Four clicks to Power Off

I have Ubuntu 20.04 LTS standard desktop installation:


Blurb from Ubuntu blog:

“The Ubuntu Desktop team have worked closely with the upstream GNOME developers and the wider community to deliver a solid GNOME desktop experience for our users. Thereby, joining our friends in the Debian project to update packages to the latest GNOME software packages.”

Are they lying?


The article I quoted,, shows screenshot with the icons I have, but they also show a video with icons you’ve shown. I have no clue what is going on here.


To get the icons you’ve shown, one has to use Tweak Tool and change icons from Yaru to Adwaita.

They are not lying, no. What’s going on here is that Ubuntu is not shipping GNOME but rather the Ubuntu Desktop for the Ubuntu Operating System. This happens to be based on GNOME and its technologies, but its not GNOME. Its a customized shell designed by Canonical to meet their requirements. Its not what GNOME designs for or looks like, although they can be very similar in places given Ubuntu’s DE base.

Ubuntu is changing a lot of things, included but not limited to:

  • Default application Icons
  • Stylesheet of the shell and GTK applications
  • Layout of the Shell, as well how certain aspects of the shell behave. For example the static Dock is a completely custom thing that isn’t part of GNOME’s design
  • Includes Application tray indicators
  • Includes Desktop icons, GNOME itself hasn’t had desktop-icons since GNOME 3 a decade ago.

To that end what you get isn’t GNOME but Ubuntu Desktop.


Yes. And do you know what you had to do to suspend? You had to click the power off icon while having Alt pressed. Not something anybody would reasonably discover, and it was that way because more than 3 icons won’t fit properly.


Just use an extension. Many even has only two clicks. With mouse it just power off -> ok/shutdown dialog.

Ubuntu may use this way as well. They don’t particularly like default behaviour.

The Ubuntu desktop is a tweaked version of the GNOME desktop. The ALT+TAB behaviour, the dock, the minimize and maximize buttons, the desktop icons … these are some of the differences implemented by the Ubuntu desktop team which changes GNOME default behaviour.

Aside from that, Ubuntu uses its own default theme and icons, called Yaru, which explains the differences that you see. I followed the switch from Ubuntu’s own Unity desktop back to GNOME closely and remember there being a discussion about the icons. Originally, Ubuntu wanted to use their own icon set, which they had started using for the now defunct Unity 8. But after two Ubuntu releases and discussions with the GNOME developers, they decided to re-base their icons and theme on Adwaita and the actual icons.

I must say, I do feel, with the release of 20.04 LTS, the convergence has somewhat stopped. I don’t know why.

I personally think this is a shame, because on the one hand, I want to stick with the biggest Linux distro, i.e. Ubuntu, but on the other hand, I would like it to be as close to vanilla GNOME as possible. This sort of convergence implies concessions on both sides, and I feel that this has somehow stopped short.


Indeed, — I’ve noticed this too. It was done rather silently or I missed the discussion. I was dismayed to see that the filing cabinet for Nautilus was changed back to a file icon instead of the gnome default (which in my opinion is far better in resembling what it stands for). Often I think designers do a change just for the sake of change …
I did what I always do - Changed everything to a vanilla gnome look, with one change. I added a toolbar. :sweat_smile:


Ha, nice. I kind of switch back and forth between ubuntu-session and gnome-session. Can’t decide: love sticking to default settings, but am really fond of vanilla GNOME experience and theming as well.

What do you mean by ‘toolbar’? Do you mean one or another extension? The dash-to-panel? I use that from time to time as well :slight_smile:

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Agree. Probably the case of UI designers with too much time on their hands.


You’ve just been told your app icons look different because the distribution takes liberty and changes identity of apps with themes. If you dislike applications randomly changing identity without their maintainer’s knowledge, bring it up downstream.


My comment was directed towards Ubuntu UI designers not Gnome developers. I thought it was perfectly clear.


This is a GNOME forum though. We know. Unless the distributions get to know from their users, there is no hope of a change.


Couldn’t think of the name at the time but yes an extension: ‘Dash to Dock’. Gotta have a dock, ever since I used NeXT I can’t do without one. You know ‘old dawg and all …’ :joy:

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I also think the current menu structure is not ideal. It’s true that Power off is rarely needed, but on a rolling distro like Arch or Debian testing/unstable I often want to reboot after an update, especially if the kernel has changed. At the moment, when I click on Power Off / Log Out the menu expands, adding:

Log Out
Power Off…

then I have to click “Power Off…” to open a whole new dialog with buttons for Cancel, Restart and Power Off. Why not simply include Restart in the expanded menu?

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We’d want to keep the dialogue to confirm the shutdown/restart (remember it includes things like unsaved documents) so adding restart to the menu wouldn’t actually save you a click

Right. There’s an issue with associated merge request for that, but it doesn’t make a difference in terms of number of clicks.

An extra confirmation seems a bit tortuous when one has already had to click in three different places in sequence. Perhaps clicking “Power Off/Log Out” could go straight to the dialog instead of opening an expander first.


How do you log out, switch user or suspend then?

Add controls for those to the dialog. Although switch user and suspend don’t necessarily cause data loss, it’s still a good idea to save everything first, because the other user could shut down, or the PC could fail to resume from suspend.

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So we rename the menu item to “Power Off / Log Out / Suspend / Switch User”?

I would think if this were to be considered, the better approach would be to investigate alternative button UI/UX and present some options to the design team.

The original problem was the style of button just didn’t work with the number of available options. As a point of comparison, popup menus in GTK use a joined button style for these situations (eg. verb-icon).

I’m not suggesting that specifically (nor do I really care), but the only sane way to reduce the click-count is to remove the need for a submenu. Otherwise you’re just moving the clicks, not reducing them.