They Weren't Kidding... Gnome OS is Underway!

Unlike with MS Windows or Mac OSX, even from the beginning GNU/Linux is (or "was" :) ) a somewhat "scattered" operating system. I mean, while a community of programmers design the Kernel others are busy building a desktop environment and lot of others are developing individual applications of their own which is something totally different from MS Windows, etc since all the parts of their operating system is being built by the same "people".

So basically, we don't have a KDE OS or a Gnome OS (not until now). We have distributions where group of individuals "collects" these Kernels and desktop designs (built using various toolkits such as Qt or GTK, etc) and various other applications such as office packages, multimedia utilities, etc and "merge" them together, the end result is a complete operating system.

Few months ago, Jon McCann (a serious Gnome contributor) started a little "buzz" within the community saying the need for an operating system which is developed/distributed/maintained directly by the Gnome developers!. It's called Gnome OS. He gave his "reasons" by saying few interesting things...
"We are dividing and conquering ourselves – lost before we begin.  Are we so hungry and desperate that we must devour each other in order to survive?  I hope not.  These tribal distribution boundaries are guarded jealously and they fight over the smallest (one) percentage of the market and mindshare.

I think it is time we reunite.

If we want to change the game, think big, and demonstrate that we can truly be relevant – we need to work together... we need to start at the source. We need to start with GNOME."
This is understandable from my personal experience actually. Because I come from a country where not that long ago two tribes fought viciously with each other, killing thousands of their fellow humans. When the war was going on, the people on those tribes worked together (within their tribe, of course). They were busy fighting the common enemy, thus there were less "space" for individual "greed".

The war was "ended" recently. Now we're busy building an economy, yet we find it easier to fight with everyone and it has nothing to do with what side you're in, anymore.

Back to the story....

Anyhow, when I first heard Jon talking about it for the first time, I actually didn't think it'll be developing at this "rate" :). For a start, now they have an OS whiteboard which describes various aspects of this Gnome OS such as ...

OS booting process and Login screen. 

The official booting logo is still developing at the moment, so there's nothing much to talk about right now. But they're planning on implementing a logo of their own using the Playmouth utility (an application that's written to display graphical logo/backgrounds at the early stage of the boot process).

They certainly won't be giving us a pure Black background by saying that...
"Background cannot be pure black (#000) due to the way monitors align video images. However, #080808 for example is OK."
By default it'll be running at a resolution of 800x600 in your Monitor.

Log-in Screen

They use GDM (it's actually John who's the current maintainer and the creator of GDM) for the log-in process... and they've released few screenshots of how it looks, well, it looks like Gnome3 :). See below picture.

At the moment it seems that we cannot change the Keyboard Layouts at this GDM log-in screen, but I think that will most definitely change.

A GTK3 Written installation Wizard

This is still at its very beginning. But again, looks good. For instance, I don't like that welcome screen which displays "Gnome3, it's here!", because it's been "here" for sometime now. So, hopefully it'll change. For a good OS installer... this Gnome OS wizard seems to have it all.

Starting with Hardware detection, disk partitioning to install/upgrade your system, it looks simple... but looks good. Again, without seeing it for real, it might be a mistake to praise much at this point :).

Have a look at the below screenshots to understand it better.

Click to enlarge...

Post OS installation...

Well, like with many other distributions, Gnome OS will also have a post OS installation wizard that would help you to setup things like your Clock/Regional settings, setup networks, create a fresh user account, etc.

It'll also come with a screen locking feature and an on screen keyboard as well.

If must, it'll Die with Dignity! ;-)

If it's confronted by "evil" and crashed the entire OS or a part of it, then Gnome OS will do its best to give the users the ability to file a decent bug report which would help programmers to understand about the technical attributes of the problem. They've "divided" the OS into five different layers, which would make it easy to file bug reports and enhance stability in general as well.

Here are the five main "layers" - Application, System, OS Shell, OS Core Services and the Kernel itself. According to the bug reporting whiteboard...
"In general, the handling of each type of trouble should be handled by the layer above it. Application problems should be handled by the Shell. Shell problems handled by Core Services (probably GDM or plymouth). And kernel failures by the boot system. And boot system failures by the firmware."
It has a simple bug reporting (GUI) tool, which again would change its "options" as time passes by.

OS Updates

This is one of the most important aspects of an operating system which helps to "patch" bugs and get latest features which again helps tremendously to fight against computer viruses/hacker attacks, etc. Again, the update wizard should be quite simple because I don't think most users even read if it consists of "all-technical" type attributes.

So, it should be informative, in a more intuitive way (you know, stimulating a little fear through our backs :D )  to the point of "forcing" the user (in a good way :P) to get the updates, if those updates are that serious. Anyway, it's too early to form an opinion about it... yet when considering its fast approach, heck, I think we should see its official release sooner that anyone would've expected it.

You can get updated information about it from this official Gnome OS-Design Whiteboards page.

Any thoughts about this Gnome OS??.


Anonymous said...

my .. my ... no wonder ...

Gayan said...


lol! :D...

Stian said...

I don't just want this, I need it!

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