Gnome is a problem for OEMs

Todd Slater dontodd at
Tue Apr 11 16:46:23 UTC 2006

On 4/11/06, Daniel Carrera <daniel.carrera at> wrote:
> Hello,
> I've spent all afternoon trying to figure out how I, as an OEM, can
> configure Gnome before giving it to a user. I just want to change some
> icons on the panel and maybe a menu entry.
> After exhaustive search, I can only conclude that there is no way to do
> this. You are stuck with what the Gnome developers think everyone in the
> world needs. You can't even add a new icon to the default panel. Every
> user must learn how to locate software on their own and add icons on
> their own, and if they don't like it, they can go use Windows.
> At this rate, I have serious doubts about Linux or Ubuntu being "ready
> for the desktop". I work for a very pro-FOSS OEM. We contribute heavily
> to open source projects. We are *trying* our darn best to give Ubuntu
> desktops to our customers. But Ubuntu/Gnome just don't give us any way
> to offer even the tiniest bit of configuration. So we'll have to keep
> selling Windows computers instead.
> The problem is not that Microsoft has a deal with us to block Linux,
> they don't. It's not that we don't know Linux, I've been using
> exclusively for 8 years. The first computer I owned ran Slackware Linux.
> The problem is that Gnome just doesn't give us any way to make any
> adaptations, no matter how small. The problem is that the damm thing
> just wasn't designed with an OEM in mind.
> Daniel.

Could you do something with the way new accounts are created? For example:

1. log in as regular user
2. configure to your heart's content
3. cp the files/directories with config settings to /etc/skel
4. create new user taking note of /etc/skel

I'd assume the new user would log in to find an identical desktop as the first.


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