Difference between revisions of "GNOME/Flashback"

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You can also install the following packages which provide some additional applets for the GNOME Panel:
You can also install the following packages which provide some additional applets for the GNOME Panel:

Revision as of 17:02, 4 November 2013

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GNOME Flashback is a shell for GNOME 3 which was initially called GNOME fallback mode. The desktop layout and the underlying technology is similar to GNOME 2. It doesn't use 3D acceleration at all, so it's generally faster and consumes less CPU time than GNOME Shell with llvmpipe.

Warning: GNOME Flashback is not compatible with GNOME 3.10. See: [1]


GNOME Flashback can be installed with the package gnome-panelAUR, available in AUR. In order to login, you have to install the following packages as well:

You can also install the following packages which provide some additional applets for the GNOME Panel:

To get a complete desktop environment, it's recommended to install the gnome group which contains applications required for the standard GNOME experience.

Starting GNOME Flashback

Graphical log-in

Simply choose GNOME Flashback session from your favourite display manager.

Starting GNOME Flashback manually

If you prefer to start GNOME Flashback manually from the console, add the following line to your ~/.xinitrc file:

 exec gnome-session --session=gnome-flashback

After the exec command is placed, GNOME Flashback can be launched by typing startx. See xinitrc for details.


GNOME Flashback shares most of its settings with GNOME. See Customizing GNOME appearance for more details.

Customizing GNOME Panel

  • To configure the panel, hold down the Alt key, and right-click on it in an empty area.
  • To move an applet on the panel, hold down the Alt key, and grab it with middle-button.

Alternative window manager

You can use an alternative window manager with GNOME by creating two files:

Note: Xmonad is used as an example, but this works for other window managers.
[GNOME Session]
Name=GNOME xmonad
[Desktop Entry]
Name=GNOME xmonad
Comment=This session logs you into GNOME with the traditional panel
Exec=gnome-session --session=gnome-xmonad

The next time you log in, you should have the ability to choose GNOME xmonad as your session.

If there isn't a .desktop file for the window manager, you'll need to create one. Example for wmii:

[Desktop Entry]

For more information, see this article on running awesome as the window manager in GNOME.

User Switching with LightDM

To enable user switching in Gnome Flashback with LightDM users need to create a symlink:

# ln -s /usr/lib/lightdm/lightdm/gdmflexiserver /usr/local/bin/gdmflexiserver


Mouse cursor is not visible

When used with Gnome 3.10 the mouse cursor is not visible. To correct this, in the dconf editor expand: org/gnome/settings-daemon/plugins and click on cursor. Uncheck the box labeled active.

Network manager applet is not visible in the system tray

To fix this problem comment the following line: NotShowIn=KDE;GNOME;

in the file: /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop

so that it looks like this: # NotShowIn=KDE;GNOME;

Note: If you have KDE installed you may prefer to leave the line uncommented but remove the word GNOME from it to ensure the the applet is visible in Gnome Flashback but not in KDE.

Known issues

  • The mouse cursor is not visible.
  • Logout and shutdown is not possible.
  • The clock applet crashes when opening its settings.
  • The desktop background image sometimes blanked out.
  • The panel won't resized properly when the screen resolution changed.
  • Network manager applet is not visible in system tray.