Poll: GNOME Classic session in Silverblue

Hi everyone,

there was a request in the past that we should remove the GNOME Classic session from the Silverblue base image. Before doing so, we would like to know how many of our users are using it. Can you please vote? The poll will be closed on April 15. Thank you for participating!

Do you use the GNOME Classic session in Silverblue?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


I had to just try it out really quick on Silverblue F34 Beta. Not sure if it is anything I’ve done, but it is pretty useless here. Just the one panel at the top, I don’t know how to open anything with it. I thought there used to be an Applications menu and a panel at the bottom for windows/workspaces.

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There is GNOME Flashback which is a GTK3 Port for GNOME classic.

I would think that GNOME flashback would be a replacement for GNOME Classic in this case, because GNOME Flashback uses the GNOME Shell and other features including GTK3 to follow GNOME 3/40 desktop development. so it is clean and straight to the point. If you enjoy using GNOME Classic. You wouldnt mind the switch to GNOME Flashback

I’m all about simplification so I think that not supporting alternative sessions by default is great for the longterm life and focus of the project. Users interested in continuing to use older interface designs have the freedom to install any other desktop environment that covers this need or GNOME extensions to customize the default experience.

It’s great to see this efforts about focusing on a single, cohesive user experience, since the needs of users who want a GNOME 2 or WinXP like interface are already covered by other projects, and I think the goal of Fedora and Fedora Silverblue is big enough to also worry about older interface paradigms.

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GNOME Classic is really just a set of extensions, right? Can these extensions be enabled at a user level without having a special session type?

Classic mode is a set of extensions, a different theme, and a few other tweaks.
You can see the definition here:



It seems to be a bit more. There is also some styling and things like that. But yes, some extensions from fmuellner (fmuellner's Profile - GNOME Shell Extensions) are needed to allow a “classic” look in 3.38. Since gnome 40 looks totally different and is even closer to classic than 3.38, not sure if these will be updated in time and allow the same customization as previously.

BUT, even if gnome-classic is a thing for gnome40/fedora34+, there shouldn’t be any issue to install this via rpm-ostree on demand. I am not even sure, if gnome-classic has any advantage aside a classic look.

how much is classic session in disk space and rpms on an installed system?

I dont use it, but as silverblue is a different kettle of fish, before removing the option, it wouldbe useful to know how much space would be saved by removing it.

I doubt it would be a substantial saving.

what if we remove a lot of such not used really or/and things that duplicate other packages from the base install, plus in an immutable system, you have a few copies of your tree so bloat multiplies

It’s not much (maybe 2 MB in total or less, including dependencies). The bigger issue is, that it pulls in 4 additional gnome-extensions. These are also not large, but will be present, if the user does not decide to “override remove” them, including gnome-classic.

dump it.

i never use gnome classic & never will.

It’s actually just like 120 Kb as the extensions are mostly just short CSS and JS files. I honestly thought that it’s bigger and I’m skeptical whether it will make sense to actually differentiate from Workstation just because of these savings.

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Thanks everyone for participating! I’m actually quite positively surprised by the amount of votes! We will take the numbers into account, when we will do the decision. Once it’s done, I will let you know here.

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Please take into consideration that a lot of enterprise users (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) may be using the classic shell… and with toolbox now having RHEL and CentOS support, some developer workstations may be Fedora-based to have fasting moving parts for some end-user software.

For example, on Fedora, you can do:

toolbox create rhel83 -r 8.3 -d rhel

…and have a toolbox container based on the RHEL 8.3 UBI

While Fedora != Enterprise Linux, it’s probably a good idea to not have them diverge over 120 Kb of optional toggles, from an IT support point of view.

(Disclaimer: I don’t know if any organization is using Fedora as workstations along with with RHEL/CentOS as servers or workstations. It’s all hypothetical. But I have seen some blog posts where they achieved something similar because of interest in things like this, even before official RHEL UBI support landed in toolbox.)

Anyway, just saying popularity isn’t everything, and there may be a case for keeping the tiny files around on the base repo.

Yes, this is completely true and we are aware it. But thank you for raising it @garrett !

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