What is GNOME?
The GNOME Desktop is an attractive and useful desktop environment. GNOME is both free and one of the most widely used desktop environments on the GNU/Linux operating system.
GNOME in Debian
DebianBuster includes GNOME 3.30.
DebianStretch includes GNOME 3.22.
DebianJessie includes GNOME 3.14.
DebianWheezy includes GNOME 3.4.
DebianSqueeze includes GNOME 2.30.
DebianBullseye is likely to include GNOME 3.38.
For the development distributions DebianUnstable/DebianTesting, please refer to the versions of the individual upstream packages, such as gnome-shell. During transitions between versions, the GNOME packages are not necessarily all at the same version.
The meta-gnome3 metapackage is not a good indication of the version of the overall desktop, particularly in development distributions.
There are four options to install GNOME in Debian:
How to install
GNOME desktop task
tasksel see below
Debian's selection of applications
The full GNOME environment, including applications that are not officially part of the Upstream GNOME releases.
GNOME (core only)
Only the official “core” modules of the GNOME desktop. Above packages depend on this one.
Watch out recommended packages (i.e. packages dependencies) !
(you might or might not want to install them).
gnome-core-devel - The development packages to compile GNOME dependent packages from source.
gnome-devel - A full development suite for developing GNOME-based applications.
gnome-api-docs - The complete API documentation for all GNOME libraries
Installing "GNOME Desktop" task
The GNOME Desktop task is what is installed by Debian-Installer's Desktop "task" (unless you picked another DesktopEnvironment!).
You can install it manually using apt:
# apt-get install task-gnome-desktop
Most configuration of the GNOME desktop is done via its various GUI utilities. The location of these varies depending on version, but common utilities include networking, themes, sounds and much more. It is also possible to configure (read/write) settings using the command line with gsettings(1).
Change cursor theme
Using GNOME on Xorg, it is possible to change the cursor theme by executing
# update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme
Improve animations on AMD CPU systems (and some others)
Although Gnome developers are working to improve the situation, as of Gnome 3.30 animations are still heavily reliant on a single thread processed by the CPU.
The default CPUFreq scaling governor (Ondemand) which is used by AMD CPUs, older Intel CPUs, and many other CPUs, drops core frequency significantly between each animation frame (the issue is amplified by the nature of Gnome's engine only rendering frames as required) and this can result in jolty/laggy/slow animations. If you are experiencing this you may find the situation can be greatly improved by adjusting Ondemand's "sampling_down_factor" setting.
You can test if this improves animation smoothness on your system by executing the following command:
# echo -n 50 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_down_factor
If you see an improvement and would like to make the setting persistent through reboots you can install sysfsutils:
# apt install sysfsutils
Then create the file /etc/sysfs.d/ondemand.conf and place inside the following:
devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_down_factor = 50
Note: This tweak can result in a minuscule increase to your CPU's power consumption and heat generation.
https://www.gnome.org The GNOME Website
https://www.gnome.org/news/ GNOME News
https://extensions.gnome.org/ GNOME Extensions
https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps GNOME Applications
https://wiki.gnome.org/Gnome3CheatSheet GNOME Cheatsheet
https://wiki.gnome.org/ GNOME wiki page
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GNOME GNOME on Arch Linux wiki
About GNOME for Debian:
Teams/DebianGnome Debian GNOME Packaging
https://people.debian.org/~fpeters/gnome/debian-gnome-3.30-status.html Status of GNOME 3.30 in Debian (buster, current stable)
https://people.debian.org/~fpeters/gnome/debian-gnome-3.38-status.html Status of GNOME 3.38 in Debian (testing/unstable/experimental)
https://lists.debian.org/debian-gtk-gnome/ Debian / GNOME Mailing list
#debian-gnome IRC channel