GNOME 2 nostalgics FAQ

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GNOME 3, included starting in Fedora 15, has a completely new desktop UI realized in gnome-shell and a gnome-panel-based fallback configured to approximate gnome-shell. Whatever the arguments for or against making this change in general, it is bound not to please everyone. So in the spirit of free software, this page collects tips and alternatives for users seeking a GNOME-2-like experience on Fedora 15 and later.

The following works as of Fedora 15:

  • Enable forced fallback mode: dconf key /org/gnome/desktop/session, or gnome-control-center ("System Settings" on the menu) -> "System Info" -> "Graphics".
  • Enable the Nautilus desktop: dconf key /org/gnome/desktop/background/show-desktop-icons, or install and use gnome-tweak-tool.
  • Since the fallback-mode panel configuration is designed to be fixed, the Alt key is required to change the configuration by right-clicking on the panel. You can also edit in dconf at /org/gnome/gnome-panel/layout. Applets that still use GConf store their preferences in GConf /apps/panel3-applets.
  • If you have issues with panels moving to the center every time gnome-panel starts, try this patch.
  • If you are unable to get the GNOME panel to do everything you want, try using the XFCE panel instead or in addition: add xfce4-panel as a startup program in gnome-session-properties (also applicable to GNOME 2). But if you delete all GNOME panels, the default fallback configuration will automatically come back the next time you use Alt-F1 or Alt-F2; instead, try an auto-hide GNOME panel that stays hidden behind your XFCE panel. Unfortunately, the "xfapplet" plugin that hosts GNOME applets on the XFCE panel is no longer available.
  • The gnome-applets package is currently broken in F15 (RHBZ #691250), but the F16 package works on F15. Install RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-16-primary from [1] and then run:
    yum --releasever=16 install gnome-applets
    
  • Change the GTK theme, fonts, etc. in dconf at /org/gnome/desktop/interface or use gnome-tweak-tool. Not all the settings work exactly as they did in GNOME 2. In particular, the font DPI override is gone; use "text-scaling-factor" instead.