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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Tue, 14 Aug 2012

I'm back in GNOME 3 in Debian Wheezy and liking it

As much as hating GNOME 3/Shell would put me in good company, I find myself liking it just fine.

I installed Xfce 4.8 on this Wheezy laptop, and while I like that environment well enough, I've pretty much moved back to GNOME in the weeks since.

I'm OK with the hot corner, the virtual desktops that pop up (and go away) on demand and hitting the Windows/Super key to enter command/hot-corner mode.

I have the GNOME Tweak Tool, and I've installed a few GNOME 3 Extensions from the web site. But just a few. Most of the Extensions I've seen are fairly frivolous/unhelpful.

After I installed Wine (not as easy as it should be in 64-bit Debian) and then IrfanView, it took a little doing to get the photo viewing/editing application to show up in the GNOME 3 applications menu, and I still can't get it to show in the applications bar on the left (where it presents as a generic Wine launcher). No problems with that in Xfce, of course, but I can still "hot corner" my way to IrfanView whenever I want. I'm using Fotoxx half the time anyway, so that is less of a problem.

I still love Nautilus and Gedit, and while I continued using the GNOME text editor all of the time and Nautilus some of the time in Xfce, once I determined that the 3D effects in GNOME Shell take CPU when they're under way but give it back soon thereafter, I felt that the productivity boost was (and is) well worth it. Compared to what a Web browser sucks from CPU and memory (and often doesn't give back), GNOME Shell is thrifty.

I am in the process of looking into CentOS-derived Stella, which provides nearly all of the desktop packages and codecs I need day to day. But for my main production machine, I will be sticking with newer systems (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, or "other").