Discussion: What are people's initial impressions of Gnome 42?

Hello All,

Been playing around with Gnome 42 the last couple of days (generally use XFCE,) in the updated Tumbleweed release.

For me, I can see what they’re trying to achieve. but in so many cases. it seems that tasks are more complex to achieve than they need to be. I reminds me a great deal of Window’s 8… :shame:

  • Lots of jarring animated transitions (running a 12700k + RX6900X, so they’re smooth.) But for me at least, they’ve very distracting (why I like XFCE, it attempts to just be a work bench and let you get on with things, where G42 wants to be the star of the show…)
  • lost of actions require multiple mouse clicks where in XFCE/KDE/Windows the same action can be complete with fewer or even 1 click (specifically switching between various open windows/applications feels very cumbersome.)

For me it feels like the team is focusing on aspects of the desktop environment that no-one really cares about, rather than working to make the workflow as intuitive and seamless as possible. I don’t want to have to play around with extensions and theming to get a productive workspace. I just want a productive workspace that I know wont break if there is an update released (that may not play nice with extensions/themes I’ve got installed.) Sure the dark mode is nice (yet the default terminal still has a white background when darkmode toggled on??? when every other D.E has a default black terminal background.) And the consistency between apps is nice (but just don’t care for it.)

I’m sure I’m missing something obvious. But if that’s a possibility, then it’s not obvious enough. At the end of the day. It’s not for me and I’m ok with that. But I’d be very interested to hear what others opinion is and what there initial feedback/experience has been. whether on OpenSUSE/Gecko or another distribution.

Regards
Jordan

I normally use KDE, so my opinion might not be worth much.

Yes, it seems to need more mouse clicks than did Gnome 3.x

Here’s a weird problem that I ran into:

It told me that there were updates available. So I quickly brought up dconf-editor to turn off updating.

Then I shut down the system. But, instead of shutting down, it rebooted. So I allowed it to reboot, and it then shutdown immediately after rebooting. A message during reboot said that it was applying updates. But it did not actually install any updates.

I booted again, and shutdown again, with the same behavior.

I wonder who thought up that brilliant feature (or misfeature). When it does that extra boot, I have go through the grub menu, and I have to enter the encryption key (I’m using an encrypted LVM). It is very annoying.

I tried again. But this time I installed the one update (using “zypper up”). And that seemed to cure the rebooting loop. It looks as if the problem was because it found an update before I had disabled updating, and it left behind some indicator about installing updates. And that indicator wasn’t cleared until I actually installed that one update.

In the meantime, when I login to Gnome, I cannot use “zypper” for several minutes, because “packagekit” is running. With KDE, that only happens once per day. With Gnome, it seems to happen every time.

I’ll be sticking to KDE (except for occasional testing).

Not installing PackageKit (or removing it) seems to become more urgent in this situation then it was already IMHO. lol!

Working around Gnome’s quirks is tedious. Re-configuring is difficult. I started in the late eighties with HP-UX VUE then CDE in the early nineties which combined the best features of Unix and Windows. Thus I now exclusively use KDE, which evolved from CDE. While KDE stability was an issue a decade ago, it now excels with regard to any aspect. Give it a try.

On linux (OpenSUSE) I’ve kind of settled with XFCE. It just does what it says on the tin. puts setting in sensible places and generally just hides in the background not making a fuss (basically what any good DE should do.) Doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. I’ve used Plasma, and it’s (in my opinion) much more sensible in its approach and useable than G42. But lacks the raw simplicity and utilitarianism XFCE has right out of the gate.

I just thought I’d put G42 on my second PC and use it for a few days (to see what the fuss was all about.) I’ve already swapped it off for a LXQT Gecko Spin (not bad, better the G42,) but XFCE will be back on it tomorrow.

Regards
Jordan

Now if I could only get F&^%*ing Snap applications to launch after install!!!:cry:

A friend of mine had thermal issues with Windows 7 on a notebook. I installed openSUSE with XFCE and replaced the HDD with a SSD. Thermal problems were gone, performance of the notebook experienced a huge boost and she never complained about XFCE.:wink:

A long term Gnome user here, a decade ago (as @Karlmistelberger noted) every time I checked KDE it was unstable, bugged, or the devs were just chasing the next big release and didn’t care to fix the current one, so I just got used to Gnome.
More clicks? Maybe, but I just use the keyboard: ALT+Tab to change app, ALT+\ to change window and so on, there are so many shortcuts available (admittedly not to the casual user).
The new 42 version looks just more polished to me, no big fuss to write home about, although not every app currently included in TW seems to have caught up with GTK4 yet.
It is more resource-hungry than XFCE for sure, but this is not an issue with most current laptops, while a system with more than 10 years on its shoulders might not support it well.
All in all, I think that it all boils down to habit and willingness (or lazyness in my case) to learn new habits and new workflows. So the few that survived the switch from Gnome2 will probably stick to Gnome (now at 42 and counting…) while most writing here and used to KDE-PLASMA will probably not see a compelling reason to switch and those using light desktops for whatever reason will continue to do so.

P.S.: just forgot to add that packagekit should be uninstalled and automatic updates disabled IMHO.

Hi
My sentiments as well, for me it just works, plus I have multiple screens and virtual desktops running, suits my workflow. At the end of the day it’s all what works for you… Over the years I have spent more time tweaking the boot up with systemd and removing the cruft like plymouth and packagekit…

gnome users are the same kind of people that clean up their desk every night so that there is not even a piece of paper on it when they start in the morning. The neat-freaks. Not me!!!

Just a joke.

tom kosvic

Hi
Yup, but that was enforced by my employer, had to lock everything away… the clean desk policy…

To my experience disabling a functionality results in less fuss than removing it.

plymouth, predictable interface names: disable at kernel command line

**i3-4130:~ #** grep GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX /etc/default/grub 
**GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX**_DEFAULT="quiet **plymouth.enable=0** **net.ifnames=0** mitigations=auto" 
**GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX**="" 
**i3-4130:~ #**

lvm:

**i3-4130:~ #** systemctl list-unit-files lvm* 
UNIT FILE             STATE    VENDOR PRESET
lvm2-lvmpolld.service static   -            
lvm2-monitor.service  disabled enabled      
lvm2-lvmpolld.socket  **disabled ****enabled      **

3 unit files listed. 
**i3-4130:~ #**

packagekit: disable Software Updates applet, enable mail notification through packagekit-background

**i3-4130:~ #** systemctl list-unit-files '*package*' 
UNIT FILE                         STATE   VENDOR PRESET
packagekit-background.service     static  -            
packagekit-offline-update.service static  -            
packagekit.service                static  -            
packagekit-background.timer       **enabled ****disabled     **

4 unit files listed. 
**i3-4130:~ #**

systemd-presets:

**i3-4130:~ #** zypper info systemd-presets-common-SUSE 
Loading repository data... 
Reading installed packages... 


Information for package systemd-presets-common-SUSE: 
---------------------------------------------------- 
Repository     : Haupt-Repository (OSS) 
Name           : systemd-presets-common-SUSE 
Version        : 15-22.1 
Arch           : noarch 
Vendor         : openSUSE 
Installed Size : 4.3 KiB 
Installed      : Yes (automatically) 
Status         : up-to-date 
Source package : systemd-presets-common-SUSE-15-22.1.src 
Summary        : Systemd default presets for SUSE distributions 
Description    :  
    Default presets for systemd on SUSE based distributions. 

**i3-4130:~ #** rpm -ql systemd-presets-common-SUSE     
/usr/lib/systemd-presets-branding 
/usr/lib/systemd-presets-branding/branding-preset-states 
/usr/lib/systemd/system-preset/95-default-SUSE.preset 
/usr/lib/systemd/system-preset/99-default-disable.preset 
/usr/lib/systemd/user-preset/95-default-SUSE.preset 
**i3-4130:~ #**

Changes to preset

**i3-4130:~ #** systemctl list-unit-files | grep enabled | grep disabled                                          
cups.path                                    **disabled**        enabled 
apache2.service                              enabled         **disabled**
apparmor.service                             **disabled**        enabled 
auditd.service                               **disabled**        enabled 
avahi-daemon.service                         **disabled**        enabled 
bluetooth.service                            enabled         **disabled**
chronyd.service                              enabled         **disabled**
cups.service                                 **disabled**        enabled 
grub2-once.service                           enabled         **disabled**
lm_sensors.service                           enabled         **disabled**
lvm2-monitor.service                         **disabled**        enabled 
ModemManager.service                         **disabled**        enabled 
nscd.service                                 **disabled**        enabled 
smartd.service                               **disabled**        enabled 
systemd-networkd-wait-online.service         enabled         **disabled**
systemd-networkd.service                     enabled         **disabled**
systemd-remount-fs.service                   enabled-runtime **disabled**
systemd-resolved.service                     enabled         **disabled**
cups.socket                                  **disabled**        enabled 
lvm2-lvmpolld.socket                         **disabled**        enabled 
systemd-networkd.socket                      enabled         **disabled**
mdcheck_start.timer                          **disabled**        enabled 
mdmonitor-oneshot.timer                      **disabled**        enabled 
packagekit-background.timer                  enabled         **disabled**
**i3-4130:~ #** 

After about 20 years of using KDE I switched to Gnome 40 some months ago, and am now happily using Gnome 42. This is all subjective, of course, but I much prefer Gnome’s aesthetics. To me the interface is clean and elegant. I like the way the developers have implemented touchpad gestures on the Gnome desktop. With a simple swipe on my touchpad I can smoothly toggle from an open application to an overview of the desktop. KDE has active corners but they never seemed to work consistently for me. Pinch to zoom works perfectly on Gnome. And I’m also really enjoying Gnome’s web browser, Web, aka Epiphany, which allows you to swipe left or right on the touchpad to go back or forward in your browsing history. Plus it has built-in gestures for opening and closing tabs, etc.
So thank you, Gnome and opensuse developers, for making this great desktop environment.

Gnome’s aesthetics together with its poor functionality and limited configuration options drives me nuts. I tried Gnome with Fedora 33, but eventually switched to KDE Fedora.

I like the way the developers have implemented touchpad gestures on the Gnome desktop.With a simple swipe on my touchpad I can smoothly toggle from an open application to an overview of the desktop. KDE has active corners but they never seemed to work consistently for me. Pinch to zoom works perfectly on Gnome. And I’m also really enjoying Gnome’s web browser, Web, aka Epiphany, which allows you to swipe left or right on the touchpad to go back or forward in your browsing history. Plus it has built-in gestures for opening and closing tabs, etc.

I prefer a generic 105 key PC model. However I plugged a Logitech K400r (which I use with the Smart TV) into desktop erlangen:

Operating System: openSUSE Tumbleweed 20220330
KDE Plasma Version: 5.24.3
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.92.0
Qt Version: 5.15.2
Kernel Version: 5.16.15-1-default (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: X11
Processors: 8 × Intel® Core™ i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz
Memory: 31.3 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: AMD Radeon RX 550 / 550 Series

The K400r touchpad works perfectly without further ado and even can be used in parallel with the generic keyboard. KDE is pretty much underrated as is Tumbleweed, in my opinion of course.

I’ve used both KDE and Gnome on different distros for some time. I’m settling with Gnome since more than a year ago.

Gnome is meant to be opinionated and visionary. The Gnome team doesn’t want customisation? You won’t get many customisation options. Simple as that. It’s designed for people who just want their distro work without fiddling too much setting. On a logistical level, less customisation also means less maintenance and bugs.

In my experience, Gnome is less bug-prone than KDE. KWin crashes more often than Gnome and has small, non-critical bugs here and there. To me, the biggest show-stopping bug for KDE is the incomplete HiDPI support on X11, even with the environment variable hack. KDE on Wayland is still not quite ready.

Personally, I like the aesthetics of libadwaita in Gnome 42. It’s also becomes a source of frustration for me because of the visual inconsistency between libadwaita and non-libadwaita apps. It takes time for all Gnome apps to port to libadwaita and for non-Gnome apps, they might never bother with that. For GTK apps, one can use adw-gtk3, but no equivalent option exists for Qt apps. Ironically, overall I really like the look of Gnome and I think libadwaita is an improvement aesthetically. Gnome development team often thinks they’re the boss who can dictate course of app development upstream regardless of other people’s opinions downstream unfortunately.

I think it very much depends what you want to do with the system. I am an LXDE user (probably should be moving to something newer, but …) as I just want a simple application launcher and way of having multiple shells open. As such I don’t really want the full feature rich functions of KDE or Gnome. Having said that I have got on with KDE much better than Gnome 3 when I have played with the two. That said, I will download G42 and have a play on a VM - VMs are so good for testing!

Oh and as for packagekit >:)