I’ve been using LXDE for a while now, because GNOME 3 ran like a total sloth on my computer when it had 512M of physical memory. Now that my computer has 1.5GB of memory, I decided to upgrade to GNOME 3.4/3.8 stuff in Debian.

Total failure.

GNOME session just refused to start at first. It helpfully said that something went wrong, which is very obvious but unfortunately not very good at telling what needs to be fixed.

Trying “Classic” gets me a desktop. Without a window manager. Or panels to launch apps with.

I proceeded to upgrade some libraries, and by golly, did that have a great effect. Now, the new GNOME desktop launches too, and gives me a desktop… without… a… window… manager… or… a… way to launch… apps… wait, have I seen this before?

Also, back on LXDE side where I keep debugging this stuff, it looks like the upgrade has done great things. GNOME Terminal didn’t work when I upgraded a huge swath of GNOME libraries. It just segfaulted. After I upgraded some more libraries, it behaves much better: it merely quietly closes down right after starting. …I had to switch to LXTerminal.

You know, this highlights some of the beefs I’ve always had with GNOME. It’s just not upgradeable. With every major version, the settings keep getting switched around and thus every major upgrade pretty much requires a reinstall of everything. Is GNOME’s target demographic the newbies who keep reinstalling their entire systems every time they hear of a new Linux distro?

I think I’ll stick with LXDE for time being. Even if it means having to put up with the single most buggiest file manager in existence.

(Update: Managed to fix the GNOME Terminal cop-out by upgrading a few more components, in particular the Clearlooks-Phenix theme. Which was cool, because Shotwell was crashing for the exact same reason, and if Shotwell would refuse to work, I’d frankly be in deep doodoo.)