After using the behated Unity for too much time I decided to give Gnome3.2 another chance; last time I tried I couldn’t get my cheap integrated Radeon 3000 graphic card to work with all the rendering gnome-shell requires, so I had to pick one of Gnome “classic” or Unity2D. The latter is a little less ugly, albeit suffering from too much rigidity in what you can customize and what you cannot. I tried to like it, I really did, but working with the left dash bar is painful to me.
So, after installing the latest catalyst drivers (12.1) from ATI I’ve been able to use Gnome3, and after tweaking it hard with several extensions (nice system, by the way, but maybe support for browsers other than firefox would help) I now have a desktop that I kinda like. It’s sad that I used to like Gnome2 better, though.
Not speaking of its slow responsiveness (I admit my GPU is no monster, but my PC is 10 months old, so I’d expect it to run whatever window manager… heck, it runs KDE 4 just fine!), what I find astonishing is its instability. Every now and again, gnome-shell screws up for whatever reason, and all window controls are gone, top bar and the gnome-shell itself as well. Switching to another
Ctrl+Alt+F1 and logging in with my user to
killall gnome-shell is not helping since the
gnome-shell process lies in the other session that I’m therefore forced to kill, restarting the
At first I used this little hack from phreaknerd’s blog: you schedule a script for automatic execution that checks whether a “delete me if you want to restart gnome-shell” file exists every 15 seconds (so the routine was like: gnome-shell dies, switch to
rm polled file, logout,
Ctrl+Alt+F7 back to graphic session, wait for the script to find out).
But then I grew tired of waiting the 7.5 seconds (on average :P) for the script to detect that the control file is missing, and of the whole
tty switching in general; since I’m always able to right-click on the desktop (if anything on the empty space left by the gone window decorations) I think a better solution is to add a simple script to
~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/ (why is it still called
gnome2 anyway) like this:
cd ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/; echo -e '#!/bin/bash'"\n"'gnome-shell --replace' > Restart\ gnome-shell; chmod a+x Restart\ gnome-shell
So now all I have to do is right click somewhere on the desktop, choose
Scripts/Restart gnome-shell and I can get back to work! 😀
I really, really, really hope that 3.4 will be a lot more stable though…