Published: 08.04.2021 | Edited: 08.04.2021 | Tags: 100daystooffload,gnome

Gnome Shell 40 upgrade

Performing my mundane periodic software package upgrade on a laptop I did not expect anything spectacular to happen. The Informant did not stopped the upgrade due to some breaking news. There was no problem with mirrors, key signatures, cyclic dependencies or incompatible packages. Nothing at all. I know, I should be grateful that the maintainers did their job pretty well, so my life wasn't complicated needlessly. And I am.

Nevertheless, not too long ago I was forced to fall back from Gnome Shell to XFCE due to a bug I have already described in detail previously. When that bug got fixed, I got back to Gnome Shell, fixed a small issue and hoped I could use it again, only to find that now Wi-fi dialog cannot be closed. Since I did not have time nor nerve to deal with that back then, I went on using XFCE, sice I had it configured already and there were mostly no problems but a few, but they are a part of XFCE design for at least as long as I remember it, so generally pretty usable.

So, back to the upgrading process from the beginning, I have shifted my focus on the packages themselves. Surely, there something interesting happened. I knew that Gnome Shell 40 should have been this or previous month, but I was not sure when exactly. When I saw it on the menu I got thrilled - maybe it will be usable again. And it is a major release, maybe there will be something interesting in it as a bonus.

First impressions

Before I have logged in I made sure to look at the official Gnome Shell "Forty" introductory page which from the design perspective is very playful and quite pleasing, outlining the newest features. As it turned out, version 40 is a pretty damn major release, so I went in.

After log in, there were some problems. It is worth noting that they would not been there, had I used the freshly created user. Obviously I did not want to do that. I decided to try to solve what pops up.

AppIndicator

The tray notification area had no icons. I am used to see Flameshot there, but more importantly, KeePassXC. KeePassXC changes icon when locked/unlocked, so it is a visual cue. This was solved by installing gnome-shell-extension-appindicator from the community repository which in turn removed gnome-shell-extension-appindicator-git from AUR. After reboot the icons were seated nicely.

Keyboard shortcuts

Next in line, many keyboard shortcuts did not work very well. I decided to use dconf editor and use revert recursively on all gnome settings, but this did not work, as the dconf editor kept crashing this way. I then went to at least restore all keyboard shortcuts manually and this worked, but I obviolusly had to redefine them back to my preferred configuration. After the tedious click-through cycle, all the shortcuts worked well.

I was using vertical worskspaces in previous Gnome Shell releases and now they are gone, but this is more in line with the XFCE workflow I had been sticking to during previous years, o it required only minor adjustments. The last thing I had to do was to re-assign Flameshot for a PrtSc button.

Final words

Even though I have been using Forty for just under two hours now, I do like it. Personally, I do not mind the new touchpad features, that might have or might have not already started Internet flame wars about stolen or copycat features.

Recent experiences made me focusing on the stability of Gnome Shell more and luckily there had been no crashes or obvious bugs so far. With the most apparent issues affecting my setup neatly ironed out, I can focus on it's visual eye candy and whatnot.

This is a 29th post of #100daystooffload.