Why I personaly will stay with Gnome 42 for as long as possible

After trying and experiencing just about every DE and Distro, including Gnome 45 and now lately Gnome 46, I have settled on Ubuntu 22 LTS Pro because it took me about a year to collect all the components to get, from my point of view, my perfect DE for daily use.

After experimenting with Gnome 45 on various Distro’s, to me, there is just no viable reason to try and get even close to my current customized DE. Relying very much on Gnome Shell Extensions, I see the utter desperation of Developers trying their best, working around the clock, to transition their creations to work on every new release.

The ones that are still interested have just gone through the huge G45 transition. Many have simply abandoned their efforts and no other Dev’s are even considering forking and continuing some very useful and often indispensable DE enhancements.

The other gripe I have is the awful brown-beige-grey color scheme Gnome seems to be latched onto.

Thank goodness for Shell Themes!! But, oh-no!!, that is also being removed slowly… Why?

The whole point of Linux has always been the freedom to customize the DE to make it your own, right?

If Ubuntu 22 ever moves away from Gnome 42, that will be the day I move to my second favorite DE that still makes perfect sense – good old Cinnamon.

There is a reason why Mint Linux has been a top rated Distro for the last couple of years. Think about that.



Big difference between choice and customization, although they are linguistically related in some sense.

When I invest in for example a car, I and the majority of “customers” will want to personalize it. I.e. Mag wheels, maybe some stripes, etc. depending on personal preferences.

There is a very good and valid reason Ubuntu 22 is hopefully going to stay with Gnome 42 for LTS and Pro reasons. That is the whole point of LTS. Big difference between cutting edge and bleeding edge.

One might argue, but Ubuntu 24 LTS will be available soon… Big deal, I say. It will only really be a viable alternative in about 1-2 years when all the new issues that comes with every release have been ironed out. As of this writing, for Gnome 46 Alpha, not ONE single Gnome Shell Extension is available.

Secondly, good themes for Gnome 42 and GTK3 are becoming more scares as everyone wants to blindly leap forward with bleeding edge. How long before GTK4 themes become available for the average end user that can apply them in a wink of an eye?

Stability + LTS + Customizable personalized aesthetics and usability + Cutting edge functionality = WIN WIN WIN !!

I understand you want to vent about extensions and GNOME, but remember two things:

  1. GNOME contributors do not owe you anything
  2. GNOME contributors do not have a quota of souls to save

If you don’t find GNOME useful for you, you should definitely use something else that does—and if you find it useful, you should contribute to that project.

No, that’s a meme.

The whole point of Linux is to use it to do whatever you want to do with it. The whole point of free software is to have the source code to learn from it and modify it as you see fit in order to make it do something it didn’t.

Customisation is not the point of anything; it’s just a way for maintainers not to choose something, and for (some) users to get the good feeling of control over software without having to spend time and effort to learn how to modify the source.

The actual point of GNOME is making a desktop that is free software for everyone, instead of just a bunch of nerds; one of the ways in which it is possible to do is to weigh the cost of preferences.


Well sir, I am not a nerd. I am an end user of a product, in this case Gnome 42 as part of another product, Ubuntu 22, which is competing with other FREE products made available for a large market, which includes the “average end user” as a big portion of that market.

Irrespective if it is free or not, the hardware required to use it is not free. The OS is just one portion of the “whole” end user product that is mostly used by home, home-office, corporate and gamer end users. Is this not your primary target market?

And this is another problem: GNOME is not “a product”. You didn’t pay anything for it, there’s no support contract, and there’s no expectation of “warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose”.

Then complain to the Ubuntu developers. GNOME is not Ubuntu.

It is, but you’re now equating yourself—somebody who knows what Cinnamon is, and installs extensions to modify GNOME—as “the market”. You are, essentially, elevating yourself as the person GNOME should cater to.

You are using an LTS distribution; LTS distributions move slowly and then all at once, by their very nature. This means you get the blunt of a bunch of changes that, originally, are meant to be incremental. On top of that, you’re using extension which are, by the very nature, things that “void your warranty” (so to speak), and now you are venting because (I assume, given your references to GNOME 45) not every single extension you use has been ported to the change that dropped the old, ad hoc import rule to the standardised ECMAScript import mechanism—something that, in fact, makes the job easier for extension developers. You’re also using themes, which are by their very nature something flimsy and not subject to any guarantee of stability.

As I said above: I understand you wish to vent. I want you to understand that venting isn’t going to do any good. GNOME contributors won’t suddenly say: “oh, Daniel is right, we should totally stop developing GNOME Shell so that Ubuntu LTS users don’t have to deal with the fact that extensions and themes are just like any other free and open source software in existence, and are maintained at the pleasure of people who do it out of their own volition. Actually, you know what? We should change the entirety of GNOME to be like Cinnamon, because that’s what everyone likes”.

We all work on GNOME as it is because we think it’s the best way to achieve our goals; Ubuntu, like many other distributions that ship GNOME out of the box (even in LTS editions, and even in paid products with actual support) seem to think so, too. If you don’t think that’s a good approach, you’re absolutely free to use something else. There’s also the option of joining the project as a contributor, and figure out how to steer the desktop in a different direction, by convincing existing contributors that your vision is more appealing; of course, that option comes with the possibility of changing your mind.

What, am I in the Gnome court room? All I did is express my opinion and see if there are any like-minded individuals who would like to calmly and joyfully discuss their opinions with me! But I get scolded, called names and to be quite honest, I totally regret wasting my time posting here.

I’m sorry to say, but nothing you wrote sounded like the beginning of a calm and joyful discussion; it looked suspiciously like any other rant.


Gnome has no warranty, but using extensions voids the “warranty”.
Gnome made extensions available, Gnome has a website dedicated to hosting extensions.
Gnome developed the portal to help Developers port their extensions.
You’re a contradicting mean old gnome, aren’t you?
BTW, thanks for letting me know that I have a choice of using many other Desktop Environments. I was not aware of that fact.
P.S. You incorrectly assume that I am a non-contributor to Gnome and to the Linux community.

Yes, which is why I put it in quotes: you’re not literally voiding the warranty, but by using extensions (and combinations of extensions) you’re essentially on your own if things break.

The fact that GNOME gives people the ability to write, distribute, and use extensions doesn’t mean that GNOME is on the hook for the effects those extensions have—intended or otherwise.

I had short experience with GNOME 42 and 43, but I did not liked it. Something like too plain to use it normally. Later I gave it 3rd attempt… It was GNOME 43 with Fedora, 45.3 now. I absolutly LOVE it. I thank devs a lot and I even checked if I can contribute. Extensions make GNOME shine with different angles, even if they broke 2 times for me lol. Dash2Panel, PaperWM and Guillotine are my most must-have ones. Maybe Pano, too. And others, I use about 10 maybe.

Apologies if my post gave the impression that I was ranting. English is not my first language. Basically I am not criticizing Gnome, but in fact am very happy with Gnome 42 and very happy that Gnome made it possible to extend the usability and functionality of the DE by the use of extensions. I have a total of over 50 extensions that seamlessly work together and has given me the opportunity to, from my perspective, to “assemble”, a near perfect DE and daily working environment. I have been using OSX for a long time, and not to boast, but my current DE setup outshines OSX and Windows 11 by far. Like I was trying to explain, it took a lot of effort, and I am so grateful to all the Developers for making all this possible. So in a nutshell, All I was trying to convey is gratitude that I have this awesome daily workhorse that is an absolute pleasure to do my work on, and I have absolutely no need to change anything. With Ubuntu’s Pro subscription I receive all the required updates to keep my system stable and secure right up until 2032, so I am a happy chappy. Thank you.

I like the simplicity of Gnome. You look at my desktop, all you see is my wallpaper and a thin transparent top bar. Wallpapers fluently change every few minutes. press a key and a search bar pops up. Type in two letters and apps and documents appear in the translucent list. I flick my mouse on the desktop and I can spin to the next or previous workspace. I hit alt + tab and I can spin through all my open windows. Notifications neatly slide in from the top right, and after 30 seconds slides out of view and a blue bell icon lets me know there are notifications waiting for me to view. I can go on and on, but I think you should get a good idea… BTW, Pano is a brilliant extension. I use it all the time. Simply hit Ctrl + P and it slides up from the bottom of the screen. And if you like Guillotine, try Command Menu, much easier to use.

You described my own desktop and workflow… Command Menu is simpler, but lacks features, like cool tumblers to switch services on/off and also Guillotine allows to execute multiple commands, so I do not need to have scripts files at all, simplicity at its best:


Cool!! I should give Guillotine another look. I also configured CHC so that when I swipe up with mouse from the left bottom of the screen, overview pops up, and if I swipe up from the right bottom of the screen, app view pops up. And of course Click To Close is indispensable. My desktop is basically a large phone or tablet with a keyboard and a mouse. I also have a drawing pad for Gimp, Krita, etc.

This is how I am using Command Menu:

I know exactly how you feel. Same situation. Had a sweet DE with extensions with G42 but unfortunatelly we lost developers and maintainers along the way. Amazingly a good majority survived until G45 so I’m good for now but I do seriously miss a couple extensions like Night Light Slider among others and I’m too busy/lazy to learn to code and bring them to G45 so I guess its the price of progess…
I jumped in with G41 so I can’t even imagine how many extensions died when Gnome reached 40.

And while

Gnome team took the freedom to make their DE exactly the way they want. One as a use could just modify it as much as one likes. I would recommend you to check KDE amazing customization or to get a flexible light weight custom DE maybe try Hyprland which looks pretty sick but requires a commitment to customize. Good luck keeping up!

Thank you for the positive feedback. I will be honest I don’t like KDE. It is just too busy… I am very happy with Ubuntu 22 LTS and with my pro subscription I am sorted until 2032. Every program that I need works great. My system is fast, stable, and looks and behaves just the way I like it. And that is why I do not need to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. Most of the functionality Gnome is introducing now, I have had for over a year, so, unless Gnome suddenly changes into Mac OSX without the privacy issues, I might rethink my decision. Good luck to you too, take care.

Take a look at Garuda Linux. I don’t recommend that distro as an everyday distro but please do check it out. They have a KDE so customized it works and behaves like macOS, with the application’s menu at the top bar (something near impossible to make in Gnome) just ignore the neon colors everywhere. They can be changed.

I got amazed by how much flexible and modifiable KDE really is and not hard at all. Just applets which is something like extensions in Gnome.

Been there, done that. I like Arch as it is well maintained and supported. I am a huge fan if Compiz and I am playing around with Wayfire and Hyperland. Very complicated. If I had to move away from Ubuntu and Gnome (Well, not really Gnome) I would definitely go with Mint Cinnamon Debian Edition. I can pretty much achieve the same look and feel I have now without breaking a sweat.