Instabilities after Gnome Tweaks and Chromium

Oh dear. Zorin ‘broke’ again. It seems to make it two weeks and then POOF.

I define a ‘break’ as something that requires a re-install. Despite all the baloney this Windows 10 user puts up with – I’ve never had to reinstall. And I did have to do that with Macs back in the day.

If I had to guess what was what there are two possibiities –

  1. I’ve been Gnome Tweaking it up – but there’s a sense that Zorin Settings and Gnome Settings aren’t happy to share the same set of toys. Even when I uninstalled Tweaks it didn’t undo all that I changed. Eeek.

  2. All my pinned Chromium apps suddenly left the panel. And they weren’t able to be re-pinned.

The only distro I’m going to stick with is one that doesn’t break every few weeks. And I’m doing so little on this Mini PC it’s shocking. I can’t imagine going daily driver. And I was this close.

Like I said, DANG.

Would you be willing to share the specific steps on how you installed Gnome Tweaks and Chromium (including the uninstalling, pinning, any other details)? It may be useful to others.

I’m not really a fan of Gnome either which is why I go for the Zorin Lite version with XFCE. Though XFCE is not perfect, it is simple and easy to work with. I would give that a shot before completely throwing in the towel. :slight_smile:

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I installed Chrom and GnomeTweaks via the Software store.

Pinning apps in Chromium kinda stinks. It doesn't behave the way it's supposed to, which right there may be the issue. In Windows you go to MORE TOOLS > CREATE SHORTCUT and it drops, say, your Gmail page as a 'app' on the desktop, with the Gmail logo. Double click it, it opens in the 'dock/panel', keep it there, you're all set.

In Linux Chromium it leaves a sort of text file thing on the desktop. You then must click it and it asks if I trust this 'app'. I say yes and must kinda make another web app. So now there's two on the desktop. You click that one and, get this, it opens two in the 'dock'. The second one is pinnable. It's a complete fiasco of a process, not Zorin's fault cause it does the same Ubuntu Mate.

If you install Chrome itself it works a little better, but as I've indicated in a post somewhere around here this should be a native feature to freaky-deeky FireFox. How hard can it be to create an 'app' shell for a webpage and make it a 'fake' app? Google is barely pulling it off themselves -- there's room for competition from FF.

Thanks. What were the OS problems that led to the need to reinstall it? Seems like you were pointing at Tweaks?

You can install Chrome, I mean literal Windows Chrome in there. And yes, Chromium stinks.

Well Tweaks was allowing me to have a 'dock' of sorts and a top bar, with the date centered. Tweaks also gave me some extensions to plug in. But I think between Gnome Tweaks, Gnome extensions, Zorin Appearance, and Settings... lots of toes being stepped on.

When I began to fear GnomeTweaks was causing issues, I figured, hey, I'll just uninstall it. Naive perhaps. It left the top bar it created, which wasn't quite possible in Zorin. At that point I started to realize it was broken again.


Gotcha. Sorry to hear about that. Did you use Synaptic for uninstalling? If not, you can consider that for the future and it should mitigate uninstallation issues.

Hi JohnnyHart, This is where Zorin have tweaked Gnome - to get the Windows 7 look they disable that top Panel which is an inherent ‘traditional’ Gnome DE. I always leave off the following from Gnome Tweaks:
System, Places, Top Panel. I seem to remember that activating one or other of System/Places can sometimes lead to the top bar appearing. It could well be that there has been a ‘Gnome’ update through the backdoor that screwed the Zorin desktop up. :wink:

I can’t double check that for now as I am in FerenOS.

I did not. And get you now.

Carmar -- I have a 101 related Linux Question --

Why aren't Linux installs handled 'the normal way'?

The more I think about it the more I'm confused at how and why Linux chooses to include apps in their install but adding or subtracting them is a particularly complicated.

I don't wish to have a debate on whether or not it's complicated. It just is. I'm asking why is it this way?

Is it because of the various Linux distros? That there isn't simply a Linux version of Chrome but various versions? So that if you're in, say Debian you can't simply update your Firefox because it may not support Debian?

I can compare only to Windows, as Zorin is the only Linux distro I have used.
The “What’s a Package?” section here does a good job of summarizing the differences.

Why would you use GNOME Tweaks in Zorin in the first place? The devs have customized GNOME so heavily to produce a Windows-like UI that there's no point to using GNOME Tweaks in the first place. It's designed to adjust user interface elements that don't exist in Zorin's heavily-modified version of GNOME.

Anyway, to answer your question about why Linux installs packages the way it does, it's because of a few factors:

Almost all the code in Linux, and in the applications that run on Linux, is open-source and therefore reusable by anyone. There's no point installing multiple copies of libraries for different apps when they can all just use a single copy of the library. This saves disk space and allows updates to individual libraries to benefit multiple apps at once. One side effect of this is the libraries are stored in separate packages, and you need a package manager to keep track of which packages are required when you install a new app.

Also, Linux was developed to be UNIX-like, and UNIX was developed back in the 1960s when most computers were mainframes and they communicated with each other using private telephone lines. Code could be downloaded from one mainframe to another and compiled with optimizations to suit the hardware that each mainframe was built with. UNIX, BSD, and Linux keep this paradigm to this day, with apps and the libraries they require being stored in repositories (what Microsoft and Apple call "App Stores") and downloaded on demand, rather than requiring you to scour the open web to find the app you want.

Installing, removing, and updating apps is actually very easy, you just have to get used to the idea that you don't do it manually like you would on Windows or MacOS -- you ask the package manager to do it for you.

Gnome-tweaks works just fine in Zorin OS 16. It also is very useful for governing the myriad of gnome-extensions.

That said.. Zorin OS is not Elementary OS. Customization is part of user enjoyment, workflow and productivity and personalization.
While the ZorinGroup has gone to a lot of work to set up the Desktop to create an atmosphere conducive to their goal - any user may expand, learn, grow and modify to suit their needs. And their wants.

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Clearly GNOME Tweaks doesn't work just fine if he broke his OS by applying too many tweaks. My general approach to UI modifications is to only make them if the stock UI is unworkable, rather than making modifications for my own amusement. That's because aesthetic modifications tend to get trashed by future updates, no matter how much effort may be expended to accommodate them. The OP has discovered this for himself. I wonder if he's even still using Zorin all these months later?

Stock GNOME 3 and 4 have major design flaws for desktop use (maybe not so much for touchscreen tablet use), and when using stock GNOME 3 and 4 I have a standard set of modifications I make to fix those design flaws. But Zorin's selections of stock UIs are so well polished I see no need to make adjustments; minor differences between my expectations and the developers' decisions are easy for me to accommodate.

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I am stubborn. The more breakage Gnome introduces to my custom themes, the heavier and harder I fix them.
I make XFCE, Mate, Cinnamon.... But I will never make a Gnome-Shell Theme again.
Sadly, I think gtk4 may be a much harder roadblock for me to hurdle...

I've been writing code for a living for the past 15 years or so. I don't have the spare brainpower to write code for fun anymore. (I tinker with different things nowadays.) Maybe someday. But even at that point in the future, it would be a waste of my time to fight against an unstoppable force like a development team who builds a UI for millions of people and clearly believes they know better than their users. KDE and XFCE do what I want, and I can make stock GNOME livable with a few tweaks, but if those tweaks break in the future then I have no qualms about giving up on GNOME entirely.

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My own view on this and on Gnome, which as an organization tried to pull out of the Gnu License agreement as they felt it inhibited their goals... Is that complacency and allowing Gnome to push its way onto the users is part of the problem.
Where is killhellokitty?
Many themers vanished with the Breakage-Fiasco of gtk3 up until 3.20
Gnome won.

I came in after all that was done. I arrived at the scene, too late. The accident had been cleared, the cars were moving again...
Lamenting the loss was not good enough for me.
I, undoubtedly, will lose, too.

But the fight's not over, yet...

And I won't lose until I can raise my hand no more.

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From what I can tell, GNOME has a dedicated userbase because it was the first "nice" (EDIT: and completely open-source) desktop environment to come on the scene after Linux started supporting graphical UIs. KDE has always looked nicer to me, but it was a lot heavier and tended to bog down a lot more in the days when you couldn't buy server-grade processing power at Walmart. I can only wonder how much longer GNOME will be able to ride on the goodwill of that dedicated userbase.

It's good that you also expend effort building themes for desktop environments that treat their users as customers rather than children. It means you will never entirely lose, even if your GNOME-related efforts end up proving futile in the end.

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And marketing. Most tech-articles neglect to inform about Gnome function removals and shortcomings, singing only its praises in lofty voices on high.

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