[arch-general] Tips for a stable GNOME Shell?

Bennett Piater bennett at piater.name
Wed Feb 7 08:06:21 UTC 2018

On 02/06/2018 11:08 PM, Giovanni Santini via arch-general wrote:
> Good evening,
> I am writing here since I do believe people here might have found
> solutions already to my problems.
> Sadly, I am the problem, as I love GNOME Shell (ops).
> Jokes aside, I love its interface and behaviour; although, it is really
> hard to use it on a real-context basis for me.
> What it happens is that if I execute RAM-consuming applications, GNOME
> Shell behaves really badly, swapping a lot with memory.
> The usual scenario is me trying to send some e-mails, while I have
> Visual Studio Code and Firefox for some coding; usually, this leads to
> huge slowdown, up to making the system unusable.
> This doesn't happen when using a GNOME-friendly i3 session, executing by
> far many more RAM-consuming applications (such as running Franz with
> multiple services, Telegram Desktop and others).
> I got some good boosts from the following actions:
> - Disabling almost all the Shell extensions, except for my 'essential' ones.
> - Using a X11 session instead of Wayland
> - Tweaking swap and VFS parameters (there is a web article referenced in
> the ArchWiki which is really good)
> So I have two questions:
> 1. Am I nuts? Did I do something really bad to my GNOME Shell without
> knowing that? How could I repair my setup?
> 2. If this is it (GNOME Shell is TOO heavy), is there any lightweight DE
> that offers something similar? I would need at least the search within
> apps and files for sure.
> Thanks in advance for replies and sorry for such a long message.

I think the only way to get a stable GNOME shell is to not use it.
Plasma is much lighter than it used to be, so maybe roll with that?
This is even more important on wayland because GNOME is also the Wayland
compositor there - if it crashes, it can't restart like on X, everything
And the stability of GNOME won't improve unless they address core
architecture issues, which will take years at best. So the only real
short/mid term solution for Wayland is Plasma (or Sway, if you are into


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