Gnome Shell Running On A Netbook

I have enjoyed using the Gnome Shell interface instead of Unity over the last two weeks that I have decided to install on my Advent 4211 netbook. In the post were I described installing and tweaking Gnome Shell the focus was on average sized monitors but the default settings of Gnome Shell mean that a netbooks monitor can be overwhelmed. So to slim this down a bit a few quick tweaks will make everything seem a bit more proportional.

My netbook's desktop

For this I have the following PPA's;

GNOME3 Team [ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3] 
GNOME 3 WebUpd8 PPA [ppa:webupd8team/gnome3] 
WebUpd8 Themes Repository [ppa:webupd8team/themes] 

Example of a notification; here I inserted an USB drive

I also used the new Gnome Extensions website but if given a choice between the Gnome Shell (GS) extensions in the Webupd8 ppa or the Gnome Extensions website I choose the ppa for the following reasons. First, the ppa means that the extensions can be updated, at the moment for the website you need to check yourself if the extensions have been updated and that leads to my second issue. The website has no easy way to remove the extension for updating or uninstalling, instead you have to go into hidden folders and delete manually. All these issues will be resolve in Gnome 3.4 due for release in March 2012, but until my system is running that then I will stay with the PPA as my first choice.

Overview window, the Applications tab

Using the Themes PPA above I installed 'Zukitwo' as my Shell theme, GTK+ theme and Window theme, all set via advanced settings (Gnome Tweak Tool). The icon theme is Faience-Azur (Tiheum: Equinox, ppa:tiheum/equinox). And to get the look in the photos I used the following extensions;

  • User Themes Extension (from ppa)
  • noa11y Extension (from ppa)
  • Alternative Status Menu Extension (from ppa)
  • Workspace Indicator Extension (from ppa)
  • Dock Extension (from ppa)
  • Places Status Indicator Extension (from ppa)
  • Status Only Icon Extension (from Gnome Extensions)
  • Weather Indicator Extension (from ppa)

A quick press of Alt+F2 then typing r ... and then the desktop reloads and all the extensions should be active.

Here the Status Only Icon extension helps save some real-estate

Like I said, the default appearance of GS overwhelms the screen real-estate, but after those tweaks the whole thing is much more cosy. Everything seems to be working just fine and I have little to complain about. Underneath is still my favourite OS, Ubuntu, but its great being able to dress it up with a selection of interfaces all there in the repos. Then for real personalisation you add in a few trusted PPA's. 


A version of this was originally posted by me on G+ (11th Dec 2011)

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