The GNOME Way

Hello GNOME users!

I am wondering, if you use GNOME as your day-to-day Desktop Environment, what functionality and features and software, from GNOME, do you use on a regular basis, and what things do you find yourself more or less removing?
I am looking into how to improve the out-of-box experience with the GNOME Edition of Garuda, and would like some general input from people here.

With it, I don't want to go to crazy with looks. GNOME is not entirely that themable, though it can be themed somewhat and colored in a way that remains completely libadwaita compatible which is the initial goal here. However, what can be themed are cursors and icons! So, that's something to consider.

So, what do you think? What would you like to see in GNOME's fresh experience in Garuda that you think others might appreciate as well?

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We share a lot of opinions :wink:

I recommend you uninstall all the programs, that you didn't know existed, like totem, lollypop, meld and others

It's mostly just bloat and can always be reinstalled if needed.

I really like nemo as a file manager. I think it's the better sister of Nautilus. Nautilus is so thicc that I can't properly use it. I'd recommend you install some gnome-extensions manager and gnome-tweaks

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Is there a chance you are mixing up Thunar with Nautilus? :eyes:

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Oh oop. Yep nautilus :wink:

edit: Discourse won't let me edit my previous reply :confused:

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Well, I know what all of those are, and what they do. Heh. And one man's bloat is another man's treasures, so they say. :slight_smile:

Nemo is Cinnamon's File Manager. Thunar is Xfce's...

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Kind of the problem I can see with swapping out stuff from other things though is, they won't share the same concept, or even at times, the same theme. GNOME is doing a lot of titlebar functionality into applications, while Cinnamon is not, for example. At least for core things like file managers

Just a personal thought on this matter. :slight_smile:

But other factors, like swapping totem out for.... Celluloid as an example, would be more than viable. :slight_smile:

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... Then again, the more I test Celluloid, the more I want to toss it out the window. Half the time it plays audio only and the entire window is unusable, inaccessible, and not playing video save for the first frame. LOL

I think it's awesome someone is taking an interest in the GNOME DE. (It has been my go-to from time-to-time but not this minute.)

What I would like to see is the basic gnome-shell meta--or even the gnome meta--plus whatever may be missing, but definitely gnome-control-center, nautilus, gnome-disk-utility, gnome-tweaks, gedit, firefox, and the extension manager. Let mostly everything else be between the user and their choices in the first-run scripts, Garuda Assistant, etc.

If I were comparing it to KDE, it would be somewhere between the Barebones and the full Dr4gonized versions.

I miss GNOME. Sometimes.
:smiley:

EDIT: The hardest choices to make may be what applications you offer the user in the first run script. That would take good current knowledge of what's available and what current "issues" may be. You know--Maintainer level stuff.

Good luck and may the gawds of gnome lighten yer path.
:wink:

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When I left KDE after ~20ish years of KDE, I ended up going to GNOME as my defacto norm, which was way out of my comfort zone and I actually hated GNOME 1 and 2, though I'd used them sorta kinda, mostly on Ubuntu.

It was actually a Fedora/GNOME PR person whom found me randomly on IRC spewing my hatred for GNOME at some random point in time, whom talked to me about it, about it's vision and idealism, and the focus points of it. And suggested after their demonstration and talk about it, to just try it, seriously, with these concepts in mind, for a week. I did so... I still prefer GNOME to this day, getting around 10 years later-ish. :slight_smile:

in a way, I agree. Kind of what I'm thinking to is a two-part mix. Some things are good options, some things... Not so much. Some prime examples of what I'm talking about is gedit vs gnome-text-editor. gte is new, shiny, yet quite powerful. It follows the current theme, unlike GEdit which actually looks horrible by default in dark mode unless you specifically configure gedit to use a different more "fitting" but not exact theme. gnome-text-editor also restores what you were editing in the case of a crash. Impressive, finally. :slight_smile:

Another factor I'm looking at is alternatives that are "GNOME" idealised, but not officially GNOME project. Totem vs Celluloid. Celluloid, when it works, it works okayish at best, it's an mpv frontend that really needs to be slapped into shape, unfortunately. Totem, however, just works, and it works solidly. gnome-music vs Lollypop. Lollypop is an alternative that.... Has literally the most confusing interface I have personally ever seen. And first run, shows nothing, and it's dependant specifically on the ~/Music directory, you cannot configure it unless you change XDG paths for music, which is silly, meanwhile, gnome-music, it simply just works, and mostly works well. Amberol, another one I picked up from Flatpak the other day, literally somehow managed to take itself over as the default xdg-mime type handler for inode/directory, so it became "the file manager", like, seriously what??

And one area some people will think I'm somewhat crazy, but I'll tell you what, some extensions need to exist in the out of box experience. I want to keep it minimal of course, but these are extensions I'm primarily considering incorporating by default:
gnome-shell-extension-appindicator
gnome-shell-extension-arch-update (preconfigured to use garuda-update and pacseek)
gnome-shell-extensions (with user-themes enabled by default)

With optional suggestions for things like:
gnome-shell-extension-tiling-assistant
gnome-shell-extension-blur-my-shell
gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-dock
gnome-shell-extension-espresso
gnome-shell-extension-gamemode
gnome-shell-extension-gnome-ui-tune
gnome-shell-extension-no-overview

Just not installed by default.

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You mention Dash to Dock in the list of extensions. I used it for a week or so, I then tried Dock from Dash and I never looked back.

https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/4703/dock-from-dash/

Dash to Dock uses more than 10,000 lines of js, and it looks pretty and has some nice features such as intelihide, but Dock from Dash's ~500 lines use Gnome's native functionality to effectively do its stuff - DtD can't minimize a window by clicking the dock icon, DfD can.

Also, using DfD alongside Hide Top Bar....

https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/545/hide-top-bar/

...provides a clutter free screen when you're working. I've taken a few screenshots to explain things.

  1. Screenshot showing the default positions of DfD (hidden) and HTB (showing).

  1. Screenshot showing DfD activated by moving mouse pointer over the bottom of screen. [there seems to be a bug in the screenshot tool I used as the mouse pointer appears in the wrong place]

  1. Screenshot showing FireDragon selected with mouse pointer still over DfD.

  1. Screenshot showing browser fullscreen when mouse pointer is moved.

DfD + HTB = really useful :grinning:

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So, comparing Dash to Dock and Dock from Dash is pretty simple. DfD doesn't support multiple monitors, which is bad, it lacks the intellihide which is sorta bad, but not an ender. But what is an ender is no package in AUR. This could be fixed, of course, DfD has a good track record of supporting every version of GNOME. But where it does lack is, I think, important. Even plank lacks multi-monitor support, unless you pair it with autoplank which is a dirty nasty hack, but ... it works.

Still, good input.

I sort of get why people might want this, but I don't really honestly. I actually want the top bar on every display, instead of only just the primary, but the extensions that do this now suck, and the ones that used to work, stopped being maintained. But back to HTP itself.. Once again, no package for it currently. It could be made and maintained and added to chaotic-aur, but I don't expect the popularity to be that high since there's no aur package at a minimum already.

Regardless... I only mentioned the additional possible extensions to be likely put up into the Garuda Wiki and Chaotic-AUR for suggested use for certain people's interests, but I want to keep extensions in the out-of-box experience minimal but functional enough for what people would expect to at least work. appindicator icons would be one thing to very much have working, and proper update notifications is another, I think.

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"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, else what's a Heaven for."

Very reasonable. :slight_smile:

Ridiculous overkill. This is Arch (based). I don't think there has been even one day of the past ten years there have not been updated Arch packages. That's just the way it rolls. Nobody needs to be notified about that, plus it's just another TSR that consumes precious resources. IMHO. :wink:

However some sort of a Critical updates notifier? That could be sane. :slight_smile:

Buena suerte. Seriously, you have your work cut out for you. It's achievable, there's no denying that. Can you then follow through maintaining it all? Rolling-releases can and do eat developers for lunch. :wink:

I love GNOME. It will be nice seeing what you do with it.
:smiley:

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Uhm, hello garuda-system-maintenance ? :eyes::joy:

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Yep. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Though, it's still a good idea to provide some small little thing, and it's extremely well supported by the looks of it, by it's developer and packager, a simple little js extension that can be pre-configured to properly run garuda-update and pacseek, that being the important parts specifically, to condition newer people to get used to the proper update path. :slight_smile:

I'm surprised at the lack of ideas for this thread. I have a couple more suggestions - I've already mentioned one of them in a previous post, but I find it really useful so I'll mention it again.

Can Nautilus open files as administrator?

I have found the Geary email client to be a useful little gem, but it has no spell checker by default. I had a look around and a lot of people mentioned
hunspell, but quite a few also mentioned having problems with it. The last post on the following forum thread offered the solution - Aspell.

It has worked flawlessly and given me no problems. Could Aspell be installed along with the language pack which matches the language used on Garuda?

Finally, Geary comes by default with the 'Show formatting toolbar' set to off thus giving the impression it's really basic.

Can the the 'Show formatting toolbar' be set to on by default so that first time users can see its functionality?

Exactly. It does what needs to be done, no more and no less.

nautilus-admin that you're referring to, has not been maintained in 4 years, and does not support Nautilus 40+ at all, so that's not going to work out. It's also risky business to incorporate something like that because such GUI file managers can do things that end up being accidentally misused. So, I'd rather that be something one intentionally knows what they're doing and does themselves, if they were to do it.

Personally, I'm no fan of Geary. I had enough run-ins trying to communicate with the devs of it, the new devs over at ElementaryOS, mind you, that I just have a bad taste in my mouth. Geary lacks a lot of functionality in various ways and really tries to pull people away from modernization of mail. Namely HTML mail. More-so, they're so gung-ho about anti-spam measures, they make you, intentionally, to manually "allow" each and every email one by one, in order to see it as it was intended. Even legit emails you want to see. For someone that has anti-spam already handled at the server, I do not want my mail client to force more, but they made it specifically to do so, without a setting to disable that.

I'd rather, personally, include Thunderbird, or Betterbird into Garuda GNOME as a base default than Geary, and let people decide if they want to change, they can do so by removing and installing what they want, but providing reasonable reliable initial offerings. It's that, or leave the choices up to post-install methods allowing the user to choose then.

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I've been using the following without any issues

Could you leave the choices up to post-install methods allowing the user to choose. I personally have been converted to Geary, and if I ever had to do a reinstall I wouldn't want to be uninstalling things if possible.

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I've installed a small number of extensions (I like my applications shortcuts to always be visible, for instance). Other than that, I'm pretty satisfied with the out of the box experience. I would like each and every window to be maximized by default (if only to prevent focus confusion between cascading application windows), but that might be against the Gnome philosophy...