Cinnamon to GNOME 3

2 minute read

Cinnamon Was Crampin’ My Style

I had been using Cinnamon on Arch Linux for years without issue. Recently I’ve noticed that my Chrome browser and terminals would get slow as hell after a few weeks and restarting Chrome didn’t fix it. Eventually I’d restart for updates and it would be better. I assumed Chrome was becoming a resource hog and creating tons of memory fragmentation.

Wrong. It appears it was Cinnamon or it’s window manager or whatever.

Enter GNOME 3

I switched my desktop environment to GNOME 3 and changed nothing else… and it’s fine. Perfect. Weeks later and Chrome (and friends) are just fine now. Ok. I’ll keep it.

Minor Annoyances with GNOME 3

I want a semi-tiled desktop environment but can stand the full tiling window managers where every pop-up gets tiled. Annoying. Cinnamon had the perfect experience where I could hit SUPER+Left/Right Arrow and the selected window would tile on the left/right half. Simple. I would then typically resize one window to 2/3 instead of half. The tiling works in GNOME 3, but it doesn’t allow resizing. I did some research (and lost the corresponding links) and there appears to be some work to evolve the tiling feature. Ok. I can wait and manually resize windows for now.

I don’t remember screwing with my cinnamon screensaver before, but it just worked with things like YouTube. Not in GNOME 3. The Arch Linux gnome-shell-extension-caffeine AUR fixes this in no time. How is this not included in GNOME 3?

The UI consitencies between the new GNOME 3 shell UI, old GTK, and miscellaneous other things are annoying. I’m annoyed that all pop-ups appear over the main window. I tend to do things like open a PDF (typically an IC datasheet) with Evince and then save it with a correct name or part number in the directory where I want it. But, I can’t do that because the pop-up typically pops-up over the name of the part. Agrh. Annoying. Perhaps there is a tweak.

Also, why are all the menus in GNOME 3 apps hidden away and difficult to access. Why?

I could ramble on for a while, but for now GNOME 3 is better then Cinnamon because of performance issues in Cinnamon.

A Bigger Trend?

I think it’s interesting that my common reason for switching tools/web platforms/operating systems/desktop environments/etc is that the incumbent pisses me off or lets me down. Rarely is it that the competing products have such compelling features that I jump ship. Instead the product I’m using moves in the wrong direction.

This reflects my move from the following tools:

  • Mandrake -> RedHat -> Gentoo -> Ubuntu -> Arch Linux
  • Firefox -> Chrome
  • Home Rolled SMTP + IMAP + Thunderbird -> Fastmail
  • Tahoe-LAFS -> Cloud Backups (it’s complicated)
  • GitHub -> GitLab

I’ve casually commented this trend in the past. Perhaps this should be Manna's Law

People tend to only look for product alternatives when they are fed up with the current product they are using