Gnome is a problem for OEMs

Roger Haxton rhaxton at
Tue Apr 11 17:50:46 UTC 2006


A couple of caveats to my replies.  I am running GNOME 2.12.2 on SuSE (I left 
my Ubuntu laptop at home today).  Therefore, I obviously haven't tested 
whether this works with Ubuntu.  But, memory says this is the way things 

On Tuesday April 11 2006 10:56, Daniel Carrera 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.
There are a couple of ways to go about adding an icon to the panel.  You can 
A) right click on an icon in the gnome menu and select add to panel.

B)  right click the panel and add either an application launcher from the menu 
or a custom application launcher.  

To add an applicaion to the GNOME menus isn't as straight forward, I'm afraid 
(although Dapper comes with a menu editor which I have not tested yet).  
Therefore the only way to add an application to the menu is to create the 
file yourself.  This (if I remember correctly), resides 
in /usr/share/applications although it could be 
in /usr/share/gnome/applications.  Use your favourite text editor to open a 
current .desktop file (OpenOffice, etc) and modify the path or just use it as 
a template for what needs to be there.  It will take some tinkering, but as 
an OEM, once you get it right, just copy them to a cd or network install 
location and script their placement once you have things the way you want 

> 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.

You're right, GNOME isn't designed with an OEM in mind.  Some days I doubt 
very much it was designed with the user in mind at all.  ;-)  I know the thing left a bad taste in your mouth for kubuntu, but I think 
kubuntu is a great distro and is what I normally use on a daily basis (which 
makes me feel dirty being an original GNOME lover.  ;-)) 

Anyway, hope some if this helps.

How do you explain school to a higher intelligence?
		-- Elliot, "E.T."

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list