Tue, 13 Sep 2005

GNOME 2.12 for Debian

We get quite some people asking this everyday. When will GNOME 2.12 appear in Debian? Not yet? Why don't you upload to alioth?

For a few months we've been holding all kind of GNOME uploads unless they were absolutely necessary, to try to get GNOME 2.10 in etch. This has been a hard battle due to the unusual number of ongoing transitions in Debian at the time: glibc, gcc-4.0 as default compiler, C++ abi, XFree86 -> X.Org. At first we thought we'd be able to by-pass most of them by not uploading anything but in the end control-center got stuck behind X.Org, and that complicated things quite a bit.

Luckily, the Release Team, with help from the glibc and X maintainers, have managed to get these in testing after getting rid of the RC bugs caused by the new versions, opening the door for GNOME 2.10, which was able to enter testing (unblocking the testing transition for some 150 additional packages) coincidentally a few days after the GNOME 2.12 release. Oh well, these things happen when you want a Debian release out every half decade or so. :) We owe Loïc Minier quite some beers, because he has been tracking problems with GNOME 2.10 for a few months, and has suddenly become one of the key members in the team!

So, with GNOME 2.10 in testing, our current plan to bring GNOME 2.12 to Debian is:

  1. Finish up GNOME 2.10

    To avoid making the transition even more complicated, we held any new 2.10 uploads to unstable for over two months. In that time, some GNOME components released new versions, and will now be updated so etch has a completely stable GNOME 2.10 suite. This step is ongoing and should be easy to complete, unless the long list of Mozilla RC bugs holds it for a while.

  2. GNOME 2.12 to experimental

    With GNOME 2.10 safe in etch, we'll be able to focus our attention to GNOME 2.12. Some modules have been branched for experimental already, and soon you'll be able to find more and more in there. While doing experimental 2.12, our plan is to completely transition our gconf setup to install defaults in /var instead of /etc, plus start handling the update of icon caches when necessary. These transitions shouldn't be too complicated. There's another transition that will hit 2.12, though; hal/dbus 0.50 which may get a bit more complicated because it affects packages outside the Debian GNOME Team's influence (Qt/KDE being an example). We'll see how that one goes.

  3. GNOME 2.12 to unstable

    By the time we're ready to do an experimental upload, hopefully the rest of testing transitions will have been cleared up, and having GNOME 2.12 in unstable and then testing should be pretty easy. Or that's my hope. :)

Be prepared to see more and more 2.12 fun in experimental in some days. When more or less is in place, we'll upload a 2.12 meta-package suit, so it'll be easy to upgrade in just one command. For now, you'll have to ask Google about how to deal with GNOME in experimental.

This really sucks, especially after I read http://lists.debian.org/debian-gtk-gnome/2005/09/msg00027.html It's time for me to move forward... to Ubuntu.

Posted by Stephan Michels at Tue Sep 13 22:00:52 2005

Thanks for the update Jordi.  I always read pgo and appreciate it when you provide an update about GNOME in Debian.  As an end user I certainly look forward to the major etch transitions getting done sooner than later, but I appreciate the fact that these things just take time and am quite willing to wait for it.  Thanks again for your dedication and work on both GNOME and Debian.  Even if it isn't always explicitly stated, there are guys like me that do appreciate it.

Posted by Paul Ortman at Wed Sep 14 00:46:57 2005

Hi Jordi. Thanks for the update on Gnome 2.12. I really appreciate reading your posts like this. Over time, I've upgraded from 2.6 through 2.8 and 2.10 and I look forward to 2.12. No major problems in the past upgrading through experimental then shifting to unstable. Wicked easy thanks to you guys and your hard work. Best wishes to you and the rest of the team.

Posted by dwp at Wed Sep 14 05:31:08 2005

Stephan, if you can't wait a few weeks then yes, you're more than welcome to switch to Ubuntu.

The link you post made no sense anyway. Nobody is packaging 2.11.

Posted by jordi at Wed Sep 14 09:28:28 2005

Woohoo :D

I'm really looking forward 2.12
Some nice features are coming with it.

Thanks for spending time to package it. :)

Posted by Fred at Wed Sep 14 15:05:43 2005

Agreed, while my family now uses Ubuntu I personally still sit on Debian Sid (because I love it :D) so I can't thank you enough for all the hard work you guys put in to package gnome for us.  Thanks. :)

Posted by eps at Mon Sep 26 08:51:24 2005

gnuLinEx people have already package gnome-2.12 for Debian Sarge, more information at:


Posted by itais at Mon Oct 10 19:43:30 2005

I'm a random guy that found your blog through google. Like most people giving you feedback I agree that you're doing a great job providing information about gnome in debian. This is exactly what I was looking for. I'd like it if you posted an update to this update if you had the time (since I'm reading this a month after you posted it). It's no big deal though.
Thanks for keeping us informed.

- Sabin

Posted by Sabin at Thu Oct 20 21:41:40 2005


can you give us some info about when will gnome 2.12 hit unstable? Tnx.

Posted by ram at Thu Oct 27 18:19:49 2005