Goodbye to Gnome 3/opensuse 12.2

I agree with the OP, Gnome 3 isn’t for me (OS stability issues aside that the OP has had with 12.2).

So, what options do you have? I think that’s the real question here. It’s an old question that continues to come up from time to time, and I’ll start a summary below:

  • stay with 11.4 until … either you can’t get support on it anymore, or you can’t maintain it anymore via compile-and-update.
  • you could switch distributions and use something like CentOS / RHEL which runs Gnome 2.28 – you get 5-7 more years of support from that line.
  • you could buy a license for SLES / SLED, also running Gnome 2, and use that for many more years to come. 11 SP2 is out now, SP3 is in beta.
  • you could upgrade to 12.2 / 12.3 and switch to KDE.
  • you could switch to Ubuntu and run Unity.

I’ve wrestled with KDE 3–>4, and Gnome 2–>3 over the last few years and ultimately, I’ve decided to run a combo of Ubuntu Precise 64-bit for my true desktops (7 years support. I went in with an open mind and said I’d try it for 30 days before I decided if I liked it or not. To be honest, I’ve gotten used to it and really do like it) and SLES / SLED for my work machines and servers. Both work well for me.

In the end, it all comes down to what you are using your box for. The enterprise solutions may not work if you do a lot of multimedia stuff on them … but for Office-type work, email, web surfing, listening to music, running VMs – you can’t beat 'em really. They are rock solid and supported like – forever. But if you use your box for other things, then they may not work.

There are options out there post-11.4 for you.


Personally, I’d rather slice my own bread than give up the conveniences of GNOME 3… but there’s no denying that a lot of people do not like it…

And yes, as mentioned there is a fallback mode in GNOME 3.4/3.6… but it’s not very good. That’s really only intended for people who physically cannot run GNOME 3 and have no other (GNOME) choice, rather than people who just want GNOME 2 back. I should add, to get to this, go to the Details panel in System Settings and click on the Graphics tab.

Ubuntu Unity is another option; personally I don’t like it much compared to either KDE or GNOME, but a lot of people do. Unity only works on Ubuntu. However I expect you’re looking for something more classic, which means Cinnamon/Mate/Xfce or KDE. Unity and GNOME 3 are “different.”

If you really want to stick to GNOME 2 I would definitely recommend CentOS over the enterprise distros—it’s free. But Evergreen will work just fine for a few years so no need to switch.

OK well let me explain this a bit; you might well be able to get this functionality on current openSUSEs. GNOME allows for “shell extensions” which allow for a huge ability to customize the shell—if you can figure out how to write such an extension. The extensions are really unstable right now and generally break with each major version of GNOME, so there’s a lot of work still to be done in this area. But they exist:

(In fact, openSUSE ships one extension by default, which allows you to Hibernate and Power Off from the status menu in 12.2, or Suspend and Hibernate in 12.3.)

For GNOME 3.8 (still in development, release in a couple of weeks), several extensions have been “officially adopted” and are going to be packaged as part of GNOME. I’m not sure where, maybe in Tweak Tool, but there will be a button to turn on these “official extensions” by default. But you can still install [all or some? of] them yourself in GNOME 3.4 (openSUSE 12.2) or GNOME 3.6 (openSUSE 12.3 - out now, my recommendation), and they should work fine; they’re just not officially supported yet and may not be as nice as the official versions (not sure, never wanted them myself). To be clear, these are going to create a sort of GNOME 2/3 hybrid; they’re not designed to bring back GNOME 2; that’s what MATE is for.

For details seethis page, and scroll down past the Control Center and shell improvements stuff. The official classic extensions are (or will be): apps-menu places-menu alternate-tab default-min-max launch-new-instance static-workspaces window-list – I’m not sure how many of these are currently available on, probably quite a few I’d guess.

And the official extensions that work well outside classic mode are: alternative-status-menu (default in openSUSE) drive-menu windowsNavigator workspace-indicator