Gnome 3 for all

Next-gen desktop environment now usable on older hardware.

Gnome Shell, the technology that Gnome 3 and subsequent versions of the desktop are built on. will now work on devices that don’t have support for hardware acceleration. This advance should bring to an end the frustrations felt by users of older or low-end machines who can’t try the latest graphical goodness enjoyed by the technologically better endowed.

The benefit that hardware acceleration brings is the ability to take processing load away from the CPU and put it through the graphics card, which is usually sitting idle, apart from the relatively light load of drawing the screen display. Hardware acceleration, then, is a way to get nice graphics without slowing down the rest of your system.

At least it is if it works. If you have an older machine, you’re probably more used to seeing Ubuntu’s Classic mode for Unity or Fedora’s Gnome 2 fallback option. Ubuntu has chosen to incorporate Gnome 2 into its latest releases for these who prefer it to Unity, but if Gnome 3 works across all devices, the fallback option probably won’t be included in Fedora. Adam Williamson. a Red Hat developer writing on the Fedora mailing list, said: “I expect that once most hardware that previously needed the fallback mode is covered, fallback mode will die. [As far as I understand it], fallback mode isn’t meant to be a Gnome 2 by stealth for Shell refuseniks, it’s purely an attempt to accommodate hardware which doesn’t support Shell.”

Source: Linux Format 2013

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