Introduction to GNOME

This chapter presents the instructions to install a complete GNOME-2.6 desktop environment and a limited GNOME 1.4 library environment that is sufficient to run GNOME 1.4 applications included in this book. The order of the pages follow the build order defined by the GNOME development team as published in the release notes.

The installation of GNOME-2.6 is a large undertaking and one we would like to see you complete with the least amount of stress. One of the first goals in this installation is to protect your previously installed software, especially if you are testing GNOME on your machine. GNOME-2.6 packages utilize the --prefix=option for configure, so you will use that and an environment variable (GNOME_PREFIX) to add flexibility to the installation.

To install GNOME as a desktop alternative, it is recommended that you install with --prefix=/usr. If you are not sure that you are going to keep the GNOME installation, you may install with --prefix=/opt/gnome-2.6. Setting the environment variable and the additional edits required by the second option are covered on the pre-installation page. Since GNOME has matured, installing with --prefix=/usr is the preferable approach.

If you choose the second option, removal of GNOME-2.6 is as easy as removing the edits from the pre-installation page and issuing the following command:

rm /opt/gnome-2.6 -r 

If your system was completely built per LFS and BLFS instructions, you have a very good chance of using GNOME-2.6 after your first install. If you are a typical LFS user, you have made modifications to the instructions along the way knowing that you have to take those modifications into account on future installations. You should have no problems integrating GNOME-2.6 into your unique setup, but you will have to install 28 to 33 packages before you can run GNOME through any testing (assuming your window manager is preinstalled and tested). You should anticipate that you will be rebuilding GNOME at least once to make adjustments for your setup.

If you are building a GNOME 1.4 desktop environment, you would install only those libraries in the GNOME 1.4 chapter and any dependencies listed on those pages, whether labeled or not. GNOME packages without pages are simply installed with:

./configure --prefix=/opt/gnome &&
make &&
make install

These instructions are simplistic to facilitate removal of GNOME 1.4 from BLFS systems when it is no longer necessary. These instructions may be refined later to comply with BLFS standards for file locations, specifically /opt/gnome/etc to /etc and /opt/gnome/var to /var. You should consider using the GNOME 1.4 hint located at if you have no interest in GNOME-2.6.

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