GNOME 3.32 is the latest release of the most popular Linux Desktop Environment (Interface+Apps) that is used by Ubuntu, Fedora and many other Linux distributions as their default experience (with or without changes). GNOME 3.32 packs itself with new niceties such as a refreshed theme and icon set, many much-needed performance fixes, updated apps, etc.
However, GNOME continues to have key areas that stick out like a sore thumb in terms of intuitiveness or convenience. I have laid them down below with links to bug reports, please treat my feedback as constructive criticism of a project that I respect, but find confusing.
As a former heavy user of GNOME 2.x, I find GNOME 3 wholly unpleasant – unlike its predecessor, it seems to want to force a certain way of working on me that I just can’t wrap my head around. Add to that the numerous problems – many of which are highlighted in this article – and I just don’t see myself ever returning to the world of GNOME any time soon.
KDE all the way for me.
1: A desktop should do nothing. It’s a desktop. Why have the dock there permanently taking up space? Hit a key/go to hot corner, type what you want, an icon appears, click/hit enter. Application launched! That’s pretty much the function a desktop should have. You can add whatever applications to the Dash that you want, right click on the icon, select Add to Favorites. My Dash changes enough that having the numbered shortcuts seems pointless.
2. I’ll agree with to some extent. Seems you used to be able to click on wifi and the speaker icon to go directly to them. I think they wanted to give a reason to show off their fancy control panel, because people like control panels, right? (it was literally one of the things people whined that Linux was missing for a long time).
2.a Agreed, 2b. Pretty sure it has a percentage, maybe all the distros I’ve used just enable that by default? 2c. I see the reasons for doing this, but at the same time a lot of applications still minimize to the stupid system tray (Steam is the big one I use, and even worse some applications insist on not having the options for things available unless it’s from the system tray icon!) But as a desktop philosophy, I hate icons in the tray. Even worse when you have so many they get dropped into an ‘arrow’ list like Windows 10 does it.) I want my damned application closed when I close it, not minimized to a tiny icon. 2d. Not sure when they tweaked the suspend button… that one annoys me too.
3. Ha, it has literally been months since I bothered with the app drawer. I launch things the same way I do in Windows, hit key, type, press enter. Fastest way to find anything. Wish it worked by default in KDE.
4. Agreed, that’s annoying
5. Nautilus has a lot of plugins that should be more or less default for sure. I really like RabbitVCS for one.
6. It is kind of odd that Epiphany doesn’t have tabs (annoyed me the other day, but it’s still much faster at loading things that Adobe Reader is, and feels much lighter weight.)
7. I am pretty sure Eye of Gnome is on it’s way out. It’s kind of like Rhythmbox vs Gnome Music, Photos wasn’t quite ready last I used it, not sure how it is now. Same with Gnome Music. But I think eventually it’ll replace the other as default eventually.
8a. Sadly it’s becoming like Android in this regard. 8b. Pretty sure there is a way to just select a picture, or add it under Wallpapers. No need to use the ‘Pictures’ tab at all. 8c. I agree, I mean if they insist on having it separate from the control panel, it should just be called ‘Advanced settings’ though I think it should be a tab within the control panel. KDE should do something similar, since it’s settings has been historically pretty rotten and overly complex.
9. I’ll disagree here. The software center is still kind of ‘meh’ Like if I try to search for a lesser known package, it simply doesn’t find it, but it’s in Synaptic, or apt search, or .
Conclusion, Gnome doesn’t get in my way and I can do what I need to do to get done. Toss in a few extensions (I still don’t get why people like the Dash/Dock to be visible, I make it auto minimize on the Mac for more space) and away I go.
Please note though, I come from the Atari ST and Amiga days when we didn’t have fancy launchers, if we wanted to launch something, we had to dig into folders and hope they were organized enough to be able to find software. Being able to hit a button and type search is a godsend. ALSO, you can type in something on the activities menu and it’ll search the Software Center for the application so you can tell it to install it right there, that’s amazing!