After so many years without using Gnome Shell (Fedora Workstation), I decided to come back and give it a try. Not for any reason in particular but because I had to install Fedora from scratch and the only thing I had at hand was the Workstation live DVD I collected in FLOCK. So I was trying and installing Gnome Shell on laptop with NVIDIA card and some particularities. And then the fun begins…
I didn’t know because the seller didn’t say, this machine has a NVIDIA card. And a somewhat strange keyboard. Not as exotic as to be Telugu or Polish, but enough to make me think twice. Anyway, it didn’t matter. It started and worked perfectly. Now with a first bunch of updates, the transition between LightDM and Gnome shows strange decorations. It may get resolved with new updates, but I don’t care if they leave it this way. It really doesn’t affect, just some black & white boxes between LightDM and Gnome Shell. Moreover, if I choose Gnome Classic this glitch disappears.
Anyway, if you’re interested to know, here is a picture of the error I took with my phone so excuse the lack of quality.
Besides that everything works perfect and now I see the difference between Intel & Nvidia. Not that it would worth to mess with it or spend a lot of many to have a Nvidia Card, but certainly things look a lot better now. And as far as I design this is truly important.
What changed, what is new, what is the same
There are things that are the same as when I moved to Fedora Cinnamon Spin long ago. There are others that were changed in this last version, and many others that changed over the years but never noticed because I was using other desktops.
The song remains the same
- The general look and workflow is the same in Gnome. But you don’t need to go to a corner to see your open windows, just press Win key.
- Default Gnome is bare and unfriendly. You need to install Gnome Tweak Tool to properly use it. For unknown reasons it doesn’t come installed by default in Workstation.
- The lack of variation in themes (whether Shell or GTK) is still discouraging. All themes look alike and the few that are slightly different… well, who knows if it fits your preferences or not.
- Warnings are so discrete that you always run the risk of missing them. In special if you don’t see well or you’re in a dark ambience.
- If you want to create a link to a file or programme or whatever… you can’t.
The certainty of change
- As mentioned above, now you can use Win key in Gnome. In Cinnamon it triggers the main menu and it’s configurable. In Gnome Shell it shows activities, open windows and favourites.
- The most valuable extensions come installed by default. You only need to activate or deactivate at will.
- Now it has a task bar so you can easily jump from one window to another.
- Menus are highly improved. They’re discrete and grouped on right top.
- Extensions website doesn’t work as well as it used to do. Anytime I login, it says there is no Gnome system detected and refuse to install extensions. So I have to download the package. But not always is well understood or compatible with my Gnome.
- Now programme’s preferences and other little things are hidden in a menu up in the top bar. You have to click in the tiny arrow next to the programme name. It’s not nice at all, but I can live with it.
- You can type many things in dash, not only programmes. In example, if you write “Mexico” it will return the time in different Mexican cities. Or if you want to do a quick sum, just write number + number and it returns the result. Gotta love it.
- Drag&Drop became a complicated task. Or it doesn’t work or it works opening the folder instead of just moving files.
- Clipboard management is a pain. Parcellite doesn’t work. And there’s only one extension available for that purpose. But it works fine enough so I use it.
- Maybe sometimes website doesn’t work as good as it should, but once it detects a Gnome environment, it’s KISS to install and uninstall extensions. So nice!
- Everything is ridiculously tiny. A huge screen with letters like ants and a cursor that could be a fly standing there. And of course is impossible to configure. WTH??
- Almost all themes are dark. I need glasses so this is quite stressing, I see nothing most of time. Luckily, I found a couple of light themes and that’s what I’m using right now.
I find Workstation lovely and I’m staying here by now. But let’s see how long it lasts. Lack of configuration get on my nerves and my eyes are crying for bigger stuff on the screen. But in general, is amazing how much Gnome Shell have improved in the last times. And I think that’s a goal scored in their favour.