Few days ago I installed Gnome Shell 3.5.91 in my Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal beta setup. and I’ve a mixed feeling about the new version of Gnome Shell, which is going to be called as Gnome Shell 3.6.
This new version introduces many changes and improvements and is definitely worth an upgrade. So I’m sharing my feelings about this version of Gnome Shell on Ubuntu. Note that Ubuntu 12.10 is still in beta and so is Gnome Shell. Though there shouldn’t be any visible changes since feature freeze and UI freeze is already over.
Installation went smooth. Just a
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell did it. I was then prompted to choose my default display manager from LightDM and GDM. I choose LightDM just to see how Gnome Shell works with it.
There are many changes to the UI and small tweaks here and there. It is definitely a great step to improve the Gnome Shell experience and enhance the usability.
The User Menu is looks more compact, the Online Accounts item has been removed, Suspend has been replaced by Power Off. One small thing I really liked is if you don’t have any chat account set up, the status chooser now becomes insensitive, it was clickable in older versions as far as I recall.
And there is the Lock option! I heard of the new lock screen in Gnome Shell. So I went forward to try it. And man, it really looks simple and minimal, yet cool.
But again, it didn’t ask for my password when I unlocked. Hmm… It requires GDM to be running to work, seems logical. Anyways, I changed my display manager from LightDM to GDM by
dpkg-reconfigure gdm and rebooted. And the lock screen now works. The animations and effects are really smooth and feel very nice.
The notifications now don’t trigger the message tray to show up and now have a close button. It is really convenient, before it was confusing to know how to dismiss a notification.
The message tray has also received a lot of attention. It is now much taller and now it is not triggered accidentally when you move your cursor to the bottom-right corner. To open the message try, you need to move your cursor to the bottom edge and hold for few seconds. The message tray pops up with a nice effect, pushing everything upwards. The whole screen darkens so that you can concentrate on the notifications. Cool!
And finally the Overview. The Overview takes a important role in the Gnome Shell experience. It has received much attention accordingly. The view mode tabs have been replaced by an icon in the dash. The search box is now centered.
I miss the search buttons for Google and Wikipedia in the overview. But they seem to be replaced by something more useful, because instead of opensearch .xml files, there are now .ini files of some kind.
One small thing I liked that the font rendering in Gnome Shell is now looks much improved improved. It looked horrible previously.
In theming point of view, the code has been streamlined and there are less repetitions now. quite like it. The lock screen is also themable and it really looks great!
The overall impressions were good. And I hope you like them as well. Something you liked as it was? Let us know through your valuable comments :D