View Full Version : Working around the deficiencies of Gnome 3.28

2nd April 2018, 02:56 PM
Gnome 3.28 eliminated all icons from the desktop. A decision that is not welcome (visit reader comments at websites where Gnome 3.28 was presented)

I did the following, and would like help for TrashCan to be added to Favorites.

How to achieve: Rapid access to your home folder with Gnome 3.28.
as Root
Within /usr/share/applications create a file "home.desktop".
This is what mine looks like. I used another xxx.desktop as a template.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Show Home Folder

The above adds a "folder icon" to the clickable list within the "Frequent" side of the gnome application list. Add that icon to the favorites bar.

Install Gnome.extension TaskBar by Zpydr and configure it to display a clickable "Favorites list" within the bottom panel.
Within that always present taskbar, the home icon will be displayed.
Now, with one click, I open my home folder.

I would like help to get the TrashCan there and as well, any mounted filesystems.

2nd April 2018, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure that trying to defeat what the gnomes want is a good long term policy. They have wanted to remove icons from the desktop since 3.0.
Whatever you manage to cobble together will probably stop working when the next version of gnome is released.

The correct approach is to abandon gnome for something that supports the sort of desktop you want, or at least provides a supported method of achieving same.

2nd April 2018, 04:24 PM
Hi Ocratato.

May I explain what I am doing a little more deeply.

With no desktop icons, using gnome 3.28 one has to click on favourites, to invoke nautilus, and then choose to view bookmarked items. (3 mouse clicks)

Gnome provides a "xxxx.desktop" launcher facility support (eg. a place within ~/.config/autostart or /usr/share/applications/ for launchers, local or global)

I am using the prescribed Gnome facilities. I don't think they will eliminate the favourites bar, since if they do, it's no longer going to be Gnome.

My workaround for the shortcoming with the clear desktop rule is to create launchers. For example:

a nautilus link to $HOME, and to the
/run/media/mylogon/ (mounted drives)
/scratch/Development (where I do my coding)

I place those launchers into the favourites bar. What I have missing thus far is the method to create a launcher for the trash folder.

I use three Gnome extensions for 99% of my desktop use. Taskbar@Zpydr, gno-menu by Panacier, and launch new instance.

With the TaskBar gnome extension mentioned. I facilitated a one click launch to my mounted drive(s), my $HOME and my $HOME/Development folders.

Taskbar is a great Gnome extension that should be part of Gnome. Taskbar presents a copy of the favourites bar on the bottom panel. when I click on a taskbar entry, it launches that desktop function.

Once the desktop function is launched, Taskbar presents it as a member of a window list. This list to allow me to quickly single click choose any one open window.

Of course, without Taskbar, I have to first open the favorites bar and then choose one of the items to launch.

I am providing this as a workaround for Gnome 3.28 and Gnome 3.30. Eventually, I am hoping that Gnome developers will arrive with a better solution.

And I should favourably mention gno-menu. This extension presents the gnome2 style of access by category. My launchers are listed therein.

I am considering to cross-post this response to the gnome forums.

2nd April 2018, 08:40 PM
I find the "desktop" abstraction and the Windows 3.1 style icons useless and obsolete. I use "Hide op Bar" and "Pixel Saver" to hide most of the Window Manager decorations and use the search tool in activities overview to find programs and documents, I don't even need to click on anything to bring it up, there's a hot corner. Maybe it's because I was used to tiled windows manager like I3 or sway.
Icons on the desktop are really things of the last century :-) Comments on internet pages have been rendered totally useless by the minority of trolls and vocal absers that populate the interwebs, ignore them most of the times are useless and don not represent the opinion of most users.

3rd April 2018, 04:22 PM
Yeah but how GNOME benefited from removing the "desktop" functionality. What is this new groundbreaking thing then, or what is GNOME using the desktop for, just the wallpaper? So far GNOME has been just removing features with no real new ones from the UI perspective. There is still a "Desktop" folder inside home directory which does not serve its purpose now.

GNOME is designed for the masses, or at least I think that is the intention. This would not be an issue if GNOME was not the default DE for majority of distributions. Having at least some option for the desktop icons would ease transition for Windows users even if majority of Linux users does not use it.

3rd April 2018, 08:31 PM
Hi Srakitnican

With F27, and the Gnome-TweakTool presented an option to have the home folder, the trash container, mounted drives and some networkstuff shown on the desktop. One click in the respective icon launched the related activity.

What I was attempting to do with my *desktop files, is to maintain a "One click to launch home, TrashCan, Mounted Drives, and Network Information. I think I am partially successful.

With a clean desktop, do we have need for Gnome? Without a desktop Gnome can be shrunk to being much smaller, perhaps being useful for a cellphone. Do I dare to say "Why bother with Linux when we have cellphones? :Y".

For years I stood by Gnome, always promoting it as the best inteface ever. Thanks to KDE Plasma, Gname has slipped to being my number two. KDE has an interface which is superbly designed, and intuitive. (On the KDE start menu, right click and choose the alternate interface).

In discussions over time with regular users of this forum, I am probably one of the very few that was loyal to Gnome/Fedora exclusively and daily. I just find it bizzare that Fedora/Red Hat sponsors Gnome, yet most users discuss xfce, mate, enligntenment and other interfaces.
I am beginning to feel as I am, the odd man out. :(

Without the desktop, there is a Gnome extension that exposes the favourites bar all the time. I am wondering when Fedora and a new interface will accept voice commands. Surely a voice interface will be an exciting enhancement to Linux.

Whaddo yah think?

14th April 2018, 04:22 PM
This is what I did to work around those new Gnome deficiencies:

sudo dnf group install cinnamon-desktop-environment
And what a relief when I went back to my brand new Cinnamon desktop!! I'm now finally in charge and nobody is dictating me what I'm supposed to do with my icons, desktop or whatever. :)

14th April 2018, 04:57 PM
The way gnome "declutters" and "improve" things often leaves a lot to be desired, but removal of desktop icons I can only agree with. Desktop icons are a horrible UX and will result to nothing but a personalised mess. Whether completely removing them is the best way to improve the situation can be a point of discussion. But in the end it is their DE and their code to maintain.

14th April 2018, 09:04 PM
I discovered the xxxxx.destop file of which there are many in /usr/share/applications.
Using them as templates (models)
I create a Download.desktop for /home/mylogon/Downloads. Nautilus.desktop (for home), and some others that I needed, such as fast access to
$HOME/Development (where I do my programming.

I then added the Download and Development to the dash (favourites bar).
From Gnome 3.24 onwards I have been using TaskBar (by zpydr). This adds a clickable favourites bar as a centered screen footing. One click on the icons shown there and programmed action is done.

There is one action that I have not achieved. Restoring Trashbin functionality.

I would like a trashbar.desktop that would pop up the trashbin with either an open/or closed icon (as was done for Gnome 3.26)
Anyone know how to add back the trashbin, either as permentant or as a trash.desktop?