GNOME Shell is a component of GNOME 3.0 which is the next generation of the GNOME Desktop Environment scheduled for release in April 2011. With the release fast approaching you may be eager to give it a try on your current Ubuntu 10.10 installation.
There are currently two ways to install GNOME Shell. The easiest method is to install the gnome-shell package in the Ubuntu repository. Unfortunately the latest version supported in Ubuntu 10.10 is 2.32 which will give you a good taste of what to expect, but is outdated compared with the latest development releases (2.91.x series will become the official 3.0 stable release). The second method is to build from source. This will give you the latest version but is slightly more complex. If you are comfortable with the command line it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Method 1: Install Old (2.32) Version from the Repository
GNOME Shell is in the Ubuntu repositories by default, simply install it with apt-get. Unfortunately this will give you the outdated 2.32 version.
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
Alternatively you can install the gnome-shell package from the Ubuntu Software Center.
Method 2: Build Latest (3.X) Version from Source
The following steps will give you the latest bleeding edge version of GNOME 3. This will NOT break your current GNOME 2 installation, but simply install GNOME 3 and its dependencies along side your current packages. You will be free to switch between GNOME 2 and 3 at will.
1) Install Dependencies
Run this command to install the GNOME Shell dependencies.
$ sudo apt-get install curl libtiff4-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev libcroco3-dev xulrunner-dev mesa-utils mesa-common-dev libreadline5-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libwnck-dev librsvg2-dev libgnome-desktop-dev libgnome-menu-dev libffi-dev libgtk2.0-dev libgconf2-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev gtk-doc-tools gnome-common git-core flex bison automake build-essential icon-naming-utils autopoint libvorbis-dev libpam-dev libgcrypt-dev libtasn1-dev libtasn1-3-bin libgnome-keyring-dev libupower-glib-dev libxklavier16 libxklavier-dev xserver-xephyr python-dev libpulse-dev libjasper-dev jhbuild libgtop2-dev libsqlite3-dev libproxy-dev libdb-dev libproxy-dev libcups2-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev
2) Download the Source
Get the script to setup your jhbuild environment.
$ wget http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell/plain/tools/build/gnome-shell-build-setup.sh
Make the script executable.
$ chmod +x gnome-shell-build-setup.sh
Execute the script. This will install jhbuild.
3) Build GNOME 3
This command will download the latest source code and build GNOME 3. GNOME Shell includes 40+ packages that need to be downloaded and built. This can take a significant amount of time to complete so be patient.
$ jhbuild build
4) Keep GNOME 3 Up to Date
You are running the bleeding edge version of GNOME 3 and because of this the code in the git repositories will be constantly changing. To test the latest changes after your initial insallation simply run the following command. This automatically update your local copy of the source code and rebuild if there are any changes to GNOME 3 package or its dependencies.
$ jhbuild build
Starting GNOME Shell
Alt+F2 and enter:
$ ~/gnome-shell/install/bin/gnome-shell –-replace
Stopping GNOME Shell
To exit and return to your default Gnome 2 hit Alt+F2 and enter:
If you are using an NVIDIA graphics card and are having problems with speed.
Fix Slow Animations in GNOME Shell for NVIDIA Graphics Cards
This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to download the source code and build the GNOME 3 package. It is helpful if you run into any problems.
Build GNOME Shell