Mageia 2 GNOME Panel-Docklet

GNOME 3, KDE, LXDE and E17 are four complete desktop environments available during the installation of Mageia 2, the latest release of the Linux distribution derived from Mandriva.

While KDE is usable without modification for the vast majority of users, the other three require that most users get some digital grease on their hands before getting real comfy using them.

From my perspective, the worst culprit is GNOME 3. And though I have often criticised the default GNOME 3 interface, with a little bit of tweaking here and there, I have been able to get it to a point where I can actually use it for my daily computing tasks. It is not perfect, but much better than the default configuration. The idea is to make it look like a standard desktop that lends itself very well to using the mouse, rather than mostly to keyboard shortcuts. For me, that means getting the titlebar buttons back and also getting a sane and usable task manager or panel on the desktop.

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In this short article, I will show you how to get those two features. The first requires the installation of a package called gnome-tweak-tool. You may install it from the command line or by using the graphical package manager. To get the second feature involves the installation of an extension.

The gnome-tweak-tool. From the command line, type, as root, urpmi gnome-tweak-tool. Using the graphical package manager, typing tweak in the search box should bring up the application. Select it, then click Apply to install it. The instruction here assumes that you know what a command line and how to access it, and how to access the graphical package manager.
Install GNOME Tweak Tool Mageia 2

To access gnome-tweak-tool, press the Super key on the keyboard (it is the key with the Windows logo, between the left Ctrl and Alt keys. Typing the first few letters of Advanced should bring up an icon named Advanced Settings. Start it.
GNOME Tweak Tool Mageia 2

This is what it looks like. Click on the Shell tab, then select All from the Arrangement of buttons on the titlebar menu. You can see the result of this operation in the top-right corner of this screen shot. Those are the titlebar buttons. Out of the box, only the close button is enabled.
GNOME 3 Titlebar Buttons

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Before closing the window, you might also want to make another change. From the Windows tab, select Toggle Shade from the Action on title bar double-click menu. What this does, is to shade or roll up a window when you double-click on the titlebar. It just gives you one more window management option.
GNOME 3 Titlebar Shade

With the first feature enabled, time to take care of the second. Since I have written about that in another article, I will just point you to the article that shows how to enable it. You may read it at Panel-Docklet: A must-install extension for GNOME 3.

After installing and messing with the extension, your GNOME 3 desktop on Mageia 2 should look just like the one in this screen shot.
Mageia 2 GNOME Panel-Docklet

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10 Responses

  1. “1. Change the Hostname: In the process of installing your brand new Fedora 19 desktop, I’m sure you noticed that Anaconda, the Fedora system installer, did not give you the option of setting a hostname (if it did, then I need more than a new pair of specs).”

    It’s in the Network panel. I’ve booked you an appointment with the optometrist 🙂

    1. That’s funny. But why did you have to “hide” it in the network spoke? This becomes a design issue. Remember that in the hub, the network spoke is not marked as an item that needs to be configured, in the same manner than the installation destination spoke is.

      You know, just before I published that article, I installed a system just to look for that feature. Your design guys should be working for Booz Allen Hamilton 🙂

      Where did they hide the option to install the bootloader in a custom location? 😉 I looked for that, too.

      1. “But why did you have to “hide” it in the network spoke?”

        What spoke would you *expect* it to be in? Software Selection? Installation Source? Installation Destination? Keyboard? None of those appears to make a whole deal of sense. “Network” seems the perfectly logical place for it, to me. A system’s host name is only of any interest in the context of a network, after all.

        “Where did they hide the option to install the bootloader in a custom location?”

        That depends on what you mean by ‘custom location’. You can pick which disk it will be installed to from the “Full disk summary and bootloader…” link on the Installation Destination page. (I’d figure the word ‘bootloader’ should be adequate indication of that.) You cannot choose to install the bootloader to a partition header when doing a BIOS install. See https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=872826 for that bikeshed.

        1. Not sure where to begin with something this wrong. A machine without a hostname is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Network or no network.

          Or do you call your pet, “dog” instead of giving it a name, because you probably only have one, right?

          1. Arguments welcome, bare assertions tend to be ignored.

            The machine is not ‘without a hostname’ if you don’t set one explicitly. It gets the hostname localhost.localdomain.

      2. “Remember that in the hub, the network spoke is not marked as an item that needs to be configured, in the same manner than the installation destination spoke is.”

        Indeed. It does not *need* to be configured. You can *choose* to configure it if you so desire. One of the main points of a hub/spoke design is that you are not forced through steps you don’t need to modify, but choose which you do and don’t want to use.

        1. But considering that the hostname is something that most users like to personalize, shouldn’t there be an indication that there’s something in that spoke that needs to be modified?

          1. “But considering that the hostname is something that most users like to personalize”

            I don’t agree with that assertion.

            “shouldn’t there be an indication that there’s something in that spoke that needs to be modified?”

            No. It doesn’t need to be modified. The indicators indicate that you *have* to change something on that spoke in order to proceed. The lack of an indicator isn’t meant to indicate ‘there’s no reason to come in here’. If there was no reason the spoke wouldn’t _be_ there at all.

  2. You can set the hostname during the install by clicking the network icon. I change my hostname and also add nameservers.

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