Why I like Gnome 3 Shell

It’s been almost a year since that huge deal was made out of Gnome upgrading to it’s 3rd revision of it’s Gnome-ness, and they introduced a new GUI. This was shortly after the Unity GUI was created for Ubuntu. But what does GUI mean? and why does it sound Gooey?

GUI is the General user interface that you use to communicate with software and hardware. To many people this matters, in fact a terrible GUI could be the deciding point whether they use a certain program regardless of the backbone structure or features it has. Windows 8 (Cough cough). And it not only affects us in our computers but in everyday life. When you really think about it, a button on a car can be considered similar to a GUI, because when you push the button, you have to consider why it was put there and the size, color, shape or noise it makes when you use it. That’s what GUI is all about.

But let’s get back to the point, what about Gnome 3 or Gnome Shell? So far it’s been delightful, despite the small learning curve, it has the intuitiveness that’s been missing since Windows 95 and OSX. Nowadays it’s common practice to create a GUI from an existing one and add similar features to it without shunning your present users. But to use an existing platform that’s been around for more than a decade? Considering how fast the internet and technology has changed, are we not hindered by outdated GUI’s?


After using Gnome shell at school, I felt that for once, the Operating System was not in the way. Kind of how Windows feels sometimes, you just point, click, and you’re done. In Gnome Shell’s case, it’s move mouse, click, and done.

And after hearing so many angry people who dislike (though hate can be used in this case) everything in Gnome 3 for whatever reason, I feel tempted to look back and see. “What the heck am I doing?” My thoughts, “How could I possibly be OK by using Gnome 3? Have I stopped caring about computers and tweaking?” So I stepped back and thought, who am I as a computer user? I’ve used other desktops and can fit them to my needs, but I still prefer Gnome environment.

Pros and Cons of some Desktop Environments I’ve used.

  • KDE too heavy and too many settings for me, but looks nice, has lots of features, very mature.
  • XFCE, too much work to set up, and looks ugly on the eyes, (I’m shallow sue me), but is the closest thing to gnome without having too many features and bloat. A very serious desktop in my own opinion.
  • LXDE,  I like to think of it as OpenBox with more GUI. However it’s had it’s glitches and never feels polished. Whine, whine.
  • Open-box,, Black Box *box great for my terminals, still hard to set up, especially the services with sound, and WiFi.
  • Gnome 2 or 3 Simple, used it a lot, gets too heavy after many customizations. But effective.
  • Others, not everything always works right and takes forever to set up.

In the end I felt that Gnome 3 Shell was designed for me. I can’t fully explain why I like it, my dad doesn’t like it, my bro got used to it, but for some reason, it doesn’t feel right to put something else on my desktop other than Gnome 3 Shell GUI. I’m not a developer nor programmer of any sort, but a tech savy dude who just wants to use his home computer for stuff. I’ve always used a dock, rarely multitask, and just want my desktop to work and look pretty without me having to do anything. Call me a lazy minimalist. Sure sometimes it’s fun to customize and personalize everything, but I’m over that now.

At work, I use gnome 3 as well, however since it’s only for r emoting into machines, I can use open-box Desktop GUI with no issue nor care. Open-Box is my second favorite desktop Environment. Does that make sense? It should, both are minimalist and very hard to customize, they just do the job. I work in terminals a lot too. So gnome 3 or open-box, I usually don’t care. Most times.

I’ll admit that Gnome 3 Shell is far from perfect. And I have only 5 annoyances. I’ll list them in order of importance to me.

1: Like that press ALT to power down. WTH?!!! (First time I said that) But it’s not an annoyance to me, I never turn off my machine unless it’s to reinstall the OS. However, I can imagine it’s a pain for everyone else. (Update, has been fixed, thank you!)
2: Window Tiling (Windows 7 Feature that resizes the window to fit half or full screen has always been annoying for me. (Fixed)
3: I hate pressing CTRL to delete something with the delete. (Can easily be fixed)
4: Also bottom notification area, moves too much. (Not easily changed) :(
5: Folder exchange and transferring files is still the same as it was back then in gnome 2, that’s the only thing that didn’t change, I wish it was easier to transfer files between folders, but it seems like it doesn’t really matter. (Will be fixed soon!) http://code.jollybox.de/emperor.xhtml Looks like they heard me whining and are working on a new File Manager solution call Emperor. Not bad, hope it works out.

Out of all these things, 3 can be fixed, one is a solution I’ve been to lazy to wait for, and one is an issue I’ve learned to deal with. But no desktop will ever be perfect, some come close, some have no expectations, but we do all have a choice. It doesn’t matter much, (singing) to meeeeeee!

But I will say something. One hat does not fit all. In fact some people refuse to wear hats! Why am I talking about hats? Ohh yeah, stop whining people. You don’t like Gnome 3? Too bad! I do.

This is my work desktop….

I just want to shout to the internets, “Hey I’m a real computer user and I actually like Gnome 3 Shell!” Seems like not too many people are standing up. Or maybe I wasn’t looking and they all got tired and left. Also in my defense I wrote this article about when Gnome 3 came out beta but never finished it cause I lost it, twice. So now that it’s done, I hope it’s not too late to still blog about it.

Ohh and everyone? Can we stop calling it Gnome 3 and just call it what it is? Gnome 3 SHELL! There’s still the old timey gnome 2 theme, just newer version. By the way Support MATE.

More gnome Pictures below, click for bigger pics.


About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on November 17, 2011, in Computers and Internet and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Gnome 3 feels like Mac OS X. This statement might seem outrageous, but here’s why: Gnome 3 now lacks customization features that were previously present in Gnome 2, making it feel more like Mac OS X, which is largely uncustomizable anyway.

    But wait! Erik already established that Gnome Shell is awesome for him. Well, he doesn’t have the opinion of people who are forced to proceed from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 simply because of a higher version number.

    My favorite theme, the one I usually use, is called Glossy. Glossy is a GTK2 theme. It does not support GTK3, or Gnome 3. As a result, all GTK3 programs I run look ugly. This includes gnome-terminal, gdebi, gnome-system-monitor, and more.

    The above applies in addition to decreased customizability in general. To me, Gnome 3 seems dumbed-down for newbie users of computers.

    “Also of note is that Linus Torvalds (the creator of the linux kernel) has switched from Gnome to Xfce desktop when the latest version of Gnome was a radical departure from previous incarnations. Gnome and Unity have discarded customization in an attempt to compete with Microsoft and Apple for the average user.”
    Source: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/xfce-lightweight-speedy-fullyfledged-linux-desktop/ , by Edmenje

    • Thanks for your opinion!

      The main reason I came out with this article was because at the time of writing, not too many people supported the Gnome. I can almost guarantee most people dislike Gnome 3 for the customization reason alone. And yes, very rude of Gnome for forcing people to upgrade. That’s life. If we all had it our way, Windows XP would go on for another ten years! Besides the point, change happens, embrace it, or do something about it.

  2. Johnny Buffalkill

    I also love Gnome 3 shell! I liked the functionality of Gnome2, and its true you could customize the hell out of it, but no matter how much I customized it, it always looked like #@%! KDE is beautiful but all I could seem to do with it was play with options. I couldn’t get anything done. XFCE and LXDE look like something from 1989. Windows has been the same old thing since 1995 and has too many items in the start menu. Apple is supposed to be the easy one, but its the only one I can’t figure out. Unity has a few cool ideas but overall, it feels awkward, like brushing my teeth with my left hand. But Gnome 3 shell is beautiful out of the box, functional, and I don’t feel any need to customize it. Others are entitled to their own opinions and may disagree, but I’ve been drinking, so they’re all wrong.

  3. My mouse pad randomly freezing (also in unity), no customisation, unstable and unreliable, resource hungry and as flexible as a brick!!!! Also, when sharing my desktop in Skype, all my menu bars disappear, along with my skype window!! The only way for them to reappear short of “Alt+PrintScreen+K” to log out, is if the person I am calling hangs up!! In “1989” LXDE or Mate, which are infinitely more customizable, no such problems. Unity and Gnome 3 are the twin train wrecks of the contemporary Linux world, so I do something about it and make use of the options the Linux world gives you. Unlike windows, with its inexorable piece of rubbish, seemingly akin to Gnome 3, namely windows 8 with the abysmal metro-interface (tilt the “8” by 90 degrees and you have an infinite number of ways it can annoy the hell out of you) which will force its traditional desktop users to use, with no other options for its users in its closed source world.

    • Sir, please learn how to rant properly. Also, there are better ways to get people onto your site than this method.

    • As much as I dislike GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell… actually, since I last posted to Zerin’s Tech Space, I took a different point of view.

      I’ve experimented with different desktop environments and decided to commit to KDE. KDE is excellent, but it wasn’t until I switched to it that I began to appreciate what GNOME still had.

      GVFS, baobab, GParted, palimpsest, GNOME System Monitor and more GNOME applications were invaluable. Now, they don’t render very well on KDE, whereas KDE applications displayed well on GNOME. It turns out that I only like KDE’s applications.

      But KDE applications suffered massive performance problems on GNOME. I suspect it was because KDE libraries consistently had to be loaded in a GNOME environment, but I didn’t go find out for sure.

      I expect to be returning to GNOME 3 by Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin LTS Beta 2 this weekend. GNOME Shell is still incompatible with my graphics card driver, so I plan to use Unity instead, but I really miss the little things time-tested components of GNOME that I would love to go back to. I shall selectively replace some GNOME programs with KDE ones. To accommodate for the performance loss, I intend to purchase a high-performance solid-state drive for my computer.

      @Vince Barwinski: I suggest that you be like me and take some time off of GNOME. To me, GNOME 3 felt like the end of the world at first. Ubuntu 12.04 made an astonishing recovery from the failure of Ubuntu 11.10, but what really makes me want to switch back to GNOME are the good components of GNOME.

      Your freezing “mouse pad” may be an indication of a more serious issue beyond the desktop environment. When my mouse freezes, it doesn’t matter what desktop environment I’m on; my hard drive is failing (which is why I’m probably getting a solid-state drive this weekend).

      Customization, eh? That’s a tough one. I keep with the default KDE Oxygen theme. It looks good the way it is now. GNOME Shell also looks good the way it is! After getting an SSD, my only complaint would be the idiot-proofing of GNOME configuration and Unity.

      Unstable? What?! GNOME 3 continues GNOME 2’s legacy of stability.

      GNOME is not a resource hog if you live in KDE land.

      The MATE and Cinnamon projects look like they’re going downhill to me. From what OMG! Ubuntu has shown me, it looks like Ubuntu 12.04 might provide a viable alternative to the old GNOME 2 panels. I haven’t tried that out yet.

      All in all, Zerin, I am eager to give GNOME another go. KDE has too many little quirks, even though I like a lot of stuff it offers.

  4. I believe not all users hate GNOME 3. Now I find it :D

    I like your way to write post with photo of your writing. It’s my first time to see post like this in the world. And your handwriting says about GNOME, wow.

    And I am a relax user. I can use all DEs even KDE. I like KDE so much. I like new technology. Let the hateness burning, but I still can use them freely :) After I know the clash between user interfaces and users, I got new idea to make a new blog http://linuxdreambox,wordpress.com. I hear GNOME developer don’t hear their users anymore. So I’d like to collect new ideas for Linux future.

    Thank you :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s