Ubuntu Gnome 14.04

Last weekend I decided to take the plunge and return to a core Ubuntu release.  I have never liked the fact Canonical forked Gnome, and lately I am no longer happy to support Mint’s obsession with forking every gnome app!

My first impressions of Gnome 3 were not that good to be honest, but because I had actual work to do and I did not have the time to go back to Mint 16, I decided to persevere.

I am so glad I did.  I have come to appreciate Gnome 3’s simplicity and extension driven customisation.

I installed the frippery move clock extension, dask-to-dock, workspace-to-dock.  Enabled the native window placement and removable drive menu.

I also installed HTitle Firefox extension which remove the title bar in firefox.

The gripes I have so far, is it was a real pain to add launchers for my custom apps that are not installed.  Especially getting the icons working, I manually created the files in /usr/share/applications and that seemed to work.  Alacarte ignored the extension of my icon, which I did not understand.


I have had a couple of freezes, but ALT-F2, R, Enter gets around them, and I think they were mostly to do with earlier extensions I have added and now removed.


I tried quite a few extensions for stuff, (I don’t remember the complete list) but the ones I have listed above work for me.

I will post additional comments based on my experiences in the coming weeks.  But it is nice to be back with a proper ubuntu release, sorry mint.


As an aside….

It would be so nice to see Cinnamon re-merged back into gnome 3 instead of duplicating all that effort.  The same goes for Mate to contribute to the gnome classic mode.  It’s upsetting to see so much UI fragmentation.  Yet another reason why I don’t see Linux ever getting that ‘year of the desktop’



10 Responses to Ubuntu Gnome 14.04

  1. Jason Pell says:

    I decided I did not like the clock on the right, and disabled the frippery move clock extension.

    I also added the pixel saver extension (direct from github as I could not get the web site to load it) and love the extra real estate. A nice simple extension that works well. I disabled the HTitle firefox extension as a result.

    I also found that the workspace dock extension was more annoying than useful and disabled it in favour of the Ubuntu Gnome built in extension Workspace Indicator which puts a little widget up in the top panel.

    Generally things have been going well otherwise. I do notice some freezes with eclipse opening new java files sometimes that I never noticed with mint. I also have experienced the java maximise bug with soapui as well which is annoying and I will see about installing openjdk to see if the problem goes away.

    I love the idea that when I open a application it loads in the background if I already am doing something and gnome lets me know its ready. For ages I looked for a way to make this happen with mint, as it really annoyed me when loading apps that I wanted to use, but not until I had finished this one email for instance, would always load in front, drove me bonkers, so love that too about gnome 3.

    One thing I also need to figure out is how to move my cpufreq widget into the top panel at the moment its in the message panel at bottom.

  2. Jason Pell says:

    The Gnome Printers app was not finding my printer, so I went back to the old one. I disabled the desktop file for the gnome printer panel.

    sudo vi /usr/share/applications/gnome-printers-panel.desktop

    Disabled OnlyShowIn and added NotShowIn

    sudo vi /usr/share/applications/system-config-printer.desktop

    Change NotShowIn=KDE;GNOME



    Now the system config printer comes up in app search and also in System Settings.

    • Jason Pell says:

      When I updated to gnome 3.12 the gnome printer appeared back in the system settings, but it’s still not working properly.

  3. Jason Pell says:

    I recently update to Gnome 3.12 and have 2 issues, one of which I have worked through.

    The first issue was that the gnome terminal no longer had a title for tabs, I discovered that my overriding of PS1 caused this issue. I did this to work with the git prompt. Anyway I added: \[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\] to produce:

    export PS1=”\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]\[\033[01;34m\] \w\[\033[01;32m\]\$(__git_ps1) \[\033[01;34m\]\$\[\033[00m\] ”

    And now my tabs have a title matching my prompt, good.

    I had to update a bunch of metadata.js files for extensions to include 3.12 and all of them worked except for pixel saver which has a slight bug, that windows that are maximised by default need to be unmaximised and then re-maximised to get the title bar to disappear and the window controls to appear in upper panel.


    I assume some event that pixel saver relies on does not get fired anymore, but I have not taken a look at it as yet, hoping someone more familiar with gnome and the extension can fix it.

    Otherwise I am very happy with gnome 3.12. I like the changes to Gnome Terminal and Gedit and I think some of my resume issues have disappeared – but that still needs to be confirmed once I take a trip to the office.

  4. Jason Pell says:

    I also fixed my issue with eclipse and other java apps by installing openjdk and configuring all the java apps to use open jdk rather than oracle jdk, I still use oracle jdk for maven builds for work, but the UIs all use open jdk which functions a lot better.

  5. Jason Pell says:

    I have gone back to vanilla Ubuntu. Gnome 3 lacks polish and good java support. The last straw was trying to maximize smplayer and even that did not work well.

    Since moving to unity I have found the experience mostly pleasant. What is especially good is the java support is excellent and smplayer maximizes without any problems.

    Very pleased. I love the unified menus and auto hide for dock although sometimes takes some practice to get dock to reappear not sure what that is about

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