GnomeShell preview

I stumbled upon a Fedora package release named gnome-shell, which led me to its project web site.  It is easy to play from Gnome 2.30, simply invoke this from a terminal prompt:

gnome-shell --replace

… and the existing GNOME panel will be replaced using shell.  When done playing, simply press Ctrl-C from the terminal and you are back to your regular Metacity window manager (and then I use Compiz Fusion to reload Compiz).

Gnome Shell has a modern look & feel about it, runs smooth and stable, but it is clearly feature incomplete.  The project has it mapped to be ready by this September.  Although the feature list for Fedora 14 (Laughlin) has not yet been published, its project schedule is fairly regular and I suspect Gnome 3 and this shell will be an integral part of that release.

Speaking of Compiz and modern looks, I enabled a feature in its configuration settings manager, Login/Logout, by prefixing its Logout Window matching criteria to include:

(class=Gnome-session & type=Dialog) |

… with its fade out set to 2.0 seconds, saturation to 0.0, brightness to 75.0, and opacity to 66.6667.  That way, when I log out of my current window session, I get that “familiar” look of my session darkening and fading into the past.

A bug exists with Compiz in regards to customizing your mouse cursor theme — I prefer Oxygen_Zion myself, but Compiz insists on using the default, except when you open an application window, then the mouse renders in the custom theme until you travel outside its window — very annoying.  A workaround fix is to:

mkdir ~/.icons/default
cat > ~/.icons/default/index.theme << EOD
[Icon Theme]
Name=Oxygen_Zion
Comment=Black
Inherits=Oxygen_Zion
[Desktop Entry]
Name[en_US]=index.theme
EOD

… then logout / login to make the change persist.

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