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Testing Gnome 3.10.1 on openSUSE 13.1

openSUSE and Gnome users have something to rejoice. Gnome 3.10.1 is available for testing with the RC release of openSUSE 13.1. Unlike Ubuntu you don’t have to mess with any PPAs of worry about breaking your system or getting half-baked Gnome experience. Ubuntu Gnome will be a better choice to simply go with Gnome instead of trying to install Gnome on top of Unity.

Under openSUSE it’s extremely easy to install multiple Desktop Environments (aka Des) without having to do too much work. Just open Yast Install/Remove software and look for pattern. There select both Gnome options. If you are using KDE if may ask to deinstall KDE pattern. Once Gnome is installed log out and choose Gnome from the beautiful login screen.


Gnome vs KDE

There is no point in discussing which one is better. People use what works for them. I can speak from my own experience and use case. I used to be Gnome+Ubuntu user before Unity and Gnome 3 happened. I tried both – for almost an year before moving to openSUSE with KDE.

Gnome 3 is extremely polished (to some extent more than Ubuntu – the padding in notifications under Ubuntu is haphazard and there are so many in consistencies with different elements – for example even the free apps in Ubuntu Software Center has the button buy and you have to log in to your Ubuntu One account even to install free apps such as plex media center). Privacy is yet another serious issue in Ubtuntu. Gnome stays clears of musicall such inconsistencies and offers a quite pleasant experience.

However, it has also limited what one can do with system. So while KDE allows me to use my PC as a PC – and be able to tweak, twist and re-fine knobs and make the PC personal again, Gnome is a bit rigid and doesn’t offer many features and functionaries.

It’s fine, not everyone may need such features. I miss them :-)

There are many new features in Gnome, here are a few which I think need improvement or the one I love.


The problem with Music is that it doesn’t let me select the folder where my music files are. It wants you to move all your music files in the HOME music folder. I have my music on external drive so this app is pretty useless for me unless they add the feature to select a drive of your choice. Until then you can use Rhythmbox.


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On the contrary Amarok of KDE is one of the best music players around with a lot of features including the ability to purchase songs from Amazon.com (no it doesn’t track my local search)

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.


  1. I never got used to GNOME, but GNOME and UNITY look more polished than KDE. But I love all the features and configuration of KDE.

    • In terms of polish

      GNOME > Unity > KDE

      In terms of my personal preference

      GNOME >= KDE > Unity

      I’m really torn between GNOME and KDE these days. KDE offers me more options to make the Desktop behave the way I want it to. But at the same time, even if it allows me to “kind of” copy some of the best GNOME Shell concepts, it doesn’t reach the same level of polish on those areas (notifications, a nice dash to launch and manager applications, among other areas where GNOME Shell excels). Besides that, I find the Adwaita theme way more polished than Oxygen and its GTK+ compatible themes (I know… there are other themes… but if you use even one single GTK+ app you better get a theme that has GTK+ clones available to avoid a mess in terms of look and feel). Even the fonts seem better in GNOME… and yes I tried to use the same fonts in KDE, with the same rendering settings, etc… and it doesn’t feel the same (I don’t know why).

      In the other side, GNOME is a bit limited. If something is not where I want to be I can’t change it. Yes… extensions may help fix some problems, but I try not to rely too much on them because they tend to break on each new release. The only 3rd party extension I’m currently using is Dash to Dock (https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/307/dash-to-dock/) and this should be a default extension, if not a core feature, of GNOME Shell. It just makes all the difference.

      • I see your point with GNOME 3’s customizability, however it is a lot more customizable than at first glance. The major difference comes in how user friendly the customization is. In KDE you have the K Control Center, which gives you most of your customization options, in GNOME you need to edit a ton of files (like Windows in the old days), or use terminal commands. My current setup uses the Cairo-Dock in place of GNOME’s panel and dash. I use Cardapio on the Cairo-Dock, but still use the Super Key shortcut to get to Overview which is customized to have smaller icons when I search for an application.

  2. Hey, You wrote that GNOME Music app looks for music in Home music folder. Did you try, replacing your Music folder in Home directory with, a link to your music directory in your External drive? If yes, did it work?

  3. I always delete all Home specific folders, like Music, Pictures, Downloads, etc, and create symbolic links to where my real files are. You can use that with Music app.

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