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Gnome Shell – Your Next Desktop Environment – On Fedora 11

gnome-30-screenshot1A Majour Update of Gnome 3.0  is Gnome-shell. The Total Redesign of Gnome Desktop with cool and great features. You can test it now. In My fedora 11 Machine I tested that . This is my experience.

Sad Part – Installation

I Never got a Yum install or any rpm for gnome-shell. So i decided to source that and compile. This the most sad part.

It’s important to note right away that Gnome Shell is still in fairly early development. There is no stable release or package, we’ll be downloading and installing from source code using an auto build script. While I had no trouble at all with the installation, things could change at any moment so there’s certainly no guarantees that it will build, let alone run. That said, Gnome Shell has so far given me no trouble at all.

First, we’ll need jhbuild, a tool that’ll help with the installation

Ubuntu/Debian Peoples can

sudo apt-get install jhbuild

In Fedora 11 i got bad luck.

I Sourced it and combile make install. It completed with out errors.

You Can Source it from the git of jhbuild. First Create a Directory Source in your home dir then

git clone git://git.gnome.org/jhbuildcd ~/Source/jhbuildmake -f Makefile.plain DISABLE_GETTEXT=1 bindir=~/bin install

Take some time to make.

then You can download an automatic script gnome-shell-build

wget http://git.gnome.org/cgit/gnome-shell/plain/tools/build/gnome-shell-build-setup.shbash gnome-shell-build-setup.sh

It will install some rpms and and some files for jhbuild

No Luck for me in run of this script. So i peeked into this script and done some quirks

curl -s -o ~/.jhbuildrc $BASEURL/jhbuildrc-gnome-shell

to create a .jhbuildrc file in my home.


jhbuild build

in the terminal. Take nearly 15 minutes to complete this command.

It will download 7 git sources called

jhbuild build*** Checking out gobject-introspection *** [1/7]git clone git://git.gnome.org/gobject-introspection

*** Checking out gir-repository *** [2/7]git clone git://git.gnome.org/gir-repository

*** Checking out clutter *** [3/7]git clone git://git.clutter-project.org/clutter

Clutter    1.0.7 ====================*** Checking out gconf *** [4/7]git clone git://git.gnome.org/gconf*** Checking out mutter *** [5/7]git clone git://git.gnome.org/mutter

*** Checking out gjs *** [6/7]git clone git://git.gnome.org/gjs*** Checking out gnome-shell *** [7/7]git clone git://git.gnome.org/gnome-shell

And Make install everything automatically without any errors.

This taken nearly 15 Minutes on My AMD Athlon X2 NVIDIA Machine.

Thank God No Errors!!!!!!!!!

BEFORE RUNNING GNOME SHELL, make sure to disable Compiz if you’ve got it running.

Fedora/Ubuntu users can do this by opening your normal Gnome panel to System -> Preferences -> Appearance and turning off desktop effects. Once you’re sure any desktop effects have been disabled, save any work you’re not willing to risk, and enter the following in your terminal:

~/gnome-shell/source/gnome-shell/src/gnome-shell --replace

If you find yourself liking Gnome Shell and running it often, I’d suggest making an alias in your .bashrc file for the command above.


The main difference in working with the Gnome Shell desktop is that your panel on the top is not your normal panel, Once you click Activities, you’ll see a completely different interface from what you’re used to.

gnome shell
gnome shell

You can also open the Activities screen by hitting the Super (aka Windows) key on your keyboard. On the left, you’ve got the equivalent of the old menu system. The top of that panel is the Find box, which operates like many of the desktop finder tools out there. You can type in the name of a program (like “firefox”) to run it, or you can specify a word in the program’s description, like below.

gnome shell find option
gnome shell find option

The other method of launching programs is to click the Browse button under Applications, if you prefer using menus.

The Run Window Alt+F2

It is very simple and nice. Looks like a thickbox or Lightbox in image slideshows. Easy to Use and handle

The run command
The run command

In future there will be chances of autocomplete while type. Then this will be a greatest change.

Multiple Desktops

No Linux desktop environment would be complete if it wouldn’t run multiple desktop screens to manage all your apps. Gnome Shell is no different, and provides an interesting take on these often-used workspaces.

add more desktops
add more desktops

With the Activities screen up, you’ll see a small round “+” icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. Click that to add new workspaces to your desktop.Even though Gnome Shell is still in pretty early stages, they’ve already included some great usability features. For example, with the Activities up, you can click an application icon to launch in your current workspace, or drag the launch icon onto the appropriate workspace. So in the screenshot above, for example, I could drag the Firefox icon onto the third desktop to make it open there directly. Once a window is open, you can easily drag it from one workspace to the next.

remove desktop
remove desktop


shell sidebar
shell sidebar

This is a nice little feature that’s not much right now but my guess is that it could evolve into a great little tool. If you click your username in the top right corner of the screen, you can choose to enable the Sidebar. If enabled, it sits at the left edge of the screen and can be collapsed to a thin bar or expanded into a small box by clicking the arrows at the top.

Eye Candy

The most obvious comparison for a composited window manger like Gnome Shell would be to Compiz. They’ve both got window animation effects for things like minimizing and opening windows, as well as transparencies and everything else you’d expect from a composited setup. The difference, so far at least, seems to me to be the purpose of those effects. Compiz puts much more emphasis on pure decoration like rain drops and wobbly windows whereas the Gnome Shell effects are generally more practical. That’s not to say Compiz doesn’t have some handy features, and this could all change as Gnome Shell development goes on.

My Conclusion

My overall impression of Gnome Shell is most certainly positive. There’s clearly been a lot of thought put into its design, and some equally impressive coding behind the implementation. The visual effects are pleasing but not overwhelming, and the interface is very intuitive and takes almost no effort to understand.

That said, there’s still plenty of room for development. So far I’ve found essentially no configuration options of any kind, so at the moment it seems you’re stuck with having the shell exactly the way it was installed, like it or not. Fortunately for me, I like it. I’m sure configuration options will improve as development continues and more tools and features are added, so that’s not so much a complaint as a suggestion to be patient. It looks like it’ll be worth the wait.

2 thoughts on “Gnome Shell – Your Next Desktop Environment – On Fedora 11”

  1. Great write up, I just finished installing it on my FC 11 as well. I’m loving the interface and responsiveness, especially when alt tabbing and switching desktops. However, I have a couple small problems, not sure if you experienced them or not. One, the gnome-shell doesn’t seem to follow my DPI settings. Two, all the icons in my taskbar are black, basically looks like they’re not there even though they are. Three, my desktop wallpaper doesn’t show. If you experienced any of these and managed to fix them, could you give me some pointers?


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