I use a lot of CentOS lately (one of my favorite distros is a CentOS derivative called Stella) for both server applications and practical desktops. I guess truth be told I don’t mind Gnome 3 that much. But it certainly isn’t my favorite. I like Mate quite a bit, but I guess for the time being, I’m just going to hold on to those rock solid distros that run Gnome 2.
Anyway, my feelings aside, a lot of companies use CentOS as servers. My issue has been that their kernel is still at 2.6. I don’t have a problem with this usually, but in the case of a modern desktop or server, sometimes drivers are missing that could be provided by a newer kernel. Cue this thread.
I use a repo called ElRepo from ElRepo.org – it provides up to date kernels from kernel.org (the latest stable tree).
Just follow the instructions on that page and you’ll be all good.