Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Making Gome 3 Usable ( 11 Tips and a Confession)

After installing the latest version of Gnome 3 if you were shocked by the lack of usability and wondered how hard or impossible it was to configure small things, say, window font size then I have to confess that this is exactly what I also felt when I installed a fresh copy of Gnome 3 flavored Fedora.

Still, I'm a fan of Gnome 3 and after relevant customization I find it more usable than Windows 7 or OS X 10.8.

Here's a list of important changes I make. You may have to change the values of parameters so that they work well on your hardware.

1. Install custom fonts:

mkdir ~/.local/share/fonts

  Dump your favorite fonts in this folder. My favorite are Verdana and Arial.

2. Improve the interface:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor '1.7'

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences titlebar-font 'Arial Narrow Bold 0'

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name 'Arial Narrow 11'

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings close "['<Alt>Q']"

You might have noticed that now I have no way of closing a window with mouse. Only way to do is to press Alt-Q.

3. In mouse and touchpad settings enable "two finger scroll" and "tap to click"

4. Resize Gnome panel

5. Remove unwanted entries from Nautilus

6. Remove all favorite apps from gnome panel except firefox, nautilus and one or two other apps that you frequently use.

7. I generally clear my home folder and tell browsers to directly download in my home folder from where I transfer important data (if any) to a different partition which is fully organized.

  rmdir Public/ Documents/ Music/ Pictures/ Videos/ Templates/ Desktop/ Downloads/

8. Disable recent documents:

  rm .local/share/recently-used.xbel; mkdir .local/share/recently-used.xbel

9. Remove all default bookmarks by erasing all contents of

    vi .config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks

   Rather, manually bookmark folders that you frequently visit.

10. Disable auto update from all accounts by command


11. Make fonts smooth if needed:

That should make it usable enough.

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