNOME developers to set up any radical user experience any way they like, but every right minded person will vehemently reject the notion that those developers know the one true behavior to the point where the possibility of changing it is denied.

    I don’t know if this started with Havoc and Metacity’s “We try to do the best thing so that options are not required” attitude, but arguments about that were the first I became aware of it. Is it really possible to always know as the developer what is best for the user? I think the answer is that sometimes you can, but usually you can’t. If you can be mostly certain most of the time then it makes sense to just do the right thing, but if you know you will be wrong part of the time you should provide the user the ability to control it.

    This is not the same as the old Linux issue of *requiring* the user to configure everything. That appeals to some people, maybe, but not to me. Go right ahead and do the best thing you can if the user does not specify, but always provide some mechanism for the user to specify and then respect that. And by “provide” I mean put in some place where any concerned user has a chance of both discovering and setting it without learning any black magic.

    Getting back to GNOME 3, the problem is that decisions were made about how people should use their computers and mechanisms to change those decisions were specifically edited out of the code or, at the least, were relegated to such a second class status that bit rot is inevitable (and probably rapid). The theory is that this is better for everyone, because the designers made the best decisions, and if everyone would just use the GNOME 3 workflow then everyone will be happy. Some users try this and don’t like it and want out, but the simple response is always “You must not have tried it long enough,” or something to the effect that any problematic use case is so uncommon as to be unworthy of any consideration by GNOME or its developers. (Actually, worse, not just unworthy of consideration but actually worthy of negative attention, meaning patches will be rejected.)

    It comes down to something fundamental and basic, which is a question of who gets to be in control and how much GNOME supports users who want to do the “wrong” things. Does GNOME say “We think its wrong, therefore you cannot do it without patching and recompiling yourself, so please use another DE” or does GNOME say “We think it’s wrong but we respect your right to do it anyway”? It appears that the answer is the former.


  24. @Sorpigal Right on!

    I feel even the Linux kernel is more user-friendly. They also have the mentality of “users should not need to configure anything”, but still the provide all the options. GNOME doesn’t need to try to provide “all the options”, just the sensible ones. The problem is that without user feedback (which they actively reject), they have no idea which ones are sensible.


  25. I lasted a whole 2 frustrating hours after upgrading from Fc14. If I wanted a tablet or a mac I would have bought one. Hopefully by the time 14 reaches it’s end of life I will have found an alternative DE that I can work with. I always liked gnome for it’s uniqueness and flexibility, now it has all the cachet and diversity of a Squirrel POS system.


  26. After trying-out Gnome 3, I read some of the discourse amongst developers, and discovered that Gnome 3 is an example of social engineering. That is to say that they decided that users having been doing things wrong, and should be compelled to do them differently. There’s a gross incompetence about user interface design embedded in this conclusion.

    In my case, I was confronted with Gnome 3 after moving from Fedora Core 14 to Core 15. I’d say that this interface could well kill Fedora as a desktop platform, unless there is a hard-and-fast correction. I don’t expect such a correction.


  27. I’ve tried Gnome 3 and really didn’t find it logical at all. Hopefully they will realize their mistake quickly and change. Xfce & Lxde should benefit from this.


  28. Felipe,

    Love your blog and couldn’t agree more.

    Gnome3 sucks for so many reasons… I appreciate the spirit of the developers in offering something a bit different from the Windows/Mac paradigm. However, removing the minimize and expand buttons right away killed it for me. Also, the fact that the ‘top bar’ of the window frames sits on top of the ‘file,edit,help’ options; creating windows with huge frames… it’s obtrusive and ugly. Just small things like this make Gnome3 a, ‘no show’.

    If Microsoft released an interface like this they would be mocked… a lot. Thank God desktop Linux isn’t popular, otherwise the general public might liken the quality of Linux to the ‘usability & style’ of Gnome3.


  29. Just upgraded from Fedora 10 to Fedora 15 and confronted by this UI that confuses me. About to upgrade back to Fedora 14 if I can. I just want to get on with working, not relearn everything.


  30. What’s new in my life? Ah, trying to figure out which sucks more. Unity or Gnome3. So far it’s a pretty fair tie in my book. Future linux desktops are looking grim. And I do agree that just when they “get it right”, they screw it all up. Gnome 2.X latter revs were super. KDE 3.5 was good. Unity sucks period.


  31. @lzap I already mentioned that alt-tab extension; it fixes one issue, but not the fact that all the windows of all work-spaces appear on the list.


  32. “Xfce on contrast works perfectly without any change.”

    If you think that Xfce “works perfectly”, then you are guaranteed to be disappointed with any other software, because it is different by definition and therefore not perfect to you. (Besides, if Xfce is perfect, why do they keep making new releases? 🙂

    “But the system should adapt to me, not me to the system.”

    You have clearly adapted to systems in the past (nobody is born knowing what ALT-tab does!), so this isn’t really fair to Gnome 3 or any other new software. Users have adapted to other systems, which they use, and then a new design comes along, and regardless of whether it is better or worse, users want something that is just like what they had before, and refuse to perform even the same level of adaptation they did for the old system. Thus, to such users, a new system can never win.

    As Alan Cooper (I believe) once pointed out: in order to make something better, you have to make it different.

    This is not surprising because it is not new. For example, I knew many people who thought, even as late as the early 2000’s, that MS-DOS was “perfect” and refused to try some ‘newfangled mouse thingy’. That’s not to say that Gnome 2 or Xfce or anything else is the same as MS-DOS, because clearly it is not, but the motivations of the players is similar: people building programs want to change things to make them better, while people using programs don’t want to throw away the time and effort they’ve already invested in learning to use the old system.

    I haven’t tried Gnome 3 yet and I have no desire to be an early adopter here, either, but I will note that new releases (.0’s) tend to be pretty bad regardless of whether the ideas are any good, simply because they’re new and still rough around the edges — in all fields, not just software. It sounds like with Gnome 3 they’ve realized that it’s much easier to add features than to remove them, for example, and so (like other later-successful .0 releases) they’ve erred on the side of not enough rather than too much. It sounds like they’ve recognized that they’ll want to change a lot of things later, and therefore wrote a lot of it in an HLL (JS rather than C), too. So this is exactly what I would expect from a young release: lots of changes, strong feelings on both sides, and designed to allow for even more big changes in the near future. I don’t think your hatred today reflects anything they’ve done wrong, and I’ll be looking forward to Gnome 3.2.


  33. Gnome blew it, they completly blew it!. Gnome shell along with Unity may work well on tablets and phones, but NOT on the Desktop. I tried with both, gave them both an honest effort but they both blow chucks. If I wanted a bloody tablet I’d buy one but there is a reason why I don’t have a tablet. I have a dual monitor setup for a bloody reason, I don’t enjoy having to do twice the amount of work to just open a bloody app and I don’t have a “touch” screen on my desktop nor lappy.

    I actually revisted KDE, not bad and way more functionality than either Gnome shell and Unity. I miss the balance of performance and features Gnome had. So Gnome has lost me, I’m evaluating and will be either migrating to XFCE or KDE.

    Gnome Dev’s, stop with the mental masterbation and get back to designing a “functional” desktop and not a tablet/phone interface ……..


  34. Gnome 3 doesn’t really suck, I have bee using it for a week.

    Its workflow is incredibly different to conventional window managers, you are not supposed to resize windows or manage them, and the whole gnome OS is built around that concept. There are keyboard shortcuts for switching windows to other workspaces instantly, and there are other very handy shortcuts as well

    The major problem is customization, and not that gnome 3 is “horrible”. A lot of your points are laughably biased, mainly because you say that gnome 3 is bad because it doesn’t work the way you are used to

    That is very different to saying that Gnome 3.0 is very different to KDE or Gnome 2.x, but the major issue is its customization (and tbh, Gnome has always had this issue)


  35. @alexcpglex I din’t say XFCE works perfectly, I said it works perfectly for *that* use-case.

    And you are wrong, first of all, GNOME 3 *kept* alt-tab. if they wanted people to use something different that doesn’t use alt-tab, they should have removed it. And I tried to use GNOME 3 without using alt-tab, but it’s *slower*. Something slower is by definition worst.

    Different != better.

    Sure, it’s a .0 release and improvements are to be expected. The problem, is that GNOME developers have already decided beforehand, that some things will *not* change. They are perfect. That is the problem.


  36. Agree entirely, and also with your dispatches of those who accuse you of some inability to adapt. The comparison to adapting to an electric typwriter is particularly hilarious.

    I can see why the developers might have very liberally done away with direct routes to configurability; there’s a false economy in the idea that simpler is better, I suppose. But the MS developers did better with Windows Vista to 7 transition, in my opinion. Users complained about the problems of Vista precipitating from too many knobs to turn; 7 left almost all those features intact but more intuitively grouped routes to their configuration.

    Gnome 3 puts most of my most-used features out of reach. I can track down shell extensions and otherwise waste my time, or I can use an alternative (and, I guess, be accused by some simpletons of being a Luddite). I will use an alternative, and I will have to stop recommending Fedora outright to my associates because I don’t expect they’ll be satisfied with Gnome 3.

    I hope that if user share moves appreciably to xfce or lxde or something, the lost man-hours you speak of will be redirected to what we’re using.

    Gnome 3 is also bad, I think, for newbies. Linux was an easy sell to those seeking greater freedom to configure their experience. It loses value by requiring configuration to happen closer to the metal, now that features are out of reach in Gnome 3. Newbies don’t deserve an unnecessarily steep learning curve, and Gnome 3 doesn’t make anything easier, it simply makes things gone. Things that we wanted.

    It makes several things we didn’t want, present. I’m not a Luddite because I’m incapable of using mouse gestures, or adapting to an OSX dashboard knockoff. The beef we’re going to see much more of is that we have made a trade: features we want, for features we didn’t ask for. Why is it so offensive to recognize that for what it is to many users?

    I’m done with Gnome for a while. Will check back in a few years. I’m glad that there is plenty of involvement in other DEs among the Fedora community. That’s where I’ll take my involvement — gotta keep those mechanical typewriter features (like, minimizing windows with one click, or reliably cycling through windows, or having wide font support) intact!


  37. @Fizzy Grundleson There’s no need to give up on Fedora because of the GNOME 3 fiasco. You can use KDE, XFCE, LXDE, E17, or pretty much anything out there 🙂


  38. You have to give the Gnome team credit for accomplishing a near impossible feat – they have designed something that manages to suck and blow at the same time.


  39. Ahaha yeah, I tried to live with it when the latest Ubuntu shoved it up mine… I REALLY tried. Got royally pissed after a week due to the non-intuitive interface, horrible drag-and-drop support, many broken fullscreen apps and some bizarre phantom zone in the middle of the screen that for some reason disabled mousewheel usability when the pointer hovered over it, no matter what program window was focused.

    I was happy that, supposedly, I could revert back to the classic shell if I didn’t like the brand-new interface… well shit, I went back after a few days and surprise, the phantom zone followed me. Switched to Linux Mint right away, but I’m afraid they’ll eventually (if not already done) integrate Gnome 3 as well.


  40. Well, I must say that I do not really agree with you. When Fedora15 was released with Kernel 2.6.38, I wasn’t able to use Gnome3 because the video drivers were bad for my setup (Sandy-Bridge Laptop) and I used Xfce (which I really like). But ever since I saw Gnome3 for the first time, tried non-final versions etc, I really liked its design and always wanted to try it on real hardware when it’s ready.

    First, some bad things:

    Many things suck on Gnome3 when you do not configure it. Some are not configurable, as far as I know. For example, I cannot set Win+Up to maximize windows (of course, works in Xfce and Gnome2), Win+e for nautilus/filemanager (of course, works in Xfce and Gnome2), Win+f for Firefox (of course, works in Xfce and Gnome2) and so on. Win+r for command prompt or Win+x for terminal work, by the way, whyever. I found out that you can map left Win-Key to Meta somewhere in the settings, but that destroys some Alt-key functionality.
    Then there is this command prompt. I always use(d) it, for example to start firefox/thunderbird -P –no-remote and the prompts in Xfce, Gnome2 and also KDE remember the command. Gnome3 does not. (No, I don’t want to have a customized starter button in the dash or something like that, perhaps I should create wrapper-skripts in my ~/bin).
    Besides functionality-issues: Why the hell does yum want to remove gnome-shell when I want to uninstall bluez?

    Better things:

    There are extensions. I use many of them. I also use another theme, which has smaller Icons, removed some unusable things in the top bar. I use the alternate-tab extensions, because the default behaviour is really annoying, there is a plugin for pidgin integration and many more.


    It looks well 🙂
    It works well, after setting it up. I also set up every other desktop environment I use, also Xfce…
    I just am a Gnome user I would say. Had some problems with Xfce, too.

    Well, all in all, I can work with it in a very productive way, I like it. And I can work around all those problems. Most of them don’t exist anymore.

    One last thing about Gnome3 and configuration problems.
    I think, it’s the wrong way to disable advanced settings. But the counterexample, KDE, is not much better in my opinion.
    Q: Where can I set up this and that? A: That must be somewhere in the system settings.
    Well, in KDE, _everything_ is “somewhere in the systemsettings”.

    There must be a compromise, I am looking forward to Gnome3.2.


  41. What GNU/Linux and open source software provides is the choice of freedom to end users.

    I use Fluxbox for the window manager, Gnome 2 programs occasionally. I prefer to use programs that have simplicity and functionality built-in. For example, Google Chrome has all the features hidden without exposing buttons and menus, etc. That’s why I switched to Chrome from the Firefox.

    What I understand what the Gnome 3 is all about the developers copy design of iPhone and iPad. I don’t see there are any innovation or UI improvement for desktop users. They just follow the trend driven by money market.

    I hope next version of Debian won’t ship Gnome 3 as default desktop environment.


  42. Good article, and I agree with most of the comments too. Gnome 3, which I inadvertently installed when upgrading to FC15, is not intuitive at all, and it seems to make even the simplest of tasks more difficult. With most tasks there seems to be at least one or two extra mouse-clicks involved, and switching between windows and minimizing them, etc, etc is horrible. I did give it a good try-out, but eventually switched to XFCE. I’d still prefer Gnome2, but XFCE is streets ahead of Gnome 3.

    Gnome 3 will seriously put many users off of using Fedora, especially newcomers. I really wish they’d left it the way it was. (i.e. usable).


  43. Yeah, it’s amazing that people did not look at Compiz and say.. LET’S USE THAT. Could you imagine if everyone had helped out on Compiz and developed their new desktop experiences as Compiz plugins, the way Unity has..? It’d be FUCKING AWESOME. Every DE now has their own shitty compositing manager; none hold a candle to the flexibility and elegance of Compiz. Gnome and KDE.. and even Xfce.. should be ashamed for not leveraging good, existing technology.. and instead recreating the wheel for the sake of ownership.

    It’s like all of these Linux groups want to toot the horn of openness and freedom, but they all basically just want to run the show, just like corporations.


  44. Gnome 3 sucks worst in a multi-monitor environment and it assumes most people only have a few windows open at a time. This is not true in my case. I always always have 8 desktops across two HD monitors and with about 20-30 windows open at a time. As a developer and independent contractor and personal user Gnome 3 just makes it way to onerous (read too many clicks) to get to the desktop/window I want. The Activity hot-spot is in the wrong location whereas my desktop applet is always on the lower center where the monitors meet–this is also, unconventionally where I position my menus and favorites and other most used applets. As Gnome 3 does not allow customizations it just doesn’t work for people who have alot of work to do.


  45. One note on Alt-Tab: The big change is that it now switches between applications, not windows. I dislike that. To switch between windows in the current workspace, use Alt-Esc. This worked in GNOME2, and continues to work in GNOME3.

    New DE/graphical shells are always annoying. That was true of GNOME2, KDE4, and *gasp* IS true of Unity as well. Expect both Unity and GNOME-Shell to return so some semblance of useability in several devel/release iterations. In the mean time, everybody should shut up and sit down.


  46. Sorry to go off topic, but:
    Regardless of the numerous cons and the few pros, I’m just happy to be reading this discussion – and the fact that that you’re even having one is good enough for me.
    While other more widely spread OS’ will not even have the config options nor the ability to choose your own flavor. 😉 Posted just as a friendly reminder and yes, I realize this is not the most appropriate commentarium for my thoughts 🙂


  47. gnome 3… wtf?

    gnome 2 more or less managed to stay out of the way- gnome 3 imposes itself like week old cat poop ground into your carpet. I’ve been a heavy Linux user since the late 90’s and I must say gnome 3 is the most annoying UI I’ve ever seen.

    Hello xfce on all my new boxes, and a Big Thank You for all the developers who make it possible.

    yum install switchdesk-gui @xfce-desktop

    and the UI just disappears into the background- like its supposed to be


  48. First off, I will admit I use Fedora 15 sometimes and I too have critiques I would like to share with the Gnome Project team, but I still find it a viable solution in the long run that you are clearly overlooking.

    Alexcpglex made a great point that you have obviously ignored and you should really put aside bigotry to actually consider it. When has anything gone right the first time? I would say that it is rare.

    Just to put it in perspective and I suppose I will say no more. Alexcpglex gave some better examples, but just to reinforce this idea… Do you remember “New” Coke? I am sure you can fill in the blanks from here. It is quite obvious that regardless of what one actually tastes when they drink “New” Coke, one will almost automatically reject the substance. Why? Because it is “New” meaning it is different. With, Coke, it was that people always group up with Classic Coke, and they didn’t want to give up the nostalgia that they get from taking that first sip of that can of Coke. This is the same believe it or not. I am sure you have picked up on my message at this point but let me put it in plain English for you. When one has lived with something for a long time and have experienced it as a part of their lives. In short, you have likely always grown up with that classic Gnome 2 sort of feel. I don’t think that Linus Torvalds just despises Gnome 3 because of its possible inconveniences. He most likely dislikes it because it is not the classic feel that he has enjoyed up to this point. Most people would likely be no different.

    Just read up on how the psychology behind the “New Coke Fiasco”. It appears no different, however I already know that you disagree with this and will likely never actually accept the change, moreover you will ignore this entirely as bigots usually do.


  49. (Michael Swan): “Alexcpglex made a great point that you have obviously ignored and you should really put aside bigotry to actually consider it. When has anything gone right the first time? I would say that it is rare.”

    Well, I’m no eminence in software-related issues, but I believe when you’re planning to force an “oh so great” change down our throats, you could, at the very least, make it OPTIONALLY available one or two releases earlier for betatesting purposes (and no, closed betatesting doesn’t count because its biased most of the time).


  50. Long-term solution??? are you kidding? My routine work setup is 4 to 6 workspaces with anywhere from 1 to 8 apps running in each, how can I possibly keep track of all that stuff in g3? I need to minimize windows, I need stuff to not flip around because I do a lot of hopping from window to window and a lot of screen change per action causes confusion which wastes time. I need to use hotkeys for everything instead of constantly reaching for the mouse because the mouse interrupts & slows me down. I use Windomaker which has nice subtle mouse characteristics (I guess they’re “gestures” now) – try alt-rightclick & drag to adjust a window’s size- no need to get the mouse on the window corner- you’ll never go back.

    I did try g3, its way too clumsy and the eyecandy doesn’t do anything but distract. Maybe its fine for people who want a simple looking interface for just a few windows- no problem everyone should have an interface that works for them, but if you’re going to make such a huge change, at least make it possible to get something close to the old behavior back. Hey I guess g3 is pushing a philosophical agenda about how everything should look and act like a Mac or at least close enough so they can’t sue, so whatever- switchdesk and xfce is a great solution for the problem.


  51. I guess he mentions that there is an extension but I still don’t get the issue then. Someone please explain why this is an issue at all? If there is an extension for it, why is it a problem? I don’t get it.


  52. When Gnome 3 came out I couldn’t wait to try it. But…….
    I can’t even tell it’s Gnome anymore. They didn’t upgrade it or ‘change’ it, they
    developed a whole new DE. It’s so different I don’t know why it’s even called
    Gnome at all. Unitab or something might have been better. Even Linus wants
    people to start a fork of Gnome because in his words….”It sucks.”
    Period, no long explanations needed. I think it took me 2 hours to figure out
    how to set up a screensaver.
    I gave up trying to figure out how to set up my panels.
    Productivity…? You joke…
    Do I rant like a madman…yes. Am I happy…no.

    I will use KDE until something better comes along, Gnome 3 was not it.


  53. “i think most people forgot why we joined linux in the first place.”

    That is just plain pathetic. You didn’t “join” Linux you moronic dickhead, you chose to use it. Other people chose to make it and now they’re updating it as they see fit.

    You know what to do if you don’t like it….

    That’s right…GTFO.


  54. (Kenneth Groves): “You should actually look for a solution before you rage about it. Searching the web is a good idea in most circumstances so I would recommend getting used to it.”

    You do realize that most casual users aren’t even going to bother trying to search for solutions to problems they can’t even identify? DURRRR…


  55. +Michael Swan

    I don’t think that Linus Torvalds just despises Gnome 3 because of its possible inconveniences. He most likely dislikes it because it is not the classic feel that he has enjoyed up to this point. Most people would likely be no different.

    Well, you are wrong. He dislikes it because it’s crap. The problems have been listed, and ignored by GNOME developers. Which is precisely why in “the long run” GNOME 3 will still be crap; the issues are dismissed.

    The fact that you can attribte the “new” effect to some changes doesn’t mean you can attribute it to all changes. Some changes are truly bad.

    Oh, by the way. His first point is completely nullified at this point

    Bullshit, I did mention two issues. One could be workedaround with extensions, but the other one is not. Do you even know how to read? Here, I’ll help you:

    The second issue is that applications are grouped together, so you can’t use alt-tab to cycle through say, all gvim windows, you have to use alt-` for that (GNOME 3 invention I guess). Fortunately, there’s an extension for that.

    Not to mention the fact that extensions are discouraged by GNOME developers, because they go against the “wholistic” design of gnome-shell, or some crap like that.

    Now, go up and read again to see what is the first issue.


    Why fork? There’s XFCE.


  56. I will stick with Mint Debian until it goes to gnome-shell. Once I am forced to a desktop environment that I detest, I will stick with Windows. I can’t stand kde or xfce. I don’t desire to try something so radically different than what I like and am used to. I will spend my time and/or money on an OS that I like. I don’t like anything about gnome-shell, which to me is worse than Unity.


  57. I’m generally in favor of simplified UIs and have used Linux (and eventually Mac OS X) to get away from Windows 95 style usability. I am about as far as you can get from the people in some threads claiming Windows 95 had the perfect desktop UI and we should keep that style forever.

    That doesn’t change the fact that Gnome 3 is bad. They achieved obscurity, not simplicity. It isn’t easier to get things done, it’s more difficult. Every action seems to have been designed to take twice the mouse movement and twice as many clicks. I’ve fumbled with Gnome3 for two months and it isn’t getting any better, it really isn’t a “you need more time with it” issue.

    With terrible usability in features like “aero-snap” (apparently ripped off from Windows 7?) it feels like Gnome 3 blindly grabbed the worst features of Windows 7, OS X, and tablets, and smashed them together. Why the sudden focus on maximized windows when the trend has been the exact opposite as we’ve moved to higher resolutions, bigger monitors, and smaller fixed-width web pages? If I maximized my web browser this page would still only fill up half (or less!) of my wide screen *laptop*, let alone a real monitor! I’m OK with getting rid of minimizing-to-tray as a concept, but getting rid of maximizing (outside of the few apps for which it makes sense: videos and video games) should have come first. At the very least it shouldn’t have been turned into an incredibly clunky and unintuitive action triggered by moving your windows around.

    Gnome 3 could easily change directions and become usable in just a revision or two, even keeping the bulk of its concepts. As others have noted though, if feedback was being listened to, we wouldn’t have seen it release in this state in the first place. When I started hearing good things about Gnome again I’ll probably give it a try, but I won’t get my hopes up.


  58. Note form a non-power user and non-geek.

    Ah, UNITY…. now that’s a real curse. When it happened to me (using Ubuntu and upgraded to “latest release”) I was so confused 😉 ….I wanted to cry, couldn’t find my things, couldn’t configure the things I wanted to (easily). But most importantly, the headache it gave me when my missus started complaining that her “Windows” didn’t work any more 😉 Uh…I am soooo busy that I just don’t have the time or energy to fiddle around with these things so luckily I found out there was a “Classic” mode. And this is what we’re still running with…

    Nice blog – Keep up the good work.


  59. I tried Gnome 3 on Fedora 15; I liked it. I showed it to my Linux-using friends; they liked it. I showed it to my girlfriend; she likes it. There are bugs and usability issues, but you could find these in Gnome 2 as well. I hope to see what improvements the next releases will bring.

    Chill with the hate guys, there’s nobody forcing you to use Gnome 3 if you don’t want to.


  60. Eddie, with respect, they are forcing long term Gnome users to use Gnome 3, because the classic style, that many seem to prefer, will soon become obsolete. That’s why many Gnome users who don’t like 3 are switching to XFCE, as it’s a DE that isn’t (to date) getting a total redesign. Gnome 3 should really have been released as a new and separate DE for those who have a preference to it.


  61. Yep Gnome 3 sucks big time.
    Just to rephrase some big issues by my standards…

    A HUGE problem for me is that if i got 4 different browsers and 6 terminals open and all minimized then there is no freaking way to tell how many windows i have minimized by simply looking at the desktop. It gets more confusing if some of them are also opened.
    I normally work with 10+ windows and the normal “Window List” works fine. There are also applets like “Talika”… but hey all applets are now DEAD !!!

    Because of how running windows are presented at right sidebar it’s also a real pain to select 4th and 5th.. then again.. 4th and 5th terminal/browser/officeapp window.
    And as ALT+TAB is also screwed… there is no way to WORK with this desktop.

    Its like.. built for small notebooks where its practical to work with one application a time because more will slow down computer performance (pff.. early Atom processors).

    I also hate the immovable “panel” at the top and left.
    I want it to be down and right ! Takes just a sec to move them around in gnome2.

    Only good stuff i see is that yes.. there is a lot of resolution (vertical space especially) free for running application. And some effort in “unified” messaging system helps this along.
    But at this time i got nothing to do with this “extra” working space because its unusable.

    …. so gnome 3 is dead.. what next ??
    you might think “Linux Mint” will work (it got gnome2)…

    Well it has a serious bug.
    They brought in some latest packages from Ubuntu (involving panels i think) and if you load like around 5 applets on to panels.. some will RANDOMLY crash at login. There are bug reports at Ubuntu side and discussion on Mint side but no fix. I guess there will never be a fix, because gnome nor Ubuntu are commited to fixing old but usable gnome2 stuff like panels.

    Im going the hard way.. Debian Squeeze netboot. Then installing gnome2 (default in squeeze repositoris) on it. And im counting on Debian to be as stubborn as always and declare “stable” and “usable” when it really is… and gnome3 is not stable nor usable.



  62. Sorry.. i may have confused some stuff..

    “Window List” and “Talika” – usable gnome2 panel applets.
    Gnome3 got nothing like these are not even close.
    The gnome3 wannabee is at left side not right (a typo in my previous post)

    Also a question for a wide public to discuss (maybe not here though..)
    “If gnome3 continues to suck” /
    “If gnome3 does not stop being like Windows Vista.. all useful stuff hidden away and unusable”

    Then what should be the next low profile (not KDE and enlightenment) good and usable desktop environment.
    Lxde, Thunar, ?
    Or something ultra light should be taken as base and built upon..
    like Fluxbox, Openbox and similar ? (missing a lot of stuff by default).


  63. I didn’t read all of the replies from this blog, but it looks like there are a lot of people with the same reaction to Gnome3.

    All I can really say is that I am incredibly frustrated by the bugs and the Mac-like way that the interface hides all of the configuration. I REALLY hate to say this, but Windows 7 is more stable than this horrible desktop environment.


  64. Windows 7 is the best Operating System since Windows XP. Linux does not belong on the desktop (And Windows 2008 R2 would blow it away anyway as a server). Linux is a hobbiest OS which is more picky with hardware and software than Windows has ever been, PERIOD. Get off the ‘Microsoft is Bad’ bandwagon and get productive with an operating system that ‘JUST SIMPLY WORKS’!


  65. +James Crow You might be right in respect to the desktop, but everywhere else Linux wins. Linux is everywhere, you are probably using it on a daily basis without even been aware of it.

    Microsoft monopolistic practices can only work to a certain extent, eventually either the desktop will become irrelevant, or Linux will finally conquer it. It’s only a matter of time.


  66. I just upgraded from F14 to 15 and couldn’t believe what a fiasco it is. I spent an afternoon trying to figure Gnome 3 out. The bloody thing is a worthless, absolutely worthless; it’s like New Coke. I don’t mind the default being G3, but not providing any fall back options is inconsiderate. Yeah, I know, G3 is the future, G2 is dead, blah, blah. But G3 will never work for me because I want to configure my own icons and I will never, ever go to whatever they call their menu system when I can click a bloody icon. The developers know what’s best for me but that doesn’t include my convenience. I installed Ubuntu.


  67. history repeats its self.. “when at peak there’s only one way left to go”

    gnome2: peak

    gnome3: decline


  68. Moved from Gnome 3 to Xfce (very happy with the decision) 2 weeks ago. After 2 months using Gnome 3 I’ve reached my patient limits (Linus did the same) with all the desktop limitations, buggy shell extensions, etc. It looks nice, isn’t slow as some talk about, but it’s not practical for users that like having full control over the desktop. I’ve said ‘desktop’, in my case a workstation, not saying a tablet.

    In my case the most annoying ‘un-features’ is the fact that we don’t have control over the notification area (you cannot get control over the notification area that goes always to the 2nd screen) and also multi-monitor is so bad.

    Xfce provide all the power we had similar when using gnome 2.*.


  69. I think gnome 3 is pretty good actually, but as any release with these numbers it has lots of little details, these are the things I would add to make it very good if not perfect for me:

    1-Resize windows with alt+right click
    2-Workspace extensions by default, as it lets you cange desktop without keyboard, only with the mouse wheel
    3-Make the mouse wheen change app when turned above the application tittle (the thing which is right of activities)
    4-Clean a bit gnome-tweak-tool and add it under Advancer button inside system settings.
    5-add an option to show only icons in systray (the bar on the bottom right).
    6-Make extensions more stable and easy to install/use. For example giving a button that says get more, like the kde gethotnewstuff. And integrate it in gnome-tweak

    That would be all about gnome, though gnome apps themselves need some features/polish themselves, The nice thing is that kde aps blend perfectly in gnome 3, including theme, icons, modal dialogs,etc.
    Personally I like the zukitwo theme far more than adwaita, but that’s more personal.


  70. Hey Felipec I quite don’t get your change of desktop problem, if you use ctrl+alt+shift and the arrows you place your window wherever you want. That’s been like that by default for the last few releases of Ubuntu for example, I prefer just ctrl+alt myself but that just a question of taste.
    I do go with you about the alt+tab the old fashion way was nicer.


  71. I like only the fact that the “Super” Key gives an overview of running apps.
    If there now was a way to change with one key (e.g up/down/left/right and space to select) the app it would really get shell feeling. Not figured out how to do that…

    That’s about it for now. I am running on a big Plasma TV – and I can’t even hide the panel or regularly change backgrounds to avoid burn in. And getting rid of pulse, which in turn hinders ac3 passthrough to some extend – is a nightmare. However it looks nice. Only not just yet usable….


  72. Moved to XFCE too. I sincerely hope that Xfce team don’t follow gnome to do something ridiculous. Maybe 1 year from now, gnome guys may eventually admit they made a mistake.


  73. The whole point of using Linux for a lot of people, myself included, is power and efficiency – that means visibility into everything, control over everything, techie-oriented approach to things – yes, 32 desktops, long feature-rich menus, infinite customization etc. Gnome 2 clicked very well with that philosophy. Out comes Gnome 3, and the feeling is that someone took away all my tools and replaced them with a toy for newbies. Catering to new Linux users while forcing everyone else into the “Fallback Graphics Mode” is so wrong on so many levels that I can’t begin to express my annoyance and frustration. Feels like 10+ years of my dedicated use meant nothing to people who set priorities for what the Gnone 3 should be like.

    Additionally, for many people (again, myself included), Linux is not a toy but a work tool. I.e., even if Gnome3 somewhere under the hood does allow you to mess with itself to the point where you recover most Gnome2 features, I can’t afford to waste time doing it – I have actual work to do.

    I do understand people’s desire to move forward, make Linux attractive to new users, etc. I just don’t understand why they had to call it Gnome. Could have released it as a whole new environment, and let everyone else be content with what they had.


  74. I love some of the arrogant replies of those opposed to the Unity/Gnome3 nay sayers. If the devs hold true to that kind of attitude they may be in for a big surprise. It’s irrelevant what you think of people’s argument against a product unless you are actually listening to their concerns with the purpose of addressing those same concerns. But if your only purpose is to deflect, reject and minimize their concerns in order to further your own agenda; then things may turn out poorly if the masses feel the same way or similar to those who actually vocalized their nays. In simple terms, you better be sure that the majority of your current user base is on your side or you may find usage falling though the roof and it does matter if you think your right or not. Ask Henry Ford about the Edsel. It was the perfect blend of everything everyone wanted in a car. The problem was no one wanted that.


  75. All I want to know is how to find the app store in Gnome 3 I couldn’t find the ICON …………..
    There is a reason apple doesn’t run IOS on their “real” computers people wouldn’t be able to work yes some people do that on their computers. even the switch from OS9 to OSX was not as drastic, but the user was also left with more power and configurability as well windows has done the same thing gradual changes to the UI get people used to it then expand. Maybe in a few generations they might be able to bridge the gap between OSX and IOS but one thing is for sure Steve may have dropped Acid but at least he never smoked crack. GNOME needs a new FORK…..


  76. It’s your opinion, you seemed to always not want to like it anyway, I started using it yesterday and I’m already fully adapted to it and feeling more productive(and I’m a big window juggler, right now 10 windows open, 3 gvim tabs.. one split, 29 browser tabs total….and I’m just starting my day), not to mention its a real eye pleaser

    Don’t be so close minded, you have the right to not like it, but it’s your opinion, going “bah, Im old school! Im hardcore! in the old days everything was much better!” when I first opened gnome 3 I was confused for a bit but 5 minutes later I couldn’t help but be proud of these open source developers for making such a sophisticated, beautiful thing and how anyone watching me use this notebook would feel instantly interested(and this is relevant for linux to expand)… it can maybe be not be perfect for everyone, but this is linux, you can chose to use whatever you want and it’s also free…if you want to criticize it try also thinking about what would new users and outsiders would think about and try be constructive


  77. +breno So your opinion based on one day of usage is worth more than my two weeks? Who says tomorrow you wouldn’t start hating it?

    Anyway, it’s not an opinion; my use case is now less efficient, and more annoying. That’s a fact.

    Perpaps you don’t switch with alt-tab that often, or don’t rely on workspaces that much.

    Anyway, perhaps you are the one that is close-minded and is not willing to accept the fact that many critics of GNOME 3 actually have done their homework and still arrive to the conclusion that it sucks. Don’t be condecending and patronizing and assume we didn’t.


  78. Yeah, spot on. Neither Unity nor Gnome 3 achieve what Gnome 2 did, and still can. Hope somebody ‘forks’ it (well, Gnome 3 is the fork really…) as the original.


  79. Sorry, but your test just shows that Gnome 3 isn’t like Gnome 2 which is exactly right. Your comparison in your videos shows some “mindless” fumbling with Gnome 2 which obviously doesn’t work in Gnome 3. Maybe you could have also made a “workflow” video of Gnome 3 and compared that to Gnome 2. This is really one sided. You could have tested a car with left-hand drive, trying to do that in a car with right-hand drive and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work because everything works the other way round, so? By the way, you can move windows to other workspaces with shift-ctrl-alt which has been working in Gnome 2 for a long time, too.

    I’ve been using Gnome 3 for a week now and i don’t find it really that different from Gnome 2. In fact, i got used to some features which were already there in Gnome 2 but I didn’t use them before i tried Gnome 3. Some things are different which i find more useful, some things i don’t like. eg. the default Alt-Tab behavior really seems inconvenient, also after one week of usage. On the other hand i like switching between applications of the same type with Alt-` and if there were many open applications the task-bar really got more and more useless, so i don’t mind its absence at all.
    One point i totally agree with you is that Gnome 3 needs to be more configurable than it is now, as some features really just don’t do it. But at least there have been improvements with extensions. I hope in future they will be integrated in a more harmonious way. Gnome 3 is just at the beggining of its life and it will surely make the one or another step in the “right” direction and to do that it needs criticism. But it surely doesn’t deserve such biased presentation.


  80. +mikkl

    Your comparison in your videos shows some “mindless” fumbling with Gnome 2


    The use-case shown in the video is perfectly valid, used by many people, and completely broken by GNOME 3. You have no reason to ignore it, unless you are biased to make GNOME 3 look good.


  81. I’m done with Gnome3, for me it just hard to use, I even can not click a button at the bottom right of my screen. The reason I use linux so i can customize so I can use it, now I even can’t move the darn panel.
    Also the decision to remove shutdown or restart button, it just crazy I think, heck even windows 8 interface is almost the same as windows 7.


  82. I dunno about all you johnny-come-lately’s, Gnome2 was where i got off that merry-crazy go-round and switched to xfce … and never once looked back. (apart from some of the gnome crap that leaks in, like puss-audio)

    Sounds like some of the gnome devs think of themselves as s jobs and think they can dictate every detail to their users. TBH it wouldn’t matter except the main distros then force this crap onto theirs well before it’s ready by making politically motivated decisions.


  83. Thanks for this post and the responses. I have been wondering what to do about Gnome for a few months, and wanted an interface I felt OK with before I opted for any upgrades to my existing Ubuntu, or switch to something else. I have looked at LXDE a bit, mainly because I could run it on my n900, but wasn’t that comfortable with it. I like having a panel up top with the panel app as well as a workspace switcher down below, and my common apps in the middle of the top panel. So, following some comments I revisited XFCE, which I’d not looked at for 2 or 3 years. It takes a bit of getting used to configuring it, but it mostly works the way I am used to now, and moving the menu up to the top panel, I have everything more or less where I have come to expect it. I actually prefer the single menu, because while I liked separating out the top-level file view and System/Admin/Preference menu from Applications, some of the stuff Gnome chucked into those other two menus was pretty redundant really. So, XFCE looks like the way to go, thanks guys,



  84. As someone who absolutely loves his XFCE and Gnome 3 desktops, that was by far the worst showdown video I’ve seen of Gnome 3. He didn’t even try to make it fair.

    He constantly switched back to the Activities view (by mouse, which bugged me, but I can understand missing the fact that you can bring it up with Super) to do everything. You don’t need to bring up the view to press Alt+F2, to move windows, or switch desktops. In the XFCE video, he used keyboard shortcuts for everything, but not in the Gnome 3 vid. For me, there would have been literally no difference in the times for the tasks of his “showdown”. The ability to drag windows from workspace to workspace is a good idea, but it doesn’t work here because the workspaces are arranged vertically. The indicator panel and main panel would be in the way if you tried that.

    There are just a couple of random blatantly wrong statements that he put in there.

    First, the notion of minimizing windows went out the door when Gnome introduced unlimited desktops. Of course minimizing windows isn’t going to work properly when you force it to.

    Second, he claims that there isn’t even API, which I don’t even understand what he was getting at. Of course there is an API. Do you think that all those extensions enabling docks, making alternate menus, and new shortcuts were created by hacking code? Or are you referring to the conflict problem? Because the way the system is set up, there is no magical API for dealing with these types of conflicts. Firefox and Chrome extensions, if you notice, fit mostly under the category of “Add-Ons”. When you install, a new icon appears in a new menu slot, or on a bar somewhere. There is a neatly defined API for “adding on” to the existing UI. The Gnome 3 Shell API defines ways of editing core functionality of the system. These are more akin to true extensions. For instance, I can’t install the old Shockwave Flash and Adobe Flash in the same browser. They both modify the same core part. The best that can be done is to have the ability to mark extensions incompatible before they are installed.

    Third, you can shutdown and restart from the user menu, you just have to hold down Alt (I agree this is stupid). In the latest snapshot, there’s an option to disable this.

    Fourth, clicking on an already open doesn’t open another version of the app. Pull up Windows 7 and try the same. Pull up Mac OS X and try the same. Pull up Unity and try the same. This holds true for all DE’s that launch and manage apps from the same place. This isn’t some “screwed up Gnome 3 way of doing things”, it is the most logical way of doing things in this situation. I can’t imagine how I would switch apps by app name without Alt-Tabbing. Which brings me to my final point:

    Fifth, alt-Tabbing works fine (better for me). It’s not broken, you just don’t like the way it handles, which is fine. Use the extension.

    All-in-all, there were only two valid points I saw. Font settings are broken, and some of the functionality in the API should be implemented as configurable options. Gnome 3 is not very configurable. This is true. Gnome 3.2 is twice as configurable. Have we forgotten how KDE4 went? Terrible -> Bearable -> Awesome.

    I personally prefer XFCE4 just because I like that style of desktop. But as a Gnome 3 user, this article just pisses me off.


  85. +Greg

    He constantly switched back to the Activities view

    No, only once.

    You don’t need to bring up the view to press Alt+F2, to move windows, or switch desktops.

    I don’t know what you mean by that.

    For me, there would have been literally no difference in the times for the tasks of his “showdown”.

    Go ahead, post a video.

    1) First, the notion of minimizing windows went out the door when Gnome introduced unlimited desktops. Of course minimizing windows isn’t going to work properly when you force it to.

    When was that? Last I checked there still was the option in the window menu, plus they keyboard shortcut, plus the hidden option to add the minimize button (see gnome-tweaks).

    Even if they did that, it would still be a problem because they haven’t provided an alternative that does the same. I want certain windows to be hidden, to disappear from the view while I’m browsing workspaces. This could easily be solved by adding a hidden workspace, but they don’t have that, so the issue is still there.

    2) Second, he claims that there isn’t even API, which I don’t even understand what he was getting at. Of course there is an API.

    No, there isn’t. You must not be a programmer, or haven’t looked at the code from the extensions.

    There is no API for extensions, the extensions hack the current code by overriding the current code (variables or functions). That means that when you override a function, you have to copy all the code, otherwise the current behavior would break. So if they add new functionality in 3.2 and you use a 3.0 extension, it’s entirely possible that you would miss some functionality, or even have reliability issues, crashes, etc.

    Go ahead, try to find the documentation of this “gnome-shell extension API”.

    That’s why GNOME developers are against extensions:

    3) You can shutdown and restart from the user menu, you just have to hold down Alt (I agree this is stupid).

    Whatever happened to “GNOME, made of easy”?

    Sure, I can also type “halt”, or “reboot” from the command line, but you are missing the point; there was no reason to remove such options that people rely on. Many are complaining about it, adding hidden features would not help to the fact that people don’t understand why that was removed.

    4) Clicking on an already open doesn’t open another version of the app.

    First of all, if many people do it, doesn’t mean you should. But having said that, I have tried all of those DE’s, and in those it works better because you can actually see that the app is already open, in GNOME 3 it’s barely visible. Plus, not all DE’s do that.

    And second, that’s no reason to break existing behavior. When I click the browser icon I expect a new browser window, when I click a terminal icon I expect the same. This can be easily solved in the new model by having a menu option: “Always open a new window”. Problem solved.

    5) Alt-Tabbing works fine (better for me). It’s not broken, you just don’t like the way it handles, which is fine. Use the extension.

    FFS, please, read the blog post; there is no extension for that. You are confusing the issue.

    That is the problem of throwing to the trash year and years of improvement and tuning; there will be people that are not involved in the development whose workflow will be broken. That’s why the only sensible way to move forward is through iterative development, and when you remove a feature people rely on, allow for a grace period, and allow the option to go back.


  86. I’m actually super-psyched about the new window-switching behavior. In Gnome2, alt-tab switched between all windows of all apps, and there was no way to switch between windows within an app (e.g. between a mail message and the main mail window, or even a preferences window floating above its parent app). Gnome3 is more like standard mac behavior: the primary navigation is between apps, the secondary navigation is between windows of the same app.

    (Of course, maybe this is because I never got into the habit of using multiple workspaces/desktops. I tried, but it never made sense to me for various reasons that are probably way beyond the scope of this thread.)


  87. It might be because this test was done before 3.2, but I really think this article and many of the comments here are incredibly childish. A good example: “It is really useless. Nothing more to say. They changed a working system into almost a brick.”

    People who instantly hate Gnome 3 and say “I had to tweak it a million times to get what I wanted” are just not getting it. More than that, they’re not even trying to. I do recognise that some design choices in this new interface isn’t to my liking either, but after getting used to it in general, and just accepting the changes for what they are, I’ve fallen completely in love with it.

    I’m a professional Linux user, BTW. So all you guys who say it’s not for porfessionals, it’s because you are unwilling to change your habits. Grow the hell up and take a chance.


  88. +misfisk

    People who instantly hate Gnome 3 and say “I had to tweak it a million times to get what I wanted” are just not getting it. More than that, they’re not even trying to.

    That’s childish. The whole blog post is evidence that is not the case. I tried for two weeks, and after those weeks, my issue was still there. I provided a video showing how badly it affects my workflow, and nobody has provided evidence of how my workflow can be done efficiently with GNOME 3 (or 3.2).

    The fact that your workflow can be achieved somehow doesn’t mean other people’s workflow does too, that’s a clear error in logic called generalization. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that if something works for you, it must work for everybody.

    GNOME 3 does break workflows. Period.


  89. This was my experience too. I installed Fedora 15, and was sandbagged by Gnome3. It presented a completely different work environment than I was used to. I gave it a try for a couple of days and finally threw up my hands. It was like waking up one day and finding the steering wheel of your car hidden in the trunk. If that makes sense to you, then good for you. But it doesn’t make sense for me, I can’t see it ever making sense, and so it took about an hour to install and configure xfce to my liking.


  90. Gnome 3 sucks ass. A couple people like it, but the vast majority of users are pissed off. I think that says something. They’ve trashed what was once the best DE. I feel like I’m on a damn cell phone with this thing.

    Of course maybe I should just “grow up” and bend over and adjust my preferences to like what the almighty developers tell me to like.


  91. So when I first saw Gnome 3 I was like yuck! But no, I gave it a few months and thought I’d give it another go. Unfortunately it’s still a huge Yuck! I’ve tried for ages to find ways to alter stuff to the way I like it on Gnome 3 but it seems I can’t. I want my minimize, maximize close buttons back please. I saw in advanced settings that I should have been able to do that but it didn’t work. I don’t want apps taking up the whole desktop. But I can’t do anything to alter that by the looks of it.

    I showed a diehard Windows fanboi Gnome 3, and he thought it looked good, but then became confused when trying to find out where all the stuff was. Rename Activities to something more obvious he said, Whats with the inability to not alter the bar on the left? Why can’t you minimize the menu so it doesn’t obscure the whole desktop? why do you need to double click on an app to change its size?

    These things have totally put me off using Gnome 3. Unity isn’t much better. And looking around for an alternative I have come across XFCE, it’s highly configurable, well I found it easy to alter. My Windows loving buddy found XFCE really easy to use, easy to alter, and just did what we wanted, gain access to our programs we want to use with as little clicking as possible.

    If we want to search for something not in the menu then we fire up the find file/folders thing, easypeasy.

    Gnome developers have shot themselves in the foot with this one, same with Canonical and that farce called Unity.

    I’m now busily creating a distro without gnome 3 or unity, based on a modified XFCE environment thats pretty close to old Gnome 2.

    Rest in peace Gnome 3, you were taken from us at such a young age. 😦


  92. I’m trying to use Gnome 3 for daily work – I’m a software engineer. I’m at the computer 9 hours a day. God it is horrible. And not just because I have to learn something new. That was easy. It is the number of mouse clicks required to do even simple tasks, no shortcuts, no minimized windows and on and on.

    It would be good it you used yu computer for two or three things like runing abrowser and email. They seem to have tried to make the Linux desktop act like an ipad. What a poor user interface design


  93. “People who instantly hate Gnome 3 … are just not getting it. More than that, they’re not even trying to…”

    Absolutely, don’t get it, and don’t want to. So, who has missed the point – me, or Gnome? Developers cannot make somebody like what they do. Did anybody actually test this crap out on people who might use it before they released it? Bye bye Gnome, it was great while it lasted.

    XFCE seems to have settled down, although Firefox keeps crashing and the laptop shit down for no obvious reason the other say – just like the good old days before everything seemed stable, sigh…


  94. +mishmich

    Firefox crashing? That sounds like an issue with Firefox, maybe you should try other versions, or even Chrome. Anyway, it works perfectly fine on Fedora 16. XFCE should have nothing to do with that.


  95. I tried Unity for 3 months, after October I switched to Gnome Shell 3. Both are totally un-customizable. After being 5 years with Ubuntu, I switched to Debian KDE unwillingly — but definitely happy with it now. I don’t want to install 10 extensions just to make Alt-tab work or change a new theme. Worse, some of these extensions don’t work at all, one of them broke interoperability with other extensions. “Change your icons” in some “Advanced Settings” ? WTF ?


  96. Gnome 3 is a severe blow to the Linux community and most recently, the best thing that happened for Microsoft and Mac! Makes you wonder, huh? Thank goodness for Mint 12 !! KDE ain’t lookin’ too shabby anymore 🙂


  97. I agree that Gnome3 is nowhere near perfect and still has a long way to go. I agree that alt-tab does not work the way I want it to, but Im pretty sure they will do something about alt-tab in the next update.

    But some of the bias and pointless critique in here is just laughable. I mean, there’s people complaining about the lack of custumization options, and in the same post say stuff like “the fact that theres no minimize/maximize killed it”, when thats the easiest thing in the entire freaking world to cuztomize.

    Its okay to not like something, IF you have tried it properly. Constructive criticism is good, pointless rage and namecalling is not


  98. +Wheim

    but Im pretty sure they will do something about alt-tab in the next update.

    Maybe. Probably not.

    I mean, there’s people complaining about the lack of custumization options, and in the same post say stuff like “the fact that theres no minimize/maximize killed it”, when thats the easiest thing in the entire freaking world to cuztomize.

    You are missing the whole point; there’s no need to make these customizations second-class citizens; the should be part of GNOME, part of the control-center. There is absolutism no reason not to have them there, except arrogance.

    And many things are not customizable, and never will be.

    Its okay to not like something, IF you have tried it properly. Constructive criticism is good, pointless rage and namecalling is not

    I have tried it properly, my criticism is valid. Many people have done the same, some people months.


  99. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that if something works for you, it must work for everybody.

    That wasn’t what I meant.
    OK, I’ll try to be a little more polite about it..

    GNOME 3 does break workflows. Period.

    Although I understand your frustration, I think “breaking” the workflow has become kind of automatically demonising buzzword, and it kills the discourse and the reflection you’re meant to be doing when encountering a new interface. Just because it’s different, it doesn’t mean it’s broken.

    I find it particularly easy to change my workflow, I guess my brain is just kind of wired that way. Granted, it takes me a week, maybe two to get it all just right, but at least I try and stay patient with it.

    I can understand an inate hatred for Unity a little better, because it’s been kind of forced on the Ubuntu users, and it’s so obviously ripping off the restrictive, mind-rotting design of Mac OS X.

    Gnome 3 still remains an option. No one’s forcing you. But things had to change eventually, and it really is in your best interest to learn the new stuff before you end up being dependent on deprecated software.


  100. Addendum: A solution might be to use 2.32 on your work PC and 3.2 on your entertainment/school/whatever netbook/laptop. It might not get in your way so much if you don’t feel like you’re in a hurry while using it.


  101. “… doesn’t mean it’s broken.”

    It’s broken for me if I can’t figure out how to get my work done.

    “…and it kills the discourse … when encountering a new interface.”

    What discourse? Like I’ve said before, I woke up one day and everything I was used to was broken. There was no mention that things were going to change, no feedback was requested, no instructions about where to find instructions. (Perhaps there was some mysterious alt-tab-… sequence that exists for those in the know.) You’ve lost me, I use xfce now.

    The developers decided to make a change. Ok, I’ve also made a decision.


  102. +misfisk

    Just because it’s different, it doesn’t mean it’s broken.

    Yes, it does. It’s like saying, “just because the API is different doesn’t mean it’s broken”, that’s the very definition of breaking API. If the workflows of people have to be changed, that means the old workflows were broken, just like client programs have to be changed when the API of libraries are broken.

    You are just playing with words.

    I find it particularly easy to change my workflow, I guess my brain is just kind of wired that way.

    As I said, what you do is irrelevant. Your workflow might have been pretty simple, who knows.

    I already showed my workflow in video, and nobody has put forward a way in which I can achieve the same efficiently. That means it doesn’t matter what I do, how much I try it, or how much I change; I won’t be able to do the same as efficiently as I did before.

    That means it’s seriously broken.

    Gnome 3 still remains an option. No one’s forcing you.

    Yes, they have, because I can’t use GNOME 2 any more in Fedora, and in many distributions it’s the same. GNOME 2 has been deprecated, obsoleted and removed at the same time, without warning, without a transitional period, and without letting people choose an interface like GNOME 2 while the new one matured.

    No, that’s far too much work, the never even considered that. And with that decision they have lost potential developers, who could do precisely that work.

    They don’t care about breaking user-experience, because in their mind it’s the only way forward, when in fact it’s not, and it was not.


  103. I just tried to use Gnome 3 today and I’m sickened by it.

    The Gnome developers seem to be Mac fanboys or suffer from Mac envy because they keep trying to extract the worst aspects of that system and force it upon their users.

    This might be forgivable if these behaviors could be turned off or altered in some way, but there is no clear path to doing this. It is not possible to adjust the UI in any meaningful way through the preferences menu.

    The developers seem to be saying that their preference structure is the one that I should have to live and work with. This Mac mentality is the primary reason I avoid products from Cupertino.

    Oh, I’m sure I could perform the Linux equivalent of registry hacks via gconf, but why should anyone have to?

    If this is the way that Gnome is going to be, then I suspect that many distributions will move away from using it as their default desktop.

    Break it and they will leave.


  104. I simply adore Gnome Shell and I wonder what the hell all these users do with their pc.

    The first day I said “where did everything go? no minimize? all in one corner?” after another few hours, love. Gnome guys you did it, and let all these “i’m so nerd i want it hard and pointless” use other interfaces. I’m happy with all in one place.


  105. I love GNOME 3. After a few minor tweaks (i.e. install gnome-tweak-tool and put a nice dark shell theme, I use Zukitwo-Dark) It is way more functional than GNOME 2, not to mention way smoother (graphically speaking) and actually sped up a lot my workflow.

    Just to say a couple of things I love how I can ALT-F2 and type a command without having to open a terminal, or how I can use ALT+TAB to go through apps and ALT+~ to go through windows of the same app.
    And JS shell extensions? Love at first sight!


  106. GNOME 2 has been deprecated, obsoleted and removed at the same time, without warning, without a transitional period, and without letting people choose an interface like GNOME 2 while the new one matured.

    You’re SO right! Gnome 3 (and Unity for that matter) are broken/flawed.
    I’ve been a long time Gnome user, but now I switched to XFCE and KDE…


  107. I recently switched over to Linux from Mac OSX as my primary os. started with fedora and gnome 3 but couldnt get wireless working so i tried ubuntu with Unity, didnt like so i switched over gnome 3 and added docky to cover my habits from using OSX. i have honestly never been happier with an operating system. i find it perfectly intuitive


  108. Gnome 3 is slick, love it, simple press of the ‘windows’ key on my keyboard and the first 3 letters of an app and its open. And a beautiful UI to boot


  109. I’ve been using Linux exclusively since 1995. Every major release of GNOME, a fraction of users compete to out curmudgeon one another about how crap the new release is. Linus Torvalds is a repeat offender.

    Personally, I think GNOME 3 is a masterpiece. Every other release, including the intervening experiments with Compiz et al., I have fought to achieve a unifying concept of window management, and spent huge amounts of time configuring and re-configuring. While there are a few warts, GNOME 3 is a once in a decade level of clarity.

    Side-by-side windows worked, once upon a time, but now applications compete aggressively for screen space. A couple of special cases still remain, e.g., a couple of xterms and an emacs window. For the rest, it is better to focus on the single task corresponding to the single application, and then switch. I love GNOME 3, because it coheres all the reasons to switch task into a single view where the content of individual applications recedes and the forking paths appear: other windows, other screens, new applications to start, search across activities, browsing applications.


  110. As a curmudgeon who’s also used Linux since 95 I guess I never had time for art appreciation class. I gave this masterpiece a shot but couldn’t figure out its avant-garde abstractions. I’ll leave it to the experts to argue about in museums some day, but in the mean-time will happily clunk around – and get work done – on my bourgeois desktop.


  111. Yes, yes, GNOME 3 looks nice, but for many of us it’s unusable.

    There’s a lot of people that say “it’s good for me”, and that’s great. The problem is that it broke user-experience for a lot of other people, and that looses trust. It will take time before it convinces a good chunk of geeks that GNOME 3 is recommendable, and thus, it will take time before “normal people” start getting a good amount of recommendations. And then GNOME 4 comes.

    And that’s why GNOME will never reach it’s 10% of market share goal, and that’s why it’s development base will never grow substantially.


  112. Gnome3 was produced by some fu#$%ng gnomes… I HAVE TO use fedora 15 because f14 has no drivers for my ethernet port, otherwise would be glad to install f14 with gnome 2.
    Even Fedora looked better and was more useful!


  113. I had been in love with Gnome2 for years.. Gnome3 seemed awkward to me.. and then Unity is horrid (IMO). I’ve now gone away from Ubuntu since they appear to be going full Unity.

    I tried out a few WMs and am now running Fedora 16 with Xfce. I’ve used Xfce for only a month now but love it! I can customize the panels the way I like them. There have been a couple of glitches but overall, I’m so far sold on Xfce.


  114. I’ve tried GNOME3 for over a month. I knew it was going to be completely different, nevertheless, as I was prepared for a totally new stuff, I liked it. It’s simple, elegant and FAST. I liked it a lot. I understand that you don’t like it. Try to adventure yourself into a really new experience. Doesn’t hurt.

    My humble opinion, though…


  115. +celiapgt

    Do you really understand why I don’t like it? I made it perfectly clear, and I even made two videos to explain that it breaks my workflow because alt-tab is totally messed up, and thus what I try to do is SLOWER.

    What do “adventure myself” even means? Accept something that is slower? Why would I do that?


  116. I have been using fedora for so many years i can count them. GNOME 3 on Fedora 15 and 16 suck big time. Not friendly and very hard to customize. Also application are having problems running after installing them e.g Vuze and others that work fine in GNOME 2.x. After staying up for 3 days trying to customize, with tweek and others. I decided that fedora 14 with compiz was a better choice to go back to. Operation systems should adapt to the user not us to the OS. There are to many bugs in 15/16 to be usable. making it slower to get around. I like my docker and shortcuts 🙂


  117. I also hated moving my mouse to the upper right corner to do anything. worse that a windows start button.


  118. on Fedora, only 1 prob, firefox, tear it out and install firefox 4 and all is embedded, delete the NSWPAPPER…


  119. These aren’t real usability complaints. You’re complaining that the system is DIFFERENT, not that the system is unusable. It’s okay to not like it, but don’t accuse GNOME 3 of being unusable when it’s merely differrent.


  120. +Mr. Pitchfork It’s not only different; it’s less efficient, and I already showed with concrete examples, how they clearly broke this use-case.


  121. After 10 years of work on linux and most of it with gnome I changed 2 month ago to something else. Gnome 3 is a nightmare


  122. What I got from this

    “Hi, I am a biased person, going into testing something I knew I’d hate it, therefore I did. The reasons I ultimately surmised where very small, meaningless and easy to change or simply adapt to however, because I was biased going into this, I will make a mountain out of them.”

    Alt-Tab works fine. I love it. However nearly never use it. You can see all open windows and desktops in the activities area. With 2 mouse sweeps and one click I have the window I want. Its faster than Alt-Tab once you get used to it.

    Font issue? I have NEVER had issues with fonts, or their sizes on Gnome 3 on any of my computers, sounds like a person computer issue.

    Logging out before you shut down? No, Your just a moron, this is a nonproblem because you press ALT when you are in the menu. Suspend will turn into Shutdown. THIS IS BRILLIANT because id rather have my computer accidentally suspend rather than keep jabbing “Shutdown” rather than anything next to it. just get used to it. however since I spend a ton of time in the terminal I always just su poweroff.

    your post was simply a rant from a very very biased user. if you are going to try something new, to test it and see how it works. look at it, learn it, and really actually try it. up until Gnome 3 I have used Gnome 2 religiously. I refuse all the other new modern desktops however Gnome 3 is so fast and easy to use I can’t go back. everything else is too slow. If you master Gnome, you will have the fastest desktop experience hands down.


  123. Yep, Just watched your videos. All your fussing about with Alt-Tab because you can’t get used to the new Activities area. You could easily double your speeds if you master it. Its simple, and you don’t have to sit there shuffling through Alt-Tab.

    Either way, After reading many many many replies you MAIN argument seems to be Alt-Tab fusses with your flow.

    Alt-Tab is not broken. Alt-Tab is not wrong. You are simply hating it because its different from what your used to. change happens. you either accept it or you don’t. But just because you can’t stand a new system or method do to things doesnt mean you have to hate on it as though the entire interface is ruined crap because of some small feature that I doubt many people use, Specially not after the new wonderful Activities area. Alt-Tab is now inefficient and dated saying otherwise is proving a ignorance to move forward and accept change.


  124. Alt-Tab works fine. I love it. However nearly never use it. You can see all open windows and desktops in the activities area. With 2 mouse sweeps and one click I have the window I want. Its faster than Alt-Tab once you get used to it.

    No, it doesn’t. I recorded a video showing how it’s more inefficient. Go record a video where I can achieve the same thing I do with alt-tab now in less time (switch back to the window immediately behind). You can’t, it’s not possible; it’s broken.


  125. KDE works just fine. The Gnome’s so wonderful myth has been raging for a long time, but now it’s over. KDE’s damn good as always, and KDE isn’t trying to turn your computer into a giant smart phone 😉


  126. KDE is actually nice, but last time I tried I found the application menu too confusing. I would prefer a traditional menu. If they fixed that I would definitely give it another try.


  127. I have tried Gnome 3 and I actually love it, and I’ve used gnome for years.

    My only issue is that its still a work in progress. It has glitches to it, but KDE 4 did too until they hammered out the dents.

    I tried KDE, but it just seems too cheap-looking, where gnome always had a nice clean look to it as does Xfce.

    I say don’t hate Gnome 3, it has problems, but their trying, also they got extensions that will let you make the interface look more like gnome 2.

    All I ask is that they improve ATI support, as they don’t play well with them.


  128. “Linux user 15 years” has it absolutely correct as far as I’m concerned. I have a tablet, and I have a smartphone. I also have a computer, and I like that it has ancient, retrograde and totally un-hip features like menus, and the ability to minimize windows without having to hack settings, and keyboard-based task switching (Alt-Tab) that works the way I expect based on every other desktop environment I’ve ever used.

    As for the “different” vs “broken” debate: I happen to be among the small minority of Americans who drive a car with a manual transmission. I think it’s a superior user interface. Most people think it’s a pain in the ass. If I ran an oil-change shop, and any time anyone with an automatic transmission came in for an oil change I replaced it with a manual transmission because I think it’s a superior user interface, 90% of American drivers would have the nerve to scream that I “broke” their car, just because they no longer know how drive it and it doesn’t work they way they want it to work. If I were of the Gnome Developer school of customer relations, I’d laugh at the poor bastards and call them “whiners” and explain that their car isn’t broken–it is just different, and in fact better. And then, if there were any justice, one of them would run me over in the parking lot.

    In the final analysis, I’m happy to “adventure” myself over to KDE. I realize that I may be depriving myself of the satisfaction of participating in a grand experiment to validate the whims of the Gnome development team, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice in furtherance of getting a computer that works the way I expect it to work.


  129. My first Linux distro’s DE was GNOME, but I eventually was drawn to KDE through it’s candy button interface (mind you this was KDE 3.1) but it’s bloated interface and constant application crashing (bombs anyone) sent me back to GNOME. For several years, I was a pure GNOME guy, but it wasn’t until I started to want a smaller desktop did I start looking at WM only. I got Openbox going really well, but I have to admit, something as insignificant as sound events really made me miss having a full fledged DE. While I was running Openbox, I used Thunar as a FM and I absolutely loved it. As I began to customize my desktop I noticed that XFCE really provided nice apps with small footprints, this appealed a lot to me, so I gave it a shot. I never looked back. Don’t get me wrong, I like WM systems but for everyday desktop use, XFCE is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever used. It has everything I need, nothing I don’t.

    I’m sure Canonical is trying to get Linux to appeal to a wider audience, but for me, I just felt too restricted with Unity. MATE is a good system, but I think it still has a few more hurdles to jump. When I heard about GNOME 3, I saw the screenshots, was shocked at how different it was to 2.30, and was instantly a skeptic. I tried it in Fedora and Ubuntu 11.10 and absolutely hated it. I think it’s too much change way too fast. Plus, I have to go through insane loopholes just for shortcut keys, I’m really sorry GNOME devs, but this is simply unacceptable, especially to a console cowboy, I need my Super+T terminal shortcut!


  130. I feel your pain. After installing tons of PPAs and extensions to get basic functionality that was removed, gnome-shell still sucks. It’s a memory hog and becomes slowly unusable after a few days. Pressing ctrl+alt+d to show desktop makes it lock up for about 5 minutes, and other common actions result in crippling slowness.

    After using it in Ubuntu 11.10, I had hoped some of these bugs would be fixed in 12.04, but it’s just as buggy as ever.

    I can’t begin to describe how unusable, frustrating, and poorly designed gnome-shell is. I know it’s free, but the Gnome devs should be embarrassed by this monstrosity.


  131. I think CEA’s right about it being a grand experiment. They all seem to be racing to build some kind of new interface that will change the way we all use our computers, but they totally don’t care that we need computers that work in the meantime or if we really want the change they’re chasing. Developers all over the open source world these days seem determined to force users to do things their way.

    Well I news for them…It ain’t gonna happen.

    Didn’t “Microsoft Bob” prove that creating something completely different while ignoring what the public was asking for wasn’t a good way to design a desktop environment?

    On my old hardware I use LDXE, but for modern machines KDE can’t be beat. They know my PC’s a PC, not a _______.


  132. I’ve upgraded to 12.04 LTS – I’m using “Classic Gnome”, but I’m looking for a icon based window switcher – was using Talika then DockBarX in a panel, but don’t work – any help would be welcome!


  133. Felipe, to an extent I share your sentiment.

    Does anyone know why both Unity and GNOME 3 are so different from the previous desktop environments in so many way? Who decided to make them so different and why?


  134. I tried Suse 12.1 gnome 3 for about 3 weeks and as of today I divorced Suse and am running Vector Linux based on Slackware. That’s to bad Suse migrated their gnome into this pile of dog do. My wife has Ubuntu 12 something and I hate the unity thing. I was chicken little to install straight up slackware, I’m not savvy enough. No I don’t want to become tech savvy, I just like the stability Linux brings.


  135. I found Mint on my netbook a bit flaky after a month abroad using it as as my sole computer. Repositories and updates and stuff weren’t working properly. So, when I got back I backed up and installed Ubuntu 12.04. Having been using an Android tablet for a year, I found Unity OK, especially on the netbook. It runs pretty well on a 5-year-old netbook with single-core atom CPU, once I upgraded to 2GB (compared to XP, which is pretty hopeless now). I can boot into XFCE or Unity (or KDE, but still leaves me cold…), so this seems like the best of all possible worlds.


  136. Gnome 3 = Unity = Windows 8 = three finalist in contest “The most stupid GUI” AKA “Idiocracy NOW”
    Thankfuly, there is Snowlinux 3 (debian based) with gnome 2!
    Snowlinux 3 “Crystal” is based upon Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 “Squeeze” Stable. It comes with the long-term-support (LTS) Linux kernel 3.2.0 and Gnome 2.32 which were made available upstream. It has installed Firefox 14.1, Thunderbird 14, Libreoffice 4.3.4, Rhythmbox and Shotwell by default.
    Snowlinux 3 “Crystal” is supported until Februar 2014


  137. There are a number of distro’s that still use Gnome 2.3, and it seems it is the more stable distro’s, often associated with servers, that carry it. I see no reason why they would want to shift to either Unity or Gnome 3. Also, two of the UNIX distributions – FreeBSD & OpenIndiana eithe come with Gnome, or can have it built in, and are likely to continue this way, and that should be sufficient until a stable release of the now open CDE (&eventually Motif) becomes available (OpenIndiana still has had only development and no regular release as yet).


  138. Wait — Microsoft have secretly bought Linux, and hired the geniuses who did Vista to sabotage any real operating system that actually works efficiently and reliably….I can understand the longer-term thinking Gnome3+clu….stop ! things change fast here, wait – new direction…no, wait things changed again….everything is in a constant state of flux…stop, new vision…yeah, that’s the ticket…honestly, I’ve tried KDE4, Gnome3, Gnome3 fallback, XFCE, cinnamon – all have positive and negative… the only one that works and is reliable ? /bin/bash


  139. Phentermine 37.5 blocks the neurotransmitters which might be sent by
    your tummy to tell your brain that it’s hungry. So your mind by no means will get the concept from the abdomen you need to take food.


  140. I really like some of the sleak, stripped-down look of gnome 3, but fel is right that it is broken is so many ways. It seems for about 5 years or so gnome has been doing everything it can do to strip out all functionality and customization available to a casual user. I understand microsoft making windows essentially useless out of the box (every feature they leave out is something they can force you to pay for, even if you pay a 3rd party that is one less thing they have to support, so its a win-win), but why is gnome doing the same thing? If they could start adding back customizations and features I could support it, but nothing they stripped out of gnome2 was ever added back. I have no hope of gnome ever changing.

    The sad thing is unless you want to spend weeks learning insanely detailed inner-workings of the competing DE’s and then handcraft a working system, you get stuck with something that looks and works frankly not much better than windows 95.

    But the worst about gnome 3 is when you get it usable with extensions, etc you have to handcraft all that same bullshit all over again if you want another user or have multiple computers.


  141. I recently installed Debian anew and was very disappointed. However, I noticed extreme differences between the three machines. My amd with nvidea (irony intended) has a beautiful interface and I’m not at all missing many of the elements in gnome 2 in favor of the new intuivity. It does not mean I am not angry about the ‘policy changes’ they have placed in effect with regards to software installation. You simply cannot get multiverse selections. It may even show them available but they will not install. I am having to manually install avidemux. Something I have never had to do.


  142. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
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  143. The best quote i’ve ever seen on why GNOME 3 sucks is..

    “…the fact that they tried to turn my Computer, on which I do actual work, into a smartphone like entertainment device.”

    …the only thing wrong with Gnome 3 is that the developers of it are not on fire.


  144. Gnome 3 developers think they’re GOD and what everyone complaining are all bullshit. Heck, even Microsoft has to bring back Start menu on Windows 8.


  145. Gnome 3 sucks the longer the more. Gnome 3 just turns a desktop or laptop into a pda. Nautilus which was the best file browser I ever used , is now completely unusable on a desktop.

    But gues it’s the goal off the gnome 3 team. Not to run on a laptop or desktop anymore. Even the longer the more users who developped shell extentions to make gnome a bit usable just give it up.

    Up to gnome 3.8 it was to do. Once higher it’s over and out on desktop and laptops for gnome3.

    It’s the course of the developpers . Turning the best desktop on linux systems in to the worst ever made on a linux system for desktop or laptops.


  146. Sorry Mouse Clicking users Go back to you mac books with osx. how did you even mess up that much on gnome3? – to be honest I don’t even remove my fingers from the keyboard anymore, improving my work speed, alt+tab – switch window, alt+` switch window in sub groups, super+tab – switch window on current desktop, alt+arrow (up,down) switch workspace, super -> type, search on the internet, filesystem, applications, contacts, email etc. super+m minimize window etc.
    and this is out of the box, sounds like you ain’t even Linux users but more like “I know linux ubuntu newbie”


  147. Said the man who took nearly four years to respond to a post written in 2011. LOL! Who’s the newbie? Probably the one pointing the finger without anything to contribute to the discussion. Chuckle.


  148. I know the date is old but, the last response is not that old. I actually came with a point, and info on the shortcut keys. I used Gnome 3 even before this guy and what he says is not true, unless you are running something like ubuntu.


  149. Aha, I understand now. I just don’t see the point of you belittling people, which is why I turned it back on you. One of the things I don’t miss about exiting the Linux community is the arrogant dismissal of “newbies” by people who are often little more than such themselves. Playground pissing contests.

    Two years on, I am happy with my Mac/OSX. I use XFCE now for anything running Linux.The distro is pretty much irrelevant with XFCE. I looked at Mate/Cinnamon/Ubuntu-in-crippled-Gnome-mode, but at the end of the day life is too short. Most stuff I want works on the Mac in much the same way I have done for 20 years. I don’t want developers deciding I should work differently, and forcing me to do so. TBH, Windows 8 is a better interface than Unity or Gnome 3, if I wanted a touch-screen OS. I don’t, though. I want an interface that works the way I am used to working – so I left Linux as my primary OS and bought a Mac. I stopped contributing to Linux projects at the same time. Mind you, most of the decent stuff has been ported to OS X now, just as a lot of useful Windows applications have. So, OS X gives me the best of both worlds, and I don’t have to spend much time fiddling with it (in the way you cannot avoid with Linux, sooner or later…)

    I don’t regret switching to Linux as my main OS a few years back, I feel sad that Gnome & Ubuntu developers took such a disastrous turn where usability was concerned, and that I had to look for a different OS that I could rely on.


  150. LOL almost the same story as be with the difference i moved from ubuntu with gnome-2 to Gentoo (I’m kinda a control freak) with gnome 2, and now running Gnome 3 and been developing on that platform for about 14 years. Right now I’m working at work on a Mac Pro i7 8GB (which is okay but i still miss my Linux).
    I do on the other hand think, like me, a lot of linux users is getting tired of people complaining about different DE/DM (or what ever program), and often end up using the word newbie, because people sometimes think it should work the same way as a windows or a OS X. On the other hand i have actually never seen that on the Gentoo Forums (Maybe I’m just blind). And about pulling out the word newbie i was not meant that way.

    At work I’m using OS X, my gaming machine is Windows 8.1 and workstation is Linux, but to be honest OS X and windows is not comparable to the speed I’m able to punch out of my Gentoo Linux and the machine is specs wise much lower.


  151. December 2015, Gnome 3.14.1 in Debian jessie. Thanks to the “Tweak Tool” and the Gnome Shell extensions, Gnome 3 now looks and works like Gnome 2 did. You know: Applications and Places menu at the top; programs bar at the bottom; minimize/maximize buttons and watnot.
    I just love Gnome 2 (note the present tense).


  152. I just love Gnome3. It’s a copy of OSX, but OSX is the best environment until now, isn’t it ?


  153. Yes and no, some stuff was in gnome before osx, I even remember people using Mac’s coming to me.. “see your Linux doesnt have this” the answer was often, “no we had but it wasn’t productive so it got removed” and sure enough it got removed from osx a year later too.
    Today the settings and such looks very similar, but personally, OSX just feels like a fat little brother to me. But then again I’m running bleeding edge, and with a bunch channel of personal modifications.


  154. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Gnome3! Makes TAILS suck BADLY in the latest incarnation.
    Loads of crashes where a different DE would just. fuuuuckn. work!
    Out of memory crashes on live cd mode. Without it being expected. Nor controllable, nor usable as so unpredictable. Yes, it’s the DE (AFAIK from a large amount of messing around trying to avoid session-data loss).

    Websearch this: “thought the Gnome3 devs were on drugs”… sounds about right!
    The bloat really doesn’t help anyone. Sexy graphics are the LAST thing I need in an OS. At least when it’s running live, and on a sheeeet GPU and hardware. Which if an OS / DE can run on, you can be DAMNED SURE IT WILL RUN WELL ON SEXIER HARDWARE. I used to run Lubuntu on a mid-range semi-gaming laptop and was it speedy? It flew like sh1t off a shovel! That laptop had 1GB of VRAM back when that was a lot! But then the power-saving was weak as hell (they NEVER think of it properly and always pretend that it doesn’t matter) and some slavery-fan designs these laptops with chips that overheat unless the damned DRIVER throttles them down, let alone the BIOS (I guess at least that puts it into my control, but if the driver doesn’t work properly in Linux, it cooks the GPU off permanently, etc). Never enough cooling on laptops to run 100% CPU or GPU 24/7 – which is EXACTLY HOW I TEST MY DESKTOPS AS BEING FULLY-FUNCTIONAL AND NOT DOA FAULTY. Laptops too. It’s not up to the customer to cripple their experience to suit idiots who can’t remember the laws of thermodynamics or simply that heat needs proper dissapation and lying to oneself about this is a failure of oxygen-worthiness!
    Right, rantage over, but the same near-pure idiocy has infected DE design, too…
    Keep off the crack, lads and ladettes. Please? Oh and if your name ends in ‘worth’ make sure you live up to it… Fuuuuuuuck Unity a billion times, too. I’ve never used it in over 5 years of Ubuntu use.


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