Feedback on Usability and Suggestions for Improvement for GNOME DE

Dear Fedora Team,

I am reaching out to share my experiences and some concerns regarding the usability of the Fedora operating system, particularly in terms of system customization.

As a long-time Windows user who has recently switched to Fedora, I am somewhat surprised and disappointed that some basic customization options are not more intuitive and easily accessible. For instance, I find the processes to enable fractional scaling, disable password requirements, add minimize/maximize buttons, and set up automatic login unnecessarily complicated and user-unfriendly.

  1. Fractional Scaling: The option for fractional scaling, which is especially useful on high-resolution displays, does not seem to be readily available and requires activation through experimental features. This should be made more accessible to effectively adjust the screen display.
  2. Automatic Login and Password Requirements: Disabling password requirements and setting up automatic login are also processes that need more direct and straightforward solutions. While security should be maintained, users who prefer easier access should find these options more readily and be able to change them easily.
  3. Minimize/Maximize Buttons: The lack of minimize and maximize buttons in the default configuration of the window manager is another point that makes window management cumbersome for many users. These fundamental features should be readily accessible by default.
  4. Top-Bar and Desktop Files: The inability to change the position of the top-bar and to place files directly on the desktop significantly reduces usability. These restrictions seem unnecessary and could be easily remedied to create a more flexible and useful desktop environment.

I understand that security and robustness are key elements of any operating system, but I believe that the balance between security and user-friendliness could be improved. For new users, especially those coming from Windows systems, such adjustments could be crucial in ensuring a positive experience and increasing acceptance.

It would be desirable if future updates of Fedora could consider these aspects to make the system more accessible and inviting for a broader user base. I hope my feedback will be seen as a constructive contribution to the continued development of Fedora.

Thank you for your attention and the ongoing work to improve Fedora.

This is a pet peeve of mine, the assumption that what was/is done by MS is the way it always must be. Not so, and not desirable really.

Got to agree with that one, but remember Fedora is leading edge, and right now Fedora Workstation is progressing along with Wayland and Gnome, fractional scaling is available though.

I thought there was an option to setup passwordless access, but maybe I’m wrong :thinking:

Another Windoze fallacy. Desktop clutter is well and truly gone with Gnome and I love it. If you really must have such things try one of the spins instead, you’ll probably have a better Fedora experience to boot. The spins are at … Fedora Spins | The Fedora Project I suggest Budgie

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From Ask Fedora to Project Discussion

Added workstation-wg

But honestly, when I’m browsing the internet and want to quickly switch between tabs, the space between the top of the screen and the tabs is annoying. It means I have to keep adjusting the mouse. I think this isn’t about Windows, but about ease and quick accessibility. Whether I place files on my desktop or not should be up to each individual. If someone doesn’t like icons on the desktop, they just won’t use them. However, I see a problem if the function isn’t available at all. What else is the desktop for? A digital picture frame?

I tried the spins, but the “App Store” is unusable. Sure, I was a Windows user, but when I go to sites like Brave.com or Telegram.org and want to install Flatpak, but it’s not accessible, I wonder why there is an App Store pre-installed at all.

In the end, I think these simple change requests shouldn’t be a problem and wouldn’t impact performance. By simply enabling or disabling features, everyone could find the right solution for themselves.

Basically, no GNOME developers used desktop icons so no one maintained the code, and it desperately needed refactoring because it was getting in the way of feature development that developers were actually interested in, so eventually the feature was removed a few years ago: Remove desktop support (#158) · Issues · GNOME / Files · GitLab

Minimizing windows is not really supported on GNOME and not encouraged. If you’re done with the window, you should close it, or if you want to switch tasks, move to another desktop. It’s not a fundamental feature of the GNOME desktop. The workflow just doesn’t work like that.

This is a really common criticism and has been for over a decade. The developers have no desire to change it.

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Most of your issues are not issues with Fedora, but with Gnome.

Have you fried Fedora KDE? That may be more to your liking.

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Thank you very much for your help and quick support. I believe I have already tried everything and I’m actually quite glad that there is now the function in Linux to install programs directly from a website. As far as I know, this is called Flatpak, and unfortunately, Fedora KDE doesn’t seem to support it. I don’t really want to enter codes. I find that it is no longer up-to-date, and this terminal, where I can’t even paste a code with Ctrl + V, doesn’t appeal to me at all.

It absolutely does support it. You can install flatpaks through Discover.

In the terminal, you can use ctrl+shift+v to paste.

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That’s flat out wrong. All fedora editions spins and variants come with the flatpak runtime pre-installed. You would have to enable 3rd party repos in Gnome software manager.

For some time in terminals it has been <Ctrl><Shift><v>, but copy/paste from/to flatpak apps sometimes doesn’t work for me …

You really aren’t getting the linux concept very well though it seems, no offence intended. It is about having a choice for how you use it. This includes the Desktop Environment. I recommended Budgie since it is the closest OOTB windows like experience that you seem to be familiar with. It is Gnome based (Cinnamon) but more like what most people think of for a graphic desktop setup. As a consequence of the ability to choose, well pretty much anything on how you use this system, ease of use becomes an interpretation an individual work flow/use case. Not to mention the fact that since all of the various Desktops available are developed by mostly different groups, they are mostly based on different underlying technology (Like Gnome is GTK based while KDE is QT based for one example). Also the way any distribution is put together is not like how MS or Apple do their stuff, for one, they have many well paid staff to take care of and focus on issues, while the open source is volunteers. And finally, as has been noted, Gnome is never going to be like a Traditional Windowing environment as was introduced by IBM so many years ago, but that’s okay since there are alternatives to fill that role.

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First and foremost, Welcome to Fedora. :fedora:

I’ll start off by saying that unlike Windows, Fedora Linux has many desktop environments to choose from. Gnome (Fedora workstation) comes with a particular aesthetic. A Seamless and minimal style that most Windows users trip over due to the Orientation of the Windows desktop.

  • There are different Spins of Fedora that might be more appealing to you, When in dialogue with Windows users I usually point them to :
  1. KDE : Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop | The Fedora Project

  2. XFCE : Fedora Xfce | The Fedora Project

  3. Cinnamon : Fedora Cinnamon Spin | The Fedora Project

  4. LXQT : Fedora LXQt Spin | The Fedora Project

On the topic of Disabling Password requirements, That is very much frowned upon on a Linux desktop. This is security over convenience, whereas on Windows it’s the opposite or worse. . .

On the Gnome desktop, I would disagree and say that having order, on your desktop allows for easier access and efficiency as things are easily found. So this is an imporvement over the Windows desktop paradigm.

The Top Bar being an abstruction is kind of irrelevant, F11 puts you in full screen mode for many applications including a browser. Which play in directly with how the Gnome experience would want you to use it. Infinite worksapces with apps full screen and allowing you to switch seamlessly though them with shorcuts as well.

Full Screen, Or you can use the keyboard shorcuts to swiftly move through your tabs. A far more efficient and elegnt solution ! on Firefox Ctrl+PgUp/PgDn move you incrementally Alt+1-9 moves you through by tab number.

On Gnome, there is no Desktop. . . this just ties in to the whole Full screen usecase and KBD shorcuts.

Shift+Ctrl+V will paste into the terminal. Also, right click and Paste works too, and shows you the shortcut.

I’m starting to see a pattern, I thinks it’s more that there is a general lack of knowledge and asking how things work before entering into the process and expecting things to be a certain way.

Here is video to watch to give you an understanding of Gnome Desktop :


Get aquianted with the Shortcuts to your applications and learn how your desktop works :

https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/shell-keyboard-shortcuts.html.en

and from the Settings menu :

  • The Navigation shortcuts are going to be the more useful for you while you are on Gnome

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Hi, we are planning to enable this feature in the next release (Fedora 41). Unfortunately it is experimental for a reason: it will make XWayland applications blurry, and you really won’t like that if you use any. I’m hopeful that will be improved, but we have consensus to not wait anymore and ship fractional scaling regardless.

There’s a switch for this in System Settings → System → Users, but it’s only useful if (a) you have enabled full disk encryption and set your user account password to match your decryption passphrase, or (b) you’re willing to manually set a blank login keyring password and store your passwords unencrypted. Otherwise, you’re going to be prompted to unlock the login keyring, which will defeat the purpose.

These were removed because they are rarely useful and definitely not worth the real estate. You can double click to maximize/unmaximize. Minimize is rarely useful, but you can do it via right click if you really need to. You probably would be better off moving the window you want to minimize to a different workspace instead, but the option is there.

You can add minimize/maximize buttons using Tweak Tool if you really want to, but they won’t look good.

The top bar isn’t designed to be configurable. It’s not going to look good if moved to a different position.

Then putting files on your desktop sounds like abomination to me; this isn’t allowed because it results in a messy and distracting computer rather than a clean and organized computer. But you can install a shell extension for desktop icons if you want.

If you really feel strongly about the above features, you might give COSMIC desktop a try instead.

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Apart from the default of crtl-shift-v you can customise both the gnome and kde terminal apps to support ctrl-v as paste. You need to do a little more work to support ctrl-c for copy.
I have the following in my .bash_profile to change to INT key from ctrl-c to ctrl-g and replace ctrl-v with ctrl-b.

if [ -t 1 ]
then
        stty lnext ^b intr ^g
fi

Also it helps to change the terminal configuration to run bash -l so that .bash_profile is always run once to setup your shell.

And, I think, all your problems with Gnome do not exist in KDE plasma.

I change the title to change Fedora to Gnome as that reflects this topic’s focus for others to find.

Hello everyone,

Thanks again for your great tips and advice. I’ve now installed KDE and I must say I’m absolutely thrilled. The interface is beautiful, fast, and user-friendly. However, I’ve noticed that I need to enable Flatpak first, which I don’t quite understand. Additionally, the screen brightness is not at its maximum after startup, so I have to adjust it manually. But these are just minor issues at a high level. I’ve now installed the system on my three computers and was finally able to free myself from Windows. Thanks again!

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