Is gnome on dom0 possible?

Does anybody know whether it’s possible to run gnome as my primary desktop environment? I couldn’t find anything on this besides

For a long time there has been the intention to move to gnome due to its user-friendiness:

The desktop GUIs that QubesOS versions 1 - 3.1 offer are KDE and Xfce. We are currently migrating towards using GNOME. We know some people prefer KDE, but we believe Gnome is easier to use for average non-technical users. Xfce will always be supported, and technical users will always have the choice to use KDE or other desktop environments. (source)

So that should be comforting to hear. However, that intention is limited by the technical challenge of actually modifying gnome to support Qubes (specifically the colored borders). As far as I’m aware all the progress made in that direction has been made mainly by external contributors on their free time and all of that is documented in the GitHub issue you mentioned.

Currently there is quite a big bounty to be given to whoever manages to implement said functionality.

Last but not least, a student recently showed interested in working on this for Google Summer of Code. So assuming he/she is the selected candidate for mentionship, that project may move forward:


That sounds very promising! I’ll be looking forward to potentially beta-testing gnome on dom0 :smiley:


I can’t wait for Gnome in dom0 especially the ability to press “Super” key and see all the open windows. Would be great if anyone know how to implement that in xfce environment in dom0.

There is a tool called Skippy-XD that does what you want, but
unfortunately it’s not available from the standard repo. So you would
have to build it yourself preferably in a Fedora-25 qube and then move
it to dom0.

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Oh jeeze… @Demi should really not see this thread. :see_no_evil:

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Well yeah, thank you @ninavizz for summoning a core team member. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Let me be clear:

  1. XFCE does not have this ability

  2. Skippy-XD is not available from a trusted source (Fedora project) and if you audit/build it yourself it’s all on you. So: bad idea. Don’t do it.

  3. If you really need this function in your life now, install KDE (see @unman’s post)

@Demi: I repent!

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Didn’t so much summon Demi as a core team member; more, that she’s had her head wrapped around getting to the bottom of this, for some time. Kierkegaard is about the only source she has not yet consulted on the topic, if I’m being completely honest. :wink:

I’ve been advocating for GNOME based on what I know of its UX patterns, having only looked at online static reference material, read posts on their user research and design efforts, etc. I have a Linux laptop, finally, and have yet to find the time to commit to properly messing around with GNOME against KDE to see for myself what the UX superiority delta really is.

That said, Demi has also made it pretty clear that GNOME would be a not-insignificant amount of work for Qubes OS Project to maintain, for lots of reasons—most having to do with security, hypervisor, or window coloring needs. Project sustainability also matters, and it well could be cheaper for Qubes OS Project to fork KDE and customize-in the consistency/usability stuff I’ve been hoping to get from GNOME. Until Qubes OS finds its multi-million dollar benefactor, Qubes gotta prioritize sustainability things, meethinks, above all else.