Install GNOME-Shell on Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”

By | 2009/11/02

I had some free time the other evening so I decided to give the new development builds of GNOME-Shell a try. This is the new overlay, or navigation system around the GNOME Desktop which we’ll start seeing as the default in Ubuntu 10.10 (yes, a year away!). We’ve begun seeing YouTube videos of early builds, and the installation process has become much simpler. I was able to install all dependencies and compile the latest build in about 20 minutes on my Core2Duo 2.10GHz.

Remember, these are development builds and are still in the early stages. While it appears to be functional (so far) your mileage may vary. Follow these steps at your own risk.

UPDATE: This article has been extended and published here.

8 thoughts on “Install GNOME-Shell on Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”

  1. John

    I installed gnome-shell through the 9.10 repos, which eliminates all of the hassle of manually installing.

    sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

  2. Sam Merrell

    I also installed through the repos and it worked pretty well. gnome-shell looks interesting but I think it needs a lot of refinement before I'd try replace normal Gnome. I almost think they should tone it down and leave Gnome more normal for now and work on something like Zeitgeist more. Though I'll admit that it is still pretty alpha-ish so we'll have to give it some more time I suppose.

  3. sam varghese

    your instructions appear to be named at audiences who are somewhat inexperienced with linux in general so imho it is better to also add these two instructions:

    make the script executable by running sudo chmod +x
    run the script ./ (else the script will not run because you are in the home directory)

  4. snetts

    Great article. Very informative if you want to install gnome on Ubuntu without using synaptic. In future releases the software center might replace synaptic entirely.

  5. dick

    I installed Unbuntu 9.10 and all the updates. I encountered the problem of the password. I followed your advise: I removed the login.keyring (in the xterm window) and then it worked. Unfortunately, after the restart it happened again. The login keyring is back, and even when i remove it again, it doesn’t work anymore

  6. Santiago

    I installed in Karmic and it a little bit more choppy than Compiz, it is noticeable a decrease on FPS during animations, so i will stay in compiz till gnome-shell become more fast and usable. My notebook is an HP 6735s with 256MB ATI HD-3200 graphics card in which compiz runs smooth as a V8 muscle car… why gnome-shell doesn’t? i suppose animations arte quite the same of compiz ones. Regarding the design, it’s very sweet and eyecandy, but i noticed that nothing is configurable, like upper-panel and notification area position and stuff, so this is quite against classical conception of the GNOME Desktop in which configurability is the law, but let’s give this guys some time to polish this remarkable app.


  7. joe

    What happened to the pragmatic roots of Linux? What happened to not getting in the way of using the computer? When will we stop adding ‘features’ that make things complex? A great application is made not by adding everything including the kitchen sink, but is ready when nothing is left that can be removed as it performs a simple task efficiently and elegantly without wasting resources needlessly. I left Windows because I don’t like people telling me to buy a new computer ever few years… thats exactly what the project’s FAQ tells me- that they target systems typical of the last 4-5 yrs. No thank you, thats not what Linux/BSD/Unix is about… I prefer gnome over kde, but I will not be forced to use this ‘gnome-shell’ interface– we expect customization and plethora of options, this is an insult.

  8. joe

    Let me add that ‘kupfer’ is a great app launcher comparable to gnome-do without using mono. If it included a dock-like companion app to replace gnome-panel, that would be great! (tip: I tell compiz not to decorate this app’s window so it looks more like gnome-do.

    pps. I don’t support mono because I don’t trust Microsoft to give us anything but a Trojan horse. ppps. How does Steve Balmer still have a job? He’s an idiot.

Comments are closed.