Desktop icons (for me pop_os, so gnome) and DING

For a seasoned Windows guy, switching to Linux, I feel that Gnome’s desktop is a step backwards.

  • Shortcuts to apps on the desktop are not practical. The locations are kept under the hood and managed by the Linux package manager. I need to use the gnome app dock and the applications panel only.
  • Shortcuts are soft links (kinda). One of Jays recent videos on links was quite instructive, and I learnt some useful things - thanks Jay.
  • [Firefox] Web page shortcuts, dragged from Firefox to the desktop, do not get a browser application icon. I can set it manually, but that’s making life hard.
  • The file explorer (nautilus I think) will allow me to create a link from a right-click on a file, which helps. The context of the linked file important, so once a file is placed it can’t be moved anywhere (not to a networked folder for other users to access for example).

So I think my expectations of Gnome desktop are all wrong. I should not try to use it like I would on the Windows desktop.

If you are in the ‘switching to linux’ forum you may have similar experiences? What do you think?

My experience was similar. The first time I used gnome(Fedora) I thought it was huge step back too. I ended up switching to KDE Plasma(Manjaro) and it felt familiar enough, that I was at least comfortable. After awhile, since I was having difficulty getting anything to work from the AUR, I decided to try pop os. This time I started learning and using keyboard shortcuts and started to take advantage of dynamic workspaces. Now I feel like I am infinitely more productive on gnome as a keyboard warrior. It’s not for everyone, but it sure does make you change your view on how things should work. I would explore the keyboard shortcuts. But, if you don’t like gnome, try installing plasma. It’s more like windows, than gnome, more customizable than anything else I have ever seen, and System76 has instructions on how to set it up. There are growing pains when switching to Linux or any other os, but learning is half the fun.

I forgot to add - DING (in the title) is ‘Desktop Icons Next Generation’, without which gnome desktop is fairly useless. See:

Some background on DING can be seen here: