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The new GDM, the new Screen Shield and Ubuntu

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LightDM or GDM is just a small detail, but it’s not the only one. It’s the File Manager, the File Previewer (aka Sushi), the Scroll bars.. So even if you install GS in Ubuntu, experience will be much different from the Vanilla Gnome. Anyway..

This isn’t in any case a complete review, many things are missing and many things aren’t ready yet. For example Pin Unlocking is missing (or I have compiled something wrong) and I also couldn’t test notifications under Shield as it keeps crushing :(

GDM Login Screen

Choose User


Sign in as different user

Time out

If we keep an input screen for some time open, GS will revert the screen on the previous step.

Gnome Shell Lock Screen

And this is the new Lock with the Curtain effect and Pin un-locker which is missing.


Slide up

At the moment I could slide up the “Curtain” only with mouse and not with a shortcut as it is supposed to happen.


And here is where the pin unlocker will be placed.



GDM and Lock while seem similar and share exactly the same design are two different modules. And if you don’t like how they look like, no worries, they are both theme-able! I am saying because this blue-curtain with the huge white time will not please many people I guess :)


Unfortunately for as long as there isn’t such a great Distro (in many ways) as Ubuntu, Gnome will be bind with it. Most people that run Gnome Shell do it through Canonical’s product and while that was working great for many years, it feels now that the relationship/communication Ubuntu-Gnome is broken.

It’s not only about Unity, about the incompatibilities between Compiz/Clutter, about LightDM and GDM or lately about the discussions in Canonical to remove completely Nautilus or the un-maintained systemD. Is more than this..

The bottom line is that we can’t get a Vanilla Gnome experience in Ubuntu, in any case, and no matter who’s the fault, isn’t look good for any side.

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  • Guest

    The Pinunlock should now become real in 3.8 , I read somewhere.

    Are the corners not so rounded as in the Shell or do I see it false (above right and left)?

    • alex285

      I ll ask a Gnomer about it (Pin), thank you for mentioning it.
      Corner’s are round, I just cropped it a bit more.

  • Niklas Rosenqvist

    In this article you can read some of the reasons why the split happened between Canonical and GNOME:

    • duncan

      Convenient memories are a wonderful thing.
      I´m not trying to exhonorate Gnome, but nothing in that article matches the sleaze campaign that Jono et al. were running at the actual time of the events which he discusses. For people who followed Ubuntu´s open attempts to damage Gnome, this reads as false and patronising. A re-write of history to make Ubuntu look like the victim.

  • Philip Witte

    looks great!

  • fargo

    No post from Alex without Ubuntu praising … ;)

    GNOME gets better and better. Very nice!
    Fedora’s Plymouth background color is not a coincide.

    • Jrodd

      Ubuntu rocks though… :)

      • fargo

        Ubutun is very good no doubts about that :). I’m using it daily at the work. Althought I have to confess that I slightly dislike Canonical’s policies and way of doing things.

      • ScionicSpectre

        Yeah, it would rock even more if they didn’t feel a need to modify and withhold GNOME’s new software in the process. :) A quick and easy solution would be to maintain separate packages like ‘unity-system-settings’ or ‘unity-gdm’ so you could still use the upstream version.

  • Arron Washington

    I would *love* a vanilla Gnome 3 distro that had the support / app breadth of Ubuntu!

    Every time I install Fedora or OpenSuSE on one of my machines I’m always disappointed about the effort it takes to get everything setup just so I can use it. For tinkering, its fine, but ultimately I always come back to Ubuntu… I really wish there was a “gnome shell” spin of Ubuntu.

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  • ScionicSpectre

    Also this doesn’t help much with the GDM and Nautilus situation on Ubuntu, I’ve noticed that installing GNOME from the minimal installation or from Kubuntu does yield the default GNOME environment, so you don’t have to tweak everything to death, it just comes vanilla. Only installing the Unity-wielding version seems to make all those modifications to the themes, fonts, scrollbars, etc. Of course, the System Settings dialog is still modified, but the rest seems to be fairly vanilla. No Sushi, apparently.

  • Víc Asecas

    Hey, do you know if it’s possible to change the GDM 3.6 bacgraund (for both, the lock screen that shows the bivk clock and for that one where we have to enter our password)??

    • alex285

      yes it should be theme-able because GDM is defined by the gnome-shell. But I don’t know where the themes files are :( Not gdm.css anymore.