Gnome-Pie 0.5 0.5.1!

Gnome-Pie 0.5 features Slice labels!

An updated version of Gnome-Pie is now available! It does not change a lot, like the the last release did, but some remarkable additions are available!

The most important step (You requested it, I implemented it!): Slice labels! As seen in the screen shot above, a caption for each Slice can be displayed now! The makes the Slices much easier to navigate through and more discoverable. The appearance of these labels depends on the currently used theme. With the glossy theme it looks as follows.

The appearance of the Slice labels depends on the current theme.

Whether these labels are shown, can be set in the preferences dialog. There’s a new check-box! Go ahead, and check it out:

The Slice labels may be activated in the settings menu.

Furthermore I used the opportunity of having Slice labels to create a new theme! This theme may be not the most accessible (I know) but at least it’s very stylish! Here’s a screen shot.

A new theme is included as well!

What else has been done?

  • A subtle wobble-effect has been added to all themes. This effect makes inactive Slices move a little while moving the mouse. The active Slice is magnified a little bit, all others are a bit smaller. This is very easy on the eyes, looks less static and improves the overall user experience. It feels a bit more organic.
  • Gnome-Pie creates now two log-files while running. The first logs all errors and warnings, hopefully it’ll make debugging easier. The second stores some usage statistics. It seems like I’ll write my Bachelor-Thesis on pie menus, so these statistics may be very useful to improve Gnome-Pie in future releases! When I’ll need some Information, I’ll send a request… More on this topic will follow in a separate post!
  • Sub-pies are now opened at their parent’s location. The makes navigating through sub-pies much easier. You won’t get the problem of moving towards the screen’s edge anymore!
  • Slices, which open another pie have a little arrow in front of their name, indicating that’s just a link but no final action.
  • The about-window now supports unicode characters.

0.5.1 update!

Some bugs were reported, so here’s a little update:

  • Fixed wrong preview for minimalistic text theme
  • Fixed pies opening at opposite screen side when activating a sub pie for the first time
  • Fixed not-clickable trigger-select-button in preferences menu

I need your help!

And again: I’would be very happy to improve Gnome-Pie with your help!

Translate Gnome-Pie!

This is really easy: There is an easy-to-follow step-by-step-guide available!

Create Themes for Gnome-Pie!

If you have some ideas on how Gnome-Pie should look: There is an comprehensive guide as well.

Code for Gnome-Pie!

If you know Vala or are willing to learn (it’s incredibly easy, like C# — you’ll love this language if you happen to know C++ or Java), you may check the issues at Or you may introduce a total new feature you always wanted in Gnome-Pie!


You can also help improving this software by buying some drinks for a poor student! You can do this with Flattr or by donating via PayPal. If you happen to dislike PayPal, send a mail to and we can chat about this!


I hope you like these changes; some translations a re still missing, but they’ll become updated in the next weeks. Drop your opinion in the comments! Please report any bugs you find as soon as possible.

49 Responses

  1. Diogo Almeida says:

    I really enjoy the new wobble effect, but I must say that the slice labels only work well with pies that don’t have many icons in it, otherwise it looks clunky. But well, since I can disable it, no harm done :) . I found a bug, though (and I will report it appropriately): when clicking on a slice that opens a subpie the pie appears on the other side of the screen, and only then starts behaving as you intended. Keep up the good work!

      • DarylO says:

        Since I cannot get into the General Settings because GNOME Pie crashes on me when it does, how do I choose the wobble effect in the configuration file?

        • Simon says:

          The wobble effect can’t be disabled. You’ll see it with certain themes; only Unity, Bright and Adwaita don’t make unse of it. All other themes (Try O-Pie, or Funky) are wobbling ;)

  2. r_user says:

    Hi Simon
    First, you are making a great job with gnome-pie.

    Second, I think it would be awesome if you would add you eyecandy skills to modifying and transforming VLC media player’s default skin for Ubuntu, you would become a community hero.

    Some guys added a new Mac skin for VLC (only on Mac) which looks great compared to Ubuntu’s, I personally think you would do a better job.

  3. Pingback: Gnome-Pie 0.5 – Um laucher fantástico para o Gnome | oAlleluia

  4. DarylO says:

    My Gnome Pie installation is all screwed up now. I’ve uninstalled it and re-installed via Synaptic, and it still says that it’s version 0.4.2, although Synaptic clearly states that it’s the newer one. The only thing that is different now is that I have these ugly boxes over the icons that are apparently where the labels are supposed to be. It’s almost as if I have parts of both versions now. It still crashes, by the way, when I attempt to open up the General Settings.

    • Simon says:

      Uhm.. did you install it from source once? Then there might be some conflicts… Maybe you should uninstall it and check whether there are still files left in /usr/share/gnome-pie or /usr/local/share/gnome-pie and delete them!

      It sounds like you’re launching an old version (maybe installed locally?) which the finds the new themes…

      • DarylO says:

        I had installed it through the PPA. I uninstalled it again but this time removed the folders that were left behind. I then re-installed it, but ‘About’ still says it’s the old version, and clicking on “General Settings” crashes the program, as before. Is it possible that your PPA is bad?

        • DarylO says:

          I uninstalled it once again but this time installed it from source. I finally was able to get the right version to install. It still crashes, however, when I select “General Settings”, so I had to edit the configuration file to remove the icon labels.

          Here’s my terminal readout:

          [MESSAGE] Welcome to Gnome-Pie 0.5.1!
          [MESSAGE] Loading Pies from “/home/darylo/.config/gnome-pie/pies.conf”.
          [WARNING] Error stating file ‘/media/WIN7/Documents and Settings/Owner/Documents/My Music’: No such file or directory
          [WARNING] Error stating file ‘/media/WIN7/Documents and Settings/Owner/Documents’: No such file or directory
          [WARNING] Error stating file ‘/media/WIN7/Documents and Settings/Owner/Pictures’: No such file or directory
          [WARNING] Icon “window-manager” not found! Using default icon…
          [MESSAGE] Started happily…
          Assertion ‘pthread_setspecific(t->key, userdata) == 0′ failed at pulsecore/thread-posix.c:247, function pa_tls_set(). Aborting.

          I see that the crash bug isn’t the only bug that remains … why does it keep on trying to launch files from my Windows 7 directory? I don’t get it….

          • Simon says:

            These Win7 errors are ok, I think. When Gnome-Pie creates the bookmarks pie, it checks all your bookmarked folders, and something seems to be wrong with these bookmarks, maybe the referenced directories don’t exist anymore.

            The main problem is pthread_setspecific but I still don’t have an idea what it could be. Yesterday I tried Ubuntu 12.04 live and there I had the same problem! So maybe I can fix it…

          • Simon says:

            This is no problem. That’s just indicating that your current icon theme has no icon named “window-manager”. So Gnome-Pie will use a default icon instead of this icon.

          • Simon says:

            What do you mean? A window manager is a tool which manages nd draws your windows, like compiz or mutter. Gnome-Pie uses this icon for the window list Slice group. (The ALT-Tab replacement)

          • DarylO says:

            I know what a window manager is; I just don’t understand why it would need an icon and where GNOME Pie uses it. ALT-TAB cycles through open applications, and that’s not what your window list slice does.

          • Simon says:

            Well, of course it does. In a Pie-ish manner, but it does. So please have a look at your icon theme… which fits better in your opinion to describe this slice group?

        • DarylO says:

          Simon, your window slice does not do the same thing as ALT-TAB. The window slice has only application-specific buttons … close, minimise, maximise, restore. Where are the icons for the open applications when one selects the window slice? Is there something wrong with my installation?

          • Simon says:

            We’re talking on different things: In order to see what I mean, create a new Pie and add the Window-List Slice group to it.

          • Simon says:

            Hey DarylO! Last but not least… At least for me, I fixed both errors, the crash mentioned above and this GLib pthread_specific thingy.

            It would be cool, if you could compile Gnome-Pie from source and check whether this fix works for you as well!

            EDIT: There were many other bugs as well, so I updated the PPA. You can check whether it works there! No need to compile it yourself!

          • DarylO says:

            I had to compile from source because once again, the PPA would not work. I’ve verified that I’m running 0.5.2 but I’m still having the same issues. Here’s the terminal readout when I attempt to open up the General Settings:

            Assertion ‘pthread_setspecific(t->key, userdata) == 0′ failed at pulsecore/thread-posix.c:247, function pa_tls_set(). Aborting.

            When I re-start it and go back into Preferences to add the window list slice, it doesn’t crash this time, but strangely, the slice doesn’t do anything; moreover, its icon is not the one that is shown in the Preferences panel. It’s replaced with the GNOME Pie icon!

            By the way, I still don’t know how to make the icons wobble….

          • Simon says:

            There seem to be still some (at least one) bug related to pthread_setspecific. Strangely related to pulse…

            Nevertheless: Another user reported the issue on github, maybe we should use the comments over there to discuss this futher (

            And: The wobble effect is part of the themes! For example the theme “Funky” has a quite intense wobble effect. “O-Pie” as well, “Unity” has no wobbling at all.

  5. Marcos says:


    I would like to install it, but I can’t. I’m using the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. It says that can’t find it. How to solve this.


    • Simon says:

      Sorry, but 10.04 is not supported. The PPA only has packages for 10.10, 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04. Sadly the Vala version shipped with 10.04 is way too old to be compatible with Gnome-Pie… You’ll have to install a new version of Ubuntu ;)

  6. Pingback: Gnome-Pie 0.5! | Simon Schneegans | Linux Blog

  7. Pingback: Обновился лаунчер GNOME-Pie 0.5.1 | PROUBUNTU

    • Wonder why the change of unpacking the files?
      used to be default, now it seems it doesnt is packed in a folder. When unpack it, you unpack the files right away, before it was inside a folder, where it should be……
      0.4.2 was perfect, 0.5.1 isnt…..

      • Simon says:

        Ahh sorry, didn’t notice… I’ll re-upload them! I don’t think many have adopted this new packaging scheme ;)

        Thanks for the report, this was not done on purpose…

        EDIT: Has been done.

  8. Neuralnaut says:

    Love Gnome Pie. I can’t even imagine Gnome 3 without it now. It makes the whole thing usable. I noticed, though, playing around with the 0.5.x version, that you removed the ‘Open Pies at Mouse’ check box. I have found it extremely useful in Gnome 3 when it’s all at the center. Just throwing that out there. The program is the best. Keep up the awesome work.

    • Simon says:

      You’re welcome ;)

      This checkbox hasn’t got removed, it just moved. You can specifiy this behaviour now for each pie. Simply open the “select-hotkey-window” for a pie and there is the checkbox you’re looking for!

  9. Les says:

    First off – Awesome little program ya made here.

    I installed a daily build of Ubuntu 12.04 and gnome-pie was working just fine until just now. All it does is crash. I’ll open it up, click on a slice, and then it will crash. This happening to anyone else? Any ideas?

    • Les says:

      Here is the error I get in terminal – GLib (gthread-posix.c): Unexpected error from C library during ‘pthread_setspecific’: Invalid argument. Aborting.

      • Simon says:

        I’ll check this issue soon, as more and more user are reporting it. It seems to be some strange GTK-pulse-audio-initialization-problem…

      • Simon says:

        Hopefully this crash got fixed with the latest commits.. can you pleas compile Gnome-Pie from source and check whether it works?

        EDIT: There were many other bugs as well, so I updated the PPA. You can check whether it works there! No need to compile it yourself!

  10. DarylO says:

    Oh, another improvement I would make to GNOME Pie would be to disable the notification popup that appears when one clicks on the center of the multimedia slice to close it. Perhaps it just happens in GNOME Shell, but when I close out the multimedia slice (without clicking on any of the navigation icons), a popup appears with a big circle in the middle with a slash through it….

    • Simon says:

      Probably you haven’t noticed it yet: There exist quick-actions which can be assigned for each Pie. The multimedia control Pie has got “Next Track” as its quick action, so this Slice gets executed when you press in the middle of this Pie. Right-click to cancel.

      When no player is playing anything and a multimedia button is pressed, Gnome-Shell displays this ugly symbol. It has nothing to do with Gnome-Pie.

      You can change this behaviour yourself: Simply disable the quick-action of this Pie!

  11. Владислав Ярушевский says:

    Ubuntu 10.10 Samsung n150
    program crash if press “General setting”

    [MESSAGE] Welcome to Gnome-Pie 0.5.2!
    [MESSAGE] Loading Pies from “/home/vlad/.config/gnome-pie/pies.conf”.
    [ ERROR ] gnome_pie_app_action_construct: assertion `icon != NULL’ failed
    [ ERROR ] gnome_pie_action_group_add_action: assertion `new_action != NULL’ failed

    (gnome-pie:28016): Gtk-WARNING **: Unknown property: GtkWindow.has-resize-grip

    (gnome-pie:28016): Gtk-WARNING **: Unknown property: GtkDialog.has-resize-grip
    [MESSAGE] Started happily…

    (gnome-pie:28016): Gtk-WARNING **: Unknown property: GtkDialog.has-resize-grip

    (gnome-pie:28016): Gtk-WARNING **: Unknown property: GtkHScale.round-digits
    Assertion ‘pthread_setspecific(t->key, userdata) == 0′ failed at pulsecore/thread-posix.c:240, function pa_tls_set(). Aborting.

  12. Robin says:

    I absolutely love this feature. I am a Mint 12 user and wondered if this will be in the 12.04 repos? It is easy enough to add but this really needs to be included in the install. Thank you for creating it ;)

  13. Kamil says:

    I ablolutely love it utill it starts to crash :/ I try to open it by th terminal and it gives back:

    [16:35:57:536642 WARNING] Unknown property: GtkWindow.has-resize-grip

    (process:10376): Gtk-WARNING (recursed) **: Unknown property: GtkDialog.has-resize-gripPrzerwane (core dumped)

    And get closed. Any clues how to fix that?

  14. restcoser says:

    “Sub-pies are now opened at their parent’s location.”

    Man, I want to try out the other way, I want the sub-pies to open at the new location my cursor is at… would make naviagtion much easier, as the ways the cursor needs to make decrease even more!

    • Simon says:

      You’re right, it’s not optimal this way either. Retaining a good context for the user and allowing good navigation at the same time is difficult with pie menus. Especially when navigating through hierarchies.

      I’ll pay special attention on this topic in my bachelor thesis and I hope that there’ll be a good solution!

      • restcoser says:

        To avoid getting jammed in screen edges the menu could turn itself to a half-circle at edges or quarter-circle at corners of the screen. This would have the downside however that the icons move to places where they have not been before, so you have to search for the pie you want to open…
        Or, even better, keep the behaviour you have right now, but when opening submenus, reset the mouse position to the center of the submenu. This way the menus can’t move but the way to your target will be shorter.

        Something else: I am missing a “open on hover” option as well as a “menu stay open” option for launchers and submenus. Something you could consider adding after finishing the more important stuff like your bachelor thesis.

  15. Nicolás Guarda says:

    Hey Simon,

    Fist I’d like to thank you for your gnome-pie app. It certainly makes my workflow smoother!

    For some reason, I’m having a weird problem after making a clean install of Linux Mint 15 (Olivia) MATE.

    After installing gnome-pie from ppa, any launcher from the bookmarks pie opens my media player, initially banshee and amarok after I replaced and uninstalled banshee. All the other launchers (i.e. apps) seem to work fine so apparently it’s just the bookmarks group. I tried reinstalling from source after manually removing the conf folder (didn’t find any leftover folder in usr), but the problem persists.

    Might this have to be with the replacement of nemo with caja?

    If you could look into this, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance!

  16. Allan says:

    I love this functionality. However, with a stock install, I am getting the black background, and not the fake transparency (that I am looking for) – and I can’t find an resolutions. Running Gnome 3.10.1

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