Getting Development Versions of GNOME

Before going further, check your tolerance for uncertainty and unpredictability. Development versions of GNOME are where new, fun development goes on, which means that running development GNOME means seeing new features grow and ideally helping bring them to maturity. It also means that the feature are immature, which means they are sometimes broken, sometimes unpleasant to use, and sometimes want to make you tear your hair out. If this sounds like a ride you're ready to get on, then keep reading- we're eager to have you join us in helping build and grow GNOME.

There are several ways to get unstable/development versions of GNOME, and this page will try to cover all of them.

Development Distributions

Many operating system distributors now operate 'development' distributions so that users can help test and develop the operating systems. In several cases, these development distros contain up-to-date versions of GNOME, and can be a great way to get fairly up-to-date development versions of GNOME that are well integrated with the underlying OS.

If you want to use a specific version of GNOME, it is important to pick wisely- not all of the distros listed below always run the very latest development versions of GNOME, as they may be stabilizing for a release at any given time. Make sure to check before you install, if getting development GNOME is your primary goal.

Some options in this category include:

Distro Name

GNOME Version in devel distro


Fedora Rawhide


Development version of Fedora/RHEL. Updated frequently.



Derived from rpath linux.



New project from Novell and SUSE.



Pretty much always runs latest GNOME development and updated frequently.



Official Gentoo GNOME team development cycle overlay.

Add more!

Third-Party Packages

In some cases, third party packagers make binary builds of development versions of GNOME available. These may or may not have deep integration to the distro, and may or may not be updated regularly, depending on the level of commitment of the packager. It is a /big/ job. :) However, this generally allows you to test without building anything, and without upgrading big chunks of your operating system, which can be desirable.

Some of these include:


GARNOME builds GNOME and GNOME-related programs from tarballs. Tarballs are usually more stable than raw CVS, but not necessarily :)


jhbuild is the most recommended way to build all of GNOME from CVS. It handles basic dependencies, points you at the right branches, and generally makes building from CVS less painful. If you want to use the absolute latest, greatest, and potentially most broken, then this is the way to go.

GetUnstable (last edited 2009-06-14 14:31:08 by ClausSchwarm)