In my last post, I reported that a Gnome2 fork, Mate, was available. I use Arch Linux so I followed the instructions here to add the custom repository. There is also source code available and packages are being built for Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora and Gentoo.
Downloading took a while. The server was somewhat slow, (slower than my Internet connection), and would drop the connection periodically. It wasn't too bad though. After running the command 4 times, I had it and the mate-applets package installed.
Next, I stopped TWM and ran mate-session. For some reason the process keeps stopping if run in the background. Most people would use a display manager and not notice the problem.
The resulting desktop looked exactly like Gnome2, and it felt good to be back :). I made the panels transparent, added a few applets and some panel shortcuts.
Then I tried to delete the default desktop icons with mate-conf-editor. However, I couldn't find a setting for it like the one in gconf-editor. Desktop icons have always bothered me for some reason. The same way that bugs on my windshield do. I guess I'll just have to overlook them for now.
I tried to change the default theme, but no more were available and the mate-themes package gave me errors. The background changed with no trouble though.
I also noticed that the eyes applet is missing and that the transparent/opaque bar under panel properties doesn't move.
Well, that's all there is to report for now. The issues I listed are minor and I'm sure will be fixed in the future. Live on Gnome2!
Here are some screenshots I took after installing the gnome-utils package: