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A preview of Gnome 3.6 in Quantal

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Gnome Shell & GDM

I tried and I tried again to compile GDM and Gnome Shell 3.5.90 in Ubuntu, but it was impossible. Building was working but Gnome Shell and GDM were refusing to start. Then I deployed a clean version of Quantal and I installed Ricotz Staging PPA. Still, no GDM and GS 3.5.9 for me, so I am using GS 3.5.4 here.

However there is nothing to worry about because Ubuntu already maintain Gnome Shell and GDM 3.6, so Quantal users will get all the goodies of 3.6, like the Gdm/Lock screens and the new UI of Gnome Shell.


Ubuntu in Quantal will use Nautilus 3.4 with some patches on it. Do you want 3.6? No worries at all. You’ll get a PPA for it!

And here it is, Nautilus 3.5.9 upstream!

Compact view removal was one of the biggest mistakes of Gnome UX team (imo). The complains are so strong that there is a chance to bring that back. I don’t know one single person to be happy with that move. I doubt even if the Gnome UX Team is happy about it. I personally know many people from Windows that use compact and horizontal scrolling as the default in file manager. Imagine this: “Even Windows do that!”

Me? I don’t care about it, as I don’t use it, but I can’t ignore the fair complains. You can track that bug in Gnome Bugzilla (#676842). Keep on mind that more changes are expected for the upcoming Nautilus 3.8!

Gnome Control Center (GCC)

As I can see in Launchpad, Quantal will ship GCC 3.4. The GCC is heavily patched than the original, but it is better anyway as it has extra functionality like the “Privacy” section. Most probably GCC will be totally forked in 13.04, but I think it will get better, so I am in favor of it (ok, I don’t use Ubuntu so actually I don’t care ;) ).

But check this out!

This is GCC 3.5.9 from Ricotz PPA. It has all the new functionality of Gnome 3.6 plus the Ubuntu’s Add-ons.  We have covered already all the new things in GCC, so I won’t do that again here. But pay attention at Online Accounts. We have two. The first one is Ubuntu’s and the other one is Gnome’s. I guess this is a bug that we won’t see in Quantal stable.

Gnome Online Accounts (GOA)

Quantal ships GOA out of box. Great! ..but check this.

This is cool! You can set account from each applications from GCC. Great work from Ubuntu. I don’t know if that was a feature also in 12.04 but is pretty cool! The bad thing is that accounts there aren’t sync with the rest of the system like Gnome Documents. You have to use Gnome GOA for it.

But as I said that it seems like a bug for me. So I guess they will fix that.

Gnome Documents

Gnome Documents is one of these Apps that gained some nice changes in Gnome 3.6.

A handy search and a “TAG Filter” similar to many Web-Services. Web Pages are into another higher level and I think Desktop is trying to follow. But this is pretty normal considering the size of web-development and the money that are invested on Web Services from huge companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc..

Ubuntu Software Center

I am totally impressed by it. I used version 5.3.9 and it was fast. Damn fast! It takes about 1-2 second to load and after that, everything is instantly loading (I use SSD). I remember old versions of USC to be annoyingly slow. But that is gone now. Good job to Ubuntu team for that!

Of course there isn’t an Application Menu for USC, but lets don’t be greedy! Also these scrolling bars in Ubuntu, they are so ugly. Functionality feels nice, but visual stinks. However you can disable them if you don’t like them or you don’t use them.


Everything looks nice in Ubuntu 12.10 with Gnome. You know, I know that Ubuntu isn’t the most Gnomish distro, but things are about to change.

An Ubuntu Gnome spin will arrive in probably in version 13.04(?). And the great news continue. Ubuntu 13.04 (and other distros) will ship also Wayland! So you have to expect great things on the first quarter of 2013. Like Mageia 3.

Speaking of Mageia..

Before Mageia I thought it was hard to make a quality distro like Ubuntu. Mageia in my opinion proved how hmmm “bad” distros OpenSUSE and Fedora are.

OpenSUSE:  4 different installations, three people switched to Ubuntu, one in Fedora. OpenSUSE had huge bugs. Like crashing GS every hour, couldn’t play HDMI (while Fedora and Ubuntu could on the same machine) and many others.

Fedora: Fedora is a very special distro, kinda experimental for new technologies. But, Firefox isn’t working in Fedora 16 (I think!) and 17 (that bug affects many installations). Firefox isn’t working in Fedora out of box. Can you imagine that? And they don’t fix it. Is this a Desktop distro? I doubt.

A quick fix is to open about:config in FF and disable IPV6. I don’t know what cause that delays (it takes 40sec to open a page), but this fixed the bug for me. Of course I am not trying to accuse distros here, but I believe that distros are responsible in a large degree for the bad image of Gnome.

Ubuntu Gnome and Mageia 3 will give us a great Gnome experience in the short future. So the best are ahead of us!

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  • M

    Firefox isn’t working in Fedora

    What are you on, man?

    • alex285

      FF in Fedora takes about 40 sec to resolve a domain with IPV6 on. I didn’t check in Bugzilla because I don’t use FF anyway, but this bug hasn’t been fixed yet and affects many installations.

  • Justin Joseph

    Firefox is working perfectly fine with Fedora. Out of the box!
    Did you report the issue?

    I don’t know what’s so special about ubuntu or mageia, but I am so happy to enjoy the best gnome implemention in Fedora.

    • alex285

      I have the same issue in 3 Fedora 17 installations, plus in VBox. No I didn’t report it because is wide known. Obviously it doesn’t affect everyone. But still lots of people have an unusable FF in a clean installation. Not mention the “enchant” package that was broken for days.

    • faildora shitty miracle

      what a good reason to prefer fedora over ubuntu.

  • Mike

    ipv6 isnt widely used so i wouldnt expect a lot from it for some time. also could you get a english translator cause some of your crap i do not understand man

    • alex285

      Why should you read the crap from first place? Skip it

    • arch_is_awesome

      I have ipv6 and I’m just a regular person using a regular ISP in the United States :P

    • vincentjohn

      Rude commenter is rude

  • Adonis K. (Varemenos)

    Whats with the random rant at the end of the article? (not to mention the advertising of mageia)

    on topic now: having a more vanilla feel than the one in 12.04 is awesome cant wait for Quantal

    • alex285

      Mageia can be easily the second most popular distro (if it isn’t already). The first major release (Mageia 2) is too good, and Mageia 3 (the development version) rocks!
      It’s not random, I don’t see any other Distro to follow these two.

  • Stinger

    Hey Alex.
    Thanks for covering the status of Gnome 3.6 in Ubuntu.
    I have a thread going in the ubuntu forums covering gnomebuntu / GNObuntu:
    Might be worth a look ;)

    • alex285

      Hmm I lost it. They are trying to release Ubuntu Gnome for 12.10?

      • Jeremy Bicha

        Yes, we will have an unofficial Ubuntu GNOME image for 12.10 with the goal of applying to be an officially recognized Ubuntu flavor for 13.04.

  • Dave

    I tried Mageia based on your recommendations but I couldn’t get it to boot. Tried on several different computers and it just hangs while loading the Mageia logo. It’s too bad, I really wanted to give it a try.

    • alex285

      Oops crap! Did you check the ISO?

    • jsnj

      Same experience here.

      • alex285

        Ok, I will never reckon distros again :( I installed it in two friends and worked fine.

        • jsnj

          I’ve heard others rave about it too, so it’s not just recommended by you. Unfortunately, like Dave, it didn’t boot properly for me. Just hangs. Looks like it’s booting with one blue dot of the logo, then 2 dots, then 3 dots after longer than 5 min. After that amount of boot time, my patience is done. Probably a bug that hopefully will be fixed.

          • alex285

            Don’t quit yet. Try their IRC.

          • David Dreggors

            Common things to make a LiveCD or Install CD hang…
            1. Using a 64 bit distro on a 32 bit box
            2. Bad download (use the checksum to verify iso is good)
            3. Bad burn, use the burning softwares verify option after burn
            4. Bad memory in machine

            In my experience the one I run into the most is a bad download. I do get lazy from time to time and do not test the checksum of the iso.

            I hope these tips help because I suspect the hang has NOTHING to do with Mageia and more to do with a bad (or wrong) iso file.

          • Dave

            Exact same thing that I get. I’m pretty good with this stuff but I just don’t really have the time to tinker anymore. If it doesn’t work on my Linux compliant Dell laptop (which I purchased new from Dell preloaded with Ubuntu), then I usually just let it go. I spend most of my time on a Chromebook now, which I absolutely love, so I’ve lost a lot of interest in tinkering with distros that don’t work ‘right out of the box’.

            But that’s okay, I’ll keep my eye on Mageia. Keep letting us what you like, Alex. It’s good to know what fellow Gnome lovers are using. I’m really just waiting for GnomeOS or a “pure” Gnome experience with Debian packages. I guess I’ll just have to dream.

  • dylan-m

    Just to clear up the Online Accounts thing (well, in exchange for more crazy), the two panels are very different under the hood right now. Ubuntu’s is a completely separate project called Ubuntu Online Accounts, with its own account plugins and its own implementation in applications like Empathy. Ubuntu seems to be in a particularly good position to do this kind of thing, and their design is a lot prettier, so I for one am optimistic that these two will just become one some day. For the time being, some applications talk to GOA and others talk to UOA.

    • alex285

      Thank you for that.
      I found that out just 5min ago from a thread in Ubuntu forums.

  • Петр Пустота

    Recently i had to format my main hdd. The reason was Mageia2. This [s]stupid[/s] thing surprisingly had an old GRUB v. 0.99 (and no any sign of 2.00 in repos), which just cant be installed on gpt partitions that left after fedora and windows dual boot. Thank god i’ve got dropbox for all important docs.

  • pt3

    The biggest fail of Nautilus 3.6 is the removal of folder based settings. So every time you open the folder now you have to adjust the type of view, the zoom level and the sort order.

    Why doesn’t Gnome documents provide actual thumbnails of the document.

  • Manish A. Shetty

    what are you on? fedora or ubuntu?

  • ScionicSpectre

    I guess that’s not tragically horrible. It would be nice if GNOME could use different settings for the height of the titlebar, fonts, and themes by default. In fact, if you install GNOME from a non-Unity spin, or from the minimal CD, GNOME will come with vanilla settings, but Unity’s settings conflict if you install it first.