[Techtalk] Options for getting Gnome 2.

hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk
Sat Aug 24 12:29:22 EST 2002

On Sat, Aug 24, 2002 at 02:21:57AM +0100 or thereabouts, /dev/null wrote:
> On Saturday 24 August 2002 02:12, mc wrote:
> > I just reinstalled Ximian (long story, maybe I will post later), there
> > is a preview channel in Red Carpet for Gnome 2, maybe that has the
> > updates too?
> yes, that sounds like a good idea... much easier too :)
> i havent tried Red Carpet before.. just a little wary of how well it will
> work on my mandrake system - i had a lot of problems getting things to 
> install which conflicted with the .mdk packages.... which system are you 
> running?

Red Carpet is available for the distros Ximian support. The list
is on their website. And it understands that Red Hat packages do
not necessarily install on a Mandrake system, and that Mandrake
packages won't install on a SuSE system and so on.

So if you have one of the supported distros, you should be fine.

It doesn't like systems where people have used rpm --force and
rpm --nodeps too much though: it will try to tidy those up for
you. This often means removing things. So read the messages
before hitting "OK" :) 

However: If all of this is for Gnome 2, then be aware that 
currently Ximian is only doing Gnome 2 snapshots for RH 7.2 
and RH 7.3. Other ways to acquire Gnome 2 do exist, though.

(If you're not interested in Gnome 2, stop reading here. This
became _very_ long.)

Distros packages.

  * As above, Ximian has snapshots for RH 7.2 and 7.3.
  * I think Mandrake has Gnome 2 packages out in its cooker
  (permanent "bleeding edge")
  * Bex has already mention she had it for one version of SuSE. 
  * It's moving into one or more of the Debian releases, but I 
  am confused with the recent introduction of that sarge thing 
  and don't want to guess at the right version and apt-get line. 
  * And it's in the current RH beta as well. 

I _think_ those are your package-based options, but there may be more. 

Building it yourself.

Two ways. Tarballs. And CVS. Of the two, I strongly recommend
tarballs. They're mirrored in more places, and we know people
have builts them successfully. CVS is a state of flux by its

Automated build scripts.

Someone found and quailed at the compilation order for Gnome 2.
With good reason :) Tthere are a variety of scripts floating about 
Gnome-land which automate this. They are extremely popular
among Gnome hackers and users. All these scripts can be found
in modules by those names in GNOME CVS, but if I have put a
webpage, go there. Far far simpler.

The ones I can remember are:

  o GARNOME: this is mentioned on the Gnome 2 release notes page.
  It builds from released tarball packages on the ftp sites. It
  was used to produce the snapshot releases in the run-up to Gnome 
  2 and has seen pretty heavy use.

  o CVSGNOME: this builds either from CVS (picking the stable gnome-2-0
  branches unless you tell it not to) or from tarballs. It's bash-based
  with FAQ answers inside the file.

  o "v-b-s": vicious-build-scripts. This requires zsh, I think,
  at least to get some of the weirder scripts going. It builds from 
  CVS using both HEAD and the stable gnome-2-0 branches) and it lives
  in CVS (only).

  o jhbuild: James Henstridge's build scripts. These build from
  CVS, and it's all written in python. Lives in Gnome CVS.

  o eazel-hacking: along with building the CVS packages, this
  module contains some stuff some Gnome hackers consider useful:
  Changelog generators and so on. Lives in Gnome CVS.

  o makegnome: a new addition from two days ago: Peter Wainwright's 
  GNOME 2 RPM-building scripts. Note that contrary to what I say 
  below, running this particular script _will_ overwrite existing 
  Gnome 1.x rpms, according to the README. 
(It's entirely possible there are more. But these are the ones
people are actively using and which are consequently fixed when
they break.)

You can view all of these except the makegnome one via the
http://cvs.gnome.org site. If you're not sure which to pick,
go for one of the first two. The scripts that build from
CVS are listed mostly for completeness. (If you _must_ try CVS:
export CVSROOT=':pserver:anonymous at anoncvs.gnome.org:/cvs/gnome'
is the magic.)

What the scripts do:

They collect and build Gnome 2 for you :) 

It is possible to build and install Gnome 2 besides Gnome 1.x,
if you have a reasonably recent Gnome 1.x. This helps: you know
that if you get stuck then you haven't lost the working version.
I _think_ all of these build scripts do this, though whether by
default or as an option I am not sure. Also, be aware that lots 
of those build scripts grab very recent versions of the auto* 
programs, and so they put that along with the rest of Gnome 2
into this sandboxed Gnome 2 area on your system. I hope. Read
the scripts before running :) (Particular the RPM-building one,
which apparently overwrites things.)

Yeah, there are a _lot_ of packages. And the first question
asked is generally a toss-up between "what's scrollkeeper?" 
(documentation cataloguing system which is not just used by
Gnome so lives at sourceforge -- oh, and pkgconfig doesn't
live in Gnome CVS either and I forget where, but you might
need it) and "where do I get these docbook-xml DTDs?". (Most 
distros have them. People who build their own don't seem to 
find DTDs the most vital things to include and often need to 
fetch them themselves.)

Good luck in advance. Please note: I am _not_ the one to ask 
build questions of! I am currently using the RH beta precisely
because I could hit a button and install it and then get down
to the serious stage of breaking Gnome.  _Particularly_ don't 
ask me about what version of auto* to use. (See two paragraphs 
above: several scripts collect new versions of it.)

Finally, I should point out that Gnome 2.0.x does not contain
a lot of applications which people consider part of their 
Gnome desktop. Gnome 2.0.0 was primarily a library update and
porting enough onto them to have something usable. gnome-terminal
is there, with tabs and a far nicer way to set up profiles.
Nautilus, the file manager, is there (and far faster). Most
of the applets are there (although we have regretfully dispensed
with several of the clocks on the grounds of sanity).

Evolution is _not_ there (it's not ported yet). Galeon is
not there (ditto). The Balsa hackers have just finished
porting Balsa over, but it's not been hammered on yet and won't
be in the scripts above. And so on. 

And yes, even with these scripts, even if they work perfectly
first time, you are in for a long download and a long compile.
I really would think twice if you're on a 56k modem! I remember
building Gnome 1.4 on a fast box and it took hours: although
I didn't have the advantage of a build script then, so half of
that time was realising I was compiling in the wrong order and
starting over :) 

There's a reason I go for distro-provided packages if possible: 
and I would really recommend that if your distro has Gnome 2 
packages on the way, you wait for them.

If you can't wait though, I think that's pretty much everything
I can think of on building them. _Do_ read the release notes
and "known issues" before you start, though!

These scripts all work on Linux. I don't actually know how
well they all work on BSD and Solaris, although the CVSGNOME
author just said on IRC that he got reports from users of
both of those that they got it to work.


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