A Code Monkey's Blog

Fedora 19 and Gnome 3.8

Last night I didn't resist the temptation to enter

sudo yum install fedora-upgrade

Viola, my journey to Fedora 19 began!

Every time I upgraded my Linux to the latest release, either Ubuntu or Fedora, I would have to spent another day to tweak the new system to make it comfortable to use. The biggest challenge was surely the transition from GNOME 2 to 3. Two years have passed and I still can't get used to the new UI. Accurately speaking, I really like the new UI elements in GNOME 3 but I just don't like the ways that GNOME shell asks me to do things. I think GNOME shell is attractive for new users and especially good for tablet. But for a senior user, it is too obtrusive. It wanted to be smart but overdid.

I appreciated the fallback mode that GNOME 3 provided. I turned off all the fancy animations and sticked to the old-fashioned UI. I used tint2 as the window list panel. In Fedora 18 with Gnome 3.6, the clock applet surprisingly had a memory leak issue. I disabled the clock applet and only used the tint2 panel to show the time. However, sometimes, I missed the weather information.

With the advent of GNOME 3.8, the fallback was sadly dropped and the 2D GNOME shell was so ugly that I had to make a change.

I first tried Xfce and MATE Desktop. MATE failed to start on my Fedora 19. I realized that I was spoiled by the modern UI of GNOME 3 so the look and feel of Xfce (based on GTK+ 2) became intolerable. Thank God there is Cinnamon. When Cinnamon was first released, I thought it was another flamboyant window manager but it turns out sleek and practical. The status bar is very compact but full of useful information. Window list? Check. Weather applet? Check. Start menu? Check. Transparency effect? Check. GNOME compatible? Check. I don't need many. These are good enough. I'm so happy to settle down with Cinnamon.

Some other issues with GNOME 3.8 are

  1. The transparency of the background of GNOME Terminal can't be set. Not a very big deal. But some users complained about it.

  2. The upgrade changed my wallpapers for the desktop and the GDM. I really wanted them to be kept.

  3. The theme is broken. Many guys complain about that