Sun Dublan
Gnome3 Tweaks 

January 25, 2012

Gnome3 Tweaks 07:07 PM,

I can see how Gnome3 is the next step in Gnome evolution, but there are some things that completely bug me that I just had to tweak. Don't get me wrong, I really like the new default font, and I like the get-out-of-the-way mentality. Things seem a bit more well designed, too. Of course, there's lots of things tweakers will want to tweak, so here's hoping they'll provide tweak tools.

First, window title bars are just way too tall. Plus, I'm completely used to resizing and moving windows from the enlightenment way of doing things, with alt-middle-click and alt-right-click keys, so I have absolutely no need for borders to "grab". So, to reduce these as much as I can, I edited /usr/share/themes/Adwaita/metacity-1/metacity-theme-3.xml, and edited the frame_geometry nomral and normal_unfocused to contain the following changes:

For "normal":

	<distance name="left_width" value="0" />
	<distance name="right_width" value="0" />
	<distance name="bottom_height" value="0" />
	<distance name="title_vertical_pad" value="1"/>

For "normal_unfocused":

	<distance name="title_vertical_pad" value="0"/>

I also increased the size of the icons in the buttons a bit (because they have less room and should be bigger because of that):

	<constant name="D_icons_grow" value="2" />

After changing files like that, to restart the shell, type alt-f2, and then r[enter]

The second part is that perpetual black bar at the top of the screen, whch really has no interesting data that I need to be constantly looking at. I mean, sure, the clock is nice, but boy is it annoying right smack-dab front-and-center with absolutely no use of the space around it. I wish I could just turn it off entirely, but second-best is to hide it. There's an extention that auto-hides the top bar. Here is where I got it. With it hidden, the gnome shell is completely out of the way, much like life used to be before stupid task bars. Being able to pull up a dock or quick-search for a program is still there, however, and that's great.

Another thing I modified was the annoying beep. I don't like to be notified of things by beeps... makes me jump every time I hear it, let alone the people around me that jump every time I hit escape in vi, or hit tab for auto-completion in bash. I opened gconf-editor (yes, it's still there) and unchecked apps/metacity/general/audible_bell. Then, I checked visual_bell. To keep the thing from flashing the entire screen every time there was visual bell, I changed visual_bell_type to frame_flash. There, all better.

I do still miss the compiz stuff, like wobbly windows, ability to change the transparency of a window with alt-scroll-wheel, and just more general eye candy. I get that they're dumbing things down for the masses, but hey. Maybe I'll try to find how to run compiz on top of Gnome3.

1/25/2012 Webmaster: Troy Bowman