Fri 21 February 2014

Gnome 3.12 (3.11.90) on Fedora 20: A peek!

Posted by ankur in Tech (633 words, approximately a 3 minute read)

Updating and testing

So, the Fedora Desktop SIG have been discussing how Gnome 3.12 should be made available to Fedora users. Generally, Fedora discourages major updates to packages. The ideal scenario would be if Fedora 21 and Gnome 3.12 released close to each other, but it isn't going to happen this time. As a result, there's talk of provide Gnome 3.12 as an update in Fedora 20. The initial builds have been put on COPR for volunteers to test. I took the leap today, with two of my machines. The upgrade was quite easy, and didn't require a lot of manual intervention. The one issue you may run into would be multilib errors since the COPR repositories do not provide multilib packages (an x86_64 COPR repo will not contain any i686 packages at all.). So, if you're on an x86_64 system and have some i686 packages that also need to be updated as part of Gnome 3.12, you'll run into errors with both dnf and yum.

For example, this is what I ran into with yum:

> Error: Protected multilib versions: libwayland-server-1.4.0-1.fc20.x86_64 != libwayland-server-1.2.0-3.fc20.i686 > Error: Protected multilib versions: libwayland-client-1.4.0-1.fc20.x86_64 != libwayland-client-1.2.0-3.fc20.i686 > Error: Protected multilib versions: vala-0.23.3-1.fc20.x86_64 != vala-0.22.1-1.fc20.i686 > Error: Protected multilib versions: glib2-2.39.90-1.fc20.x86_64 != glib2-2.38.2-2.fc20.i686 > Error: Protected multilib versions: gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.5-1.fc20.x86_64 != gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.3-1.fc20.i686 > Error: Protected multilib versions: pango-1.36.2-1.fc20.x86_64 != pango-1.36.1-2.fc20.i686

DNF doesn't provide proper error reports at the moment. I got this unhelpful message when using the --best flag:

`` > Error: cannot install both gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.5-1.fc20.x86_64 and > gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.3-1.fc20.x86_64. cannot install both > glib2-2.39.90-1.fc20.x86_64 and glib2-2.38.2-2.fc20.x86_64. cannot > install both libwayland-client-1.4.0-1.fc20.x86_64 and > libwayland-client-1.2.0-3.fc20.x86_64. cannot install both > libwayland-server-1.4.0-1.fc20.x86_64 and > libwayland-server-1.2.0-3.fc20.x86_64. cannot install both > pango-1.36.2-1.fc20.x86_64 and pango-1.36.1-2.fc20.x86_64. cannot > install both vala-0.23.3-1.fc20.x86_64 and vala-0.22.1-1.fc20.x86_64``

The solution is quite simply to manually grab these i686 packages from the COPR repo and update them before running the complete Gnome 3.12 update.

Once the update is done, you log out and back in, and you have a new Gnome version to play with. First things you notice: broken extensions.

Installed extensions

Upstreams will slowly begin to update their extensions as 3.12 gets closer to release, but it's always good to test extensions and let upstreams know if they're working or not. In a vanilla install, no extensions will work, since the version string in their sources only specifies that they work with Gnome 3.10. Gnome devs, quite intelligently, provide a hidden option that gets the system to skip this version check:

`` # gsettings set disable-extension-version-validation true ``

Please only use this if you're testing extensions. It isn't meant to be enabled for daily use. It's for debugging purposes only.

Some of my extensions work just fine, others don't. I've filed issues upstream for caffeine, hamster-time-tracker-extension and the MPRIS2 extension. If you're using extensions, please let the upstreams know if they don't work with 3.11.90. That way, they'll have time to update their extensions before 3.12 is formally released.

So, what's new?

Quite a few things, really. The complete release notes are here. I noticed the gnome-software update. It now lets you rate your applications. There's even a shell search provider for software (Please excuse the large image, I was on my dual monitor set up at the time)

Gnome-software 3.12

Gnome-software search provider

Another update is gedit. It's been ported over to GTK3 received major UI update and fits in better with the environment now (I was already using GTK3 as pointed out in the comments):

Gedit new

There are quite a few other changes too, like the Wayland support. I haven't checked them all out yet.

You can help!

Well, of course you can! I'll advise setting up a test vm and not using your work machine for this, just in case. Update, test, file bugs at relevant places and help make Gnome 3.12 a better experience for Fedora users, and all users in general! Cheers!