Making Gnome 3.8 an Even Better Place to Work

November 24, 2013 10:40 pm Leave your thoughts

Gnome3I recently switched to Gnome 3 on my Fedora installation. As you might have read, previously I was using MATE with Fedora just because I want something that I’m used with. However being the developer that I am, I was unable to resist installing different desktop manager in my development machine. Installing it was easy of course, I simply used the group install gnome desktop and the full desktop was installed.

However, coming from the world of Unity, KDE, MATE, OSX and Windows; I wasn’t used to the minimalist Gnome 3 desktop with no usual start menu or launcher. Therefore I had to install some extensions and additional software to get a good functional desktop. So I’ll share those modifications with you all today.

Gnome Extensions to Install

This is probably the most important part of making Gnome 3 super useful again. These are the extensions that made it possible.

All of these extensions are available from by the way. Also Gnome has made it very cool and easy installing them straight from the web browser.


Docks may not be everyone’s favourite, but I like to have some way to launch my frequently accessed applications as easy as possible. These are two of the docking software that I have considered.

Both docks are good in their own ways, so go ahead and give them a go.

Once installed don’t forget to add your preferred launcher to the startup application list.

Task Bar

In Gnome 3, as far as I understood there is no such thing as task bar by default. Switching between running applications are done via “Expose” looking interface. While I certainly agree that it is very fancy doing it that way and that it gives us the ability to see the preview of the application; when you have to do that 5 times in a row you’ll get a bit confused. Well, happens to me at least. More about the impatience waiting for the animations actually.

In any case, if you want a task bar, then Tint2 is the task bar application to go. You can get tint2 here:

It was also possible to use yum install tint2 directly too when I installed mine.

After the taskbar is installed, all you have to do is add tint2 to the startup program list via your gnome control panel.

Can’t Lock the Gnome Desktop?

Seriously, this is a problem that I encountered and really annoyed me. There is no way to lock the screen, the first time my Gnome is installed. If this happens to you as well check these things:

  • Push ctrl + alt + L
    There is no lock button on Gnome desktop (correct me if I’m wrong), if this works then your locking mechanism is working fine. If this doesn’t work, do the step below.
  • Install gnome-screensaver. Screen lock will never work without gnome screensaver so do a sudo yum install gnome-screensaver and away you go.

Other Tools

Another tool that you might want to install to further customise you Gnome 3 experience are:

  • Gnome tweak tool (sudo yum install gnome-tweak-tool)
  • Gnome shell themes (sudo yum install gnome-shell-theme*)

So there you are, those are all the modifications that I had to do in order to make the Gnome desktop a better place to work. Do share your modifications in your comments if you have more suggestions for other to learn.


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