GNOME First Steps
What is GNOME?
"GNOME 3 is an easy and elegant way to use your computer. It is designed to put you in control and bring freedom to everybody. GNOME 3 is developed by the GNOME community, a diverse, international group of contributors that is supported by an independent, non-profit foundation." — GNOME
From a Clean Install
Ensure that the X Window System is installed.
Preparing to emerge
To get your system ready to emerge gnome, first set your system flavor to desktop, and enable the gnome profile mix-in. To accomplish this, do the following:
root # epro flavor desktop root # epro mix-ins +gnome
Console: Set profile
By enabling the gnome mix-in, various USE and other settings will be optimized to provide you with a pain-free GNOME installation experience.
You are provided with two packages that will pull in this desktop environment:
This is the "whole shabang" - pulls in a range of applications made for the gnome desktop environment including a few games, an archive manager, a system monitor, a web browser, a terminal, etc.
As the name implies, this pulls in the base minimal you need to get a functioning GNOME Desktop Environment.
GNOME 3.14 from a clean install
To emerge gnome run the following command
root # emerge gnome
Console: Emerging GNOME
To emerge gnome-light run the following command
root # emerge gnome-light
Console: Emerging a minimal GNOME environment (alternative)
GNOME uses OpenGL by default -- so you'll want to make sure that you use
eselect opengl to ensure that the proper OpenGL implementation for your video card is selected. If this is not done, GNOME won't start, so it's important to check this. Type
eselect opengl list as root to list OpenGL implementations, and
eselect opengl set X to set your OpenGL implementation to the proper one.
Setting up xdm (GUI log-in)
Typically, you will want to use
gdm, the GNOME display manager, to log in to GNOME. This will allow you to log in graphically, rather than using the text console.
By default, GNOME displays the
/etc/motd file for several seconds after you log in via GDM. The best way to eliminate this delay is to remove the unnecessary
/etc/motd -- it contains information related to when your stage3 was built:
root # rm /etc/motd
To enable gdm, edit
/etc/conf.d/xdm and set
gdm instead of
xdm. Then, perform the following steps to add
xdm to the default runlevel, and have it start automatically from now on when your system starts:
/etc/init.d/xdm initscript has been modified to start the requisite services
consolekit prior to starting
root # rc-update add xdm default
Console: Enable the GNOME display manager
Then, if you want to start it now do:
root # rc
When your system restarts, it will start GDM by default.
Setting up xinitrc (text log-in)
Adding the following to your
~/.xinitrc file is sufficient:
# Fix Missing Applications in Gnome export XDG_MENU_PREFIX=gnome- # Properly Launch the Desired X Session exec ck-launch-session gnome-session
Additionaly, if you need support for different input sources, there is no longer a need to configure IBus or SCIM in your
.xinitrc file as GNOME uses IBus natively. Simply configure it in the Control Center under Region & Language.
Upgrading from GNOME 3.12
To update either gnome or gnome-light run the following command:
root # emerge -vauDN world
For bluetooth support, ensure that:
- Bluetooth support is enabled in your kernel (using modules is fine).
- Your bluetooth hardware is turned on.
- Add the
bluetoothstartup script to the default runlevel, and start it.
This can be done as follows:
root # rc-update add bluetooth default root # rc
Once this is done, you should now be able to navigate to Settings -> Bluetooth and turn bluetooth on. The icon next to devices should now animate and you should be able to discover and add devices such as keyboards.
Additional kernel drivers may need to be enabled for certain input devices. For example, for the bluetooth Apple Magic Trackpad, the following option must be enabled in your kernel:
Under Device Drivers-->HID support-->HID bus support-->Special HID drivers:
<M> Apple Magic Mouse/Trackpad multi-touch support
To enable printing support, add
cupsd to the default runlevel:
root # rc-update add cupsd default root # rc
You should now be able to navigate to Settings -> Printers and add printers to your system, and print.
To enable scanning support, add your user account to the
lp group. This will allow your user to access the USB scanner.
emerge xsane, and run it. It should be able to access your scanner.
Automatically Starting Applications at Login
When using an old-fashioned
.xinitrc, starting up applications when X starts is relatively easy. When using GDM, this can still be accomplished, by using the
~/.xprofile file. Here's my sample
.xprofile to start
xflux to dim the screen at night:
xflux -z 87107
Remember to add a
& at the end of any command that doesn't return to the shell prompt after running.
Gnome has several games that can be added on to your install. By default most games are not included in gnome's emerge.
Users wishing to play games need to be added to the games group:
root # gpasswd -a $USER games
game system emulators:
Significant Known Issues (Workarounds Available)
FL-1678: Bluetooth interface gives wrong pairing key
FL-1687: Wallpaper corruption when resuming from suspend