In the Linux desktop graphical environment, there are many desktop session types, but the two that are most known are KDE and GNOME. This article is about GNOME.
For a good long time GNOME was really good. Then version 3 came along and, well, it’s not-so good as it seems to be completely hit-or-miss whether it will work on your PC or not regardless of how old or new it is.
What’s known as “GNOME Classic” is not GNOME 2 but rather 3 in a much lighter traditional (hence “classic”) form. And with that said, here are three reasons why you should use GNOME Classic:
1. Classic is faster than your other overly-graphical session types
Classic is faster than Ubuntu’s Unity or Linux Mint’s Cinnamon. In fact, it’s so fast it will run circles around either.
2. Classic works better with AMD’s Radeon Linux driver set
On Ubuntu/Debian style distros, you can directly run the graphics card driver set installation and it does work – mostly. I’ll explain the ‘mostly’ in a moment.
Head over to support.amd.com, punch in what type of AMD/ATI card you have, and download the “.run” file for the Linux driver set (in 32 or 64-bit flavor depending on what you have). Go to the folder where the .run file is, right-click, select Properties, then Permissions and set the file to run as an executable. After that, double-click the file, elect to launch in a Terminal and the graphical installer does its thing.
If your session type is GNOME Classic, you’ll get full access to your newly installed AMD drivers, have the Catalyst manager and all that other good stuff.
If your session type is not Classic, weird things can happen. Screen redraw issues, magically disappearing panels, etc. None of this happens in Classic, at least in my experience.
There have been many reports on various Linux forums stating that installing the AMD driver set can make a Linux graphical desktop environment unusable. To that I say that the first thing you should do is switch over to GNOME Classic to see if the problems follow through to that specific environment. Chances are very good that they won’t.
3.GNOME Classic’s way of doing menus makes way more sense to most people
The best way I can describe the Classic environment is that it’s what Windows 7 would have been if Microsoft didn’t do the Aero thing. Classic is very “clean”, very easy to get around in and definitely doesn’t do any of that “let’s try to be different and look like a f***ing phone interface” nonsense.
I’ll put it another way. If you’re the type that really likes the the WinXP interface, you’ll love GNOME Classic because it takes the best parts of XP environment and improved upon them. For example, the way Classic transitions between desktop workspaces (CTRL+ALT+any-arrow-key) is very slick. The animations even on older, slower hardware is very quick and streamlined.
Classic, at least to me, is the perfect blend of utility and form for a graphical desktop enviornment. No overly-animated crap, a very nice look and fast operation everywhere you go.
If you’ve tried Ubuntu lately and said “Bleah! This SUCKS!”, on the login screen switch the session type to Classic, and then it won’t suck. When you experience GNOME 3 using Classic, that is when you’ll truly come to appreciate it over GNOME 2.
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