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Gnome not as unconfigurable as rumoured

Posted 10-06-2008 at 08:21 AM by trevorparsons

I have KDE on my desktop machine at home, but I run Ubuntu (Gnome) on my eeepc. The latter choice is partly because Ubuntu/Gnome looks pretty good on the eee's small screen and is well supported by Adam McDaniel's eeepc optimised kernel and hacks, and partly because it's useful for when someone calls up with a question about an Ubuntu system I've installed for them.

Gnome took the decision to simplify its interface some time back, creating an impression that it's much less configurable than KDE. In fact, Gnome offers a lot of configurability, but you have to know how to access it.

The key to tweaking, I've recently discovered, is the Gnome Configuration Editor, which you can fire up by typing alt-F2 for the 'Run Application' dialogue, into which you type 'gconf-editor' and press enter.

To save precious screen space on my eeepc, I set the bottom panel to autohide, using the panel properties dialogue. But by default there's a half-second delay on both hiding and unhiding, which feels very slow.

To fix this, in the Configuration Editor I went to apps > panel > toplevels > bottom_panel_screen0, and then in the Name/Value section I changed the values for both the hide_delay and unhide_delay keys from the default 500 to a much lower value. Quit and done.
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