GNOME tips

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Revision as of 11:17, 1 February 2007 by Xabbott (talk | contribs) (→‎See also: added link to Gnome Custom Menu Icon)
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Configuration Tips

Better Video Performance

This may only be on my computer which doesn't have a very good video card, but if when playing video you move the player window and a blue border appears around the video while it is moving, go to Desktop->Preferences->Multimedia Systems Selector, and under video change the "Default Sink" to "XWindows (No Xv)". When you click test, the blue border should be gone and on the whole, video should perform better.

Add/Edit GDM Sessions

To add or edit sessions to GDM: The GDM configuration file is located at /opt/gnome/etc/gdm/gdm.conf. The gdm.conf file links to the desktop/window manager sessions in the folder /etc/X11/sessions. The sessions are in the format *.desktop. To add a new session

  1. Copy an existing *.desktop file to use as a template for a new session:
cd /etc/X11/sessions
cp enlightenment.desktop waimea.desktop
  1. Modify the template *.desktop file to open the required window manager:
nano waimea.desktop

Alternatively, you can open the new session in KDM. This creates the *.desktop file. Then return to using GDM and the new session will be available.


If your gnome applications seem sluggish and gnome hangs at start-up after killing the previous session, it's likely you haven't set your /etc/hosts file correctly and enabled the loopback device. Make sure your /etc/rc.conf file includes:


if you have a router for your braodband connection then last line looks like:

INTERFACES=(lo eth0)

where "eth0" is the ethernet card connecting to your router.

and your /etc/hosts file includes:       localhostt.localdomain     localhost      YOURHOSTNAME

Then run "/bin/hostname YOURHOSTNAME" and "/usr/sbin/ifconfig lo up" as root.

also see [1]

Misc Tips

Screen Lock

  1. Insall xscreenserver
 pacman -S xscreensaver
  1. Go to Desktop -> Preferences -> Screensaver
  2. Enable one or more screensavers
  3. Lock Screen will now start your screensaver and require your password to stop it.

Nautilus Tips

Get a certain path in spatial view? Just type:

control + L

Change Browser Mode (Spatial View)

  1. Start gconf-editor
  2. Browse to apps/nautilus/preferences
  3. Change the value of "always_use_browser" (it's a yes/no value and should be visible as a checkbox or say "false", for the later change the value to "true")

Useful Addons


FAM allows gnome to do such useful things as automatically update the menu when new applications are installed, and refresh nautilus when a directory it is viewing is changed.

See Configuring FAM for instructions on how to install it.

Gnome System Monitor

This application appears when the "System Monitor" applet is clicked, and displays the processor/memory usage of all running applications. It is not installed be default in the gnome group, so you need to install it separately using:

pacman -Sy gnome-system-monitor

Other Applications

These are some other nice applications and utilities for gnome, most of which can be downloaded all at once with:

pacman -Sy gnome-extra


Always install this application before logging into gnome for the first time, or else you will not have a terminal application. comment: Unless you change the default Terminal it in System->Preferences->Preselected Programs


A text editor with syntax highlighting.


Eye-of-Gnome, a handy, fast little image viewer which can re-size and rotate photos.


An archive manager which supports many different formats. (Install unrar, unzip, ... to get the respective formats)


A calculator, what else?


A iTunes like audio library and player.


CD Ripper, integrates with rhythmbox.

If you're having problems with SoundJuicer , click here here)


A video player which uses gstreamer for decoding its input.


Photoshop for linux, only better and opensource. A must-have if you ever do anything with graphics.


An nice little FTP client for gnome.


A small, fast, .doc compatible word processor.


A very nice, excel like spreadsheet editor.

See also