February 21, 2006 11:53 AM PST

GNOME sliding Linux onto business desktops

The next version of GNOME has been designed to make it easier for administrators to deploy the Linux desktop environment in enterprises.

GNOME 2.14, which is due for release on March 15, will include new administrator tools such as a profile manager and an editor to lock down PC functionality, developer Davyd Madeley wrote in an article posted on the GNOME project Web site last week.

Madeley explained in his blog that he wrote the article to "pimp the shiny features" in GNOME 2.14, although he cautioned that the details of what is included in the final version of 2.14 may change.

The profile manager, called Sabayon, enables administrators to make profiles for groups of users and to create default and mandatory settings for these groups.

The lock-down editor, called Pessulus, lets them disable certain functionality in the GNOME desktop. "This feature is useful in corporate environments and Internet cafes where users should not be allowed to edit panels, use the command line, etc.," Madeley wrote.

GNOME 2.14 should also offer "significant" performance increases due to a new memory allocator. The new allocator takes only two seconds to perform an operation that took the previous one 26 seconds, claimed Madeley.

Although GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) has a devoted following among the technical community, Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux, is not a fan of the desktop environment. Last year, Torvalds claimed that GNOME has been developed by "interface Nazis," and recommended that users switch to the rival desktop environment, KDE (K Desktop Environment).

Ingrid Marson reported for London-based ZDNet UK.

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7 comments

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It is odd....
That most enterprise DE's are gnome. Its not that I don't like gnome but I really thing that KDE would be an eaiser switch for more users.

As of late KDE has been kicking out some really decent applications and adding much needed fuctionality lacking in some of the more (at the time) *advanced* gtk apps. My only issue with kde is they sometimes have a handfull of KDE branded apps that do the same (example media players). If they could just focus on dev'ing one app pertask and then let the community worry about "3rd party" or forked projects, that would be great!
Posted by Atari05 (45 comments )
Reply Link Flag
KDE sometimes too cluttered
I find KDE and it's menus too cluttered and as you said there are too many apps included that do the same job. I believe it is a misconception that Gnome lacks some of the functionality of KDE. I will agree that the GUI has less options, but almost all of those are available in the CLI for those who are familiar with the commands. IMHO I like a lot of Gnome apps like Gnomebaker and Firefox better than K3db and Konqueror. Also the desktop is a little cleaner and themes ar easier to install on Gnome than KDE. The overall simplicity and professional look of Gnome is probally why enterprises are more likely to choose it over KDE. I am waiting for KDE 4.0 to come out because from what I understand they are adressing some of these issues with the clutter and are working on a cleaner easier to navigate DE.
Posted by mstlyevil (39 comments )
Link Flag
Can anybody spell s h i t?
Last time I tried it, GNOME was incredible pile of c r a p. Even Windows 95 user interface (original) is better designed. Looks like the folks are stuck in OpenWin epoch.

My favorite (mis)feature of both OpenWin and GNome: Click on a file name in the folder view and start typing (thit will initiate file name editing). There is NO WAY to cancel it and return to original name (especially if you clicked on a file by mistake and don't know what it was). Esc DOES NOT cancel it!
Posted by alegr (1590 comments )
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You haven't used GNOME recently.
It's obvious that you haven't used GNOME recently. I can undo file renames using ESC without any hassles.

I've running 2.12, and I've only been using Nautilus after a long hiatus, so I don't know how long this has been available.

But my experience has been constant improvement with each release of GNOME. You can snark like an idiot all you like. But the developers are already on the job.
Posted by eksortso (8 comments )
Link Flag
can you spell l i a r ?
i'm using the 6-revisions-old gnome 2.8 and it does exactly what you say it doesn't do: escape takes you out of the rename-mode immediately.

same thing on my other gnome 2.12 desktop.
Posted by CuriousMiguel (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
does the author have an axe to grind with GNOME?
quoting:

-- 'Madeley explained in his blog that he wrote the article to "pimp the shiny features" in GNOME 2.14'

why go out of your way to use the word "pimp" in this article?

-- 'The new allocator takes only two seconds to perform an operation that took the previous one 26 seconds, claimed Madeley.'

to the uninitiated, this makes it sound like typical desktop operations take 26 seconds on the current gnome desktop. the operation in question was a benchmark consisting of one million memory allocation operations. why not say "a recent benchmark shows the new allocator performing thirteen times faster than the previous one."?

-- 'Last year, Torvalds claimed that GNOME has been developed by "interface Nazis," and recommended that users switch to the rival desktop environment, KDE (K Desktop Environment).'

to be honest, despite the inflammatory nature of the sentence, i can't still decide whether it's relevant to this article or not :-)
Posted by CuriousMiguel (2 comments )
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