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Linux Mint 12 Preview - A minty GNOME Shell

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#1 Syanide

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 16:44

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Gnome 3 is shiny, elegant and modern looking. It’s a sleek desktop but it comes with a few problems:
  • It changes the way people use their computer
  • It’s application-centric, not task-centric (you switch between applications, not windows)
  • It doesn’t do multi-tasking well (you can’t see opened windows, system tray icons, etc..)
We’ve been using application menus, window lists and other traditional desktop features for as far as I can remember. It looked different in KDE, Xfce, or even Windows and Mac OS, but it was similar. Gnome 3 is changing all that and is developing a better way for us to interact with our computer. From our point of view here at Linux Mint, we’re not sure they’re right, and we’re not sure they’re wrong either. What we’re sure of, is that if people aren’t given the choice they will be frustrated and our vision of an Operating System is that your computer should work for you and make you feel comfortable. So with this in mind, Gnome 3 in Linux Mint 12 needs to let you interact with your computer in two different ways: the traditional way, and the new way, and it’s up to you to decide which way you want to use.

For this, we developed “MGSE” (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), which is a desktop layer on top of Gnome 3 that makes it possible for you to use Gnome 3 in a traditional way. You can disable all components within MGSE to get a pure Gnome 3 experience, or you can enable all of them to get a Gnome 3 desktop that is similar to what you’ve been using before. Of course you can also pick and only enable the components you like to design your own desktop.

The main features in MGSE are:
  • The bottom panel
  • The application menu
  • The window list
  • A task-centric desktop (i.e. you switch between windows, not applications)
  • Visible system tray icons
MGSE also includes additional extensions such as a media player indicator, and multiple enhancements to Gnome 3.

Source: Linux Mint Blog


#2 Growled

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:46

This is going to be really cool when they finish with this. I might return to the Gnome fold again. I really don't use the bottom panel and it's one of the first things I delete when I install Gnome. So being able to tweak that would be a big + for me.

Leave it to Mint to get Gnome 3 right. :)

#3 bjoswald

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 01:49

I will try Mint again if/when they add faster repository mirrors. I can't stand updating at ~150kb/s.

#4 MidnightDevil

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 19:23

I will try Mint again (the debian version) once I'm able to boot the installation via usb.
I tried unetboot, usbit, usb universal installer and no success with any of the tools, and I need this, since I don't have a working cdrom drive on the laptop i'm working with.
Even though the last mint version (ubuntu based) i was able to install it via usb, don't know why this one I can't (either ubuntu based or debian based).

#5 Kreuger

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:49

Mint is changing a lot. It's becoming a bit confusing. I've gone back to *buntu with LXDE

#6 Xilo

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:51

Hooray Linux Mint.

Gnome Shell is absolute trash and Unity is only barely usable. :x

#7 margrave

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 17:40

both gnome shell and unity are trash

#8 +Brando212

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 18:08

thank you for this article, it reminded me about MATE, the Gnome 2 fork :)

#9 gadean

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 15:41

Mint is my favorite distro, hands down!

#10 .Neo

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 13:14

Terrible font and overall the desktop like that looks really, really busy. Not elegant at all. :/ I think I actually prefer Unity to the above. What I always hated about the default GNOME desktop are the double bars (top & bottom). They give the desktop a very confined feel to it.

#11 Growled

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:51

Well, I tried it and I was thoroughly disgusted. It was terrible. It was definitely not elegant. They had like three different themes going on according to what app you were using. It was also slow and somewhat buggy. I couldn't believe this was Mint I was using. I expected much, much more.

.....goes back to KDE.

#12 +Yorak

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:54

Okay I get it, the extra panel at the bottom to mimic the classic Gnome 2.x theme they used in Mint. If they are going to do that, please disable the regular Gnome 3 menu. It looks so unorganized. Mint is getting more and more sloppy.

#13 ViperAFK

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 01:59

Okay I get it, the extra panel at the bottom to mimic the classic Gnome 2.x theme they used in Mint. If they are going to do that, please disable the regular Gnome 3 menu. It looks so unorganized. Mint is getting more and more sloppy.


I'm fairly sure one of the extensions they are using replaces the activities view with a more classic menu.

#14 jbarcus81

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 15:23

Linux Mint 12 "Lisa" released!!


http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1889

#15 Leonick

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 17:43

Okay I get it, the extra panel at the bottom to mimic the classic Gnome 2.x theme they used in Mint. If they are going to do that, please disable the regular Gnome 3 menu. It looks so unorganized. Mint is getting more and more sloppy.

Well there are two options for anyone who'd like it like you do, disabled that second panel, or log in to MATE which is basically Gnome 2.x and how it looked in Mint 11.