Andrés Smerkin

Why not to make Gnome look like MacOS?


After a few years of actively using MacOS (and the entire ecosystem, including iPhone, iPad, AirPods, etc.) I came back to use Linux as my default system. I first installed Fedora on my main Desktop computer. I later installed Archlinux (my favorite) on another small PC I own. I still have all my Apple stuff, including a Macbook Pro 2020 with an m1 chip.

I switched to the Apple ecosystem around five years ago, and before, I had a couple years running Windows 7 and 8. Then a Macbook was given to me in the job I had back then. Honestly, I have to say that MacOS is fantastic. It is a very polished system that just works. In those 5 years, I barely did any maintenance to the Macbooks I used (despite that in 2020, I had a few issues, like a swollen battery, a charger issue, but those were just by use).

But before buying the last MacBook (the one with the m1 chip), I switched to Fedora in my main machine. Before all this change to proprietary software, I was using Archlinux with XFCE. I switched to this Desktop environment because I didn't like Gnome 3 when it was launched. XFCE worked pretty well for me, but this time I wanted something different. I found that Gnome Shell is now a very mature desktop environment that just works (like the Macbook). Fedora comes with Gnome out of the box, so I just used it.

The thing is: Gnome is super simple to use. You need just a few shortcuts to move around desktops, open apps, navigate through them, etc. The aspect is excellent, and it is super easy to use. But I see a bunch of guys posting tutorials on the internet about making Gnome look like macOS Big Sur, and I think, "This doesn't make any sense." Trying to make Gnome be like Bigsur is nonsense because both desktops are meant to be used differently. And I think Gnome does it great, primarily when you work using shortcuts.

Please, understand me. Apple did it great, and MacOS works perfectly for people that use the keyboard to access features, but so does Gnome, so there is no point in making one look like the other. I think it is more beneficial to learn to use them rather than convert one desktop environment to another.

So my conclusion here is that instead of customizing Gnome to look like Big Sur, you should put that effort into learning how to squeeze Gnome to get the most of it. It works really great, it is super simple to use, and, in my opinion, the workflow is way faster than macOS.