• Linux

    Creating your own GNOME session based on cairo-dock and Compiz

    Personally I absolutely do not like the gnome-shell in GNOME 3. I actually even hate it: it is slow, messy and cumbersome to use and I have the feeling that developers are not listening to criticism. Obvious and trivial design bugs which are well known, are totally ignored (bug 662738 is an example). For that reason, I went looking for an alternative desktop. KDE is way too bloated for a netbook with 1 GB of RAM, while XFCE is not as polished as a traditional GNOME 2.32 desktop. The best alternative I could find out right now, was to just replace the GNOME Shell by a custom panel or dock…

  • Linux

    GNOME Shell moving forward

    Some news about GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell: The minimize and maximize window decoration buttons are now removed. It is estimated that these buttons are not useful actually, and users should be using Alt-Tab, the dock or different workspaces to switch between different applications, and maximize windows by double clicking on the title bar. As this will also make the desktop more difficult to access, I guess this also means that there are no plans to re-implement desktop icons. The problem with the ellipsis of long application names has been fixed by enlarging the icons in the application browser. On the #gnome-shell IRC channel there was a discussion earlier today…

  • Linux

    Is Unity a better alternative to the GNOME Shell?

    After my disappointment with the current GNOME 3.0 development version with GNOME Shell, I thought it would be interesting to compare it with Ubuntu’s Unity. Ubuntu has just published a new alpha version of what will become Ubuntu 11.04, so I used that for a quick test. On the positive side: On the dock on the left side there is a button which opens the workspace switcher which gives a nice overview of your virtual desktops and their contents. The workspace switcher is easy to find and it looks awesome: this might be exactly what is needed to make more end users finally get to use virtual desktops. The list…

  • Linux

    GNOME 3.0: Making the same mistakes as KDE 4.0?

    Yesterday Fedora held a GNOME 3 test day. In order to facilitate testing, they published a Rawhide live CD containing the latest builds of GNOME 3. This is a great opportunity to test the latest GNOME-shell and other new things without having to upgrade your system to unstable alpha stuff. I tried it out on my laptop with Intel graphics chipset. After a quick test, I am quite disappointed. Just like KDE 4, GNOME 3 tries to explore some new innovative desktop stuff, but just like KDE 4 in its first versions, it feels extremely unpolished and very unfinished, resulting in a rather cumbersome experience. On the positive side: The…

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Making your mixed KDE and GNOME desktop look cool

    Most people use a mix of QT/KDE and GTK+/GNOME applications on their Linux system. Because both QT and GTK+ use their own widgets (which are all GUI elements, like buttons, toolbars, menus, checkboxes, etc…) and theme engine, QT and GTK+ applications look different from each other. This is especially bad if you use KDE in Debian: in that case by default no GTK+ theme is configured, making GTK+ applications, like Firefox, look like ugly Windows 95 applications. Mandriva on the contrary does use a common graphical theme for both GTK+ and KDE applications (called Ia Ora), but it’s not easy to change the GTK+ theme if you use KDE or…

  • Mandriva

    Updating to Mandriva 2009.1 (Cooker)

    Today, the server running this website was update from Mandriva 2009.0 to 2009.1 Cooker by running urpmi –auto-select –allow-suggests with the Cooker mandriva-release package installed. All in all, the update went very smoothly. There was one file conflict in some KDE 4 related packages and I had to restart Apache 2 by hand because a httpd reload done when the awstats package was installed, failed because of the changed glibc. After the update I also removed KDE 4 because I don’t use it. Actually, it’s only extremely exceptional that I use X on this system (it’s mostly running headless), but it’s good to still have GNOME in case I have…

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Braindead error message of the day

    Today this popped up on my GNOME desktop after logging in: Unable to mount 50.0 GB Encrypted Data DBus error org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken. Filed as GNOME bug #552985.

  • Linux,  Mandriva

    Testing Mandriva 2008.1 Cooker GNOME

    This week-end, I installed Mandriva Cooker in a Virtualbox virtual machine. I did a default GNOME installation, and noted and reported all problems I found, in the hope of improving the quality for when a new alpha or beta version comes out. I did a network installation from my local Cooker mirror (which only has the main repository, no contrib). Here’s a quick summary of the problems I found: There are currently problems when installing the / partition on a logical volume using LVM. The problem is known and being worked on. As a work-around, I installed using standard partitions The keyboard layout selection dialog is very ugly and confusing,…