KDE Dev tries Gnome 40

This is NOT a hate-on-gnome video by any means, it’s a respectful look at a project from another developers point of view.


Very respectful I’d say, it says a lot about the reviewer as a person.
Seeing the lack of customization in gnome’s options makes me wonder do you even have themes in gnome, or is it like something you get into gnome through the backdoor that you need to install yourself?
Also I notice some of the apps just use a dark theme while the other ones light theme. Is that a bug?


Very nice review. No bashing at all! In fact, a quite positive one. He has some legitimate points of criticism. I like this review.

not officially. They are not supported. But i think they are working on a solution. There are of course a lot of themes out there. Installable via gnome-tweaks very easily

no, its not. There are indeed some apps, that use a dark theme by default, but that’s changable in the app’s settings


I’ve not ran Gnome (other than a few live iso boot just to see current), in years, but the customization seems to be mostly nill these days. This is Gnome, this is how it is…enjoy it (or not). I am not a one-desktop-fits-all kind of guy.


It’s the same in Windows 10 btw, Media apps (photo viewer, movie viewer etc) are default dark with light theme enabled.

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huh, didn’t notice that (but also didn’t pay attention). But hey, Win 10 you say? To quote a well known open source enthusiast: “get it out of here!” :smile:

Hmm I suspected they made the media apps dark, but wasn’t sure. Also if they have the option to switch all is golden.

The whole thing very much reminded me of MacOS. The gestures and the lack of customisation both. It feels like they talk the same language: let experts handle the UI, there’s no place for noobs customizing our very much polished UI. Get used to what we offer and that’s that.
Still I think I’ll try it out for myself one of these days. See if I can adapt my flow to it and if it increases productivity afterwards.

Can you have the open applications show up in the top bar? Also is moving the top bar to bottom possible (through extension or otherwise?) :smiley:

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First thing I did when running 3.38 was to also switch Terminal to Dark Theme. It just looks too jarring with a black background with white borders to me.

Indeed, that is my major criticism of the Gnome team as a whole; they are very much adopting an Apple approach to policy, if not exact design, aka minimize customization, minimize adaptation, claim to know better than the end user what the end user needs.

Edit: again, tho, I firmly believe the Gnome desktop is by far the most polished, most focused and most coherent desktop for Linux, years ahead of Plasma or Xfce. But it is not for me.


‘Dash to dock’ extension is your friend here.

I tried it yesterday. It is really nice and looks like Gnome is changing. I am debating, whether to install it. This different Gnome. I like the touchpad gestures, but I am so used to Fusuma with to and fro movement in any app, web, files etc.

There’s a really good extension, which helps you somewhat done by Just Perfection. I tried it and some other apps in live mode.

EDIT: went ahead and installed Fedora 34 dev with Gnome 40. The last time, I had Fedora installed was about 8 years ago. And, the last time I tried Gnome was about 4 years ago. This is something different. :slight_smile:


part of the reason for the lack of customization in gnome and mac and windows is that it allows the developers to create a more stable product. The less you allow the user to screw up the more likely the user will end up with an experience without problems. I know it seems contrary to us Linux people and Arch people especially but the fact of the matter is the less options available the more calculated the experience can be for the end user. That being said while I also thought it was a pretty interesting experience and I will continue to play with it for a little while I don’t see myself leaving plasma for it. On the flip side of that I can see the value if I were a business and wanted all of my employees to have the same computer experience on any given computer in the office this could be a valuable option. Especially with the use of virtual desktops and the gestures between them it would make working on different projects or different clients quite easy.

It’s definitely a better product than I was originally anticipating considering how I generally feel about the gnome experience on 3.38.


That is an important point, and people tend to forget that Gnome markets itself as the DE for professional users (aka companies, developers, graphical designers etc). They are NOT marketing themselves as “Cool” in any way; they are fully aware they are not for “Ricers” and do not to pander to that crowd at all.
They have no desire to win over the Unixporn crowd and quite frankly there are enough DEs and WMs to go around so they don’t have to.


Gnome is and has been designed to be the “face” of Linux. By that I mean when an Enterprise user uses Linux they will expect Gnome. Every Enterpise distro defaults to Gnome. Fleet Commander is for managing Gnome desktops and workstations. As a sysadmin I can assure you, I like to find things where they belong, not where the user decided to put them, because those extra ten minutes of digging add up, when you are dealing with hundreds of hosts.

They also add up in training costs for the end user, and especially for Tier 1 support. It is hard enough getting a non technical user on the same page when you know exactly where things are much less so when you have no clue what they did to their desktop, because it always takes extra time to take over their desktop, and look around.

Gnome does what it was designed to do, very well, and it does have one feature I cannot fully duplicate on any other desktop. Their activities overview is the principal reason I use Gnome. One key press and I have a very good overview of where everything is, I can launch applications, and/or search with that same key press. Every other desktop it takes multiple views, or key presses to get the same information or capabiity. Also sane default keyboard shortcuts, along with a focus on it. It is furmly designed to be a productive and mostly uniform desktop experience.

Gnome’s focus is on Enterprise not the hobbyist. This has been the case for a very long time now.


Going to play with Gnome 40 for a while, and try to tinker, if I can. I am already missing the Fusuma touchpad gestures. Best is Openbox atm, without a dedicated DE. :slight_smile:

I must admit that Fedora 34 dev is quite snappy and installed in a jiffy. Adwaita theme looks nice too.

Indeed, this is the double-edged sword of standardisation. If you block all aspects of customisation, support in a corporate environment becomes markedly easier, and I think that’s why it is the way it is. For any desktop to succeed, ruling out “user interference” when working through faults is a significant item.

I’ve tried Gnome, it’s far too rigid for me to work with, but I admire the sheer bloodymindedness of sticking to a singular direction in their approach. :smiley:

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And, the extension creators are already at work, tinkering around it. :slight_smile: Used one of them. to get the top bar out of the way.

Knowing your market and catering to it specifically may not always be glamorous, but it’s generally a good business practice. They clearly value workflow and stability. Great for business, not for the hobbyist.

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Which in itself is provocative to a certain demographic using Linux that are hardcore anti-company and distrust anything that can be seen as corporate including Ubuntu, Fedora and Suse as distros.

If I were me, and were going to back a company - Fedora/RHEL would be it.

There’s just this bit of me that feels if Linus uses Fedora, there’s just gotta be something special there.

Ubuntsoft can kick rocks imo.

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