I would like to use some of the GNOME 3 components (such as the panel and screensaver) without actually using gnome shell. (To be more specific, I switched to xmonad now.)

Is there a way to do that? Back in the old days, there used to be individual executables such as gnome-panel, that one could run independently. But I don't see those anymore.


1 Answer 1


You still can. But not to the same capacity as you used to. So many things, like GNOME Panel as you mentioned, have been wrapped up in GNOME shell; without the ability to remove them. The clearly standalone applications can still be used as such. Scrolling through the list on my Debian machine I saw many of them:

Calculator, games, GNOME Commander, Terminal, Maps, GTK mplayer, "Multi-Writer", music, accessibility (Orca), Paint, Power Manager (not sure if this one is standalone), PPP, RDP, Screensaver, GDM, Gsudo, Weather, GTK Network Manager front-end, gtk gVim.

That only scratches the surface. Browse around your distro's repositories or for source code to compile yourself.

  • Thanks for the answer; however, I need specifically those two components, not just any gnome programs. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 10:16
  • Ok, I misunderstood you. Gnome panel has been too integrated. Why it's even listed as a separate dependency for the shell is beyond me. You'll have to find an permanent alternative, unless the whole xmonad set up is satisfactory. Help with that might warrant a separate question. On the bright side I'm pretty sure the GNOME's screensaver will still work. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 10:28
  • How do I run gnome screensaver? Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 10:31
  • It would help if I knew what distro you were running. Obviously you'll need it installed. It should be as simple as running gnome-screensaver at startup, however you'd like to ensure that happens which will vary depending on DE and WM. I don't know about Xmonad, but there's probably some sort of autostart file. To edit preferences and such, gnome-screensaver-preferences should work. If for some reason it doesn't, there's probably some package somewhere that needs to be installed that I don't know about. gnome-settings-daemon might be helpful, and make sure you have dbus installed. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 10:42
  • I'm on Fedora. The thing is, I don't have gnome-screensaver anywhere in my path, although it must be installed, since it works under gnome on the same system. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 11:00

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