4 Things You Should Do Right After Getting Into GNOME 3

One of the best things about Gtk has been the recent upgrades – the GNOME 3 rocks. It brings a fantastic functionality – much inspired from various other areas of UI which we should rather not tell – but otherwise, it’s a wonderful time with Gnome 3.

In Ubuntu, when you login, click on the winch/lever (setting) icon, and select GNOME to get to the Gnome desktop. Otherwise, you’d be sent off to the new Unity dash – which I have begun to detest πŸ˜›

Here are top four things I did – and which I think you should too, in case you havent already:

1. Get the Gnome-Tweak-Tool

One of the first things we’d need is to change the theme. (that’s so true at least for me :P)

  • Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open Terminal. (or just open the dash, type ‘terminal’ and hit enter)
  • Paste the following codes:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme

We’ll get to the Gnome-Tweak-Tool later – but you can change themes, change fonts and stuff from the Gnome Tweak Tool (accessible from dash search. The app would appear as Advanced Settings)

2. Try Running the Run Window? Alt+F2 not working? Here’s The Fix for That:

As luck would have it, the Run command shortcut keybinding doesnt work. Alt+F2.

  • Go to the dash, type Keyboard. In the results that come up, there’d be a Keyboard icon (clever, huh?). Click that.

  • Go to the Shortcuts -> System -> now select the ‘Show the run command prompt’ and assign the shortcut.

This will come handy in the next thing we’re about to do.

3. Get That Hibernate Back!

I hibernate my system a lot. My HP is a polar bear when it comes to that πŸ˜‰ So, when I found there was only Suspend on the User menu, I was a bit shocked. And what’s bad is, you have do a lot of stuff in order to get the hibernate back.

Dont worry though, it’s all simple copy-paste so it’s easy:

Run this code in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu

Open up the GNOME Tweak Tool and in the Shell Extensions tab, switch on Alternative Status Menu Extension.

Now, hit Alt+F2 (see, it came in handy right? :P) and type r and hit enter. You’re system will do something like a restart – but not exactly a restart. It’s the shell restarting. Check the user panel now – chances are, you’ll see the Power off and Hibernate options πŸ˜‰

4. Go Download Themes!!

Get themes for your new GNOME 3 interface! Head over to Deviantart or see what OMGUbuntu says about GNOME 3 themes. You can easily install them through these steps:

  • Hit Alt+F2. Type ‘gksu nautilus’ and hit return. Enter your admin password. Hit Ctrl+L. Type ‘/usr/share/gnome-shell’ and backup the ‘theme’ folder to someplace safe. (most important step)
  • Now extract the theme you downloaded, and rename the folder to ‘theme’. Paste this into the /usr/share/gnome-shell folder which is open.
  • Again, restart the shell (Alt+F -> type r -> hit enter)
  • If the theme doesnt work properly, you can always switch back to the old theme from the backup. Just replace the new theme folder with the old backup.


Thanks to DebianHelp, Billy, OMGUbuntu (who unfortunately seem to be a fan of Unity too :P) and people who read this post πŸ˜€


Tales of A Tortured Soul: GNOME 3 vs Unity

Okay, yesterday was not my day. Deciding to upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 would go down in my personal history as one of the bad decisions I took. I am – perhaps like many others, down, battered and tired. And a little less than torutured πŸ˜›

The first thing I do after every upgrade/install is to change the default themes. The default looks are – how to put it? – definitely not good in my opinion. Perhaps that’s the result of being in the loop of UI/UX design, and basic tenets of designing. Ubuntu’s 11.10 did not let me do that. And it took me several hours actually to find out a way – and then finally when I logged in via GNOME 3, I realized I didnt have to go through all that! 😦 πŸ˜›

GNOME 3 vs Unity

Almost everyone who’s writing about Ubuntu has posted something about it somewhere. One of the most comprehensive and balanced posts by LifeHacker comes as an awesome intro to the two.

There are three kinds of people after the recent Ubuntu upgrade – 1) those who like it despite the new changes, 2) those who do not like it due to the new changes and 3) those who are stranded. Like me, for instance.

I am not exactly saying I dont like the Oneiric, but the way Ubuntu prevents me from customizing my desktop is something that I cant understand!

The debate on GNOME and Unity began long back. Back then, Gnome looked like so… disheveled! Unity was a welcome relief – a sea change from the old environment. But GNOME 3 changes the entire game again.

And frankly, if you asked me, GNOME 3 wins the fight.

I dont know what GNOME or KDE means. I dont even know what they stand for. All I know is, I am a linux user – and Ubuntu has almost stopped being linux for human beings as of Ubuntu 11.10 – human beings as in people who are a little bit curious and would tinker with the system.

I wont get into the details because there are a lot of people who have already talked about GNOME 3 and Unity in tandem.

Here are some screenshots. I liked the screenshot capture {shutter} sound too! πŸ˜›

See the Mac-like close buttons on the windows? That’s quite a rip-off but a good one at that πŸ˜‰

The GNOME search in the application/windows is faster and slicker than that in Unity. There have been bugs in Unity’s finder – which are absent in GNOME 3. And I loved the wave effect as you move your cursor to the top-left edge of the screen (yes, it’s a rip-off from many other interfaces, but it still rocks here!)

Well, this is just my view – I prefer the slick, simple and minimal Gnome 3 interface. I sort of gravitate towards the emptiness it brings. It’s like an empty canvas to sketch all your colors on.