Gnome 2 makes an appearance on the latest Rosa distribution

Its death sparked widespread outrage and cries for an alternative ‘life support’ system to keep it alive.

Now, a year after it was supposed to be ‘moved on’ from, Gnome 2 is back on the latest edition of a (more or less) mainstream Linux distribution, Rosa.

In a rather surprising move, the Russian company behind the Rosa Linux distribution has chosen to slap on the left-for-dead Gnome 2.32 version on its latest release – the Rosa 2012 Gnome edition.

“This release is intended for people who have no powerful machines, but do not want to use LXDE, or for people who do not want use GNOME 3,” says Denis Koryavov,a Rosa developer who announced the distribution release.

Distributions are suites of usually open-source software that can be deployed on a computer to enable it to work as a near complete workstation.

Rosa is one of the inheritors of the legacy of the once-popular Mandriva Linux.

Gnome is one of the three or four ‘look and feel’ suites in open-source software, with the others being KDE, LXDE and XFCE.

About a year ago, the community of developers that maintains Gnome software announced that they will no longer maintain the Gnome 2 branch and urged everyone to switch to a totally rewritten and redesigned Gnome 3.

However, many fans of Gnome — which was by far the most popular of the look and feel suites (desktop environments) in the open source world at the time — were aghast at the radical changes introduced into Gnome 3.

Gnome 3, for example, no longer had a task bar (found at the bottom of the screen with links to running applications.)

Despite calls for maintaining Gnome 2, not much work has been done on the front. As such, Rosa’s decision to stick to Gnome 2 for a 2012 has come as a surprise.

It is not clear how much ‘maintaining’ Rosa developers would be able to do on the Gnome 2.32 suite. One of the reasons quoted by Gnome developers for abandoning the 2x branch was that the code had become too complicated to maintain.

However, despite a possible security risk, many users are still keen to use Gnome 2, going by the discussions on many internet forums.

The Rosa 2012 Gnome edition comes with Linux 3.0.