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Fedora dev: “HN feedback on what they want from their Desktop – We got it” (gnome.org)
290 points by broodbucket on April 3, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 148 comments

I'm using a 4k screen and a HiDPI thinkpad (T460p) for my workstation and it works amazingly well even today.

Was a wild ride since Skylake + 4k + docking station became stable only recently with Linux 4.9, but scaling always worked.

Here's what it takes:

Xft DPI and hinting settings (font rendering):

    # .Xresources

    Xft.dpi:        144
    Xft.hinting:    1
    Xft.hintstyle:  hintslight
    Xft.antialias:  1
    Xcursor.size:   48
    Xcursor.theme:  Adwaita
xrandr DPI setting (important for IntelliJ, i3 and the like):

    xrandr --dpi 144
Put it into .xinitrc, Gnome autostart, i3 config or wherever your DE runs stuff at session startup. I also run it after resuming since it sometimes resets itself.

Now, the most important part - the Gnome scaling settings. Instead of increasing the scaling factor, I leave it at 1x and only increase the text scaling. It's a fractional value and applications still resize appropriately (bonus: reduces the amount of whitespace):

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor 1.5
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 1
Worked well with everything I use (Evolution, virt-manager, LibreOffice, Terminal...).

IntelliJ works fine out of the box with java-1.8.0-openjdk. I recommend the Iosevka font, but any font will work.

Latest Chromium respects the settings and support scaling by a fractional value.

When I'm using a low-res screen, I simply render at a high resolution and then scale it down:

    xrandr --output eDP-1 --off
    xrandr --output DP-2-1 --left-of eDP-1
    xrandr --output DP-2-1 --right-of DP-2-2
    xrandr --output DP-2-2 --scale 1.5x1.5 --pos 0x0
    xrandr --output DP-2-1 --scale 1.5x1.5 --pos 2880x0
While it looks slightly off, you get used to it quickly and I spend most of my workday looking at a downscaled screen without any discomfort.

The result is pretty much perfect and comparable (if not better) to macOS with a recent distro. I'm happy to help anyone who is struggling to get this working!

On a more general note, the recent changes in Fedora are amazing! Out-of-box experience went from "a lot worse than Ubuntu" to best-in-class.

The reduced-resolution thing has been a trick for ages, I just refused to use the 4k screen I paid a premium for at half res with horrid (seriously, horrid complete with artifacts and fuzz, I even patched xrandr to disable bi-cubic filtering trying to make it ok and still couldn't stand it) looking text aliasing.

I'm impressed you'd call that "pretty much perfect and comparable (if not better) to macOS with a recent distro"

Pretty much sums up why I don't think I'll ever really be ok with a Linux DE for daily usage. If that's what your users consider comparable to macOS why bother aspiring to reach macOS's perfect (seriously, perfect, even when you mirror across a low res screen and a high res screen it lets you use the high res screen at a higher size with perfect scaling) handling of any mix of resolutions.

I think you misunderstood the scaling part. I'm scaling down from 4k to 1080p for my old monitors.

The 4k screen is at its native resolution. Anything else would be sinful :)

4k at native (unless you're using a single, >30 inch display) is too small. I use two 4k, 28 inch monitors and everything is too small at native resolution.

I ran in to a lot of issues doing the xrandr downscaling (my two displays would overlap), so I've just been using Windows partition since this is my gaming PC. My linux partition is Arch, I hope Gnome supports easy fractional scaling soon. Something similar to the display scaling menu on Mac OS would be really nice.

4K native with the scaling factor cranked up to match.

Which is how I run Sway on my laptop --- thank you!

No problem :)

That was amongst the fixes I found on stack overflow, and it was nearly identical as far as issues. Maybe I'd have been ok with comparing that to Windows (where some programs do get scaled down if you start them on a high res screen and move them to a low res screen), but macOS is the definition of perfect handling of multiple monitors. These tricks don't come close to that experience for me, let alone exceed it...

Downscaling works fine for me, so I don't know what I'm missing :)

It's probably going to look better with Wayland's per-screen DPI setting, but in the meantime, it's good enough (tm) for me.

Why Linux font rendering exceeds the macOS experience for me: I like the FreeType rendering much better than macOS - less "blurry". Probably comes down to taste. Unless I'm mistaken, macOS scales down for non-integer sizes while Gnome can be configured to render at a fractional value.

Obviously it's much more polished in macOS (otherwise I wouldn't have had to type out the tutorial above), but I'm using Linux for other reasons beyond that and having good font rendering is just a plus - it used to much, much worse.

He hasn't scaled the 4k screen. You can tell because it's eDP or Embedded Display Port. That's something they use on laptops for the internal screen.

I mentioned in another reply, that's just the flip side of the fixes I mentioned (and it's one of the things I tried before digging into xrandr's source to figure out why it was filtering).

It also has the same problems with aliasing, blurriness, and artifacts (the blurriness and bad hinting become more pronounced and the artifacts take a back seat)

Isn't especially mac known for having various issues with dual monitor setups? Sure the scaling works pretty well but the flicker and the idea that you can only use it with power cable are definitly deal breakers for me.

I've never had flickering with up to 3 monitors at once (even when one is 3440x1440) and it never required a power cable

This is why I won't suggest anyone ever use Linux as a desktop. The level of technical details and steps needed just to get hardware you already own to work... It's like buying a luxury car and then having to assemble the thing.

I've been doing something very similar under Ubuntu for the last year or two (I manually launch a script that resembles your last xrandr snippet whenever I dock my hidpi ThinkPad with my 1440p secondary display). It tends to have varying degrees of success depending on updates that come out.

For one, I have to repeat some of the commands in my script because otherwise I don't end up with the same end result every time. After it's done, for some reason the cursor arrow flickers when it's on the primary display. Sometimes, if I'm unlucky, UI window shadows will draw in the wrong place, and when I'm REALLY unlucky the script crashes X entirely.

Right now I'm hoping that Wayland (or, if I have to, Mir) end up built in a way that makes this kind of configuration stable, intuitive, and sane.

Very clever. I hadn't considered doing it like this. The best tip I've come across on HN in forever.

This is incredible. I had written a comment on the original thread on why I had moved to fedora after 14 years of using Ubuntu and this post confirms that I made the right choice.

For some unkNown reason, Fedora is considered "bleeding edge" and unstable..While Ubuntu is considered mainstream. The truth is that fedora is probably the most polished Linux distribution out there right now..Including a brilliant UI experience.

The only doubt I had was whether fedora is taken seriously inside redhat...And this post pretty much takes care of that.

I can report my non-stop 21 years usage of redhat based distributions ( well, along other Unices ).

Never was I left down. Fedora from 24-25 version is so polished, I can't believe myself when all the hardware works just as expected and the screen is such a beauty.

Edit: I have to mention that I am also a diehard KDE fan. Plasma 5.8 is just amazing.

A few questions:

- Is KDE a first-class citizen in Fedora-land? Everything I see about Fedora seems to focus on Gnome as the one-true-desktop

- How's the battery/power situation? I've seen some reviews find fault with battery performance under Fedora 25 as being worse than before (supposedly because of Wayland)

I get slightly better battery life in wayland

KDE in last fedora is fine except KDE specific bugs. Battery life is good, but KDE uses xwin.

Seems just fine with TLP

For some unkNown reason, Fedora is considered "bleeding edge" and unstable..

I cannot say I never had problems with Ubuntu. But I can say I had worse problems with Fedora to the point where I gave it up.

I might have been unlucky but I think my experience is as relevant as anyone elses. No Linux specialist but have used Linux since 2003-ish and started with RH 7.2 or something.

It has changed. I seriously recommend you give fedora a shot.

Thanks, will be happy to try when I get some free time.

"For some unkNown reason, Fedora is considered "bleeding edge" and unstable..While Ubuntu is considered mainstream. The truth is that fedora is probably the most polished Linux distribution out there right now..Including a brilliant UI experience. "

I agree that Fedora does look very nice these days, but if they used to be bleeding edge then it's unsurprising that people still think this way since it's always hard to fix a bad reputation. First impressions count.

I'm a bit late to the party, but what I'd like most from Fedora (and by extension, Gnome / Systemd, ... devs) is something on the meta level.

This isn't meant to sound harsh, but I don't know how to say it. Please don't do the cascade of attention-deficient teenagers thing. Please take backwards compatibility seriously. And please give me a stable distribution.

Stable doesn't mean a years old Firefox. CentOS is not stable, it is stale. Stable can mean always going with the latest and greatest software. But it means I write a program now, and I can be sure it works 5 years later with no or minimal changes - and importantly, not looking fallen out-of-time! A frozen Gnome 3.24 is not stable, it is stale once development moves on. Gnome was stable in, say, ~2.14 - 2.28 (I'm just making the numbers up) - it was still receiving new features, widgets, themes. The same applies to Fedora as a whole.

If you have to ship multiple versions of libraries, then be it so. But even better would be to influcence the developers to avoid breaking changes. Take backwards compatibility religiously, like Microsoft. I know it is not easy, but that is what I'd really love to see (before e.g. three finger guestures).

There is a big overlap between Fedora developers, and Gnome/Glib/Systemd/Networkmanager/Wayland/... developers, so you are in a great position to do so.

All in all, I like do Fedora. As others have said, it is really polished, like Ubuntu used to be. I used to use Debian and Ubuntu, but when things started moving and breaking under me (and in order to get up to date things I couldn't just live on a ESR) I moved to Windows. Once the Wayland dust settles, I'm definitely looking to move back to Linux/Fedora again.

Yes! IMHO a stable distribution is more important than new features. The fact that 16.04 has broken my network access because of my NAS mount point is one more proof that people at ubuntu and gnome are still trying to mimic windows and have not understood the differentiating advantages of unix: stability and network.

At work, my most used windows applications are firefox, putty, Xming and VNC viewer to access hundreds of sites (Portuguese, Nederlands, home computer and all the linux computers of the enterprise with a X11 display forward). Tunnels are configured in putty so that I can show my current projects without putting them on internet. My wife traveling with her laptop can wake the home PC (wake on lan) and mount the disks (sshfs) to access files.

I do not want to spend hours fixing system issues (like I did before on windows). I just want a stable system where I can add some minor customizations (like the PES preview http://torvalds-family.blogspot.fr/2010/01/embroidery-gaah.h...) and add some docker images with tailored development environments.

So, we are working on this, not just with Flatpack, but with a broad initiative we call "Modularity". (I know that's not the best name, but naming things is famously one of two hard problems in CS¹.) The big problem in operating systems in general is "too fast + too slow", and we are aiming to solve it. See https://docs.pagure.org/modularity/ for background on this initiative, or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqZftb2Wgi4 if you like your information in video-presentation form.

1 . Along with cache invalidation and off-by-one errors, of course

That's what all the effort around Flatpak is for

edit: link to Christian's post about it -- https://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2016/06/21/fedora-workstation...

I've found Fedora HiDPI support tolerable, but still weaker than Windows. As the article notes, fractional scale isn't do-able.. I have a 15" 4k laptop...2x isn't quite right, as I can't quite fit a comfortably sized browser window alongside a comfortably wide terminal window. My ideal development environment has a browser and a term splitting the screen not quite in half (browser slightly bigger).

The tiling features are weaker in Gnome than in Windows, now, as well (which is kinda sad, since tiling window managers originated on Linux/UNIX/BSD systems). I can drag to the side for each of my windows, and then drag the center bar to get just the right balance between browser size and terminal size. On Linux, I've got some kind of tiling plugin, but it requires me to specify window size by selecting from a 4x4 grid. So, more cumbersome to get my screen setup, and with less control; it's the perfect storm of poor UI: Harder to use while doing less.

I'm still more productive in Linux than in Windows. Windows is a mess for developing across many languages...I've literally got five different Perl installations (that I know about), only one was intentionally installed, and they all fight with each other, and I never can get the path right to make all of my stuff Just Work. At least three different Pythons (I intentionally installed a Python 2.7 and a Python 3.x, but a third came along with some other package). The Python's are waging a turf war, too, and things never seem to work right. Also, multiple versions of gcc and development environment; only one actually works (probably due to paths, again). At least I only have one Ruby interpreter installed on the system (that I know of).

But, at least the graphics drivers are solid, and the quality of the general Windows user experience has increased dramatically since I last used it for any work.

Nonentheless, I love Fedora. It's my favorite desktop OS, and has been for many years. I've tried Ubuntu, but find I don't really agree with a lot of their choices. They seem to leap before thinking things through, sometimes, in an effort to be on the cutting edge. And, a lot of their "invented here" stuff is often inferior to the stuff the rest of the community has been working on.

Please try the text-scaling-factor trick I detailed above and report back. I'm curious.

Try i3 as tiling WM. It might look intimidating at first, but it really improves productivity (and I say that as someone who refused to use one for far too long).

I've used i3 and xmonad in the past when I was having RSI issues, but found they impeded my productivity on some fronts, so when my RSI faded and I was able to mouse/touchpad again, I switched back to default Gnome (this was also around the time Gnome 3 came along, and I quite like Gnome 3 in most regards). I'm not really intimidated by tiling window managers, I just prefer a hybrid approach. There's a lot to like about the default Gnome experience.

But, it may be worth another try. My way of interacting with my OS has changed a lot over the years; I really prefer to just install the distro and start using it. Very little customization, so that when I move to a different machine it's not a big bunch of customizations to bring over (that may or may not work on the next version of the distro, or whatever). But, not being able to split up my screen in exactly the way I want is definitely hindering my productivity, so maybe another round with tiling window managers is the way forward.

As a couple of other folks have mentioned, it’s important to keep in mind that the premise of that original post was, "what could Ubuntu do better?" In that context, what you DON’T see there are the things that Ubuntu does well already, but that folks feel might be lacking in Fedora.

Speaking for myself, I can tell you that a HUGE part of the reason I stick with Ubuntu are their LTS releases. Those are just super important to me: more than most anything, I value a desktop that I don’t have to overhaul/reinstall on a frequent basis. Ubuntu’s five years of support puts it way out ahead of Fedora’s one.

(As a developer, I of course need to stay more up to date than the LTSes themselves are, but that’s what /usr/local/ is for. It’s trivial to keep those things up to date myself, and frankly, even Fedora would be too slow for me with most of that.)

[Note: I also cross-posted this comment on the blog itself.]

Doing an LTS release is every expensive, and since the bulk of Fedora is done by community volunteers rather than 9-to-5 packagers, it's not something we can really fairly ask.

One of the funny things we often get is "Fedora should be LTS. Or rolling-release!", which is odd because these things are generally at complete odds — no change, or constant change.

We think we have a better approach: consistent, quality-checked releases which it's easy to upgrade between. Personal anecdote: I just updated my system to F26 Alpha — started the process, went to lunch, came back and found it done. No hit to my productivity.

And, as I just mentioned in another post, we're working on another thing, [Modularity](https://docs.pagure.org/modularity/), which will allow us to provide consistent applications and interfaces across those releases.

I totally get that -- and it's a perfectly reasonable stance. Every distro doesn't have to be all things to all users. Yay for distro choice!

But I'd keep my more general point in mind, too: that thread had the wrong question and the wrong audience to answer the "what should Fedora do?" question. You might try to start a similar, separate Fedora-specific thread in a few months and see what feedback you get. I'd bet it'll be significantly different.

I actually _did_ several months ago (with a desktop and developer-audience focus): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12703836

I would assume LTS and rolling releases align for some people due to impact on the user. LTS gives a long time between impacts, rolling releases spread the impact out over time. I could see every-n-months releases to hit a bad spot of too frequent for the size of the impact for some people.

I can see that. The overall message, though, is people want less negative impact from upgrades, and there are multiple ways to address that, of which LTS and rolling-release are only two of the possibilities.

The GNOME Tweak tool can help configuring GNOME for HiDPI settings through scaling factors. Also changing fonts, themes and such.

The default GNOME themes are functional but I never enjoyed them much. Sam Hewitt made an excellent theme for GNOME, including a full icon and cursor set. It really does improve the look and feel of GNOME.


Another poster said to install the tweak tool. WHY is the tool used to change such settings not installed by default?

I quite like that one. Thanks for sharing :)

I'm using Fedora again as my desktop after some years on OS X. Things that I'd like to see:

* A better email app. Currently none can be said to work very well. I'm actually considering mutt at this point

* A better Gnome Calendar. I think this is coming in the next release.

* A PDF viewer that supports highlighting.

> A PDF viewer that supports highlighting.

Tried Okular?

> A better email app. Currently none can be said to work very well. I'm actually considering mutt at this point

Switching to Mu4e was the best thing I ever did to my emails. If someone doesn't know/doesn't want to pick up Emacs then I'd recommend Mutt all the way.

> Tried Okular?

Not yet, but I might. I'm trying to stay on the GTK/Gnome side of things.

Re: the email client, I'm no longer an emacs user unfortunately :)

Did you try Claws Mail for email? I have been using it for years and it is the best thing I ever used. Nothing comes close. There is also Sypheed, of which Claws is a fork. I consider both a 100 times better than Thunderbird.

I did but I think the setup for gmail didn't work very well and I just gave up.

I don't know, but it could very well be that Gmail deviates quite badly from the IMAP spec.

Email app - have a look at Geary. Simple, looks good, works.

Thanks, I had some HiDPI trouble when I tried it previously but apparently I misconfigured some fonts so it works now. Pretty close to what I'm looking for. It's a shame that it hasn't seen that much work.

For points one and two, have you tried Thunderbird with the Lightning extension?

Unfortunately I think it's still the best we've got in terms of fully-featured email clients on Linux.

Yes, but unfortunately I can't stomach how bad Thunderbird and Lightning look.

And yet you're considering Mutt? Thunderbird is easily the best mail client out there. And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it certainly isn't ugly by any standard that I'm aware of.

Pretty cool to see some acknowledgement from the Fedora crowd, but almost everything listed here is "maybe in a future release" rather than being present now.

The Fedora crowd/Red Hat also happens to be where lots of (most?) Gnome development work takes place.

They have been the driving force behind many recent kernel/power management and graphics stack improvements.

Latest Fedora ships Wayland by default and screens with multiple DPI already work for native Wayland applications.

I mean, if they were present now, people wouldn't have been asking for it, would they?

If anything, Fedora is closest to having it working. It's not like it already works on other distros.

The nVidia driver stuff worked for me about 3 years ago through rpmfusion. So in addition to working on things for the future, they're supporting the people who built the stuff that already works.

Not just that - some of the features are assigned to the same guy, who is probably also assigned to 50 other subsystems since he's "the laptop guy".

The problem with many of these things are not that they don't work, but that they are half-assed (bluetooth, battery etc). You can improve that sort of problem only with very focused teams.

The article talks about a laptop team and only mentions a "power management guy" who builds better benchmarking tools, so not sure where you've got that from.

Amazing response. In the Ubuntu thread many people argued as if the issue were Linux. me and I assume others as well are tired from answering that this all is long fixed in some way or another especially if you can not show them a friendly easy guide that just works. Glad to know fedora got that all covered.

Will forward to my fancy pants friends with 4k touch screen laptops

My advice: Instead of supporting a bunch of hardware poorly make one laptop like the macbook pro with:

* 2 ram slots

* 2 M.2 SSD slots

* a decent kb

* a decent touchpad

* a decent screen

* discrete graphics

* good battery management (you can do this because it's only one)

* thunderbolt 3

* at least 3 usb ports

* no dvd

* ONE TRRS audio port

* ethernet

* HDMI for legacy reasons

forget about

* thinnest

* lightest

* or any other 'best' quality - it just has to be good

* touchscreen - no one uses this after day 2 or wants fingerprints on their screen

You will sell a lot of these.

> discrete graphics

Who needs this? It is the one thing I tell people to stay away from when they're shopping for hardware.

If you can get by with integrated graphics, do it. It saves energy and a whole lot of frustration. Stick with upstreamed drivers only if you want to keep your sanity.

Not all, but a lot of ppl use the GPU for games, 3d modelling , machine learning or encoding vids. Enough that adding the chip removes a lot of complaints.

Also, historically Intel 3d drivers haven't been great.

If you work on the drivers (again you can because you only have to support one config) you can switch bt the two and get pretty good batt usage.

Finally, this is one of the big complaints many mac users have.


Upd: this is a 12" laptop. However, they offered Libreboot X400 before, which is 14". You can still get one via https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-installation-service/

This computer looks like it comes from 90s.

Because it's Thinkpad and it should look like that.

> it comes from the 90's

What does that even mean? Can you be more specific?

That probably means that it's not rose gold aluminium unibody.

...or also because it has a removable battery, a trackpoint and multimedia keys, video and ethernet ports and a docking adapter, and venting to run with the cover closed without overheating.

So it IS actually a machine for professional use, not just to draw some attention at coffee shop.

I rather have no dedicated graphics and couldn't care less about touch pad and screen but want a decent keyboard. People want different things, that's something Apple always sucked for

> touchscreen - no one uses this after day 2 or wants fingerprints on their screen

As a counterpoint: I've turned off the touchpad on my Surface pro 4 - and constantly touch non-touch screens when I'm helping others...

I rarely use a pointing device though - for example I use vimperator/vimium for web browsing and vi for editing (or vi keybindingings in vs code).

But I guess I agree that I don't want a touch screen without a great pen with at least some pressure sensitivity - drawing really is so much more fun and easy - both diagrams, notes and doodles.

you mean the XPS 15 ? this is pretty much what you described and you can buy it right now. You missed on thing though - NVME SSD compatibility. Its the only innovation in hardware that can get you performance gains for the next couple of years.

I gave up the 2 ram slots in exchange for a single removable NVME SSD slot for the ultra thin XPS 13. The integrated graphics card is powerful enough to play Bioshock Infinite.

And it runs Fedora brilliantly

Me and probably most developers could use 32GB RAM at least once every month. Sure, most don't but why not just put 2 slots on the board?

NVME SSD is there, agreed.

A lot of ppl are using the discrete graphics for 3d modeling, encoding vids, ML or the newest, more taxing games. Historically the Intel drivers have not been up to snuff here.

Partnering with an established vendor like Lenovo would make more sense.

Modern ThinkPads (Carbon X1, T460[s], ...) come pretty close to your requirements.

Ya there's so many that are pretty close but do something crazy like only support soldered on 8GB ram while including a DVD because that's something ppl use according to 2007.

T460s has both extensible memory and no DVD. Really nice machine.

Pretty nice. But, again, no discrete graphics.

make a 15" version that weights only 2kg and has 1080p or the retina size and maybe for some people the 4k version. with fedora and open hardware. i would buy it on day one.

Im very happy with Linux Mint 18 on my MacBook Air (2013model). The best hardware and Mint made possible using rEFInd boot manager. Everything 'just works'.

Where did you get these specs from? A survey?

From the hot, sweaty dreams of most developers. If Apple adds a decent discrete graphics chip to their pro line, I believe Dell, etc sales in this segment will crater and a lot of developers will just stop using windows. Thats really bad in the long term for MS and Dell, etc becaues those users are not coming back and are the ppl that others ask about what laptop to buy.

For some reason, the big laptop manufacturers refuse to make this laptop. Smaller ones can't afford the chip volumes to make them.

The closest thing I've found is the MSI gs73 with the nvidia 1050ti. The issue: they put a regular mechanical drive is instead of more battery, which gives it a mere 2.5hours of battery. :<

I don't know any (non-game) developers that want discrete graphics, modern integrated is more than enough.

Machine Learning, accel rendering of videos (aka youtube publishers).

If anyone's interested in trying Fedora I'd suggest checking out Korora, it bundles the Fedora base with nice themes and some essential packages/repositories that Fedora refuses to bundle based on their free software guidelines (like VLC) and some more sensible defaults (like Firefox as default browser instead of Epiphany).


Nice. I see it has Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE, Gnome and KDE flavours just like *ubuntu.

Fedora has those, too: https://spins.fedoraproject.org/

One can also install fedy which enables rpmfusion as well, as giving a nice interface for some additional software and tweaks.

They also give brilliant support, speaking from experience.

I've tried running newer CentOS and Fedora GNOME environments but they always feel so much slower than Xfce or unity. When I open ps it shows gnome-shell constantly using 10% cpu and 20-30% memory. Opening menus and switching desktops is such a pain with all the delay. I found this true with Virtual Machines as well.

I have also experienced memory issues. With the weather extension, gnome-shell goes from 150mb to 2GB in a week. Without extensions it still goes from 150mb to 400mb in a week, but it is much more manageable.

It doesn't use any CPU when idle for me? It does use a bunch when switching workspaces. But after that it drops back to 0%. It should NOT use CPU constantly.

There are memory leaks without any extensions, but usually it's an extension which causes the memory to increase.

I don't use any extensions. On idle, with only a terminal open it jumps from 3% to 26% CPU. I'm under the impression that it has to do with my hardware since I've tried various CentOS and Fedora versions and the issue persists.

> 31.2 26.1 gnome-sh+

I run Gnome Shell on Arch and haven't experienced this. Did you file or contribute your specs to a bug report?

"gnome-shell memory" returns pages of forum posts and bugzilla tickets of people sharing the same issue; and most are left unsolved. But that doesn't excuse me from contributing my specs and trying to help the community. Thanks for the suggestion.

Forum feedback, like HN feedback, is too extreme, and unless your product is exclusively marketed at the HN crowd, such feedback will be close to useless. You might have a big problem, for example, non-hackers can not write e-mails in Ubuntu, while HN-crowd are worried about battery life. So instead of taking one hour to fix the e-mail problem for thousands of users, you spend thousands of man-hours to marginally improve battery life to please a handful of users.

My biggest gripe with Fedora is Gnome. Modern Gnome has the worst (out of the box) window management I've ever encountered. Its default alt-tab behaviour is insane (you have to use alt-tab + arrow keys to navigate multiple terminal instances because it automagically groups things in an unusable manner). Virtual Desktops used to better, now they're more basic and less versatile. When my touchpad is disabled, Gnome somehow thinks this is a mistake and enables it against my will, with no option to disable it.

Yes, there are workarounds for all these issues. My favourite workaround is installing awesomewm and refusing to touch Gnome.

Funny, window switching is my favorite feature of Gnome 3.

I use alt-tab to change application, alt-` to change windows of the application. Quite easy to navigate IMO. It never occurred to me to use the arrow keys inside of the window switcher.

The one thing I do miss is a good tiling layout. There's a few plugins out there but not one I found actually works.

The biggest grouse I have with most linux desktops I have is the font rendering. I understand that it is to do with the patents on cleartype etc, but its been so many years with this problem

With the latest freetype (https://www.freetype.org/freetype2/docs/subpixel-hinting.htm...), and hinting off, there's not a lot to complain about.

With slight hinting, and rgba subpixel rendering enabled, I found font rendering on Linux to be comparable to or even better than on Windows >= XP with ClearType. Definitely better than Windows 8+ DirectWrite. What you won't get without patching is Windows 2000 style aliased + hinted fonts, or OSX style rendering. But I think most of the complaints originated years ago, when you needed that kind of font rendering on CRTs.

The font rendering changes every so often (various years). Initially I get annoyed that it is different than before. Eventually I get used to it and get annoyed if it changes again. IMO it's just what you're used to.

I really have the opposite impression. I don't have any experience with macOS, but font rendering is So Much Better on linux than on Windows, even without freetype-freeworld.

So install freetype-freeworld and enjoy the nicer fonts.

Don't get me wrong, warts regarding high DPIs have existed for far too long and definitely need some love, but I'm a bit sadder the few complaints I see about design direction were not taken on board.

Running what appears to be a touch UI (definition: very few buttons, those that exist are large, lots of dead space, information density very low) with a mouse feels shockingly unproductive, and at least personally, conveys the impression of working with a mobile app toy rather than a workstation used for getting work done.

GNOME3's launcher: http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/GNOME-3-16-...

You can't look at this and not see shades of iOS's Springboard. Very touch friendly on small mobile device screens, very wasteful on large ones, like the kind most of us have at our desks.

...and like the kind that most of G3's users will be running it on.

I'm forced to write off G3 as yet another misguided attempt to unify touch and mouse UIs, in an attempt to appeal to the kind of newbie user that wouldn't even be running G3 in the first place.

I use it regularily. Never even thought about it, because i just hit the super key and start typing. Finds what I want to launch every time.

Except for the fact that it monopolizes the whole screen? Windows 8's start screen was panned for the same reason; there's no reason to send the user's state to the background for something that objectively does not require it.

An example of doing the same thing, the Right Way, would be Quicksilver or Spotlight on MacOS.

What's the use case for the launcher (activities menu) on G3? If you've invoked it, either by throwing your mouse to the corner or by hitting the super key, you either want to:

1. Start something

2. Close something

3. Switch to something (that being an open app or a virtual desktop).

Zero of these cases require, or even benefit from backgrounding all open windows. Compare and contrast with the Win7-Era start menu and taskbar, or Ubuntu Unity's sidebar, or MacOS's Dock.

What's the advantage of just using a little bar on the screen to search for what you want to launch, or close, or switch to? Because when I'm on windows 7 and looking for what I want to switch to on the start bar, i'm definitely not using the rest of the screen for anything. I'm looking for the right little icon to click.

Tell me why it's the "Right Way".

For one, you can look between the start menu and and an open window. More than once I've need to run some obscure command or some program I didn't even know was installed, and I can just glance over to my documentation to make sure I've got it right.

My eyes have muscles that allow me to move them where required. Most people do. They don't need the entire desktop blanked out for a single UI element that might take up ~10% of the space.

Again, we're right back to mobile-first use cases- everything is fullscreen. Except that nobody is using G3 on mobile devices, so why design in that fashion? What's the user benefit?

When the "windows" key (for me the "command" key -- I use a Mac BT keyboard), the visible windows are shrunk (but readable) and the I start to type. I can still read the window contents (1920x1080 11" display, 10 point touch). The desktop is not blanked out. On that selection screen, I have fast-start icons, and the desktop selector. Yes, it is "different" but I find it more usable than either Windows or Mac.

Of course, that may be due to familiarity. My primary platform is a mobile device, but I also use Gnome 3 (Fedora) on desktops. We use Mate on RHEL 7 on our larger display configurations (4x4K monitor in a 2x2 grid and 3x4K in horizontal configurations). But, on those configurations, we lock down and don't offer start menus to the end-user at all (kiosk style application).

I do like Gnome 3 for general use, though.

Mice in general are shockingly unproductive as compared to keyboards - using Gnome in a primarily keyboard-driven manner is where it really shines.

That just surfaces the complaints of poor use of screen real-estate. If I'm using the keyboard to launch things, that indicates:

1. That I'm probably at least a proficient user (newbies tend to not keyboard)

2. That I'm probably on a non-mobile device with a large display.

If I'm not using the keyboard, but rather using the mouse, that indicates:

* I am absolutely not on a mobile device.

Absolutely none of these indications point towards mobile-ification of the UI. The only way G3's UI direction makes any sense is assuming touch input.

You can reduce the size of the launcher and icons. And have the launcher hidden until you mouse to a corner.

I can also use a different DE, but that's really not the point. Defaults matter.

As a happy Fedora 25 user over the last 2 months since parting ways with OSX, I'm really happy to hear about what's coming.

Gnome3 devs never asked for feedback. Gnome3 devs never cared.

But they sure do like to write blog posts about hip stuff.

I never liked Gnome3, I don't know why, it might be because it uses way too much chrome space at the top, lot of wasted space.

I'd settle for better font rendering, and a better way to debug which extension causes Redshift to not work or makes the logout dialog take 20 seconds to show up (with the desktop frozen in the meantime). Extension debugging needs love.

Try to install freetype 2.7. It's a bit of a hassle(you need to get the source rpm from fedora 26 and build it), but will improve text rendering a lot.

Nice if Bastien could fix this bug:


That doesn't load for me. The text-only version does though. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Hy9yBE3...

Last time I tried Fedora after using Ubuntu, the minimize/maximize button was missing on windows.

Turns out gnome team decided to remove it and Fedora does not restore the setting while Ubuntu does.

This might seem childish but the fact that I had to make a change to the interface as a first step just after installation completely turned me off from the distribution.

I've repeatedly stumbled over these kinds of decisions by the gnome team. As a teenager I actually donated to the gnome foundation and I was very proud to receive some stickers via mail, but over the past years I realized that somehow their incentives are not aligned with mine.

Who in their right mind would remove those buttons? It can only be people who don't actually work with the system but think about further "improvements" all day. Very frustrating.

Install the Gnome Tweak Tool and you can make lots of preference tweaks like that. I'd actually forgotten that they did that because I added them back too.

> a lot of the items people asked for in that thread we already have in Fedora Workstation

Not really. In fact overwhelmingly not. It is a huge discussion (not a single thread, by the way) where a lot of people ask for a lot of things, many of which M. Schaller does not mention at all. M. Schaller got just 9 things out of a Hacker News discussion that now spans 4 pages. Here are just a few of the things from the discussion that M. Schaller omitted entirely, giving some indication of the range of stuff that people asked about.

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14008011

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14024061

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14011179

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14010769

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14012610

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14008924

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14007458

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14007065

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14009784

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14009371

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14007369

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14009092


A recent episode of the podcast Late Night Linux has a discussion of one of the hosts' experiences with his 4k monitor and a number of Linux distros.

I think it starts at about 30 minutes in: https://latenightlinux.com/late-night-linux-episode-06/

AFAIR the best experience was with Unity 7 on Ubuntu. There is some discussion on why support on different desktops / distros is the way it is, and how automatic configuration might be improved, which might be of interest to HN readers.

The chap doing the testing is the main dev / founder behind Budgie / Solus.

I want Firefox and LibreOffice to run natively on Wayland. Having them use X-wayland is a regression IMO. Firefox has been crashing my whole session.

Martin Stránský (Red Hat) is working on native Wayland support for Firefox and the build time option should land soon (already r+'d), allowing his other patches to be integrated.

https://github.com/stransky/gecko-dev https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=635134

IIRC LibreOffice should already be running natively on Wayland. (also a Red Hat effort in mid-2015)


I can't help wonder what the response would have been had the roles been reversed. That it was Canonical that posted such a response to a Fedora feedback request.

BTW, that he is using a Gnome provided blog to talk about Fedora should be a reminder of the mixing of roles that is happening around Gnome, Fedora, and Freedesktop...

really excited to hear that you guys are working on fractional scaling. can't wait to see it happen so I can install Fedora on my laptop again. keep up the good work.

Sadly no mention of preinstalled hardware, one of the top requests in Canonical thread mentioned.

Printing in Fedora sucks. Big time. And I use it as my desktop machine.

If I ever want to print anything apart from a website, I go straight to a Mac. The preview is realistic, it does a rotate when I tell it to, it fits the page when I want it to. Printing in Fedora has a life of its own: it takes minutes of troubleshooting and reprinting before I get near what I need.

I can't believe that it's 2017 and bad battery life is still a thing.

i still miss an official dock. :/ the extensions are quite nasty.. they don't feel right and don't integrate very well.

If you are reading this: I installed Fedora recently because I wanted to try it and I found the partitioning process to be absurdly complicated, compared to that of Debian or Ubuntu (ubiquity). I have several partitions of several operating systems in this disk and I was hesitant to continue because it wasn't very clear what the partitioner was about to do with my disk. Unfortunately that was months ago so I can't really describe what the problems were.

There's basically two ways to do advanced partitioning. (Of course, there's a "just do it" automated option too.)

1. I understand about disks, volumes, partitions, filesystems, and I want to build it all up. 2. I have goals (like redundancy) and would like to tell the installer to give me that from whatever resources are available.

The former works very well for sysadmins and Linux enthusiasts (the people likely to be quad-booting or whatever), but our research showed it was really painful for basically everyone else -- so we have a UI focused on the latter.

That said, we definitely want Fedora to be appealing to the former class as well. There is an Anaconda feature in the works to add a more-traditional partition manager option as well. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Changes/AnacondaBlivetGUI (It's currently targetted for F26, but I'm not sure if it's going to make that with the current schedule.)

I see what you're saying, but I suspect the top-down approach is not the cause of the usability issues with Anaconda. The problems are simply that it isn't always clear which buttons do what, which partitions are about to get zapped, and what the next action should be at any given point. It's not unusable, but it could be easier.

The Blivet GUI looks like it could fix many of these issues.

Oh hey look, there is a [Test Day](https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2017-04-06_AnacondaB...) scheduled for tomorrow (April 6, 2017) to shake out bugs in the new interface for F26.

The partitioner would be absolutely fine were the system i was using intended to be a single OS machine. but mine isn't.

My issues with it are from a HCI perspective;

- the Done button is context sensitive which is rubbish.

   - Select Automatically Configure Partitioning and it will go back to the Installation summary

   - Select "I Will configure Partitioning" it will go into the partitioner.
- There is no Cancel button to discard all changes instead you have to go into the partitioner and hit the refresh button

- The Available space is across all disks not on a per disk basis.

- It's not immediately clear whether the plus or minus buttons in the partitioner will create partitions, delete partitions, or adding them to the installation selection.

I agree with all these criticisms. The anaconda installer, particularly the partitioning interface, is not at all intuitive. The first time I installed Fedora alongside an existing OS I thought it was really likely something would get messed up.

Debian's installer is excellent, in my experience.

In my opinion; of all the sections in an Operating System's installation program the partitioner should be the least vague of all.

At every step of the partitioning/volume management process you should be able to quickly undo or back out of your selection. only when the user is happy with the structure or layout should any change be committed, likewise there should be no ambiguity in the functionality of any aspect of it's operation.

After all it is your data you may be potentially blowing away.

It's been a while since I last installed Debian, so I can't comment on the installation experience there though I can't recall running into any issues. It was a perfectly forgettable experience. The Ubuntu installer was also excellent, and the partitioning aspect was both clean and clear when creating a custom setup.

a few releases back they 'improved' the partitioning wizard..

(compare to RHEL6/CentOS, which was essentially the old code)

this is the result.

yay progress!

Most of these changes, barring kernel level ones are only specific to Gnome right?

Much of the work on HiDPI goes into the low-level toolkits (GTK/Qt) that all desktop environments benefit from.

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