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Debian GNOME Software

Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop 403

An anonymous reader writes: Debian will switch back to using GNOME as the default desktop environment for the upcoming Debian 8.0 Jessie release, due out in 2015. The decision is based on accessibility and systemd integration, along with a host of other reasons. Debian switched away from GNOME back in 2012 .
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Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

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  • Why not KDE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shaman ( 1148 )

    Maybe Gnome is friendlier for noobs or something. Are there noobs left in the world?

    • Re:Why not KDE (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @08:14PM (#47979411)

      Gnome is drastically different than any other environment out there. I can't imagine it being a good choice for noobs. MATE is a better choice because it is more familiar to Windows users. Unity is a good choice for Mac OS X users because of some similarities. GNOME is like neither. A noob would be lost.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by dosius ( 230542 )

        MATE is also more familiar to users of previous versions of Debian, which is why I use it on my netbook.

      • Re:Why not KDE (Score:5, Informative)

        by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @10:10PM (#47980033)

        Unity is a good choice for Mac OS X users because of some similarities.

        Clearly you've never used OS X for any amount of time to make such a ridiculous claim. Unity is almost nothing like OS X beyond a couple of superficial similarities that, outside of the left hand buttons, don't even functionally act the same as the OS X counterpart it is trying to mimic. Long-time OS X users tend to despise Unity for its superficial cargo cult look.

        • Re:Why not KDE (Score:4, Insightful)

          by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Wednesday September 24, 2014 @01:15AM (#47980823) Homepage

          I've used OS X for 4-5 years and have used Unity since it came out, and I find them very similar. There's differences, but they're much more like each other than they're like Windows. My wife, who isn't a computer person and has always used Macs, occasionally uses Unity on my laptop, and finds it almost the same as Mac except the colors are different.


    • Linux noobs generally do NOT use Debian.
      They start with ubuntu or some of it's derivative like Mint.
      On a personal note, I use Linux Mint as my primary OS and recommend it to any noob who asks me on how to start using Linux. I have no qualms admitting myself as a Linux noob :)

      • by thieh ( 3654731 )
        When I was a noob I use Fedora. Sadly ubuntu didn't work for my box circa 8.10 when the liveCD won't boot properly with some radeon cards and I kind of stayed away from ubuntu ever since, especially after the period which cross-distro solutions won't come from them when they start using upstart and unity. I still check out the variants of it when new DE versions comes out, though not much more than that.
      • by msauve ( 701917 )
        "Linux noobs generally do NOT use Debian."

        ...and non noob Debian users generally do NOT use a GUI. So, what's the issue?

        And, in my experience, neither Gnome nor KDE are particularly robust. I got tired of fighting graphics drivers and configurations, and have XFCE installed to run those things which simply won't work without.
        • Such sweeping generalizations. Servers may not have desktop GUIs installed, but we have plenty of people running Linux as a desktop for their workstation with a VM running Windows if they need a Windows only application.

          • by Lennie ( 16154 )

            Why do you insult me claiming I need to run Windows on my Linux desktop ? ;-)

            I don't run Windows VMs on my desktop machine.

            There are no Windows applications I need or depend on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden ( 803437 )

        I've been using Linux since 1997 (pretty much exclusively since 2009). I still prefer MInt over anything else. Eye candy is good, package management is good - and it is the primary platform for Cinnamon which removes all the retarded aspects of Gnome 3 to make it back into a decent desktop UI.

    • Beat me too it. It is beyond me why the Debian priests insist on continued dead horse beating.

    • by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @11:16PM (#47980319)

      Are there noobs left in the world?

      For some reason some people keep creating new ones.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @08:08PM (#47979383) Journal

    I have stopped using Gnome ever since the developers decided to stop listening to the users and fucked up the whole thing

    • I used to have a gnome fetish, but I gave gnome the boot when the developers put a boot on the users' necks.
    • by thule ( 9041 )
      I still use it. It works for me. I like the clean interface. I like the search function (tracker). I like the way it integrates with OwnCloud (really easy). I just like the overall feel of the environment. Way better than OpenWindows or CDE. BTW, I'm not a new Linux user. I started with Linux and fvwm sometime around 1993-1994. I started out on Yggdrasil and Slackware and whatever "distro" I downloaded off a BBS in 1992 (but didn't really do anything with it other than boot it up).
    • You're in luck then, Debian is still way back in the days when GNOME 2 was new!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Mod parent up further. I didn't realize how badly the GNOME team screwed the pooch until I tried running Deb 7 and Deb 8 testing to get a new laptop to work.

      I am at a complete loss as to why I should have to use a click-and-drag "swipe" gesture to unlock the screen on my workstation in the default configuration of GNOME 3 that comes with Jessie. I'm also not too fond of the default on for all the smart--phone centric gestures that mess up all of my window positioning if I accidentally mouse to the corner
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You don't have to drag to unlock. Press Escape or just typing your password.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't want to switch to MATE because all the executables have been renamed and I'd lose compatibility with my legacy systems that run GNOME 2.

        Okay, my advice to you: switch to MATE.

        They renamed all the executables because they had to. For some reason that I don't understand, GNOME cannot have 2.x and 3.x on the same system; somehow they screwed the library versioning all to hell and it doesn't work. So the MATE developers renamed everything, so that people could install MATE and GNOME on the same system

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @09:40PM (#47979879) Journal
      Listening to users isn't necessarily a good thing. Henry Ford said that if he'd asked his customers what they wanted, they'd have asked for a faster horse. This is especially true of UI design, because most people (even power users) really don't measure what they're spending time doing and get into unproductive patterns. The problem with GNOME was that they also didn't listen to usability experts. Or even vaguely competent people who had read an HCI book. They went down a path of doing things that an uninformed user and a usability expert could both agree were stupid. Apparently they've improved recently, but it cost them a lot of users.
      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday September 24, 2014 @04:24AM (#47981493)

        The problem with GNOME was that they also didn't listen to usability experts.

        The problem is that usability experts are actually few and far between. Usability experts have been replaced with User eXperience experts and they kind of kicked off this nightmare of crap design. I like the Microsoft story of how the "Start" button came to exist. Without a requirement for usability experts to weigh in they actually beta tested many versions of windows with various designs, and each time wondered how to get users to click on the thing. Put the word "Start" on the button and suddenly everyone instinctively knew what to do.

        Now we are in a world of UX design where people don't seem to care anymore what the users think but only seem to care about how their product looks like. I'm going to buck the trend and actually say I like the theme of Windows 8. Flat and trendy works for me, but the UX design is a nightmare without any of the queues that a user needs to identify how something should happen.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe the UX guys are right and we're not optimally using the desktop. But if a user can't figure out how to use your desktop (see and endless stream of youtube how-to videos on Windows 8 showing people such advanced things like .... turning their computer off) then you have failed. The users absolutely need to be part of the equation.

    • by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @10:00PM (#47979989) Homepage

      KDE 4.0 was bad, so lots of people switched to Gnome 2.

      KDE 4.3 was decent, and Gnome 3 was awful, so lots of people switched to KDE.

      Gnome 3.10 and KDE 4.13 are both fine. If they both keep working on polish and extension support for a while rather than trying to reinvent themselves again then everything will be peachy.

    • well, Debian is taking that to the next level and adopting systemd which ignores serious sys admins and fucks up the whole system init thing

    • Yeah, still using it. Gnome 3 with the applications menu and window list turned on, Thunar as the file manager because they are removing title bars on windows for some reason. I'm getting fed up with it, probably going to move to Mate or Cinnamon. I used KDE3 on Fedora before, but something was always flaky with it, and they didn't have good GUI tools for things like setting up WiFi at the time. It was back when Ubuntu was paving the way for the desktop that I switched to Gnome (love having access to De
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You're my only hope!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @08:25PM (#47979479)

    Why on earth would you do that?

  • by SlashdotOgre ( 739181 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @08:43PM (#47979591) Journal

    I used GNOME as my primary desktop environment for almost a decade starting with 2.4 on Fedora Core 1. I watched as many features I cared for were either hidden or removed for simplicity's sake, but I kept with it because for the most part I could restore the features with minimal hassle and I liked the overall look & feel. I even put up with early GNOME 3 as I felt 3.4 & 3.6 were progressively improving. However by 3.8 I was getting fed up of having to constantly figure out how to restore features I want, and I had absolutely no interest in running systemd just to run a damn GUI. I had enough, jumped to XFCE4 and have it customized to a very similar setup to GNOME 2 and have been very satisfied.

    It takes a lot to alienate someone who has used the same software for a decade, but they've managed to it. I felt like each released "dumbed" the product down more and more and I kept thinking to myself that old saying, "If you make something idiot proof, someone will just make a better idiot". I don't know what kind of consumer they want to attract, but apparently I'm no longer it.

    At least with Debian, the default desktop doesn't necessarily mean much as it's quite simple to install an alternative.

    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      Funny, your comment about leaving Gnome 3 speaks nothing at all about systemd. I can certainly understand your dislike of Gnome 3. I also share it, and use the Mate desktop.

      Again, though, what does any of this has to do with systemd? Can you state your specific problems with it (I mean actual problems, not hypothetical, philosophical ones)? Many folks are running distros using systemd under the hood, using a variety of desktop interfaces (Gnome, KDE, Mate, XFCE, etc) for a couple of years now. Seems t

  • Cinnamon (Score:4, Informative)

    by DivineKnight ( 3763507 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @08:48PM (#47979615)

    Come, join us, Cinnamon is what you want.

  • by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @08:48PM (#47979617)

    Running Debian Jessie (testing) right now, and KDE is the ONLY way to go... At least the default XFCE was not too bad, but I always prefer KDE over pretty much ANY other DE, but going to that piece of shit Gnome is a special kind of stupid... The only DE worse than Gnome is Unity or Windows 8.... What with all the crap software that many distros are trying to shove down our throats (like systemd and Gnome), I'm beginning to think its back to my Linux roots, namely Slackware... Cut my teeth on that distro back in 1994... Glad its still around and hopefully not going down the shithole like everybody else in the Linux world...

    • Here's a tip: when you're installing your system, don't pick the default DE and choose anything else. No one is going to force you to use gnome.

  • enlightenment.org. Best desktop.

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Tuesday September 23, 2014 @09:06PM (#47979731) Homepage Journal

    After something like 20 years I finally found a system that won't run Debian unstable right now. My Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 magnesium tablet + iKey Jumpseat magnesium keyboard. Systemd and GDM break. Bought (for less than full price) because I am a frequent traveler and speaker and really do need something you can drop from 6 feet and pour coffee over have it keep working.

    But because of this bug I have ubuntu at the moment, and am not having fun and am eager to return to Debian.

  • I haven't included the "desktop system" or whatever dselect offers you in a Debian install since probably the turn of the century. I usually just install the minimum base system and apt-get the stuff I want, which resulted in wmaker up till about 2002, and XFCE since. I'm not saying this to sound l33t or anything, but I remember doing it this way all along to avoid installing Gnome.

    What was Debian's default desktop before now?

  • It's times like this that I'm glad that I use Debian exclusively for headless servers that never see a GUI.

  • i don't think anyone runs debian as a desktop friendly distribution. In my case, i have a small server on it, and installed a GUI not for me, but for everyone else that may use it and get lost without a GUI. I chose XFCE.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming