I think so: Debian 7 has helped Gnome Shell

For work reasons several months ago I had to use Debian (which I've always loved, but I was using OpenSuse) and I had some free time and decided to install it with Gnome. Obviously I have always been critical of this Gnome Shell, Unity, Cinnamon and all that controversy that surrounded Gnome as such.


What I harshly criticized about Gnome was always its design, I did not doubt that as the versions of it progressed it would improve its stability and performance, for me that was out of the question. So what was left was that kind of "tabletop" style that I didn't like because I thought it was a huge leap from how we think of traditional desktops, and because, let's be honest, there were a lot of mistakes from the Gnome team.

My feeling after several months using Debian with Gnome is that the combination is very good, so much so that at least on my computer, the experience is unbeatable, Of course, there are many things to continue working on in the performance section that has surely improved with the new versions.

Screenshot from 2013-05-10 23:16:27

Now why do I say that Debian 7 has helped Gnome Shell? Because I believe the fact that Gnome Shell being in a stable version of Debian gives us an air of confidence that everything will be fine, however, this is also due to the idiosyncrasy of the distribution that prefers stability over novelty.

Another thing I notice is that, Debian 7 has been a successful release, I would even go so far as to say that, will be the best release of the yearWith respect of course to the other distributions, but at this point, Gnome Shell behaves spectacularly well and for the record, I went to a Free Software congress and the criticisms of all those who used Debian + Gnome were similar: «Excellent , novel, robust, fluent ... etc ”and other adjectives of this nature were what was heard there. I was relieved because I knew I couldn't be the only one.

I think that the work of the Debian team has been so good that it has helped Gnome so that people at least are not so scared of it, and even, so that some people change their opinion about the environment.

I do not know, each computer is a world, I do not pretend to say that it is the best because that is relative, but I must say that Debian + Gnome has been a great surprise for the better, to such an extent that many of us who doubted the potential of Gnome Shell we had to think twice before giving our opinion again. In all this that I expose it is noted that the idiosyncrasy of the distro has made it possible to obtain a beautiful, stable environment and above all in line with these times.

Do you think the same? Or otherwise? Cheers….

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  1.   pandev92 said

    Sure, the only sad one that entered 3.4 and not 3.6, which is even more stable, but hey, in the end, gnome will eventually regain the quota it had lost.

  2.   Rla said

    You are not the only one, yesterday I installed Antergos (the old Cinnarch) with Gnome shell and I liked this one so much that I am going to leave Kde parked. It is very fluid, removing some processes it starts me at 320 mb (same as Kde), I like the ease of use it has, you get used to it very quickly and it is stable at best. To put a but perhaps the lack of customization, but it is half fixed with the Gnome extensions.

    By the way, Antergos is luxurious, not a single problem. It is worth a try.

  3.   artbgz said

    I've been using Debian + Gnome shell since it joined the testing branch and everything went smoothly, although for a short period of time I switched to Ubuntu + Gnome shell because I wanted to try Steam, and the proprietary AMD drivers didn't work with it. X server that used Debian, until version 13 of the drivers came out, then I went back to Debian and everything was perfect.

  4.   sieg84 said

    they are getting used to it.

  5.   itachi said

    Well, I'm tempted to go back to the old days, that is, Debian, since Gnome shell has conquered me but the 3.8 that I have right now in Arch does not work well for me, it has some unbearable lags

    1.    pandev92 said

      What graphics and processor do you have? 🙂

      1.    itachi said

        Intel® Celeron (R) CPU G530 @ 2.40GHz × 2
        Intel® Sandybridge Desktop x86 / MMX / SSE2

        nothing fancy, but so far it has always worked very well for me

        1.    pandev92 said

          Mhh I have read in the forums several problems with the graphics intel and gnome 3.8: /

          1.    itachi said

            You see, it was also updated this morning to 3.8.2 and I was hoping they had fixed it, but it remains exactly the same ... I think Debian is waiting for me.

            1.    elav said

              That that .. embrace Debian 😀

          2.    pandev92 said

            I also know of people who have had a lot of problems in the transition, but since I installed arch from 0, everything is fine ...

          3.    likewho said

            Rare. My notebook has an Intel integrated card and GNOME works great, without any DE-related problems. Btw, also Arch.

          4.    pandev92 said

            This is like everything! NO Things work badly for everyone, bugs never catch 100% of users, never. For example, if I use Intel graphics, I can't boot any distro with a kernel higher than 3.8, and most of them don't ... .

        2.    Rolo said

          maybe the hangs are because of the ram issue
          You also have to look at how much ram it has, since the processor graphics takes the ram from the pc and gnome3 alone consumes 400 MB.

          It may also be that by using a celeron bottlenecks are made with the graph and that is why you crash them, let's not forget that gnome3 requires 3D acceleration for gnome-shell

          1.    itachi said

            rolo, but that can not be, because it has only happened to me with Gnome 3.8, or with KDE, or with LXDE with compiz or anything. Also to be able to enter Gnome I have to change the acceleration method from UXA to SNA. So I think it is problem with intel

  6.   itachi said

    The truth is that it surprises me that it fails with Intel, being free drivers, sometimes this seems the world upside down, that an nvidia is better than an intel ... in short, stranger things have been seen

    1.    itachi said

      I'm going to give Debian xDD a warm hug

      1.    GNU / Mate said

        Itachi, if you haven't given Debian that hug yet, try this first,

        pacman -Sy librsvg

        Get in the habit of reinstalling it every time you run into trouble after a Gnome update.

        Oh, and if the problem persists it is also possible that you are using a "problem" theme, which is not very unusual when you update to a new version of this desktop environment. If so, then type in terminal,

        gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme

        Hope this is helpful 🙂

        1.    GNU / Mate said

          The second command as a user, of course. Don't even think of as root, or with sudo 😛

          1.    itachi said

            thanks for your interest, but I finally installed Debian. Everything works perfectly; no problem, although to be honest I really miss Arch¡¡¡¡¡¡ xDD

  7.   AleQwerty said

    Hello everyone in this excellent forum.

    Debian is impressive, with XFCE4 minimally optimized, preserving CUPS, SAMBA, etc ... It consumes only 150 MB in 64 bits, even less than Arch ...

    They have really done an excellent job on Debian 7.

    Currently I already have it in testing and it is going great.

    1.    Rolo said

      debian wheezy with Mate 105 MB of consumption in 64bits

      1.    AleQwerty said

        Well, it depends on optimization and services at startup anyway.

        Those 105 MB include CUPS, SAMBA, etc…?

        1.    Rolo said

          AleQwerty I mean a full installation just done. and the consumption of when one turns on the pc and without opening anything but the system monitor.

          Obviously, with time and installing programs, etc., a few MB more consumption is gained, but the same happens in gnome3 or in any desktop

          what I point out is that the difference in consumption is important since we went from 105 MB to 400 of Gnome3 and that Mate, being a fork of Gnome2, is a much more complete desktop than LXDE and XFCE

          With the issue of updates are to solve problems, also in debian stable there are programs that are updated with much more frequency than others

          1.    AleQwerty said

            OK, so they don't include CUP or SAMBA. However, some of MATE is not liked by Debian developers since they do not offer official support for that environment. I have tested it a lot in Mint though and it works really well.

          2.    Anonymous said

            In the same Mate wiki they indicate why Debian did not include it in their repositories:


            Fortunately since then, Mate has evolved favorably, gradually adding support to GTK3, avoiding duplicating the code so much and gradually stopping maintaining obsolete libraries, for that reason it is worth using it.

            PS: Wheezy with Mate after having configured it completely consumes me 130 mb when logging in (although I don't use samba) and Gnome 2 in Squeeze consumes me 120.

  8.   eliotime3000 said

    I hope that the performance on obsolete PCs is the same or better than the previous GNOME (I currently use Debian Squeeze).

    Anyway, I just pray that GNOME Fallback is completely identical to GNOME 2.

    1.    Rolo said

      for that better install Mate which is a fork of gnome2

      1.    eliotime3000 said

        Unfortunately, it has a much more frequent update period than Debian Stable is used to, so I will opt for XFCE because of its humble simplicity.

      2.    shnkr3 said

        there is something better than mate 😉 consort desktop of SoluOS in fact it is also in the aur repo; D

  9.   Konzentrix said

    Debian 7 + Gnome works perfectly fine. Nice job. I also use openSuse 12.3 with Gnome and without any problem. Despite the criticisms of many about Gnome 3, there is no denying the simplicity and speed with which you get used to it and handle it on a daily basis.

  10.   msx said

    "Excellent, novel, robust, fluid..etc"
    Excellent and innovative in a single sentence in the mouth of a debian?
    By Wednesday, I should have seen that !!!

    1.    eliotime3000 said

      Yes Debian Stable has always been like this. It would be a miracle if they said the same about Debian Testing or Unstable.

    2.    satanAG said

      Obviously the person who told me that refers to the drastic change between Debian 6 and Debian 7. Not to the "update" of the packages.

  11.   blaxus said

    It's a shame that I can't use it because I don't know how to install the module for the Broadcom WiFI board, on top of that I don't have ethernet cables at hand: /, I'll see if I can build any later 😛
    About Gnome, it is a good environment, I like it a lot, although I had a bad experience with it in Fedora 16 and 17, but it is comfortable and very visually pleasing.

    1.    mitcoes said

      If the wifi drivers do not exist in Linux, ndiswrapper exists for a long time to make them work a package that allows using the drivers for MS WOS for wifi devices that lack native drivers

    2.    petercheco said

      See if you download Debian DVD # 1 and download the packages:



      problem solved since the DVD contains the rest of the dependencies :)

  12.   mitcoes said

    I agree that debian stable is a marvel, regarding gnome 3 it seems like a shit of stubborn engineers, let me explain: users would have been much happier if the flexibility of gnome2 had been preserved, and a kind of backwards compatibility, which Mutter had no problems with ATI and could be replaced - by having them - as in Gnome2 you could choose, and have all the flexibility of configuration of appearance and operation of Gnome2. This is how forks such as Mate, Cinnamon and Consort have come out, who would not have left that flexibility to the user, with very little work on their part and thinking about the users and not that they were going to "break the cord", it is not surprising that Ubuntu released Unity, nor that many of us migrated to XFCE or KDE after the advent of Gnome3 and Unity.

    Now Kyle - a KDE set to lows, and the new Unity for the new ubuntu MIR graphical server seem to be going very well.

    Gnome3 has squandered the domain of Gnome2 and handed it over to the others - for my best I believe in cooperation - XFCE I think that in the end it has benefited the most, although I don't know if there are statistics, that Manjaro - currently my bleeding distro Edge's favorite replacing Sabayon - have it as the default desktop - supports all - is an excellent indicator of the strength gained by this desktop which against gnome2 didn't have much to do.

    The future I see more and more in the hands of Ubuntu, its mir and its unity, far above Gnome3, in terms of users, and for advanced users, XFCE Kyle - KDE at a minimum - Consort - Gnome2 with gnome3 libraries - and similar that are coming out because we like to have desks that use few resources and that allow us to do "everything".

    I would like to mention to Wayland, how long has he been working for Ubuntu to arrive and nothing will pass his hand over your face with MIR, which will start later and finish earlier. and all for not being ready when Ubuntu needs them.

    They have even gotten a fork OF A DEVELOPER, enthusiastic and divergent and instead of cooperating - the essence of SL, competing and collaborating - they sulk and veto him, instead of letting him see if he was right and if they were the ones who They were wrong and rectify if appropriate that it is wise, or reaffirm their arguments or even if they are better in some things and worse in others, add as an option the divergences of the forker, but seen what has been seen they should not be very wise because the rhythm that carry is more than officials

    1.    pandev92 said

      The wayland demos are more advanced two years ago, the problem arises from the point of view that the work of kde and gnome shell has already started, so there is going to be a fracture in the linux world, between networks hat and all the other distros, and ubuntu and its derivatives, let's see how it ends, but in the end I think that the balance ends up giving red hat, I doubt that nvidia will leave professional users stranded.

    2.    pandev92 said

      mutter has no problems with ati, ati has problems with mutter which is different, what happens is that mutter has exposed the poor state of ati in linux, for the pain of all amd fanboys.

      Mhh, I don't know, I migrated from osx to linux, only by gnome shell, since when I used kde, in the end I always returned to osx by eyecandy, therefore therefore.

    3.    satanAG said

      Does Ubuntu take the lead? I dont know. In fact, nobody knows. But yes, most of my friendships that started in Ubuntu have been scared away. Not because of UNITY but because of its increasingly unnecessary memory and processor consumption. At least I see Ubuntu getting weaker within the GNU / LINUX ecosystem, something else is outside. We will see.

      1.    eliotime3000 said

        When I tried the regular Ubuntu, I was freaked out by the crappy package management it has, plus I feel like a rat has gotten into my CPU and was coming in from a miniaturized version of Lenovo Thinkpad and was watching porn at the expense of my PC . For that reason I did not stop using Debian Stable because it really is an operating system marvel and I have been happy with this distro, and I am encouraged to try Slackware, CentOS and / or Arch.

        PS: Pleasure generates need.

      2.    eliotime3000 said

        When I tested KDE 4.8 on Debian Oldstable, I was quite pleased with its functionality as well as the design of the Oxygen. I don't know how KDE has changed so much after so many years that I don't use it.

        1.    jony127 said

          Hi, have you been on debian for a long time? I started debian testing a little over a year and a half ago + or - after trying other distros, I am now on stable "wheezy" but I don't know whether to stay here or go to testing to enjoy kde 4.10. What do experienced Debianites recommend to me?


  13.   itachi said

    You have to leave the windows 95 paradigm, your time is over and it is up to someone else to pick up the baton. Gnome shell is the one that has picked it up and is starting that new paradigm of computing.

    1.    eliotime3000 said

      I must admit that the GNOME Shell is good (thank goodness Debian Wheezy uses one of the best versions of GNOME 3), but unfortunately, its latest versions have been a domino misstep.

      As for OpenBox and / or FluxBox, they are interfaces that would hardly put Linux From Scratch / Arch if it were to be used on servers, besides that the XFCE can make it similar to the GNOME Shell with plugins and Compiz.

  14.   petercheco said

    After reading this article I said to myself: hey you the Debian DVD .. And I said to myself, why not try Debian final with the default Gnome 3 script. After several disasters with Gnome 3 in the past I have to admit, Debian did a flawless job with Wheezy. Gnome runs without any errors, it has nothing to do with that Gnome that I tested in Fedora 17/18 or Ubuntu Gnome. It is very fast, stable and most importantly without errors :). It is a luxury working with him on Debian Wheezy. Previously I went first to XFCE, then to KDE where I have stayed for about six months or so. Now I migrate back to Gnome on my Debian Wheezy (clean install) 😀 since I was always more of Gnome (I started with this one on Linux) and with Wheezy you like this script again.

    Regarding Debian Wheezy itself, I will stay in the stable repos since two years they hold up perfectly with the packages included in the repos and there is always backport to recent applications. Come on, it has no comparison with Squeeze in which using the testing version has been need.

    Anyway, I am very impatient for the arrival of RHEL 7 / CentOS 7, which without a doubt together with Debian Wheezy are the most important releases of 2013 😀

    1.    Anonymous said

      Taking advantage of what you say, I already tried Wheezy and its clean installation gives a very fluid and really reliable system even with Gnome Shell, just change the sources.list, fix the fonts, theme and icons and enjoy in a matter of moments. I no longer even need the proprietary driver for the entire desktop to run smoothly, however ... the Gnome classic is not as polished as I would like and it was to be expected, not even the Gnome themselves were interested in leaving it moderately polished while version after version still survived ignored, for that reason as I am to keep a single desktop for every computer that is intuitive and easy for anyone, I will not use Gnome Shell and I will stay with Mate, since I can put it on both a Pentium IV and an i7 ... until then I'll stay on Squeeze for a few more days because I'm really doing very well.

      1.    Anonymous said

        I couldn't bear it!

        I was planning it for the next week, but I was already over before the end of 24 hours.

  15.   J03x said

    Hello, I have always liked gnome but it does not have much, install debian 7, everything fine until my screen freezes and I had to do reisub: Yes, I think it's a matter of my computer, but just in case, update to testing, although I didn't see great change so I chose to install cinnamon I hope they update it to version 3.6 soon and so try again 🙂

    1.    pandev92 said

      well very occasionally in both gnome and unity, it's time to do alt + f2 r xD, although for now in 3.8 it has never happened to me.

  16.   SnocK said

    It's a shame it's not configurable like kde… 🙁 but hey. I will have to get used to it.

    1.    msx said

      And why not adapt KDE SC to your liking?
      One of the advantages of KDE's great flexibility is that you can basically do whatever you want with the desktop.
      Of course, it will never be the "exact" GNOME experience, but I assure you that it leaves nothing to be desired, in fact I would be encouraged to say that it is superior.
      I also like GNOME Shell a lot (since always, even when the giddy critics criticized it so much) and the general usability that GNOME apps have, although I do not change the power of the KDE SC environment and its applications and, as I said today, its flexibility .

      As I mentioned, you can make KDE whatever you want:

  17.   Dante Mdz. said

    I had already stated it before, I had to decide between Debian or Fedora to install, and I opted for Debian. In a day that I have been with him I liked it, beyond the interface, it is very easy to configure and if something is missing I go hand in hand with Google. I am happy to return to my "Linuxera" stage, I haven't installed a GNU / Linux system for years (about 5, and the last one was Ubuntu Ibix). For now my laptop lives with Manjaro Linux and my desktop computer lives with Debian 7 and unfortunately with Winbugs (at the moment).
    Greetings all.

  18.   Pablo said

    Hello I have several problems when installing debian 7 testing I have tried with stable and it happens to me the same, so I explain ..
    The installation goes well until it fails configuring apt, when installing it only leaves me with system utilities, then it continues and fails again when installing grub, for this what I do is I get into the command interpreter and write this:
    nano /target/etc/apt/sources.list

    Dissatisfied a paragraph that I read in taringa I save and close I reinstall grub and it installs, at the end of the installation it ejects the disk and it remains caught in 83 and as well as 10 times that I have tried

    Let's see if someone can tell me what's wrong

    I do not have internet

  19.   jony127 said


    We are not advinces, if you do not give more information about the pc you have it is more difficult to help, there is still some incompatibility with the hardware of the machine.

    You can download the netinstall and perform a minimal installation of the system, this performs a very basic installation of the system, the kernel and a few other things, then you must install the rest from the console, sound, graphics drivers and graphic environment (kde, gnome ,…) And you must also create your user from the console to then log in to the graphical interface.

    Try to perform the installation in this way to see how it goes and where it fails exactly since in this way you install everything in parts, you can try the most current jessie netinstall (testing) or one of wheezy (stable).

    The installation in this way is not difficult but you have to perform the steps manually so look for several pages that explain the process and make yourself a kind of guide. You can also first test the whole process in a virtual machine.


    1.    Pablo said

      Thank you very much really, sorry not to see specified at the end and opted for netinstall of the testing and everything has worked perfectly, looking through Google and I have installed the wifi, I can take the pc to my room all this I have done in the room where I have the router now to continue messing around in my room, thanks for everything

  20.   Pablo said

    Just out of curiosity I leave you the characteristics of my team

    AMD athon 64 3200+ 2ghz processor
    1GB RAM
    And the graphics is a 128 mb nvidia

    I decided after much reading for testing xfce

    Is it a good choice?
    Or with these features should I install debian lxde?

    Thank you very much

    1.    jony127 said

      ok I'm glad it worked for you. XFCE I think it is a good choice.


      1.    Pablo said

        Thank you very much I will continue reading to learn, I will tell you

  21.   Required said


    I recently decided to install my first distro. I wanted to try Debian, but on third party recommendations I ended up installing LMDE with MATE. I liked it and after a week of using it, I removed it to stay with the mother of so many current and future distributions.

    I have to admit that the first contact with Gnome Shell was quite violent. Nothing was where it should be ... in principle. Still I gave it a try and in the end, after two or three days of using it, I have to say that it is a desktop environment that I really like. Simple as well as possible, and with everything at hand. I absolutely do not miss the traditional desktop. The truth is that for not giving GNOME people a 10, I would give them a 9. So that they try a little more (I don't know what, but something will occur to them) and that they do not remain asleep on their laurels.