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Mimicking GNOME 2

Fedora 16 And GNOME Shell: Tested And Reviewed

Many users prefer the look and feel of GNOME 2 better than GNOME 3. Thankfully, a fellow by the name of Ron Yorston already created an extension pack that essentially transforms GNOME 3 into a logical upgrade of GNOME 2, instead of the complete departure that GNOME Shell is by default.

The extensions are available as an RPM download. At the time of writing, his pack includes six extensions: the Applications Menu extension we already covered and five new extensions:

Bottom Panel 

The Bottom Panel extension resurrects the GNOME 2 bottom panel, complete with window list and workspace switcher.

Bottom Panel ExtensionBottom Panel Extension

Move Clock

The Move Clock extension returns the clock to the right side of the upper panel, among the other indicators.

Panel Favorites 

The Panel Favorites extension adds quick-launcher icons from the Dash section of the Overview to the upper panel, between the Activities button and the foreground application's icon/name.

Shut Down Menu 

The Shut Down Menu extension changes the Suspend entry in the User menu to Shut Down.

When you click Shut Down, you're given all of the relevant options: Suspend, Hibernate, Restart, Cancel, and Power Off.

Shut Down Menu Extension DialogShut Down Menu Extension Dialog

Static Workspaces 

The Static Workspaces extension disables the new dynamic workspaces in favor of the old-school user-configurable number of virtual desktops.

Static Workspaces ExtensionStatic Workspaces Extension

Once all of those extensions are enabled, you end up with a desktop like this:

Fedora 16 with Frippery ExtensionsFedora 16 with Frippery Extensions

While Ron's pack does most of the heavy lifting, there are a few more tweaks that get you even closer to the classic GNOME 2 experience. First, enable the AlternateTab, Auto Move Windows, and Places Status Indicator extensions from the previous page. Then, enable Have file manager handle the desktop, along with any of the icons you want to appear on the Desktop page of the GNOME Tweak Tool. Finally, bring back the minimize and maximize buttons by changing the Arrangement of buttons on the titlebar to All on the Shell page of the GNOME Tweak Tool.

Now you should have something that looks like this:

Fedora 16 with full GNOME 2 conversionFedora 16 with full GNOME 2 conversion

Although this is not a carbon copy replica of GNOME 2, the differences are minor compared to GNOME 3's default, or even XFCE.

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