Introduction to GNOME

This chapter presents the instructions to install a complete GNOME-2.18.3 desktop environment. The order of the installed packages follows the build order defined by the GNOME development team and has been thoroughly tested by the BLFS team.

The installation of GNOME-2.18.3 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-2.18 packages utilize the --prefix=option passed to configure, so you will use that and an environment variable (GNOME_PREFIX) to add flexibility to the installation.

To install GNOME as your desktop of choice, it is recommended that you install using --prefix=/usr. If you are not sure that you are going to keep the GNOME installation, or you think you will update to the newest releases as they become available, you should install with --prefix=/opt/gnome-2.18.3. Setting the environment variable and the additional edits required by the second option are covered in the Pre-Installation Configuration section.

If you choose the second option, removal of GNOME-2.18.3 is as easy as removing the edits from the pre-installation page and issuing the following command (you may need to become the root user):

rm -rf /opt/gnome-2.18.3

If your system was completely built per LFS and BLFS instructions, you have a very good chance of using GNOME-2.18.3 after your first installation. 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-2.18.3 into your unique setup, but you will have to install well over 50 packages before you can run GNOME through any testing (assuming your windowing system is preinstalled and tested). You should anticipate that you will be rebuilding GNOME at least once to make adjustments for your setup.

Alternate Installation Methods

As was previously mentioned, building a GNOME desktop from sources is a significant project. Some may find it too tedious or time-consuming to perform a full installation following the BLFS book. You may wish to review the automated methods mentioned in the GNOME-2.18 Release Notes (they are a bit dated). Note that using any other method to install GNOME-2.18.3 other than using the BLFS instructions cannot be supported by the BLFS team. Alternate methods are only mentioned as a courtesy to builders who would like to build GNOME from sources but do not have the time/desire/patience/whatever to follow the BLFS book.

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