Fallback Mode

03/12/2012 § Leave a comment

I don’t know why I’m so married to the Gnome desktop. I should trip down Torvalds’ route and use Xfce. This latest questioning of my desktop philosophy comes from the latest X11 update I recieved from the update gods at ???, I’not exactly WHO is in charge of updating each of the particular forks of the various components that congeal to create Mint Lisa. At least I assume an update caused my latest hassle.
As I remarked previously I like to have my desktop a certain way, chief among these preferences is the ability to have my X output on a large Vizio LCD. If I cant have that I have nothing. Well, last night I received another update and blithely accepted it. Today, after I powered back up my precious display settings were munged. I tried to get back to where I wanted to be but I had the same problem that I had with Oneiric, I could not set the display up on the Vizio and turn off the netbook’s LCD, OR make the Vizio my main display. Obviously the X server code itself has gone through some kind of change. Frustratingly I searched for a solution and thought briefly about switching again, hopefully for good, to Kbuntu, or trying out Xfce, or some other desktop.
Then I ran accross some mention of Gnome Fallback Mode.
But my settings applet doesn’t have the Forced Fallback Mode switch.
Not to fear: one more duckie search and I found a Gsettings tweak that did the job; in a terminal enter this:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.session session-name 'gnome-fallback'
then log out, and when you’re back in you should see your applet panel and system menu in whatever you have set as your main display. I’m saved from the pain of being a Gnome refugee one more time. This is probably all I needed to do with Ubuntu Oneric. Now I need to add this to the lengthy list of post installation procedures the next time I need to install/upgrade/shoot my netbook.
This solves my immediate UI problem, for now. But on the development front I’m still having problems building some apps from source. For example I’m trying to learn how to use DBus, and since my preferred language is C++ I’m trying to learn libdbus-c++. It took a considerable amount of time to figure out that this needed to be my replacement for GConf. First I thought it was supposed to be XConf. Ok, I understand things change. But this is on top of problems I’m having building GTKMM 3.0 example programs, and I’m afraid of tinkering too much with my system for fear of breaking things. I’ll need to do my development with the old 2.x kit until things settle down with later releases of Mint. I’m hopeful that later Mint releases will have all this sorted out. This is a real problem, unless Gnome and Ubuntu (as separate, but related issues of concurrency) care to compete with RedHat and KDE, Xfce, etc.

Of course situations like this are part of the price of admission for the joy of running open source software. But I’m not alone. its very easy to find many users who aen’t happy with the current state of affairs in Gnomeland and these Debian forks of Linux.

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