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Oops! | Shell Removes Black Backgrounds Support?!


I think there’s a misinterpreting here. Just because I recommended that we don’t suggest a flat black background doesn’t mean that I think we shouldn’t try and ensure that dark backgrounds work well with GNOME shell.

We have other bugs that are tracking these issues. For example,    690624   discusses notifications against dark backgrounds. I made a recommendation in that bug that will help with the issue you’ve described – we’re not ignoring the dark background issue, and we’re not refusing to try and fix it.

The fact is that the black background is a suggestion on our part (you can set any image to be a background you want – you still have control), and it isn’t working too well right now. I also don’t think it is a good suggestion for a flat background colour. You can still set black yourself, but we’re no longer recommending it.

Allan Day


There are several issues with black backgrounds on Shell, but it seems that GNOME isn’t willing to apply a fix. Instead, they remove the Black Background option, from Background Color Selections.

Actually nothing really changes, apart from the decision of GNOME to don’t support black backgrounds, or if you prefer, Shell isn’t working (as expected) on black backgrounds. Officially.

Usability Issue with workspace pane and black color wallpaper

I don’t really want to design the shell around black backgrounds, so I’m punting this to the control center – I don’t think we should allow black backgrounds to be set from the colours part of the background selection panel.

Allan Day |    649426  

Bastien Nocera removed today the black color from background settings.

background: Remove black colour from choices

A completely black background will make it impossible to see whether there is one more workspace in gnome-shell, and as we do not want to design gnome-shell around the possibility of a solid black coloured background, remove black from the options.

Bastien Nocera |    649426  

The bug is marked as resolved/fixed (?!), but obviously it isn’t. Black wallpapers still can be selected, still cause issues.

Some Issues

Notice that Shell’s top-bar popups i.e, Calendar, Accessibility, Language Selection, App Menu, Shell Menu & Extensions, or Shell Message Dialogs, aren’t affected by this, since they have grey borders.

Borderless Notifications, have invisible boundaries

Workspace Thumbnails invisible boundaries

Borderless Application Folders, have invisible boundaries | Utilities Folder is open

There are more issues.

An Easy Workaround

Nop, I won’t reckon to add borders everywhere, they might don’t want that, they might want to remove every border. What I will reckon is to change the behavior on the fly IF there is a black background, as Isis does.

Watch what’s happening at 1.30 minute. Pretty smart, quite awesome!

Debating Vs Brainstorming

This isn’t about criticizing GNOME designers choices, but debating them with the goal to build and release a better product. About a same case there is with Polari. Debating always leads on better solutions than brainstorming.

Black backgrounds are way too popular (specially on tablets) & cool and I think they should be treated as first class citizen, and not being unsupported!

If you have objections (with reasoning) about GNOME designing, feel free to place your opinions on GNOME bug trackers. Otherwise, don’t complain at all afterwards :)

Remember, GNOME Devs DO LISTEN!

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  • Enzzo

    How about a new workspace when a program gets fullscreen (by default/gnome)
    This is “like OSX” feature. I use almost it with xmonad =B

  • suolakurQ

    You could relatively easily make a fork of Adwaita with some white borders around the top bar and notifications