Get the Online Desktop Running
Here are some instructions on how to get up and running in the Online Desktop environment if you're looking to develop or just try things out you're in the right place.
If your distribution doesn't have packages for the Online Desktop already, the easiest way to get the necessary components is to use Jhbuild and follow the OnlineDesktop/Jhbuild instructions. If you use Fedora, you could also follow our OnlineDesktop/Fedora instructions to build RPMs.
Once you have all the OnlineDesktop/Components installed you'll need to log out of your current Desktop session.
Because the Online Desktop is currently experimental we created a new Session inside of GDM for it such that you could leave your existing session alone and try the Online Desktop Session in parallel.
If you want you could make this session the default or click "Just for this Session".
Online Desktop Session
Now that you've logged into the Online Desktop Session you should see a number of changes to your normal desktop session. The OnlineDesktop/Sidebar should be showing up on the left side of your screen with a single panel running across the bottom of your screen. Also there should be an instance of Firefox running by default. Go ahead, play around!
Unless you were already logged into online.gnome.org the desktop should be indicating that you need to log in or create an account. Go ahead and do that.
You will need to restart different modules as you change things. OnlineDesktop/RunningOnlineDesktopModules has information about that.
An easy way to get started hacking on Online Desktop is to create a sidebar widget for it. OnlineDesktop/CreatingSidebarWidget has slides that detail the process and step-by-step versions of the file for the Twitter widget.
This should no longer be necessary
Are you finished and ready to go back to the offline world? There is an issue returning your previous panel configuration exactly as it was; you will need to run a command manually. If you are switching back to your regular GNOME Session from the Online Desktop Session, here are your instructions:
gconftool-2 -s /apps/panel/general/toplevel_id_list --type=list --list-type=string '[top_panel,bottom_panel]'